Black Spruce

Picea mariana

Black spruce trees, in contrast to other spruces, grow tall and narrowly as opposed to conically. Branches are fairly sparse and curve slightly down at first and then slightly up near the tips. This specimen was planted in a suburban neighborhood in Shelburne, VT by Kevin Kenlan who collected the seeds from native Black spruce in the forests of Maine.
The Black spruce can be differentiated from the other spruces by the darkness of the twig and the fact that it is hairy, a characteristic shared only by the Red spruce. Needles are 1/4"-1/2" (0.6-1.25cm) long.
A key characteristic of Black spruce cones is the fact that they are remain on the tree even after they are fully ripe, and may persist for several seasons. Also, the cone scales are rough edged.
The bark of the Black Spruce is dark colored and a combination of furrowed and scaly.

Unless otherwise specified, all text and images are Copyright (c) Peter Kenlan 2002. This page may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the permission of the author.