MMuhlenberg College

Graver Home

Virtual Tour
Picea mariana

Common Name: Black Spruce
Family: Pinaceae 



Collection Number: 255
Entry Author: K. Rice
Description: Straight tapering trunk with conic crown.
Needles:  1/4 - 7/16 in. long blue green in color with a white powder.
Cones: 1/2 - 1-1/2 in. long with stiff scales.
Bark: Thin, grayish or reddish brown and broken into flaky scales.
Branching Pattern:
Branches short and drooping, frequently layering.
Height:  30 - 40 ft.
Life Span: 250 years.
Zone: 3 to 6
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest: Found mostly with tamarack in bogs and farther north in better drained sandy loamy soil.
Range: USA: Alaska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
Canada: all provinces; France: St. Pierre and Miquelon.
Ecological Interactions:  Known to appeal to birds, mammals, butterflies and other beneficial insects, and they will meet one or more of an animals basic needs. 
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide:
Low risk of becoming endangered.
Uses (Human): Although it is a small tree, vast tracts of it are currently being logged in Canada, primarily for pulp but also for timber. It can be used as a Christmas tree. Spruce beer can be made from the young branch tips.


Gymnosperm Database, University of Bonn

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species  

Harlow, William M. (1957). Trees of the Eastern United States and Canada. New York. Dover Publications, Inc.

Harlow, William M., Harrar, Ellwood S., and White, Fred M. (1979). Textbook of Dendrology Covering the Important Forest Trees of the United States and Canada. New York. McGraw-Hill Book Company.

Petrides, George A. (1986). Peterson Field Guides - Trees and Shrubs. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company

This page was created by: K. Rice
For questions or concerns regarding the Graver Web site, contact
Last updated 12/02/04