Spruce trees, mostly known to the world as Christmas trees, are hardy evergreen trees that are found all over the Northern Hemisphere. They are widely known and popular trees, a perennial favorite of many people, including the many states that have named some type of spruce trees as their state tree.
Spruce trees are coniferous evergreen trees, meaning they are cone bearing and have leaves all all year long. All have green leaves, usually called needles, that extend from their branches. Blue spruces, however, are prized for their distinctive silver blue color, which is due to a powdery waxy bloom on their needles. The cones of spruce trees are round with toothed scales. The trees are cone-shaped and can reach heights of up to 200 feet tall.
There are many species of spruce trees, but the most widely known and popular spruces are the blue spruce or Colorado blue spruce, white spruce or Black Hills spruce (found only in the Black Hills of South Dakota) and the Norway spruce. Typically, spruce trees are named for the location to which they are native, or for their coloring.
There are many types of spruce trees located throughout the world, mostly in the mountainous regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Sitka spruce trees are found in Alaska, British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest and California. The Colorado blue spruce is native to Colorado, but they are cultivated elsewhere; the Norway spruce is found in Norway. Various types of spruces can be found in most of the United States, in growing zones 2 through 8, excluding Florida, Texas and some parts of California.
Spruce trees prefer cool climates and do not perform well in the heat and humidity of the deep South. They grow well in well-drained, acidic and medium moisture soils. They prefer full sun and need to be kept moist, particularly when they are first planted.
Spruce trees are commonly used by consumers in landscaping and as Christmas trees.
Diseases and Pests
Spruce trees are very resistant to disease and pests, but they may be susceptible to needle cast, canker and rust. Spruce gall aphids, scale, budworms, bagworms and spider mites have been at times known to attack spruce trees.
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