What is a Spruce Tree?

L. Hepfer
L. Hepfer
Spruce trees are suseptible to attacts by the spruce gall aphid.
Spruce trees are suseptible to attacts by the spruce gall aphid.

A spruce tree is a coniferous evergreen tree that comes from the genus Picea. There are approximately 35 different species of spruces that grow within the northern hemisphere. These coniferous evergreens are known to live to a very old age and can grow extremely tall, sometimes reaching heights of 200 feet (60.96 meters).

A spruce tree is called a coniferous evergreen because its needles stay green all year round and it bears cones that grow on the ends of the branches. The different types of spruces include the Norway spruce, the blue spruce, the white spruce and the black spruce. These trees can be found in dwarf versions as well. A dwarf spruce tends to grow slower and reach heights no taller than eight feet (2.44 meters).

Spruces may differ in color from one specimen to another. For instance, the blue spruce shows off a silver-blue color in its needles while the Norway spruce bears a deep, bright green color. The white spruce is known for having a white layer on the needles that feels waxy when touched. On the other hand, the black spruce exhibits very dark needles.

Spruce trees are usually planted in a landscaping format to provide a windbreak or a snow fence for a person's property. They are enjoyed as Christmas trees and leave the nice aroma of pine inside the house during the holiday season. Spruces, particularly the Norway spruce, are planted in forests to keep them thick, making an excellent habitat for a variety of wild animals.

This particular species of tree is often used to manufacture paper. The fibers within the spruce wood are long, making this wood ideal to use in paper manufacturing. The wood of the spruce tree can also be used to create various musical instruments and other wooden products.

The oils that are extracted from the leaves and branches of the spruce tree have been used to make spruce beer. Native Americans have found this type of tree very helpful in their lifestyle. They are known to use the roots of the tree to weave baskets and sometimes use the tree sap to produce a gum for them to chew. Large amounts of vitamin C can be found in the spruce needles. The needles can be eaten whole or boiled into a tea.

Not many problems are found when planting and growing spruce trees. The spruce beetle can be dangerous to the growth and survival of the spruce, along with the spider mite and the spruce gall aphid. However, problems with these insects are usually rare, and most spruces will grow without much hassle and remain disease-free.

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Discussion Comments


What can you tell me about transplanting spruce trees?

I've grown some spruce trees from seeds, and now that they've grown into little spruce tree seedlings, I need to transplant them out into my yard.

I've really put a lot of work into growing these guys, so I'd hate to kill them by doing something wrong during the transplantation process.

Can you give me any good tips on transplanting spruces? Specifically, how to keep the trees from getting too stressed or worse, getting damaged in the process? I would really appreciate any information you've got on the subject.



How can you tell the difference between a spruce tree and other kinds of evergreen trees, like a douglas fir?

I have a project for class on tree identification, and I have to tell you, its really killing me.

I have to be able to tell the difference between trees just by looking at their pictures, I mean a picture of a spruce tree and a picture of a pine tree just look the same to me!

So are there any good tips for distinguishing between all those evergreen trees that look alike? Maybe a spruce tree leaf looks different or something? Can anybody give me any help or advice on this, I'm totally drowning!


Very interesting article -- I have a few spruce tree seedlings growing right now; I'm hoping that they eventually get big enough that I can have a spruce Christmas tree!

I'm personally a fan of the Dwarf Alberta spruce tree, but really I like most evergreens, so its hard to choose a favorite.

You really included a lot of good information in here though -- I would definitely recommend this article to anybody who wanted to get started growing spruce trees, or who was just interested in spruce trees in general.

Very nicely done!

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    • Spruce trees are suseptible to attacts by the spruce gall aphid.
      Spruce trees are suseptible to attacts by the spruce gall aphid.