Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Alberta Spruce, Black Hills Spruce, White Spruce, Canadian Spruce
Picea glauca

Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Picea (PY-see-uh) (Info)
Species: glauca (GLAW-kuh) (Info)

Synonym:Picea glauca var. densata
Synonym:Picea glauca var. albertiana
Synonym:Picea glauca var. porsildii
Synonym:Pinus glauca
Synonym:Picea canadensis

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

3 members have or want this plant for trade.

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over 40 ft. (12 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
This plant is resistant to deer

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

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
By grafting

Seed Collecting:
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By mominem
Thumbnail #1 of Picea glauca by mominem

By Todd_Boland
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By Todd_Boland
Thumbnail #3 of Picea glauca by Todd_Boland

By lmelling
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Thumbnail #5 of Picea glauca by TBGDN

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By Equilibrium
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There are a total of 13 photos.
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6 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Rickwebb On Dec 21, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

A reliable conifer for the Midwest and Northeast. Not as commonly planted in landscapes as the similar Colorado Spruce or as the Norway Spruce. It has shorter, less painful needles than the Colorado, bears small cones, and has very light colored twigs.

Positive TBGDN On Mar 20, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

When I began visualizing landscape projects many years ago this was one of the additions fitting into my plans. I bought six potted plants at approximately 8-10" in height. Now twenty+ years later I still have four remaining on the property. All are healthy with an average height of about 18-20 feet. This seems like relatively slow growth, however, the years have sped by, and I don't feel they've done poorly in growth. They all seem drought resistant, very hardy and one even survived a small grass fire. The small 2-3" cones resemble those of the Norway Spruce and the White Spruce in size and color. Foliage is attractive, dense and medium to dark green in color. I recommend it highly for those with space, acreage and a need to enhance property appearance.

Positive estiva On Dec 12, 2005, estiva from Grafton, WI wrote:

The Black Hills Spruce was recommended by our landscaper as a specimen tree. It is probably my favorite conifer in our yard because of its dark-green needles and the compact branches. This would make an awesome Christmas tree, however it would be a shame to cut it! As the eileenmlamb mentions, it is a somewhat slow grower--in 5 years our 5-footer is now over 8 feet. It is especially beautiful with a fresh layer of snow. Definitely worth the wait!

Neutral darylmitchell On Sep 26, 2005, darylmitchell from Saskatoon, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:

White spruce are a climax species of coniferous tree in the northern forests of Canada and the U.S., along with black spruce and balsam fir. They are long-lived and shade tolerant. They also provide habitat and food for many species of birds and rodents.

On a residential lot, one white spruce can be an impressive specimen while several can hide a house completely. A common mistake is to plant the tree too close to the house, thus forcing branches to be pruned to keep from touching the wall. White spruce retain their lower branches and can make an effective windbreak if planted on the north and west sides of a property.

Neutral smiln32 On May 25, 2005, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Tolerant of wind and wet soils. Silver-green foliage on pendulous branches. Can reach 75' in height.

Positive melody On Jan 29, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

A tree that has it's natural range along our northenmost states and far into Canada.

It has short needles 1/4" to 1/8" long and the branchlets do not droop as some of the other spruce trees do.

It bears 1" to 2' cones that drop soon after maturity.

Native Americans used the rootlets for many things, baskets especially.

Positive lmelling On Oct 24, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Upon building our new home in 1996 we decided to get our first "live" Christmas tree that year. I purchased a lovely 6' white spruce and had it delivered. We only kept the tree inside about a week, so as to lessen any shock as it would need to be planted right after Christmas. My husband had the hole dug and ready, as here in zone 5 the ground can freeze quite early. The day after Christmas we planted this spruce, watered it and kept our fingers crossed for it to live.

Well, as you can see - 8 years later this tree has done wonderfully and has grown, now to an estimated 15'. We have never really had to do anything for it. It is planted in a moist, well drained area in full sun. Each year the base expands just a little further, and it produces wonderful pinecones about every other year, high in it's branches at the top. It keeps its rich deep green color year round. The needles, while short and "stiff" are not sharp like some conifers. Deer do not seem to bother these trees at all.

Don't overcrowd these trees by planting too closely together, Plant more as a specimen and you will get a beautiful "Christmas tree" look. I have seen several down the road that were planted as a "clump" and they look terrible.

Positive mominem On Jun 28, 2004, mominem from Ashton, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Black Hills spruce is a natural variation of the white spruce native to South Dakota. Slow growing - may attain 6 to 8 feet in 10 years' time, dense and pyramidal in shape. Root system is shallow, fibrous, wide spreading. Does well in heavy soils that may remain moist, but also tolerates well-drained sites if watered during times of drought. Insect pests include spider mite, spruce needle miner, pine needle scale, yellow headed spruce sawfly, and aphids. Can be grown singly or in groups for a windbreak. Provides winter cover for birds, also may be browsed by deer. Seed: Cones are 1.5-2 inches in length and should be collected when they begin to open in the fall, mid August-October. Dry the cones in the sun until they are fully open and the seeds fall out easily when the cones are shaken. Spruce cones often have a high percentage of empty seeds. The seeds can be dewinged and stored.


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

Big Delta, Alaska
Prescott, Arizona
Aurora, Illinois
Macy, Indiana
Lawrence, Massachusetts
Gobles, Michigan
Tecumseh, Michigan
Grand Portage, Minnesota
Ithaca, New York (2 reports)
Belfield, North Dakota
Bucyrus, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Kaysville, Utah

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