Picea abies

Norway Spruce

PIE-see-uh AY-beez
Pronunciation Audio

Northern and Central Europe

Growth Habit

Pyramidal with pendulous branchlets; stiff when young, graceful at maturity.


Performs best in moist, sandy, acid, well drained soils

Landscape Use

Pyramidal evergreen conifer with pendulous branches; stiff when young, graceful at maturity. 40-60 feet tall at maturity, growing much taller in its native habitat. Average spread is 25-30 feet. Leaves are persistant for several years, those on the upper side of the stem more or less overlapping and pointing forwards, those on the lowerside spreading right and left and exposing the stem, .5 inches in length, stiff, straight or curved; light or dark green. Flowers are monoecious, male flowers are axillary and infrequent while female flowers are terminal and pinkish in color. Fruits are cylindrical, 4 to 6 inches long, pendulous, purplish green in youth, maturing to light brown. Picea abies is a very popular plant in the landscape as windbreaks or temporary specimens. A bird-attracting tree.


Bright green in youth changing to lustrous, dark green at maturity


Buds are reddish or light brown, not resinous, scales often with spreading tips, about .25 inches long, rosette-shaped.


Usually thin on young trees; old trees thick with small, thin, gray-brown, flaking surface scales.


Monoecious, male flowers are axillary and infrequent whereas female flowers are terminal, spread on the crowns of the trees and reddish pink in color.


purple green in youth, light brown at maturity


Cuttings best collected in December from lower portion of older trees and should be made the full length of the current year's growth. Rooting is best in 1 part sand: 1 partpeat than sand alone. Hormonal treatments did not prove to be helpful in improving rooting.

None serious.

'Argenteospica' - New shoots are creamy white and eventually turn to dark green.

'Clanbrassiliana' -forms a low, dense, flat-topped mound usually wider than high.

'Nidiformis' - Bird's Nest Spruce, a spreading, dense, broad plant of regular growth; usually a depression in the center of plant that gives rise to the common name.