White spruce is native to northern boreal and temperate forests of North America, originating
mostly in Canada and Alaska but reaching gradually south.
Plants: Trees are typically 49-98' (15-30 m) tall, sometimes
reaching 131' (40 m). Trunks are as much as 3' (1 m) in diameter. The tree crown is conical in
young trees, become more cylindrical as they age.
Bark is light gray brown,
thin and scaly, peeling
in small circular plates.
Leaves: Leaves are needles ⅜-¾" (1.2-2 cm) long, with diamond-shaped cross-sections.
The rigid blue-green needles have a waxy whitish coating, hence the name “white spruce.”
Fruits: Hanging cones are cylinder-shaped, 1-2½" (3-7 cm) × ½" (1.5 cm). They are comprised of thin
scales ½" (1.5 cm) long, with smooth edges. They begin green or violet, gradually turning pale brown.
Seeds are black, ¹/₁₆-⅛" (2-3 mm) in size, with a small pale brown wing about three times the size of the