Alberta Spruce, Black Hills Spruce, White Spruce, Canadian Spruce 'Conica'

Picea glauca

Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Picea (PY-see-uh) (Info)
Species: glauca (GLAW-kuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Conica
Synonym:Pinus glauca
Synonym:Picea glauca var. albertiana
Synonym:Picea glauca var. densata
Synonym:Picea glauca var. porsildii
Synonym:Picea canadensis
View this plant in a garden





Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage



This plant is resistant to deer

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama

Vincent, Alabama

Prescott, Arizona

Beverly Hills, California

Burbank, California

Los Angeles, California

NORTH FORK, California

San Fernando, California

Santa Ana, California

Clifton, Colorado

Durham, Connecticut

East Lyme, Connecticut

Glastonbury, Connecticut

Oxford, Connecticut

Wilmington, Delaware

Dunnellon, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Rincon, Georgia

Ashton, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

Washington, Illinois

Lansing, Kansas

Crestwood, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Symsonia, Kentucky

Taylorsville, Kentucky

Lafayette, Louisiana

Lisbon Falls, Maine

Easton, Maryland

West Friendship, Maryland

Dracut, Massachusetts

Novi, Michigan

Royal Oak, Michigan

Tecumseh, Michigan

Rochester, Minnesota

Aurora, Missouri

Saint James, Missouri

Springfield, Missouri

Laconia, New Hampshire

Westwood, New Jersey

Mechanicville, New York

Syracuse, New York

West Kill, New York

Greensboro, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Scaly Mountain, North Carolina

Bucyrus, Ohio

Cincinnati, Ohio(2 reports)

Middletown, Ohio

North Olmsted, Ohio

Chiloquin, Oregon

Grants Pass, Oregon

Mill City, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Hummelstown, Pennsylvania

New Freedom, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Gallatin, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

Woodlawn, Tennessee

Salt Lake City, Utah

Sandy, Utah

South Jordan, Utah

Richmond, Virginia

Roanoke, Virginia

Bainbridge Island, Washington

Colville, Washington

Concrete, Washington

Waterville, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 31, 2016, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

I am saying neutral because I don't really like this conifer mutation that grows easily all over the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeastern USA and parts of Canada. It was found by two plantsmen in Alberta, Canada in 1904 as they were waiting for the train on their return journey to the Arnold Arboretum, probably was a branch mutation. So many people in our American society strongly influenced by Greco-Roman landscape thinking like the very conical, formal form. It is very slow growing of about 2 to 4 inches/ slowly gets bigger until reaching at least 12 to 15 feet high. I don't know how to really prune or shear this plant to stop its getting big. It often can get brown dead areas from spider mites or from drought and dry winds. Sometimes a branch can revert back to having larger n... read more


On Mar 6, 2015, Nanthawat from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Easy to care for..


On Jul 10, 2014, swbey1 from Sandy, UT wrote:

I have four of these great trees, however some of them have developed browning at the exterior. I think it is probably a sunburn as it has been very hot here for the last two weeks. Any suggestions????


On Dec 27, 2013, MsAbsinthe from University Park, FL wrote:

Can the Alberta Spruce survive as a houseplant?

Hubby ordered LL Bean's Woodland Tabletop Live Tree, which turns out to be an Alberta Spruce. When it arrived I checked out info online, and found horror stories about people who planted it outside the recommended zones. We live in Orlando, apparently zone 9, and it's allegedly hardy only to zone 8.

I called Bean. Their response was to send another tree. We called again, asking why they're sending living trees to a place where apparently they can't survive. They refunded our money. Now we have two free trees that I hope won't die.

Anybody have advice? The poor things are sprouting new growth in our living room, and I am not running a tree hospice. I hope.


On Nov 14, 2013, Mr_Monopoly from North Olmsted, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is a very neat and tidy pine to own. It makes little to no mess, has inconspicuous cones, and if tended properly, makes a very attractive addition to any garden. I have a large specimen in my front garden, and a smaller on in a pot, so they make a great pot or garden plant. Additionally, the Dwarf variety of this plant is excellent for fairy gardens!


On Jun 19, 2011, Lisadia from Springfield, MO wrote:

I planted one of these about 1' tall from Walmart in 2007, later in Spring. So it basically just sat there that year since it had already budded out. In 2008 and 09 it grew to be 24" so it was growing much faster than expected. But in 2010 it put on an amazing 9" and actually budded out 4 different times between April and August! I measured it last fall and it was 33". This year it is already in its second budding and 37" tall, so it's already put on 4" this year and shows no sign of stopping.
I read that some dwarf Albertas revert back to regular Alberta Spruce but that is not the case here because when that happens the branches grow longer and it won't have the tight packed needles. Mine still has very tightly packed needles and branchings. It's just a fast grower compared to all... read more


On May 15, 2011, weather1_guy from Rochester, MN wrote:

This tree is amazing. I bought this Fall of 2010 to plant in a container and overwinter it on my 3rd story patio (as a lil' 5ft Christmas tree). It got down to -30 last winter and I hadn't protected it at all and this spring it is covered with fresh green growth! My patio faces north so it only gets about 3-4 hours of direct sunlight a day (a few hours in the morning and a few in the evening). Great plant for a container :)


On Mar 13, 2010, purplesun from Krapets,
Bulgaria (Zone 8a) wrote:

Didn't expect this to do well here in Sofia, Bulgaria. It has doubled in size in just two years and, of course, it hasn't suffered from cold. Heat hasn't harmed it either. It grows in full sun in a container on the roof of my garage. We are presumably in zone 6b, 2300 feet AMSL.


