Virginia Tech Dendrology

black spruce Pinaceae Picea mariana (Mill.) Britton, Sterns & Poggenb. Listen to the Latin symbol: PIMA
Leaf: Evergreen, four-sided needles, stiff, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, light blue-green in color, somewhat blunt pointed tips, light blue-green to gray.
Flower: Species is monoecious; males red, turning yellow to light brown; females purple, upright, and in the upper crowns.
Fruit: Ovoid cones are the smallest of the spruces, 1 inch long, scale margins are rounded and finely erose; maturing in late summer with seeds disseminating in early fall.
Twig: Slender, brown and pubescent; needles are borne on woody pegs; buds are small, gray-brown with loose scales.
Bark: Thin, gray-brown or red-brown in color, broken into irregular, close scales.
Form: Small to medium sized trees up to 70 feet tall with a very narrow conical or spire-like crown and a poorly pruned trunk.
Looks like: white spruce - red spruce - Sitka spruce - blue spruce
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Picea mariana is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting black spruce.
More Information: Wood - Landowner Factsheet
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654