General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Very strongly acid (4.5 – 5.0)
Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Plant Height: 60 feet
Plant Spread: 15 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Unusual foliage color
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
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Provides winter interest
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Propagation: Seeds: 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

Common names
  • White Spruce
  • Canadian Spruce
  • Black Hills Spruce
  • Spruce

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  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 3, 2017 7:27 PM concerning plant:
    This spruce is not planted as much in landscapes as the Colorado or Norway Spruces in the Mid-Atlantic or Midwest, but it is the third most common. It is really a very northern species that grows through most of all Canada and Alaska, plus northern New England, northern New York, and northern Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Its needles are about 1 inch long and bluish-green and are stiff, but not really hurtful. Its cones are cylindrical and about 1.0 to 1.5 inches long, to 2.5 inches long, with thin, woody, but flexible scales. White Spruce grows about 1.5 feet/year and lives about 250 to 300 years. it is very adaptable to soils ranging from very acid to alkaline, pH 4.5 to 8.0. and sort of draining wet to well-drained. It does well south of its native range down into Zone 7. Recently in 2021 a very professional landscape architect who specializes in more naturalistic landscapes warned me that in southeast Pennsylvania, due to global warming, that some White Spruce have suffered and declined from the warmer temperatures and such humid, wet summers. (It has not been as bad as for the more commonly planted Colorado Spruce where I have seen many mature specimens of over 30 years old die out from the recent summers of warmer temperatures, greater humidity, and water-soaked soils.)
  • Posted by mcash70 (Near Kamloops, BC, Canada - Zone 3a) on Dec 18, 2011 11:29 PM concerning plant:
    A straight, tall tree easily recognized by its needles. Cones always hang down. Beautiful year-round color.
    White spruces are very important evergreens. Besides providing nesting sites and shelter, white spruces provide food for many kinds of wildlife. Crossbills, evening Grosbeaks and red-breasted nuthatches prefer the seeds. The foliage is eaten by grouse, rabbits and deer. Red squirrels cut open cones to eat the seeds, and they feast upon young, tender spruce shoots. The bark is enjoyed by both porcupines and black bears, sometimes to the detriment of the trees.

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