PlantsSpruces→Norway Spruce (Picea abies)

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Plant Height: 100-180 ft.
Plant Spread: 20 ft.
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Other: female cones with papery or thin woody scales
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Flowers: Other: soft male cones
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Provides winter interest
Erosion control
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds: if starting indoors
Sow in situ
Start indoors
Can handle transplanting
Other info: Seeds are inside cones
Pollinators: Wind
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil


Celebrating Winter Interest!Celebrating Winter Interest!
By dave on February 14, 2015

Pine cones, seed heads, winter bloomers, colorful red berries, and much more! Let's kick off Winter Interest Week with a look at the most popular plants in our database that give some kind of interest to our gardens in the winter. We also introduce a new gallery option in our database for winter interest, with bonus acorns this week!

(Full article9 comments)
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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Nov 10, 2011 12:24 PM

Extremely hardy and wind-resistant. Tolerates heat and humidity better than most spruces. Grows best in the Upper South.

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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Dec 17, 2013 3:30 AM

The goldfinches have been very busy devouring the seeds from this tree this winter. It is a habitat and shelter for all kinds of birds, and the cardinals and others may be feasting on the seeds as well.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Oct 20, 2018 10:02 AM

The Norway Spruce is native to northern and central Europe. In landscapes it usually gets about 40 to 60 feet high and 20 to 30 feet wide, but gets over 120 feet in its native land. Its habit is pyramidal with upturning branching and long, pendulous branchlets that hang way down. Its needles are shiny dark green, about 1 inch long, and they are prickly but not real bad. It bears lots of large, tan, cylindrical cones about 4 to 6 inches long and 1.5 to 2 inches wide. It is fast growing of about 2 feet/year. It is almost as extremely commonly planted in the Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic, the Northeast, and upper South in the US as the Colorado Spruce. It is a reliable coniferous tree in landscapes, even where the soil is heavier by having a good amount of clay, even compacted clay, and even having a slightly alkaline reaction. It does drop a good amount of twigs and many cones. The only problem that I see happening in the Upper Midwest is that the tops of the trees can become thin because of lower humidity. I don't recommend growing Norway Spruce in the boreal forest regions of North America with sandy, acid soils, (where conifers really thrive the best), because this species can escape cultivation by seeding itself around; grow native spruces and conifers where they do so well.

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