It has been a busy week here at the Simongetti North. We have been planting spruce trees!. We planted Blue and White spruce trees. Here is some information about the spruce tree, a little bit of history, about spruce trees, and most common spruce trees. I discuss the blue spruce and white spruce, my husband and I planted here on our property and the difference between them.
History of the Spruce Tree
From what I can tell the spruce tree has always been here. I can’t find any history of how it got here, so it must have been planted by our creator, all over the world.
Scientist found in the mountains of western Sweden a Norway spruce nicknamed Old Tjikko, reproduced through layering, has reached an age of 9,550 years old and is claimed to be the world’s oldest known living tree. Below is a picture of Old Tjikko.
About Spruce Trees
There are many different types of evergreen trees in the Pinaceae family. The spruce tree is of the genus Picea that is part of more than 30 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the Pinaceae family. Spruce trees are found in the northern climates around the earth.
Spruce trees are very large trees that grow 60 to 200 feet tall, at maturity, they are some of the tallest conifers in an evergreen forest. They are a slow growing tree, the average growth per year is 6 to 11 inches. The spruce can live over 200 years old. These evergreen trees are related to other coniferous trees, like, cedar, fir, hemlock and pine trees.
How to identify spruce trees? They can be determined from other members of the pine family by their needles, which are four-sided and attached singly to a small node on the branch. Spruce trees have individual needles growing on the branches. The cones hang downwards after they are pollinated. The needles are shed when 4 to 10 years old leaving branches rough with the nodes remaining.
Most Common Spruce Trees
Bird’s nest spruce – Picea abies ‘Nidiformis’ – Zone 3 thru 8. This is a shrub instead of a tree. Grows between 2 and 4 feet tall.
Black Spruce – Picea mariana – Zone 2 thru 5. Grows between 15 and 50 feet. This is one of the smaller spruce trees.
Englemann’s Spruce – Picea engelmannii – Zone 3 thru 7. Grows an average of 100 feet tall. Also, used for Christmas trees.
Norway Spruce – Picea abies – Zone 2 thru 8. Also, called European Spruce. Grows up to 115 to 18 feet tall. One of the faster growing, approximately 3 feet per year. Popular for Christmas Trees
Serbian Spruce – Picea omorika – Zone 4 thru 7. Grows around 65 feet tall, is a medium size tree out of the spruces.
Sitka Spruce – Picea sitchensis – Zone 7 thru 8. Grows up to 330 feet tall. One of the largest and faster growing spruce trees, approximately 3 feet per year.
Red Spruce – Picea rubens – Zone 3 thru 7. Also, known as the West Virginia spruce or yellow spruce. Grows 60 to 130 feet tall. Has a moderate growth rate and can live over 200 years. Also, used for Christmas trees.
Blue Spruce and White Spruce Trees
We just planted blue spruce and white spruce trees at the Simongetti North, in Sterling, MI USA. I am going to highlight these 2 spruce trees.
Colorado Blue Spruce – Picea pungens – Zone 1 thru 7. Grows throughout and native to North America. Grows up to 60 to 80 feet, and 10 to 20 feet wide at maturity. The blue spruce is native to Colorado and the Rocky Mountains.
The blue spruce adapts to many soil conditions; acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. It has normal moisture tolerance to flooding and drought. Requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight, unfiltered each day.
The blue spruce can survive for about 700 years and can handle moderate shade. This tree is very cold tolerant, it does not like hot and humid conditions.
The climate in Michigan is not nearly as cold and dry. The Michigan summers and high humidity creates an environment that fungal pathogens thrive in. Blue Spruces planted in Michigan are more prone to fungal diseases.
This tree is bluish green in color with sharply pointed foliage, stiff and sharp. There are dwarf forms of blue spruces that reach only 5 to 15 feet tall for smaller yards and gardens.
