Image for Black Spruce

Black Spruce

Scientific name

Picea mariana


The Black Spruce varies in size depending on soil conditions. On poorly drained sites, the trees are typically grow smaller and slower, up to 20m high and 30cm in trunk diameter. However, on well-drained upland sites, these trees can grow up to 30 m high and 60 cm in trunk diameter. The branches of the Black Spruce are comparatively shorter than other spruce species, and lower branches can appear extremely weighted and droopy. The crown of the tree is often very dense, and oddly shaped with many cones. The needles are short, single, and straight with blunt points, ranging from 8-15 mm in length. They are a dull grayish-green colour with lines of white spots on the under surface of the needle. Seed cones are broadly ovoid and egg shaped, 2-3 cm in length, and have a dark purplish-brown colour. The scales are brittle and tight fitting with an irregularly toothed margin. The cones mature around September and can remain on the tree for up to 30 years, gradually releasing seeds in normal conditions, while quickly releasing seeds following traumatic events, like forest fires. Open cones are almost spherical, brittle and toothed. The bark is reddish or grayish brown in colour when young, becoming darker, and boasting more prominent scales with age.

Planting conditions

The Black Spruce can grow well on a many different sites, with variable soil moisture, soil types and sunlight exposure, although it does prefer full sun to partial sun. Since Black Spruce is so adaptable, it can usually tolerate poor growing conditions and could be considered in difficult or disturbed sites.


  • Plant height:
    • Any
    • Over 3m
  • Moisture level:
    • Dry
    • Normal
    • Moist
    • Wet
    • Flood Tolerant
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
    • Partial sun
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Loamy
    • Clay
    • Humus
  • pH:
    • Acidic
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Potted
    • Bareroot
  • Eco Zone:
    • 0b
    • 1a
    • 1b
    • 2a
    • 2b
    • 3a
    • 3b
    • 4a
    • 4b
    • 5a
    • 5b
  • Plant type:
    • Tree
  • Height:
    • 20-30 m