Eastern Spruce (Picea rubens) in the Spruces Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Red Spruce
Give a thumbs up Eastern Spruce
Give a thumbs up 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: 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: 60 to 120 feet
Plant Spread: 30 to 60 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
Useful for timber production
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Other Beneficial Insects
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Humidity tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Can handle transplanting
Other info: Seeds are inside cones
Pollinators: Wind
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Monoecious

needles and cones

Photo gallery:
Location: Tannersville cranberry Bog Preserve in PoconosDate: 2017-06-02needles and cones
By ILPARW
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Location: near White Haven, PADate: 2016-09-14looking up a full-grown tree's trunk
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Location: Morton Arboretum in Conifer Collection in Lisle, ILDate: 2016-07-23needles and rounded cones
By ILPARW
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Location: Thomas Darling Preserve near Blakeslee, PADate: 2016-05-20maturing trees in wet forest
By ILPARW
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Location: Thomas Darling Preserve near Blakeslee, PADate: 2016-05-20mature tree in forest
By ILPARW
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Location: Thomas Darling Preserve near Blakeslee, PADate: 2016-09-14full-grown tree near bog
By ILPARW
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Location: near White Haven, PennsylvaniaDate: 2016-09-14tops of two trees with oaks behind
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Location: near White Haven, PADate: 2016-09-14maturing trees along forest edge
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Location: Thomas Darling Preserve near Blakeslee, PADate: 2016-05-21wild, full-grown trees behind bare red maples
By ILPARW
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Location: Thomas Darling Preserve near Blakeslee, PADate: 2016-05-21mature trees in forest
By ILPARW
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Comments:
Posted by sandnsea2 (Cape Cod, MA, USA - Zone 7a) on Mar 27, 2012 6:52 PM

Reddish brown bark and shoots give this spruce its name because its wood is light colored, much used for musical instruments and the source for spruce gum. Densely set needles are yellow-green.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Nov 19, 2017 5:42 PM

Red Spruce is native to Nova Scotia and that region of Canada, New England, New York, central Pennsylvania then down the Appalachians through North Carolina. it often grows along watercourses and in bogs, and also grows way uphill and in the mountain heights. Its needles are 0.5 to 0.7 inches long. its cones are round and 1.3 to 2 inches long and fall soon after maturity. The cones are soft with thin scales with rounded margins. The bark is dark gray to brown. It is very similar to the much more widespread Black Spruce, but it grows wider and its cones are about 2 to 3 times as big. Slow growing of about 2/3 feet/year and lives over 200 years. I think it is the prettiest spruce that I have ever seen. Morton Arboretum in northeast Illinois has three specimens about 15 to 20 feet high doing alright in silty-clay soil of about 6.5 pH, but they are not thriving. It can be grown in landscapes, as I saw several (from wild origin) in the yard of a motel near White Haven, PA, but I don't know of nurseries growing this species. There are several cultivars listed in landscape plant manuals.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Blue Spruce (Picea rubens 'Pocono') by frankrichards16 Feb 7, 2018 4:30 PM 4

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