Is Blue Spruce (Picea pungens) Toxic to Dogs?

Blue spruce (Picea pungens) is non-toxic to dogs and is safe to keep in homes or gardens as long as precautions are taken to keep household pets safe.

What is blue spruce?

Family Pinaceae
Botanical name Picea pungens
Common names Hickory pine, White spruce, Green spruce, Silver spruce, Colorado spruce
Mature height 20 – 25 metres (65 – 82 feet)
Needle retention Excellent needle retention
Scent Pine and evergreen
Native to North America
Toxicity Non-toxic

Blue spruce (Picea pungens) is a slow-growing, compact evergreen conifer native to North America. The shape of blue spruce is pyramidal, with short, somewhat prickly, stunning silvery-blue needles making it one of the most popular Christmas trees.

In the farm, blue spruce makes an effective windbreak and nesting site for wildlife and is widely cultivated as an ornamental in the home garden. The fast-burning wood makes it ideal for kindling.

This easy-to-care-for tree prefers full sun, and moist, well-drained soil. Fertilise with a nitrogen fertiliser once a year.

Related: Caring for a Christmas tree


While blue spruce is classed as non-toxic to dogs, there are still risks associated with keeping Christmas trees in homes with dogs. The following safety precautions should always be followed.

  • Do not add additives or aspirin to the tree stand as both are toxic to dogs.
  • Invest in a sturdy tree stand and always secure the Christmas tree to the wall or ceiling with fishing line to prevent it from falling over.
  • Hang breakable decorations high up on the tree.
  • Do not hang food on Christmas trees, especially chocolate which is toxic to dogs.
  • Use solar lights on the tree or unplug electric lights from the socket when there is nobody around to supervise dogs.
  • Avoid using tinsel that can be swallowed and form a blockage or telescoping of the intestines. Telescoping of the intestines (intussusception) is a serious condition that occurs when one end of the tinsel becomes lodged, usually under the tongue, while the free end travels down the GI tract. The GI tract creeps up the tinsel, causing them to telescope in on themselves.

Toxicity of Christmas trees

Common name

Scientific name

Toxicity level

Norway spruce Picea abies Non-toxic
Blue spruce Picea pungens Non-toxic
Serbian spruce Picea omorika Non-toxic
White spruce Picea glauca Non-toxic
Nordmann fir Abies nordmanniana Non-toxic
Fraser fir Abies fraseri Non-toxic
Douglas fir Pseudotsuga menziesii Non-toxic
Noble fir Abies procera Non-toxic
Balsam fir Abies balsamea Non-toxic
Grand fir Abies grandis Non-toxic
Scotch pine Pinus sylvestris No information available
White pine Pinus strobus No information available
Virginian pine Pinus virginiana Toxic
Norfolk Island pine, house pine Araucaria heterophylla Non-toxic