cat spruce

Picea glauca (Moench) Voss

White spruce is confined in its natural distribution to the Adirondacks, reaching its best development in the so-called "spruce flats," but extending also far up the mountain slopes. The wood is in great demand for chemical pulp. Its attractive foliage makes it prized as an ornamental tree, for which purpose it is planted far south of its natural range. It is also planted for Christmas trees.

Bark - grayish to pale reddish brown, separating in thin scales.

Twigs - smooth, slender, yellowish brown in color.

Winter buds - small, blunt pointed, light brown in color.

Leaves - needle-like, borne singly and densely crowded on twigs, light shiny green in color when young, becoming blue-green, 1/2 inch long, 4-sided in cross-section, without stalk, remaining on the twig 8 to 10 years. Odor - strong and rank when crushed.

Fruit - a cone with a very small stalk, pendant, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long, pale brown in color when ripe, maturing in a year. Cone scales - thin, rounded, papery, entire margined. Seeds - 2 under each scale, brown in color, winged, 1/8 inch long, ripening in September.

Distinguishing features - papery cone scales; rank odor from crushed needles.

46a. The Norway spruce (Picea abies (Linnaeus) Karsten) from Europe, the common ornamental spruce of our lawns and cemeteries throughout the state, also is used extensively in forest plantations. It has naturalized and is sometimes considered a troublesome weedy species. The cones, more than 6 inches in length, easily distinguish it from our native spruces.

[introduction] [the keys] [list of 50 trees] [making a tree collection]

[back to the homepage]