Picea glauca
(White Spruce)
[(Moench.) Voss]

Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinatae
Family: Pinaceae
Family Description: Pine
Key Characteristics:
Also known as White, Canadian, Black Hills, Cat, or Skunk Spruce.
  • yellow staminate cones are 1.5-2 cm long; ovulate cones are 2 -rarely as much as 7 cm long and tan in color.
  • The scales are rounded appearing like a thumbnail. The bracts do not protrude from the hanging cones.
  • 2-4 mm long and about ½ the length of the wings.

General Description:
The hardy White Spruce tree barely enters Idaho at the extreme northern “panhandle.” Although its range is from Alaska southward through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan northeastward into the north eastern New England states.

Alaska to Newfoundland southward to British Columbia, northern Idaho and Montana, into northern Wyoming, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, New York and Maine.

From sea level to 5,600 feet elevation in moist areas along streams and standing water, and on hill and mountain sides. It is found with balsam fir, black spruce, eastern hemlock, quaking aspen, white birch and red maple and not usually in pure stands.

It is planted as an ornamental in cities and on the ISU campus throughout the west. It is an important food sourse for grouse and other birds, squirrels, the latter eating the cones, buds and young twigs. Porcupines and bears eat the bark sapwood. The wood is light, soft, resilient and straight-grained. It is useful for pulp, boxes, crates and rough general construction lumber. Native Americans once used the roots for basketry and lacework such as for canoes.

Important State References:
No information available at this time
Photos & information written by Dr. Karl E. Holte,© 2002