Spruce (Picea sp.)

Spruces are stately needled evergreen trees that are common in the cold northern parts of the United States. Although they have commercial value as a source of paper pulp, many types of spruces have a valuable ornamental function as well. Not only can they stand cold, they are tolerant of adverse environmental and soil conditions.

There are four spruce species that are most popular. The Norway Spruce (Picea abies), known also as common spruce, is the most widely used of these familiar trees in residential landscapes in the northern United States. It is most familiar as the classic Christmas tree.The White, or Alberta Spruces (Picea glauca) while native to Canada, are familiar in our country as valued additions to residential landscapes. Standing gracefully erect with its slender trunk and feathered branches, Serbian Spruce (Picea omorika) is considered the best of the spruces for use in residential landscapes in the eastern United States. Blue Spruces, also called Colorado Blue Spruces, are stately evergreen trees that are most at home in the mountains out West. However, because they have striking silvery-blue needles and can tolerate cold, drought, and poor soils, they have been adopted by homeowners in the northern United States and Canada, especially in New England as ornamental trees for their yards. They stand stiffly erect with a single trunk and symmetrical, pyramidal shape.

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