White Spruce – Picea glauca – Zone 2 thru 6. This is also called the Alberta White Spruce, grows 100 feet tall, native of
North America, thrives in freezing conditions of Alaska and Canadian winters. The white spruce can be seen mostly by streams or moist areas that have good drainage.
This tree is easy to grow but need at least 6+ hours of direct sunlight per day and is shade tolerant. The white spruce grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained and clay soil. Has some drought tolerance.
Wildlife like deer, birds, rabbits, porcupines and small rodents feed on the bark, buds, seeds and branches of the white spruce. It also provides shelter for other species.
The blue spruce and white spruce trees have similar features and both used for Christmas trees.
Both trees play a vital role in our environment with their medicinal properties. The needles are edible and can be used to make tea. They are rich in vitamin C and effective for our respiratory systems.
Deciding to plant the blue spruce versus the white spruce is a personal choice. For us, we originally ordered all blue spruces but they didn’t have enough so we purchased both blue and white spruces.
Live Spruce Trees For Sale – Nature Hills Nursery
Here are some spruce trees and information about them. If you are looking to purchase any spruce trees Nature Hills Nursery has a great selection.
Baby Blue Eyed Colorado Blue Spruce – Picea pungens ‘Baby Blue Eyes’ – Zone 3 thru 7 – Grows 8 to 10 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide. Slow growth rate.
Baker’s Colorado Blue Spruce – Picea pungens ‘Bakeri’ – Zone 3 thru 7 – Semi dwarf, of the blue spruce variety. Living Christmas tree. Grows 20 to 30 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide. Slow growth rate.
Black Hills Spruce – Picea glauca ‘Densata’ – Zone 2 thru 8 – smaller scale for small yards and gardens. Grows 40 to 60 feet tall and 15 to 25 feet wide. Medium to slow growth rate.
Weeping Serbian Spruce – Picea omorika ‘Pendula Bruns’ – Zone 4 thru 7 – Grows 15 to 20 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet wide. One of a kind for a small garden. Medium growth rate.
Columnar Blue Spruce – Picea pungens var.glauca ‘Fastigiata’ – Zone 4 thru 7 – Grows 20 to 40 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide. Slow growth rate.
Dwarf Alberta Spruce – Picea glauca ‘Conica’ – Zone 2 thru 6 – Grows 5 to 8 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. Slow growth rate.
Dwarf Alberta Spruce Pom Pom or Spiral Topiary – Picea glauca ‘Conica’ Zone 3 thru 6 – Custom pruned, very slow growth rate.
Dwarf Serbian Spruce – Picea omorika ‘Nana’ – Zone 4 thru 7 – Grows 5 to 6 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide. Slow growth rate
Papoose Sitka Spruce – Picea sitchensis ‘Papoose’ – Zone 5 thru 7 – Grows 4 to 6 feet and 4 to 6 feet wide. Slow growth rate.
Serbian Spruce – Picea omorika – Zone 4 thru 7 – Grows 45 to 565 feet tall and 15 to 20 feet wide. Medium growth rate.
Slederina Weeping blue Spruce – Picea pungens ‘Glauca Slenderina Pendula’ – Zone 3 thru 7 – Grows 12 to 15 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide. Medium growth rate.
Weeping Colorado Blue Spruce – Picea pungens var. glauca ‘Pendula’ – Zone 3 thru 5 – Grows 12 to 15 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide. Slow growth rate.
Weeping Norway Spruce – Picea abies ‘Pendula’ – Zone 3 thru 8 – Grows 4 to 6 feet and 8 to 12 feet wide. Medium growth rate.
Weeping White Spruce – Picea glauca ‘Pendula’ – Zone 3 thru 8 – Grows 20 to 30 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide. Medium growth rate.
Spruce trees can be purchase from a local nursery, planted via seed or cutting and from an online nursery. I have had good luck with my local nursery and online nursery for trees and shrubs. The spruces we purchased this year was from our local county conservation district here in Arenac county.
I hope you found this helpful and interesting.
Do you have any spruce trees?
if so, which ones?