White Spruce?

East Bridgewater, MA

I found this tree in SE Massachusetts but they don't grow here naturally. It must have been carried by a bird or squirrel. No cones, so I'm taking a guess it is just a white spruce. There is a Xmas tree place nearby though, so maybe it's something more interesting?

Thumbnail by neefman Thumbnail by neefman Thumbnail by neefman Thumbnail by neefman
Oxdrift, Canada

neefman: sure looks like white spruce to me and I live where white spruce is the 2nd most common tree on my property. Also my training in university was forestry and I got very high marks in dendrology. The only picture that doesn't look real typical is the second. They don't very typically grow that wide here at that size but that is probably due to the fact that it is growing in a totally different climate outside of its normal range
I live in Northwest Ontario almost on the Manitoba boundary.

This message was edited Apr 9, 2016 9:23 AM

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Looks a lot like Norway Spruce (Picea abies) to me - from here in balmy central KY.

Norway Spruce is quite commonly planted in the eastern US - especially in the zones 5-7 range. Don't see White Spruce much at all, but eastern MA might be an outlier.

Oxdrift, Canada

You could be right viburnum. I think I would have a hard time telling the difference from these photos. Been 45 years since I took dendrology but if my memory serves me right 2 ways of distinguishing on a mature tree are 1) cones are larger on Norway and 2) on a Norway the branchlets coming off of the main branch kind of weep rather than sticking straight out

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

This is a great discussion to have, since many conifers of the same genus (and even some cross-genera relatives) are blastedly similar. I have the worst time sorting out Chamaecyparis sp. and (renamed) friends.

Agreed on the cones. Norway will be twice as long - 5" or better - compared with White Spruce. Also agree on mature trees (which this unknown really isn't), with the pendulous secondary and tertiary branches on Norway. The front drive where I work is lined with about 30 Picea abies, so they are constantly in view and I have obviously taken them for granted - having no images of them to share.

Here is a nice PlantFiles image of White Spruce (Picea glauca) - even from a similar time of year.


To me, it shows standard characteristics of how I might describe White Spruce: grayish green foliage (somewhat glaucous), shorter needles a bit more radially arranged on the stem/twig, buds are a darker color and blunt.

Compare that to neefman's 3rd and 4th images above.

Generally darker green needles that are a bit longer, arranged more on top and sides but not always all the way around the stem/twig, and often sticking out flat on the sides, and the bud scales spreading out on their tips. This characteristic is a key one to me, as it isn't common - and we've had posts here for ID asking about the flowers on these trees.

I'll endeavor to collect some decent shots of Norway Spruce.

Oxdrift, Canada

Wow cranberry you have certainly done your homework!!! I won't even attempt to top that!!

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Come in a bit late here, but ditto to Norway Spruce.


East Bridgewater, MA

I forgot I posted this... but what a great discussion! Thanks guys!

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