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




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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

It is commonly planted in the Midwest and East and is the second most common planted spruce in landscapes after the Colorado species. It is fast growing, about 2 feet/year, and is very adaptable and reliable, living over 200 years. It has dark green, prickly needles on orange-brown twigs.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.


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.


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

The Spruce-trees usually live up to 300 years.


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 a... read more


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.


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.