WHITE SPRUCE(Picea glauca)
Evergreen needles. 12 - 19 millimetres long. Stiff; sharp-pointed. Four-sided. Blue-green with whitish lines. Skunk-like odor when crushed.
Spruces have a dense appearance because their needles cling for many years and accumulate to thicken the foliage.Cones:
3 - 6 centimetres long. Cylindrical. They hang down from the end of twigs. Fall at maturity, late in the year, after the scales open. The seeds drift away in the wind. Cone-scales are thin and flexible. Cone-scale margins are nearly straight and without teeth. Paired, brown, long-winged seeds. Following dispersal, cones remain on the tree for 1 to 2 years. Twigs:
- Shiny light brown.
- Rough with peg-like bases.
- Gray or brown.
- Smooth or scaly.
- Inner bark is whitish.
- 12 - 30 metres.
0.3 - 0.6 metres. Growth Rate:
- They may grow 1 to 2 feet a year when young.
- Can become 75 feet or more tall after 60 to 75 years.
Species Requirements Distribution Range:
Across Northern North America near Arctic tree-line from Alaska and British Columbia east to Labrador, south to Maine, and west to Minnesota. Native in NW. Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Habitat:
Many soil types in coniferous forests; sometimes in pure stands. Boreal forests, coniferous and mixed coniferous-hardwood forests. Occurs under a wide range of climatic conditions. Preferred Light:
Spruces do best in full sun. Tolerance to Salt:
High tolerance. Tolerance to Shade:
Tolerant; after being suppressed, recovers well when exposed to more light. Preferred Soil:
They grow well in moist ground, yet are able to survive in light dry soil if they are watered frequently for the first few years while their roots become established. Grows well on loams, silt loams, and clays, but rather poorly on sandy soils. Somewhat demanding, often restricted to sites with well-drained, mineral soils, mostly acid, with a pH of 4.0-5.5.
Grows poorly on sites with high water tables.
Care Common Diseases:
- Needle and stem rusts.
- Root diseases.
- Trunk rots.
- Mistletoe (Arceuthobium pusillum).
Bark beetles. Wood-boring insects.
Weevils. Spruce Budworm. Yellowheaded Spruce Sawfly.Problems:
Trees begin to lose lower limbs after 20 years or so if they are shaded by other trees.
Various kinds of wildlife, including deer, rabbits, and grouse, browse spruce foliage in winter.
- Spruces are at their finest grown free-standing in an open space where their natural beauty will increase as the years pass.
- They also make superb windbreaks and privacy screens where there is space enough for such large spreading trees.
- They can also serve as hedges in smaller yards if pruned regularly.
- Nice winter tree.
- Pruning of individual trees is rarely necessary because of their natural symmetry.
- An occasional wayward branch can be removed with hand clippers; if more than one central stem, or leader, develops, it should be removed with hand clippers also.
- Prune during growing season to make more compact or dense, during the months of May and June.
- Avoid pruning in July, August, or September unless to remove a lone branch, etc.
- When planting a spruce, one must learn how to transplant the tree, how to space the tree, what species to plant beside it, consider its roots and the affect they might have in an urban setting, and set up a pruning and fertilizing schedule.
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