The white spruce tree is an evergreen conifer often used as hedges and windbreaks. Get white spruce tree facts, information, and list of the most popular varieties of Picea glauca spruce trees.
White spruce trees (picea glauca) belongs to the Pine Family (Pinaceae). It is distinguished by being evergreen, deer resistant and salt, drought, and heat tolerance. It is dense when young but will become more open with age. White spruce has a slim, conical form that is easily recognized. This tree grows easily in the Great Plains and northern New England.
*Fact- White spruce is the state tree of South Dakota.
Size: 40-60’ in height by 10 to 20’ in spread
Origin: Northern U.S. And Canada
Hardiness Zones: 2-6
Light: Full sun but will tolerate some shade.
Soil: Moist, well-drained soil, but tolerates wetter sites better than P. abies or P. pungens.
Habit: a broad, dense pyramid in youth, becoming a tall, fairlty narrow, dense spire, compact and regular, with ascending branches.
Leaf color: Glaucous green
Flowers: Monoecious, staminate, pale red becoming yellow; pistillate purple.
Fruit: Pendulous, cylindrical cones, 1 to 2 1/2” long, 1/2 to 3/4” wide, green when young and light brown when mature, scales thin, flexible, broad, rounded, almost entire at margins.
Diseases: Susceptible to trunk and root rot, spruce bagworm, European sawfly and red spiders.
Culture:Transplants readily; makes its best growth on moist loam or alluvial soils, and although found on many different sites, it is typical of stream banks, lake shores and adjacent slopes. It is one of the most tolerant spruces as it withstands wind, heat, cold, drought and crowding.
White Spruce Varieties (Cultivars)
Picea glauca ‘Conica’- Often called the Dwarf Alberta Spruce and Dwarf White Spruce. This natural dwarf (var. conica) becomes broadly conical in time. The foliage (needles 1/4 to 1/2” long) is light green, densely set, and the needles radiate around the stem. Growth is very slow (about 2-4” per year). Will grow about 10-12’ in 25 to 30 years and is easily propagated by cuttings.
Picea glauca ‘Densata’- (var. densata) is a slow growing conical type reaching 20-40’ after 40-80 years. It is often called the Black Hills Spruce.
PIcea glauca 'Albertina'- A slow growing, compact cultivar with a narrow pyramidal form.