Red Spruce Picea rubens
Pine Pinaceae family

Leaves: Needles are very short, usually not even reaching 1" and are sharp. They grow tight to the branch pointing upward, stiff and not easily bent backwards.

Flowers/Fruits: Cones grow downward to about 1"-1.5" long, reddish brown in color, and fall soon after maturity.

Twigs/Bark: Twigs are somewhat hairy after removing the needles. Branches are spaced, not dense, drooping and upturned at the tips.

Form/Habitat: Red spruce is an eco-indicator of acidic, cool, moist to dry soils. It grows best on soils created by glacial deposits on hills and mountain slopes. Red spruce roots are often shallow and fine, leaving this tree exposed to windthrow.

Interesting Fact: Red spruce is very shade tolerant and can survive with as little as 10% of full sunlight. Shade surpresses growth but the tree can withstand this for several years. Some understory trees reaching only 5 feet tall can be over 40 years old, once exposed to light the tree will grow significantly. Red spruce that has significant sunlight can be sawtimber size by 50 years of age.

NWI Status: FACU

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