On Apr 19, 2007, atcps from WOODLAWN, TN wrote:

This plant is a wonderful plant. It transplants very easily and adds a little formality to the garden. I had a minor problem with bagworms last summer but I picked them off and the plant is recovering nicely.


On Aug 18, 2006, soulbloom from Richmond, VA wrote:

I like this little guy. Mine has grown some since I purchased it in spring/early summer. Nice additional, almost a must for a garden IMO.


On Aug 2, 2006, Sheila965 from Rincon, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I just purchased these at Home Depot a couple of days ago. I live in Zone 8b. They look great at the end of my driveway. I just hope they can survive the heat but it is good to see other Georgians and a tropical climate such as Puerto Rico trying it as well.


On Aug 1, 2006, winging from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is a good foundation shrub in my area as long as you watch for and control spider mites, which can lead to dying off and ugly brown patches. Spraying it down with a strong jet of water every week or two does the job in discouraging the mites and helps provide adequate water as well.

Smaller specimens also do well in containers due to slow growth.


On Jul 12, 2006, nuckolsm from Delta Junction, AK wrote:

Alberta Spruce is frequently sold in Fairbanks, Alaska supercenters and home centers - but it is hardy only in the most sheltered of microclimates. I've seen many people (including myself) plant these beauties in the interior of Alaska only to see them freeze out. I suspect the purchasing people buy for Anchorage - not realizing that Fairbanks and the interior are a lot colder. Avoid this if you see temps below -40F. Otherwise, a wonderful plant!


On Jan 18, 2006, ineedacupoftea from Denver, CO wrote:

If you like a plant that is just a blob of green all year.

Tolerates dry, alkaline, clay soil. My 10 year old plant is at a small 5'. It's counterpart nearby, however, a few years ago, began to show a growth from the rootstock that had been dormant for years, which eventually overpowered the graft. I cut off the graft to reveal a shapely Picea glauca. I have to admit that I was pleased that this pudgy thing is susceptable to roostock reversions.

I think the plant is overused in the face of many desirable new selections.


On May 23, 2005, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

There are two of these framing a shed door on my place. They were here when we bought the place. I decorate them at Christmas time every year--they are perfect for that. There's something a little fairy-tale ish about them, and they aren't what I would have chosen myself, but they are easy and look fine. My one reservation: dog pee browns them up real fast. My dogs likes to mark them, and we have to keep him away.


On May 22, 2005, misskaffee from BeachTown, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I bought 3 of these today to plant in sunny backyard central. My first day rating is positive - they are so cute! But I'm a tad worried about their fate in my hands for two reasons:
1) I'm putting them into spots recently vacated by a maple and 2 dogwoods that passed on to greener pastures. Sigh. Not yet sure why they croaked so fast...? Really hope I'm not sentencing the new guys to death row!
2) I am a bit concerned that our summers in my part of Georgia might be too hot. Glad to see I'm not the only one trying them out in the warmer zones. My fingers are crossed. I'd love to decorate these cool little trees at Christmas time!


On Sep 1, 2004, zeny from San Juan, PR wrote:

I live in San Juan, Puerto Rico and I Purchased this tree in Virginia and brought it to Puerto Rico and I thought it was going to die but to my surprise in doing excellent in 4 months that I have it here. Actually it looks more dense now and with more live. The tree is doing excellent and I have it in front of my house where it gets direct sun from the tropical island I life in for 5 hours a day when the sun changes direction. I do pour water twice a day to maintain a humid soil. I am in zone 11.


On Jul 28, 2004, mikey12302 from Santa Ana, CA wrote:

I live in Zone 10 (Southern California) and would like to hear about anyones experiences with the Dwarf Alberta Spruce in this area.


On Jun 10, 2004, stevenova from Newcastle,
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

The only problem with this plant (at least here in the Uk) is that it, along with a number of other spruces is very prone to attack by two agents. One is a tiny species of Aphid and the other (in hot dry summers) is a spider mite. Both can defoliate the plant over a period of months without attention.


On May 1, 2004, branka from Hobart, IN (Zone 5a) wrote:

I love these evergreens. The size and shape is perfect, it's a must have in my garden.


On Feb 17, 2004, pakang from Joliet, IL wrote:

Very soft-textured in comparison to most other evergreens. Requires virtually no trimming at all; maintains its shape naturally. Grows only an inch-or-two a year, so it's a good choice for planting near buildings where other shrubs or small trees may grow too large.


On Jan 28, 2003, vroomp from Marietta, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is a must for every winter garden. Slow growing, these trees take 10-15 years to get over 6'. Ideal for containers or as a specimen in rock gardens, I have used these in several landscaping projects over the past 4 years and have yet to lose a plant.They seem to prefer semi-moist rich soil.