Facts About Norway Spruce Tree: Know More About 'Picea Abies'

Anusuya Mukherjee
Nov 03, 2023 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Mar 21, 2022
Read these amazing Norway Spruce Tree Facts.

Norway spruce (Picea abies) is a medium-sized to a large evergreen tree.

It is native to northern Europe and Asia. Long before arriving in Norway around 500 BC, this tree flourished in Eurasia, the Black Forest, and other sections of the continent.

It grows in almost any soil type, but it is best to plant the tree in well-drained soil. It can reach a height of 100 ft (30.48 m) or more.

The Norway spruce tree is drought tolerant. We will provide tips on how to care for these trees properly. If you are thinking of adding a Norway spruce to your landscape, be sure to read this article first!


The Norway spruce tree's botanical name is Picea abies (L.) Karst. It belongs to the Plantae kingdom, which comprises over 250,000 species. It is part of the subkingdom Viridiplantae, which is a clade of eukaryotic organisms. This clade has approximately 450,000–500,000 species.

Norway spruce trees are members of the Pinophyta division, which comprises conifers. These trees belong to the Pinaceae, or pine family. Cedars, firs, hemlocks, larches, pines, and spruces are some of the most popular conifers in the family. This is the largest extant conifer family.

There are 220- 250 species in 11 genera. They are classified under the Picea genus, which has about 35 species of coniferous evergreen. Picea is the only genus in the subfamily Piceoideae.

Physical Features, Range And Ecology

The Norway spruce tree is a huge pyramidal tree that can reach 40-60 ft (12-18 m). The tree has weeping branches and dark green, glossy needles.

The needles are pointed and swirl around the twig. If you roll the needle, you will be able to see all four sides of the needle. These needles curve slightly toward the tips of each branch.

The branches of the tree bear clusters of small pink flowers. The tree's cones, on the other hand, are more prominent. Initially, they are purplish green.

As fall approaches, they start to ripen and acquire a light brown color. The Norway spruce has the largest cones of all spruces. The cones are scaled and are 4-6 in (10.16-15.24 cm) long.

Until the cones are fertilized, they sit upright on the branch. After fertilization, they turn downwards. When the tree is young, its bark is thin.

As the tree grows, the bark hardens and develops gray-brown flaking scales. Norway spruce trees are monoecious, meaning that they have both male and female reproductive organs on the same tree. Male flowers produce pollen, while female flowers produce seeds.

Growth rate: Norway spruce trees grow slowly, reaching a height of only about 12 ft (3.65 m) in the first ten years. After that, they grow more rapidly, up to about 1 ft (0.3 m) per year.

Norway spruce is endemic to the Alps, Balkans, and Carpathians of Europe. The range of this tree extends north to Scandinavia. Norway spruce trees are also found in the mountains of central Europe.

The tree's range merges with that of the Siberian spruce (Picea obovata) in northern Russia. Norway spruce is now commonly cultivated throughout North America. It is more commonly found in the northeastern United States, southeastern Canada, the Pacific Coast states, and the Rocky Mountain states.


The wood of the Norway spruce is often used to make the white deal, which is a type of construction lumber. The white deal is strong and lightweight, making it ideal for use in constructing houses and other buildings.

Norway spruce is an important timber tree in Europe. Its wood has many uses, including furniture making and flooring.

The lightweight, high degree of stiffness, and strength of the wood make it a wonderful option for making musical instruments. It does not require any additional finishing and is a good choice for violins.

In addition, the tree's long needles provide ample material for making bows. Spruce is often referred to as the 'king of trees' when it comes to making stringed instruments!

Norway spruces are also grown as Christmas trees because they keep their needles long after being cut so that you can enjoy them throughout the holiday season!

They are popularly known as 'Christmas Trees' or 'Picea Abies' (meaning Pine of Peace). They are also excellent ornamental plants due to the symmetrical shape of young plants with good branching habits that give them an attractive appearance even after many years of cultivation.

The Norway spruce has many uses, but one of the most interesting is making beer! Spruce beers were popular in colonial times because they provided an easy way to preserve food before refrigeration was available.

Threats And Conservation

The greatest threat to Norway spruces is logging. In many parts of Europe, the best trees are harvested for construction purposes, such as lumber and pulp.

This has left some areas without enough habitat for animals to survive in. Other threats include fire suppression policies that allow fires to destroy large tracts of the forest instead of letting them burn naturally (which would replenish nutrients). Finally, climate change poses another major threat by altering ecosystems around the world at an unprecedented rate!

Norway spruce trees are susceptible to several fungal diseases, including root rot and needle blight. Insect pests include cone beetles (Rhizotrogus spp.

), which feed on new shoots in spring; twig borers (Polygrapha sp., Pityogenes piceae), which attack young trees at the base of their trunks; bark weevils that feed under the bark of older specimens.

Due to its wide distribution and many uses, Norway spruce is not currently considered Endangered. However, it is threatened by climate change and habitat loss in some areas of the world where it occurs naturally.

Many countries have laws protecting these trees from being cut down without permission or for commercial purposes only; others allow them to be used as Christmas trees.

Norway spruce trees are an important part of the forest ecosystem and play a key role in the economy of many northern European countries. They are also used for ornamental purposes, so protecting these trees from disease and pests is important.


What is the Norway spruce known for?

The Norway spruce is most well-known for its use as a Christmas tree due to its branches being strong enough to hold heavy ornaments. It has soft needles that remain green throughout the winter, and it can grow very large in size.

How long does a Norway spruce live?

A Norway spruce can live for hundreds of years; some specimens are more than 700 years old. Old Tjikko is the world's oldest known Norway spruce. It is 9,563 years old.

How much sun does a Norway spruce need?

The Norway spruce prefers partial to full sun, with at least four hours of direct sunlight each day.

They can tolerate some shade as long as it is not too dense; if you are growing a tree in an area that gets less than six hours of sunlight per day, make sure there is plenty of room for the roots to spread out.

Do spruce trees need a lot of water?

Yes, they do. They need regular watering during the growing season and occasional irrigations in winter. However, the tree does not do well in constantly wet regions.

How deep are Norway spruce roots?

Norway spruce trees have a shallow, fibrous root system that grows fairly close to the surface.

Are Norway spruce roots invasive?

No, Norway spruce roots are not invasive. In fact, they are quite shallow, which means they won't cause any damage to your home or other structures.

Why is my Norway spruce turning brown?

One of the most common problems with Norway spruce trees is needle browning. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including drought, root rot, insect pests, and diseases. If your tree is turning brown, it's important to determine the cause and take corrective action as soon as possible.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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