Picea
mariana

Black
Spruce

Black
spruce is a small, narrow evergreen tree with a spire-like crown.  It
has descending branches, with dark, bluish-green needles, and
upturned ends. Lower limbs sweep the ground. It is an excellent
choice for cold northern climates and tolerant of wet sites. 

All
Common Names: 

Black
spruce, Bog spruce, Swamp spruce

Foliage: 
Evergreen
(foliage year-round)

Size
Range: 
Large
tree (more than 40 feet), 

Light
Exposure: 
Full
sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

Hardiness
Zones: 
Zone
2, 

Soil
Preference: 
Acid
soil, Moist, well-drained soil, Wet soil

Tolerances: Occasional
drought, Wet sites

  • Shape
    or Form: 
    Narrow,
    Pyramidal, Upright
  • Growth
    Rate: 
    Slow

Size&
Form

30 to 50
feet high and 20 to 30 feet wide.
The tree is very narrow and
conical to spire-like with descending branches. Lower limbs sweep the
ground.

Tree
& Plant Care

Does
best in cold northern climates.  It may be stressed in warm
summers or below zone 6 temperatures.
The shallow, spreading root
system benefits from a 3-4” layer of organic mulch.
Spruce need
very little in the way of pruning.
Disease,
pests, and problems

No
serious disease or insect problems but needle rusts and cankers can
occur.
Due to its shallow root system, black spruce is prone to
wind throw (uprooting by wind).

Native
geographic location and habitat

Native
to northern North America, from Newfoundland to Alaska, Pennsylvania,
Minnesota and central British Columbia

Attracts
birds & butterflies

Twigs,
leaves and seeds are important wildlife food. Very valuable as
nesting sites for birds. 

Bark
color and texture 

Bark is
dark gray, thin and scaly.  As bark breaks into scales, the
inner green bark is revealed.

Leaf
or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Blue
green, stiff needles are attached singly to the stem, paler
underneath. 

Fruit,
cone, nut, and seed descriptions

The
cones are the smallest of all of the spruces, rounded to
spindle-shape, dark purple ripening red-brown, produced in dense
clusters in the top of the tree. Cones are known to persist for
several years.