Picea Species, Alberta Spruce, Black Hills Spruce, Canadian Spruce, White 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
View this plant in a garden




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage



This plant is resistant to deer

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Big Delta, Alaska

Delta Junction, Alaska

Dot Lake, Alaska

Dot Lake Village, Alaska

Dry Creek, Alaska

Paxson, Alaska

Prescott, Arizona

Aurora, Illinois

Champaign, 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

Janesville, Wisconsin

Oshkosh, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


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

White Spruce has a very large native range over most of Canada, much of Alaska, New England, and around the northern end of the Great Lakes. Its needles are about 1" long, rigid but not prickly, and sort of bluish or grayish green. Its small, soft, cylindrical cones are 1 to 2.5" long. Its twigs are light in color. Inner bark is silvery when freshly exposed. In the wild it grows along lakes and streams and gets to 75 feet high with a trunk to 2 feet in diameter. It is a reliable conifer for the Midwest and Northeast USA in landscapes. It is not as commonly planted in landscapes as the similar Colorado Spruce or as the Norway Spruce, but is 3rd. The Black Hills White Spruce is a more compact natural variety from that region. The Dwarf Alberta Spruce is a dwarf cultivar propagated by cutting... read more


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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 abo... read more


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.... read more