Spruces
Genus: Picea
Family: Pinaceae

There are about 50 species of spruce in the world, all in the Northern Hemisphere and half being from China. The spruce is a conical evergreen often with scaly bark. The leaves are needle-like and in many species are sharp at the tip. The cone sizes vary from quite small to very long, but they are usually pendulous and ripen in the first year.


Picea abies
Norway Spruce


This tree is native to northern and central Europe. Often employed as a windbreak, it withstands both cold and wind very well. The tree is large and produces 8 inch long cones. There are many cultivars of this species of varying appearance. The length of the cones is the best way to identify it from other spruces.

Maps: 8, 13


Picea breweriana Picea breweriana

Picea breweriana
Brewers Spruce

Native to the Siskiyou Mountains in California and Oregon at elevations of 5,000 to 7,000 feet, Brewers Spruce is found only in a few small groves. Pendulous branchlets hang vercially 7-8 feet or more, creating a graceful curtain. This species was selected as a replacement from the original planting list.

Maps: 8


Picea omorika
Serbian Spruce


Native to the Balkans, it is rare to find this tree, even in its native habitat. It is a graceful, beautiful spruce with a narrow but pyramidal growth pattern.

Map: 1


Picea pungens
Colorado Spruce


These trees grow to 150 feet and are pyramidal at maturity. They are gray-green or blue-green, depending on the cultivar, of which there are many. It is a favorite front lawn tree in Portland neighborhoods.

Maps: 3, 4, 7, 8, 13, 25, 28


fat albert fat albert

Picea pungens
Fat Albert


Hey hey hey! Cultivar from Colorado Blue spruce. Fat Albert has a dense pyramid with blue needle color, and is considered a semi-dwarf, with a slow growth to fifteen feet.

Maps: 3


Picea sitchensis
Sitka Spruce


Native to the Northwest, the Sitka Spruce is the largest of the spruce family and a fast grower. Its needles are very sharp and stiff, and its branches are long, growing from well down on the trunk, with an upward sweep at the end. The largest known Sitka Spruce in the lower 48 is found near Seaside, Oregon. Native Americans used this spruce to make baskets, rainhats, rope, tea, and chewing gum. We use it today for ladders, doors, oars, scaffolding, bleachers, boat masts, and musical instruments such as violins.

Maps: 28, 30