white spruce
Picea glauca

White spruce is a conifer of northern forests, adapted to a wide range of environments from Alaska to Newfoundland. Useful for pulpwood, lumber, and a variety of other products, white spruce is one of the most important commercial species of the boreal forest.

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Light Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      White spruce is used for fiber, lumber, house logs, musical instruments, paddles, boxes, containers, fuelwood.


Wildlife Value
      Red squirrels, spruce grouse, and other birds and rodents eat the seeds and buds.
          Attracts: squirrels, grouse, chickadees, grosbeaks, crossbills, sparrows, juncos, moose, hares

Regeneration methods
      White spruce is intermediate in shade tolerance and can be regenerated by shelterwood, group selection, seed-tree, and clearcut methods. White spruce responds well to increase light after many years of suppression (50-70).

Important Problems Early Detection tips
spruce budworm stunted, deformed growth
needle and bud rusts small orange specks on needles; defoliation

Fun facts
This species marks the northern limit of tree growth. White spruce is used for shelterbelt and ornamental plantings. One of the most popular ornamental dwarf conifers in the U.S., the dwarf Alberta spruce, Picea glauca 'Conica', derives from clonal cuttings of a white spruce mutation. White spruce is a very important pulp and construction timber species.
Picea: Latin "pix" (pitch-producing) from Greek "pissa" (pitch) / glauca: waxy whitish bloom
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu