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Picea rubens

Common Name: Red Spruce
Family: Pinaceae 




Collection Number: 375
Entry Author: K. Rice
Description: Straight trunk with broadly conical crown.
Needles: 1/2 - 5/8 in long yellow green in color.
Cones: 1-1/4 - 1-5/8 in long with stiff scales.
Bark: Thin, grayish to reddish brown and covered with small scales.
Branching Pattern: Spread horizontally.
Height: 60-70 ft.
Life Span: 350-400 years.
USDA Zones: 3 to 5
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest: Does best on moist, sandy loam of soils but also occurs in bogs and on upper, dry rocky slopes.
Range: USA: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee 
Canada: Ontario, Québec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia; France: St. Pierre and Miquelon; 
Ecological Interactions: It has been used in many forest decline studies and environmental chemistry studies that grew out of acid rain work, studies of spruce budworm, studies of climate variation, growth-and-yield studies, forest history studies, and other miscellaneous ecological studies. Red spruce has been studied to document the mechanism through which acid rain depletes calcium and weakens high elevation trees, making them more vulnerable to winter freezing injury.
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide: Low risk of becoming endangered.
Uses (Human): The long roots were pulled up by native peoples, peeled and split for lacing. The pitch was used for patching holes and leaking seams. The gum was formerly collected and processed for chewing gum. Early settlers used the fresh green foliage to flavor fermenting beer. It is still harvested for timber.


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.

The National Arbor Day Foundation

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


This page was created by: K. Rice
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Last updated 12/08/04