Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Red Spruce
Picea rubens

Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Picea (PY-see-uh) (Info)
Species: rubens (ROO-benz) (Info)

Synonym:Picea australis

One vendor has this plant for sale.

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


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

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

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

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
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:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

Click thumbnail
to view:

By famartin
Thumbnail #1 of Picea rubens by famartin


1 positive
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral RosemaryK On Apr 2, 2014, RosemaryK from Lexington, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I'm trying to learn about this tree. I wonder why it isn't planted more since it's an East coast native, and whether it isn't advertised as a hybrid with the more popular conifers. US forestry and wickipedia say it prefers zone 3-4 and high elevations, but among its great qualities: likes gravelly soil, shade tolerant, not as susceptible to pests as Balsam fir. I think I saw a stand of them in Central Massachusetts recently. They weren't pinus strobus, they weren't hemlocks... They can grow tall.

Neutral famartin On Aug 25, 2007, famartin from Trenton, NJ wrote:

Seems to do alright, but it is not as tolerant of the heat of central NJ as Balsam Fir appears to be. Nice form when young... not sure how it'll look as an adult.

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

This tree likes well drained soil and it forms a narrow sillhouette.

Cones are small, 1 1/4' to 1 3/16" and fall from the tree soon after they mature.

Needles are 1/4" to 1/2" long and are usually curved upward.


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

Anniston, Alabama
Lawrence, Massachusetts
Trenton, New Jersey

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