photo by UBC Media Relations CC BY-NC

There are various species of Spruce. They can be hard to tell apart, but they all share certain characteristics. This evergreen, 60-100 ft tall with a cone-shaped silhouette, prefers moist sites in forests and mountainous regions.

Four-sided needles are arranged in a spiral around the stem. The needles are attached to small pegs that remain behind after the needles drop. The cones hang downwards and fall to the ground.

Black and White Spruce are found in Canada and the northern United States. Engelmann Spruce is found in the western mountains of Canada and the United States. Sitka Spruce has stiff, sharp needles and is found in a narrow band along the northwest coast of North America.

Could it be? Spruce needles are shorter than Pine needles. Fir branches look flat as the needles grow out of two sides of the branch; Spruce needles grow on all sides of the branch.

Did you know? The Indigenous peoples of North America used the strong, flexible roots to lace together the Birch bark in their canoes.

See Also: Balsam Fir, Common Juniper, Douglas-fir, Engelmann Spruce, Jack Pine, Lodgepole Pine, Rocky Mountain Juniper, Tamarack, Western Hemlock, Western Larch, Western Redcedar, Whitebark Pine