The white spruce (Picea glauca) is one of the most widely growing coniferous trees in North America, with a range all across the eastern United States and Canada, all the way to South Dakota where it is the state tree. It is one of the most popular Christmas tree choices too. It’s very hardy and easy to grow.
The White Spruce is a medium to fast growing (2ft plus) evergreen that has a light green or even bluish colored needles that are about 1 inch long. It has a strong evergreen smell when crushed and is one way to tell it from other spruce. It never drops its needles and can stay on for as long as 20 years. Its branches extend clear to the ground giving excellent low level wind protection. It is a native of the northern US and extending to the very end of the tree line in Canada.
It will grow up to 60+ ft tall and 20+ ft wide it is very wind firm with the large spreading root system and flexible tough wood. It can live 80+ years in windbreaks and most do. Due to its shape, heavy snow and ice storms cause little damage. Deer will not normally eat this species unless there is nothing else.
The trees are very attractive, keeping their needles all year long and naturally forming a pyramidal shape all the way down to the ground. They are an important shelter and food source for native North American wildlife.
Growing White Spruce Trees Growing white spruce trees in the landscape is very easy and forgiving, as long as your climate is right. The trees are hardy in USDA zones 2 through 6, and are very tough against cold winter weather and wind. They prefer full sun and do best with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, but they are also very tolerant of shade. They like soil that is slightly acidic and moist but well draining.
These trees grow best in loam but will do well in sand and even well-drained clay. They can be started both from seeds and cuttings, and saplings transplant very easily.