Introduction to Norway Spruce:
Norway Spruce can grow 80 to 100 feet tall and
spread 25 to 40 feet, though some listed cultivars are
shrublike. It is the official Christmas tree
used each Christmas at Rockefeller Center in New York City.
Small-diameter branches sweep
horizontally from the straight trunk which can grow to
four feet thick. Branchlets droop from the branches
toward the ground in a graceful, weeping fashion
forming a delicate pyramid and makes a great Christmas tree.
Norway Spruce Specifics:
Scientific name: Picea abies
Pronunciation: PIE-see-uh AY-beez
Common name(s): Norway Spruce
USDA hardiness zones
:USDA hardiness zones: 2B through 7A
Origin: not native to North America
Uses: screen; specimen; no proven urban tolerance
Availability: generally available in many areas within
its hardiness range
Official Christmas tree used annually at New York City's Rockefeller Center
during the holiday season.
Norway Spruce Cultivars:
There are a number of cultivars of Norway Spruce.
Some are dwarf and shrublike, while others are trees.
Not all will be available in nurseries. Cultivars
include: Clanbrasiliana - Columnaris - Gregoryana - Humulis - Inversa (large tree) - Maxwelli - slow-growing, dense; Nidiformis - Nigra - Pendula - Pumila - Pygmea - Pyramidata - Reflexa - Repens - Stricta (tall tree)
Norway Spruce Description:
Height: 80 to 100 feet
Spread: 25 to 40 feet
Crown uniformity: symmetrical canopy with a
regular (or smooth) outline, and individuals have more
or less identical crown forms
Crown shape: pyramidal
Crown density: moderate
Growth rate: slow
History of Norway Spruce:
Norway spruce is one of the most important coniferous species on the European Continent. Although not native to North America, the species and a number of varieties are commonly planted here, particularly in southeastern Canada and northeastern United States. Christmas tree planting
s of Norway spruce is a relatively recent activity and taken very seriously by some growers. It has escaped cultivation in several localities and is considered naturalized in some of these areas.
Norway Spruce Trunk and Branches:
Trunk/bark/branches: droop as the tree grows, and
will require pruning for vehicular or pedestrian
clearance beneath the canopy; not particularly showy;
should be grown with a single leader; no thorns
Pruning requirement: needs little pruning to develop
a strong structure
Current year twig color: brown
Current year twig thickness: medium
Norway Spruce Culture:
Light requirement: tree grows in full sun
Soil tolerances: clay; loam; sand; slightly alkaline;
acidic; occasionally wet; well-drained
Drought tolerance: moderate
Aerosol salt tolerance: moderate
Soil salt tolerance: poor
Norway Spruce is best used as a specimen in a
lawn area or as a wind break or screen, planted on 20-
foot-centers. Rockefeller Center in New York City
erects a Norway Spruce each Christmas next to the
skating rink and decorates it for the holiday season.
Norway Spruce tolerates most soils if moist and
s easily if balled and burlapped or potted.
Trees subjected to drought are much happier if they
receive periodic irrigation although they tolerate