Norway Spruce (Picea abies)

The Norway Spruce (Picea abies) is better known as the traditional Christmas tree or Xmas tree and is a large, fast-growing evergreen.

  • Norway Spruce  -  Picea Abies  -  Leaves
  • Norway Spruce  -  Picea Abies  -  Mature Trees In A Forest

Useful info about Norway Spruce trees

Latin NamePicea abies
HeightCan grow up to 30 m (98ft)
SpreadThe branches can spread out to 10 m (32ft)
Soil Types PreferredClay, Loam, Sand
Locations SuitableFarmland, Parks
FlowersBright green foliage tips in spring
FruitCones in late summer / autumn

Similar Species


This very well-known conifer was first introduced into the UK in the 16th century. It is still the Christmas Tree of choice for many homes.

The Norway Spruce grows to 35–55 metres (115–180 ft) tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 1.5 metres. It can grow fast when young, up to 1 metre (3 ft) per year for the first 25 years under good conditions, but becomes slower once over 20 metres (66 ft) tall.

The leaves are needle-like, 12–24 mm long, dark green. The cones are 9–17 cm long (the longest of any spruce) and are green or reddish, maturing brown 5–7 months after pollination.

Norway Spruce grows to be a large pyramidal tree so can soon outgrow a small or medium sized garden.


The Norway spruce is one of the most widely planted spruces and one of the most economically important coniferous species in Europe, where it is used for timber and paper production.

The tree is the source of spruce beer, which was apparently used to prevent and even cure scurvy!

The high vitamin C content in the tree can be consumed as a tea from the shoot tips or even eaten straight from the tree when light green and new in Spring.


Any uses for trees or tree extracts, whether edible or medicinal, have not been tried or tested by EFORESTS.

Please take caution and seek proper advice before attempting any recipes or medicinal extracts from any of the trees listed on our site.

Culture and Symbolism

The spruce is also known as the tree of birth.

Spruce trees are believed to represent life and hope, resistance and strength.

In Greek mythology, the spruce is devoted to Artemis, goddess of the Moon and of the wild.

Click here to dedicate a tree to be planted in a woodland in England, Scotland or Wales

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