Norway Spruce

A native of Europe, the Norway spruce (Picea abies) has been planted widely in this country and Iowa for ornamental use and for windbreak plantings.  It is a large, fast-growing tree requiring a fertile, moist soil.

Hardiness: Zones 3b through 7 (can survive zone 8, but is not well adapted to those conditions)

two different forms of norway spruce trees
Norway Spruce Trees - Photos by Paul Wray, Iowa State University 

Growth Rate: Moderate to fast, especially when young. (may grow to 75 feet in 50 years).

Mature Shape: Pyramidal with branches that hang down. Stiff when young, becoming more graceful with age.

Height: 75-100 feet 

Width: 40-50 feet 

Site Requirements: Adaptable, but prefers moist, cool areas. Often found around streams or lakes.

Flowering Dates: April - June

Seed Dispersal Dates: September - April

Seed Bearing Age: 30-50 years

Seed Bearing Frequency: Every 3-13 years

Seed Stratification: Prechill for 4 months at 34°F to 40°F

The needles are single, angular or four-sided, yellow-green in color, 1/2 to 1 inch long and slightly curved.  More of the needles are borne on the upper surface of the twigs where they usually point forward. The foliage appears to droop or weep.

The cone is 4 to 7 inches long; light brown; hanging down.  Norway spruce grow 75 to 100 feet tall. They make good winter cover for wildlife.

side by side view of norway spruce leaves - one mature and one young
Norway Spruce Leaves - Photos by Paul Wray, Iowa State University

Diseases that Can Affect Norway Spruce

Insects that Can Affect Norway Spruce


norway spruce cone
Norway Spruce Cone - Photo by Paul Wray, Iowa State University

norway spruce flowers
Norway Spruce Flowers - Photo by Paul Wray, Iowa State University