Tree of the Week

Norway Spruce: A Tree of Many Uses

By Sheereen Othman | January 5, 2016

Picea abies

The English resisted calling the Norway spruce by its name, instead referring to it as the “common spruce.” The Finnish claimed it as their own, calling it the Finn spruce, while others, the European spruce. Regardless of what you call it, the Norway spruce is a European staple. Best known for its durability and towering heights, the Norway spruce has spread its popularity across the Atlantic and into the U.S., becoming an American favorite.

What makes this tree even more likeable is its multiple uses. It is an important lumber crop in Europe, producing a strong light-weight wood with a straight grain, making it an ideal choice in construction. It’s a great landscape tree for its dense foliage and tall heights. The tree’s natural pyramidal shape and green color make it one of the most popular Christmas trees in the country.

Here are a few things to note if you’re considering adding a Norway spruce to your tree family.

Environmental Conditions:

  • Does well in acidic, clay, loamy, moist, sandy and well drained soils (hardiness zones 3-7).
  • Does well in full and partial sun.
  • Medium to fast growing tree, growing up to two feet a year and reaching 40-60 feet at maturity.

Physical Attributes:

  • Has dark green, one inch needles with squared tips, needles are retained for six to seven years before dropping.
  • Has a thin, reddish-brown bark that thickens and flakes off as the tree ages.
  • Cones start to form at age 30, with seeds dropping during the winter or early spring, providing food for wildlife.

Tag us in a photo with your Norway spruce!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Mary January 8, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Our Norway Spruce Tree is our permanent Christmas Tree in Whitehall, WI. Our tree is 102 years and was transplanted into Whitehall City proper in 1928 by citizens of our town. Since this time each Christmas it has lite our city square adorned with Christmas lights for all to enjoy !! The land the tree is planted on was railroad land, but the President of the Green Bay and Western at the time donated the land where the tree now stands. The railroad track runs through Whitehall and reconstruction of the highway on our Main Street has brought a problem for our tree. The WIDOT has proposed to have the tree removed and the Commissioner of the Railroad has permitted it’s removal.
    We the citizens of Whitehall are very dismayed with this descision. We formed a “Save Our Tree” Taskforce, and have provided information that our tree is not a problem at this crossing. We are still working on this,. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated to “Save Our Tree”.

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