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White Spruce

Will Ship Spring 2024

Plant Type: Evergreen, bare-root

Zones:  2-6

Soil Type:  Clay, Loamy & Sandy Soils

Site Selection: Full Sun, Partial Sun

Mature Height & Width:  50-70' Height and 15-20' Spread

Growth Rate:  Moderate/Fast - 12-24+" per year once established

Moisture Requirements: Dry to average soils

White Spruce Plugs Also Available - CLICK HERE

Plant Characteristics

White Spruce

Picea glauca

The White Spruce is an evergreen with dense foliage and needles that are blue-green in color. This conifer grows faster than many other spruces.  From a distance, you may mistake this tree for a Blue Spruce with its similar color and shape. Commonly found in nature along streams and lakeshores, this spruce is more shade tolerant than most others. A great choice for heavier soils such as clay. Very popular as a Christmas tree, the White Spruce is also naturally deer resistant and provides high wildlife value.


The White Spruce is a long-lived conifer that exhibits medium to fast growth. Some of these trees live to be over 300 years old! Commonly grown for pulpwood and construction grade lumber. The tree has a pyramidal, columnar shape with blue-green needles and thin, gray, scaly bark. Its slender cones mature in one season, and drop to the ground in winter or the following spring. In its natural habitat, the White Spruce is commonly found growing along with Quaking Aspen, Paper Birch and Balsam Fir. This tree has beautiful year round color and is a fine specimen in the landscape.

Fun Fact:  Indigenous people in North America used the White Spruce's strong, pliable roots to make lacing for birch bark canoes. They also used the gum (a sticky substance that leaks through wounded bark) for waterproofing the birch bark seams.

Common Uses:

  • Grown for pulpwood and construction lumber
  • Popular as a Christmas tree
  • Windbreaks and living snow fences
  • Very high wildlife value
  • Privacy screens
  • Planted for ornamental value
  • Evergreen for year round color

The White Spruce is high in wildlife value. Like other spruces, its dense foliage provides an ideal spot for nesting or roosting birds and provides good winter cover. Its seeds are an important food source for many types of finches, grouse, crossbills, nuthatches, grosbeaks as well as small rodents. Red Squirrels like to gather unopened cones and store them in large piles on the forest floor for future consumption. The White Spruce provides good winter cover for martens, fishers, voles and snowshoe hares. Excellent deer cover. 

Product Questions

For a privacy screen, how far apart would you recommend planting?
Question by: Jennifer Gregg on Jan 24, 2021, 12:07 PM
You can plant the White Spruce approx. 6-7' apart. If you have the space we recommend doing 2-3 staggering rows.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Jan 25, 2021, 10:50 AM
Are White Spruce Trees tolerant of Black Walnut Toxicity?
Question by: Dave Schwartz on Nov 30, 2021, 3:56 PM
No, they are not juglone tolerant. I would recommend spacing 50' away from drip line of walnut tree.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Nov 30, 2021, 4:04 PM
I live in Williamsburg VA. What would be a good evergreen to grow in my zone. The soil is light, sandy. Previous farmland.
Question by: Kim R Dufore on Dec 4, 2021, 1:43 PM
You are in Zone 7b the following conifers can be grown in your area: Canadian Hemlock, Colorado Blue spruce, Balsam fir, Fraser Fir, and White pine
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Dec 6, 2021, 8:30 AM
Is a 4 inch auger big enough for planting a 4 year transplant?
Question by: Dave Schwartz on Mar 20, 2022, 8:23 PM
It should be, but we always recommend deciding when you receive your order. You can also do some root pruning, do not remove more than a 1/3 of the roots. We typically recommend a "shovel full" when planting your transplants.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Mar 21, 2022, 1:49 PM