red spruce Pinaceae Picea
rubens Sarg. symbol: PIRU
Leaf: Evergreen needles, 1/2 to 5/8 inch long, sharply pointed and four-sided, tending to curve upwards, shiny yellow-green. Each needle borne on a raised, woody peg (sterigma).
Flower: Species is monoecious; males cylindrical reddish but turning yellow-brown; females purplish green.
Fruit: Chestnut brown ovoid cone, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, cone scale margins entire; seed disseminated in the fall and cones tend to drop their first winter.
Twig: Orangish brown, finely hairy (may need a hand lens); as with all spruces, needleless twigs covered by short sterigmata (short pegs); buds orange-brown, small with loose scales.
Bark: Grayish brown on surface, more reddish brown beneath with irregular, fine flaky patches.
Form: Upright and straight, with a narrow crown; reaching a height of 60 to 80 feet and a diameter of 1 to 2 feet.
Looks like: white spruce - black spruce - Norway spruce - blue spruce
Additional Range Information: Picea rubens is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting red spruce.
More Information: Wood - Landowner Factsheet
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDAFS FEIS 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; range maps courtesy USGS from USDA "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr., Vol. 1 (1971) 3 (1976) 4 (1977) 5 (1978)