Norway Spruce

Picea abies (L.) Karst.



All photographs are copyrighted and are the property of E. Brunner.

Family:  Pinaceae

Native or Introduced to Illinois:  introduced

Leaf:  The needles are single, angular or four-sided, yellow-green in color, 1/2 to 1 inch long and slightly curved.  More of the needles are borne on the upper surface of the twigs where they usually point forward. The foliage appears to droop or weep.

Flower:  Monoecious; males yellow-brown in large groups; females upright, purple.

Fruit:  Cones are very large, cylindrical, 4 to 6 inches long, with stiff scales that are irregularly toothed. Turning brown and maturing September to November.

Twig:  Slender to medium in size, lacking hair, orangish brown. Needles are borne on woody pegs.

Bark:  Red-brown and scaly, later turning gray with flaking scales or plates.

Size/Form/Shape:  A medium to large tree with conical form, with horizontal to upward sweeping branches that have drooping branchlets.

County Distribution Map for Illinois:  


Sources for the Sullivan Middle School Tree Identification Guide were obtained though the use of the following sites:

The information below is from the National Arbor Day Foundation.  This information can be viewed in the original (source) form by visiting The National Arbor Day Foundation at

Sun Exposure:  This spruce does well in full sun.
Soil Type:  The Norway Spruce grows in acidic, loamy, moist, clay, sandy, well-drained soils. This tree is drought tolerant.
Moisture:  Not tolerant of very dry soils, or sites where water stands for long periods of time. You should water the Norway Spruce during prolonged periods of dryness.
Growth Rate:  This tree grows at a medium to fast growth rate.

Hardiness Zones:  3 - 7
This spruce can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the zone map.