Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Norway Spruce
Picea abies

Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Picea (PY-see-uh) (Info)
Species: abies (A-bees) (Info)

Synonym:Picea excelsa

7 vendors have this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 20 photos.
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5 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Rickwebb On Jan 31, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is commonly planted in the Midwest and East and is the second most common spruce after the Colorado species. It is fast growing, about 2 feet/year, and is very adaptable and reliable. It often suffers some in the Midwest from hot droughts so that the top of the tree develops some thinning out. It bears lots of large 6" long cones that fall around the tree. The limbs turn upward at the ends and they have a drooping habit.

Positive purplesun On Nov 4, 2009, purplesun from Krapets
Bulgaria (Zone 8a) wrote:

One of the most widely distributed conifers in Bulgaria, along with Scots Pine and Austrian Pine.
It is widely planted in the colder cities, though it suffers from pollution and on the whole looks miserable.
Interestingly, for me it has grown admirably on the Black Sea coast, which is the warmest part of Bulgaria, with no signs of brown needles, a languishing habit or stunted growth.

Positive KashtanGeorge On Dec 4, 2008, KashtanGeorge from Sochi
Russia wrote:

The Spruce-trees usually live up to 300 years.

Positive TBGDN On Mar 19, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I bought this cultivar about twenty+ years ago as a 12-14" bare rooted "twig". At that time I was very involved with getting more conifer/evergreen material into my dreary 'scrubby' landscape. Having planted this young tree on a gentle sloping hillside, I fought with weeds and 'scrub' growth for five years to prevent choking it out. Today it stands at about 25-30 feet in height, and spreads fifteen feet in diameter at the base. The main trunk at the base is at least 14-16" in diameter! It has been (and continues to be) the fastest growing conifer out of all that I grow. It has done exactly what I envisioned (along with many other conifers) after what seems like a very long time ago. It is to say the least a very beautiful tree year after year, and adds appeal to the surrounding area. In addition to landscape improvement, this tree makes a good hang out for purple finches, robins and chirping sparrows who use it for shelter and nesting.

Positive lmelling On Nov 11, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Norway spruce is very prevalent in our central NY state area as well as many others. The huge deep green conifers are regal in appearance when young, and their branches have a slightly ruffled-like habit - the branches with their needles "dripping" from the stronger branches - somewhat like a velvet sleeve drooping from an arm. As they become mature, they often become slightly disheveled and "shaggy" looking in their upper branches. But they are still among one of the most beautiful trees in the region.

Cones generally are on a two year cycle in their drop; elongated, with many tiny, alternate, toothed petals, which finally end in a rosette at the bottom of the cone. Wonderful for use in crafts - especially wreaths.

Neutral Baa On Jan 10, 2003, Baa wrote:

A coniferous tree from Scandinavia to Southern Europe.

Has dark green, blunt, needle like leaves. Bark is red-brown. Bears oval to cylindrical female cones that are green when young later turning purple or brown. Male cones are egg shaped and yellow or purple.

Both male and female cones appear in spring.

Enjoys a well-drained but moist, neutral to acid soil in sun.

These are commercially grown trees in Great Britain, mainly as Christmas trees although they are likely to loose their leaves when brought indoors!

A concoction made of the leaves was once taken as a restorative but this has no known medical foundation and, as always, not recommended.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Flagstaff, Arizona
Prescott, Arizona
Oxford, Connecticut
Washington, District Of Columbia
Aurora, Illinois
Hampshire, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Macy, Indiana
Muncie, Indiana
Clermont, Kentucky
Frankfort, Kentucky
Georgetown, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Mc Dowell, Kentucky
Nicholasville, Kentucky
Paris, Kentucky
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Versailles, Kentucky
Lawrence, Massachusetts
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Princeton, New Jersey
Elba, New York
Ithaca, New York
Rochester, New York
Geneva, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Haverford, Pennsylvania
Grand Mound, Washington

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