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white spruce Picea glauca play

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.

range map Click to see more images. wood grain

Light
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 increased light after many years of suppression (50-70).

Water
White spruce may be found on a wide variety of sites throughout its range, but is most often associated with stream banks.

Growth

Size
Conical, medium sized trees reaching up to 90 feet tall.

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

Insects and Diseases

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.

Latin Meaning
Picea: Latin "pix" (pitch-producing) from Greek "pissa" (pitch) / glauca: waxy whitish bloom

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Landowner Factsheets © 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.