119 Concord Place
Syracuse, New York
Phone/Fax: 315-471-5854

Special Topics

Evergreen Identification

Spruce (Picea)

Norway spruce grow much too big for all but very large properties!Norway spruce (Picea abies), at right, and Colorado/Blue spruce (P. pungens), along with white pine are the largest and most common evergreen trees in Central New York landscapes.

Dwarf Alberta spruce can grow ten to fifteen feet tall here in Central New York.Even the “dwarf” forms of white spruce such as `Dwarf Alberta' spruce (ten to fifteen feet tall), at left, and `Bird's Nest' spruce (four to six feet tall and ten feet wide), below at right, become much larger than most of us realize.

Bird's nest spruce can grow four to six feet tall and eight to twelve feet wide in time.The most reliable way to identify spruce from other evergreens found in Central New York landscapes is to cut a needle in half and take a very close look. If the needle is square in cross section, then it’s absolutely a spruce as no other evergreens have Spruce needles are square in cross section.square needles! In fact, even if you simply roll a spruce needle between your fingers, it’s pretty easy to distinguish its four corners (see arrows in photo at left).