Picea abies (Norway Spruce)

Performing best in cold climates, Norway Spruce can grow to 61 meters (203 feet) tall in their native European habitat. Germination may take place at warm temperatures (70-90 F, 20-30 C), but seedling growth is best in consistently cold temperatures (around 40 F, 10 C).

Picea abies (Norway Spruce)
Deciduous: no
Hardiness Zones: 2-7
Height: 12-18 meters (40-60 feet) tall in the United States, to 45 meters (150 feet) tall in native regions of Europe (rarely to 60 meters (200 feet) tall)
Diameter: 7-9 meters (25-30 feet) wide
Growth Rate: slow
Age: usually to around 200 years (when senescence begins), sometimes to 400 years old in northern habitat
Root System: shallow, extensive lateral roots, no taproot, few troublesome surface roots
Family: Pinaceae
Subspecies: many, most dwarf
Tolerates: herbivores (deer), poor air quality (urban pollution), mistblown glysophate
Problems (major): fire, mites in southern range, eastern spruce gall adelgid, Cooley’s spruce gall adelgid
Problems (minor): needle chlorosis in overly alkaline soils, magnesium deficiency, snowbreak, western spruce budworm, mountain pine beetle, drought and overheating
(especially when young), bagworms, spruce miner, pine needle scale, sawfly larvae, borers, cytospora canker, needle casts, rust
Poisonous: no
Soil requirements: prefers light/sandy or medium/loamy, well-drained soils with a pH around 4.0, tolerates heavy/clay soils and poor drainage
Air requirements: may tolerate poor air quality
Watering requirement: moderate
Sun requirement: full sun required at maturity
Needles: grow in 4 directions, green, sharp
Cones (male): yellow-brown, occur in groups, open in May-June
Cones (female): to 6 inches (15 centimeters) long, purple and erect when new, light green when immature, light brown/tan when mature, pendulous
Branching: Primary branches face upwards, secondary pendulous/drooping.
Seeds require stratification: yes, may persist for up to 7 years, dispersed in late autumn or winter
Shape: columnar/pyramidal when young
Monoecious or Dioecious: monoecious
Notable characteristics:
This spruce species has been studied extensively, likely more so than any other spruce.

These are commonly used as shade or specimen trees, especially in colder climates.

Sources used:

merging male cones in spring

A decently sized tree, roughly 10 meters tall

A cobalt blue variety

A dwarf cultivar

 brand new sapling


7 (1)

7 (2)
Fairly new cones at Southern Illinois University Carbondale

7 (3)
All of the images provided were taken by me. They may be used for educational/informational purposes only, provided that this article/online journal is appropriately cited first.


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