black spruce
Picea mariana

Black spruce is a slow growing conifer of northernmost North America, occuring on sites ranging from lowland bogs to upland ridges. Black spruce is the most significant species for pulpwood in Canada. Black spruce is also commercially utilized throughout the Lake States, especially in Minnesota.

Click to see more images.
Light Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Black spruce is used for high-quality pulpwood, lumber, and Christmas trees.


Wildlife Value
      Spruce grouse is primarily associated with black spruce forests. Several species of birds and rodents eat the seeds.
          Attracts: mice, voles, red squirrels, snowshoe hares, pine grosbeaks, pine siskins, crossbills, warblers

Regeneration methods
      Black spruce is shade tolerant and can be regenerated by a variety of methods. Commercially, it is typically regenerated by patch or strip clearcuts.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
eastern dwarf mistletoe deformed clumps in foliage; deformed trees
spruce budworm stunted, distorted growth

Fun facts
Black spruce is very tolerant of poor conditions, and can be found north to the tree line. The peat deposits in the bogs and swamps black spruce commonly grows in can be from 20 inches to 20 feet deep.
Picea: Latin "pix" (pitch-producing) from Greek "pissa" (pitch) / mariana: of Maryland
Home - I.D. Fact Sheet - USDA Silvics Manual - Additional Silvics - VT Dendro

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