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Norway Spruce

A Norway spruce Needles and cone of a Norway spruce A Norway spruce in winter
A Norway spruce
G. Lumis
Needles and cone of a Norway spruce
G. Lumis
A Norway spruce in winter
G. Lumis

Scientific Name: Picea abies

Foliage: Evergreen needles
Height: 40 to 60 feet
Spread: 25 to 30 feet 
Shape: Upright

Short, needle-like, evergreen foliage is dark green. Pendulous cones are 4 to 6 inches long, but do not occur consistently from year-to-year.

Plant Needs
Zone: 2 to 7
Light: Partial shade to full sun
Moisture: Wet, moist, or dry
Soil Type: Sandy, loam, or clay
pH Range: 3.7 to 6.5

Suggested uses for this plant include windbreak, screen, border, and specimen plant.

Planting Notes
Easily transplanted due to its shallow, spreading root system. If planting a tree that is over 3 feet tall, buy one that has balled and burlapped roots. Best if planted in moist, sandy, well-drained, acid soil.

'Nidiformis' cultivar of Norway Spruce, Picea abies 'nidiformis'

`Nidiformis' (Bird's Nest Spruce) is a dwarf cultivar with a spreading shape (3 feet high and 6 feet wide)
G. Lumis


Prune in early spring, if needed. If being used as a hedge, prune the new growth. Water young trees thoroughly once a week in hot, dry weather. When watering, place hose at base of plant and let water trickle into soil.

Susceptible to several problems including red spider mite, spruce gall aphid, budworm, and borers.

Consult local sources, including historic or public gardens and arboreta, regarding cultivars and related species that grow well in your area.

Norway Spruce is one of the fastest growing of all the spruces.  As the tree grows older, the side branches become horizontal, turning upward at the tip. Secondary branches hang downward from the main branches, giving the tree a graceful appearance.

This material was developed by Carol Ness as part of the Interactive Design and Development Project funded by the Kellogg Foundation. Mary Miller, Project Director. Diane Relf, Content Specialist, Horticulture. Copyright 1989 by VCE.