Picea abies - Norway Spruce
Family: Pinaceae

Hear the scientific name

Picea abies is a common, large, pyramidal evergreen tree that serves as a bold accent or windbreak in the landscape. Norway Spruce is also available in dwarf and weeping forms that can be used for architectural and accent elements in the landscape.

F   E   A   T   U   R   E   S
  form Form

-large evergreen tree; 80' tall x 30' wide

-upright pyramidal, becoming conical with age

-somewhat horizontal secondary branches and pendulous branchlets

-medium rate

foliage Foliage

-dark green needles to 1" long

-clustered on the upper two-thirds of the stem, with the needles pointing forward and therefore "soft" to the grip of the hand around the stem


-inconspicuous cones



-cones to 5" long, in the upper one-third of the tree

-light green with a purplish cast when immature, becoming brown with maturity


-light brown with an orange cast

-needle scars raised on the stem

trunk Trunk

-thick gray scales with age

C   U   L   T   U   R   E


-full sun

-prefers a moist, acid, well-drained soil but can tolerate adverse conditions, as long as it is not placed in wet soils or shady sites

-virtually no disease or pest problems

-abundantly available in B&B form

-young trees are usually sheared during nursery production for a fuller, denser appearance at transplanting, as the young tree is naturally very open in its branching habit

-recovers quickly from transplant shock; it is a dependable favorite for screen or windbreak plantings, which are often neglected (and for all practical purposes not watered except by rain and snow) after transplanting

-trees of 4-10' size should be staked for 2 yrs. after transplanting to prevent windthrow


-zones 2 to 7


-native to Northern and Central Europe

U   S   A   G   E


-evergreen tree with a classical alpine shape

-large evergreen tree with a medium growth rate

-branches to the ground

-pendulous branchlets give a reverse vertical effect


-can exhibit decline and dieback under severe heat and drought stress


-specimen, shade, or focal point tree

-windbreak when in rows

-large evergreen pyramidal tree


-bold texture throughout its life and thick density at maturity (fine texture in youth if sheared, thin density in youth if unsheared)

S   E   L   E   C   T   I   0   N   S

Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species


-large evergreen conifers that are used as specimens, screens, or windbreaks in sunny sites (Abies concolor, Picea pungens, Pinus strobus, Pseudotsuga menziesii, etc.)


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