Spruce (Picea mariana) in the Spruces Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Black Spruce
Give a thumbs up Spruce
Give a thumbs up Bog Spruce
Give a thumbs up Swamp Spruce

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Mesic
Dry Mesic
Dry
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)
Plant Height: 50 to 75 feet
Plant Spread: 20 to 35 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Needled
Fruit: Other: female cones with papery or thin woody scales
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Fall
Late fall or early winter
Winter
Flowers: Other: soft male cones
Flower Time: Spring
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Provides winter interest
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Other Beneficial Insects
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Flood Resistant
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds
Can handle transplanting
Other info: Seeds are inside cones
Pollinators: Wind
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Monoecious

the foliage

Photo gallery:
Location: Morton Arboretum in Conifer Collection in Lisle, ILDate: 2016-07-23the foliage
By ILPARW
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Location: Thomas Darling Preserve near Blakeslee, PADate: 2016-09-14trunks of Black & Red Spruces
By ILPARW
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Location: Morton Arboretum in Conifer Collection in Lisle, ILDate: 2016-07-23a small tree doing alright
By ILPARW
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Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: 2018-08-22full-grown specimen in front of White Pines
By ILPARW
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Location: Tannersville Cranberry Bog in northeast PennsylvaniaDate: 2018-10-24upper young tree
By ILPARW
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Location: at home in southeast PA on the deck railingDate: 2016-09-05three tiny cones from Morton Arboretum in IL
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2018-07-03needles and twigs of young plant in pot
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Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: 2018-08-22top of tree
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Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: 2018-08-22cones among foliage
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Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: 2018-08-22trunk and bark
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Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: 2018-08-22summer foliage
By ILPARW
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Location: Tannersville Cranberry Bog in northeast PennsylvaniaDate: 2018-10-24the evergreen trees in bog
By ILPARW
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Location: Tannersville Cranberry Bog in northeast PennsylvaniaDate: 2018-10-24tree tops
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2018-06-27a baby tree bought at a native plant nursery
By ILPARW
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Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Nov 19, 2017 6:23 PM

Black Spruce is mostly found in much of Alaska and most of Canada where it is a major species in bogs, lowlands, swamps, and along watercourses, then also in northern New England, areas in New York, spots in Pennsylvania and Maryland, northern Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Its scientific name refers to Maryland. Its short, bluish-green needles are 0,3 to 0.5 inches long and it has tiny rounded cones about 1/2 to 1 inch long. They often hang on the branches for many years. Mature trees grow into a narrow, upright, pyramidal form. Slow growing of about 2/3 feet/year and lives about 200 years. It needs draining wet or moist, acid soils. There are some cultivars that are of compact or very dwarf forms listed in landscape plant books. I don't know of any conventional nurseries growing this species. I bought one of the regular mother species in a one gallon pot at a native plant nursery in southeast PA and then planted it in a bigger pot for the back deck where it is doing well. Its twigs are pale in colour and its short needles are bluish-green and somewhat soft. I've finally seen some wild, mature trees growing in the Tannersville Cranberry Bog that were growing upright and irregular in habit. If I had been able to travel farther into the bog, I probably would have found some better specimens, but much of the floating wooden trail was out on that cloudy, cold day.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Should I move my plants away from the windowsill during winter? by dweebz Oct 20, 2020 6:06 PM 3
Help by Terri656 Aug 21, 2020 6:38 PM 14
Jacaranda Mimosifolia by rainfrog378 Jan 17, 2020 1:42 PM 6

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