White Spruce - 2 year old, 6-12" Seedlings

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White Spruce, 2 year old, 6-12" Seedlings

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White Spruce

Picea glauca

The White Spruce is an evergreen with dense foliage and needles that are blue-green in color.  This conifer is a faster grower than many other spruces and is a great choice for heavier soils such as clay.  From a distance, you may mistake this tree for a Blue Spruce since its color and shape when it is younger does look somewhat similar.  Commonly found in nature along streams and lakeshores, this spruce is more shade tolerant than most other spruces.  Very popular as a Christmas tree, the White Spruce is also naturally deer resistant and provides high wildlife value.

  • Zones
  • Soil Type
    Clay, Loam - Will do well in all but the sandiest soils
  • Site Selection
    Full Sun to Part Shade
  • Mature Height & Width
    50-70' Height and 15-20' Spread
  • Growth Rate
    Medium to Fast Growth - 12-24+" per year on average
  • Moisture Requirements
    Dry soils to moist but well drained soils

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The White Spruce is a conifer that exhibits medium to fast growth but is also long lived.  In fact, some of these trees live to be over 300 years old.  Commonly grown for pulpwood and construction grade lumber, this evergreen exhibits a very high level of wildlife value.  The tree has a pyramidal, columnar shape with blue-green needles and thin, gray and scaly bark.  Its cones are slender and cylindrical, maturing in one season and dropping to the ground in winter or the following spring.  In its natural habitat, the White Spruce is commonly found growing along side Quaking Aspen, Paper Birch and Balsam Fir.  This tree has beautiful year round color and also works as a specimen.

Fun Fact:  Aboriginal people in North America used the White Spruce's strong, pliable roots to make lacings for birch bark canoes. They also used the gum (a sticky substance that leaks through wounded bark) for waterproofing the birch bark seams.

Common Uses:

  • Grown for pulpwood and construction lumber
  • Popular as a Christmas tree
  • Windbreaks and living snow fences
  • Very high wildlife value
  • Privacy screens
  • Planted for ornamental value
  • Evergreen for year round color

The White Spruce is high in wildlife value. Like other spruces, its dense foliage provides an ideal spot for nesting or roosting birds and provides good winter cover. Its seeds are an important food source for many types of finches, grouse, crossbills, red breasted nuthatches, evening grossbeaks as well as small rodents. Red Squirrels like to gather unopened cones and store them in large piles on the forest floor for future consumption. The White Spruce provides good winter cover for martens, fishers, voles and snowshoe hares. Deer will bed down in the cover and protection of the White Spruce when planted in numbers.

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