Welcome to NorwaySpruce.com
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This site is dedicated to the Norway Spruce (PICEA ABIES) which I believe is the largest, hardiest and most adaptable spruce in the world. We love this tree!
If your interested in planting Norway Spruce trees visit our retail site at KellyTreeFarm.com, or drop us a message. We do not know everything about Norway Spruce as I believe nobody does, but working together we can give the Norway Spruce the distinction it deserves.
The Norway Spruce is a native of Europe, and is commonly called the mountain spruce there. Due to its hardiness and adaptability it has been introduced around the world and thrives in the plant hardiness zones of 2 to 7 where there is adequate rainfall of at least 25” per year. We have seen them survive in higher elevations that are cooler with rainfall from 12 to 25" per year. In areas of less rainfall additional water will be necessary especially when young. They do not like the heat so does not do well in the south even with adequate rain.
In northern Italy they can be seen growing along with Palm trees around the large lakes there.
The Norway Spruce is also a dominant tree in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania and Ukraine shown above.
Remove one needle, it should be about 1 inch long and rotate between the thumb and forefinger. The needle actually has four flat sides, if it does not rotate and has 2 flat sides it is a fir tree or a Serbian spruce.
Smaller trees are sometime hard to identify, look mainly for the dark green color, and needle rotation, and if all else fails ask a local tree expert, or a nursery, or some government forester, or me.
As with most plants it grows best on moist deep loam soils with 35” of annual rainfall per year. Due to their adaptability they can also grow on clay soils and sandy soils where there is adequate moisture to meet their needs. They seem to prefer a soil Ph of from 5 to 7.5 but have seen them on soils up to a PH of 9 with a reduced growth rate and density.
The Norway Spruce can grow 2-3+ feet per year their first 25 years under good conditions, in heavy or poor soils they may average 1 foot per year. Soil, moisture, and adequate sunshine is everything to a plant and its growth rate. On a perfect weather year, and no competition from grass or weeds, we have seen over 6 ft of growth in one year! This spruce if given sufficient room to grow will easily grow to over 100 feet tall and be 40 feet wide with spreading branches at the base and will live over 100 years.
This is not a tree for a small yard! Although they do best in full sunshine they can tolerate some shading up to 50% and still survive but the growth rate and density will be reduced. The Norway spruce has a fiberous deep spreading root system that makes this tree very wind firm able to withstand winds up to 100+ MPH.
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Every year at Christmas time, a tree is placed in the Rockefeller center in New York City. They look for the largest, most beautiful tree they can find. Year after year their favorite is the Norway Spruce. Its strong branches are able to hold up the thousands of lights and ornaments, and being outside the needles stay on the tree for a long time. The tallest tree ever used was a 100-foot Norway Spruce from Killingworth, Conn. in 1948. After X-Mas the tree is cut into lumber and used to build a house. For 2015 the tree was 78 ft tall and 47 ft wide and weighed 10 tons
Norway Spruce makes an excellent timber tree and is used extensively for reforestation in many areas.
In the past Norway Spruce was used extensively for the Christmas tree industry. They grew fast, and with a little shearing and the dark green color they looked like the perfect Christmas tree. Unfortunately they have lost favor as they do not hold their needles well after being cut. They can all fall off after only 2 weeks of being in the house!
The Norway Spruce also makes an excellent Specimen tree if given sufficient room. Although not as formal as many of the other spruces in it’s natural growth habit, if a person trims the tree lightly every few years and with its dark green color it has no rivals for beauty. Due to their long life the old trees carry a certain character that has a beauty that is all there own.
It is not the preferred species for browse by most animals. Deer may take a bite but usually spit out the branch as it does not taste well. Buck deer will rub there horns on trees during the rut and can extensively damage a tree. The damaged tree can usually be saved by tying up a good branch that will then become a new leader. This is usually better than replacing a tree.
But in a severe winter or when excess numbers of animals exist, severe browsing of the green foliage can take place. Repellants can help but not if the animals are really hungry. Removal of animals or relocating them to other areas may be the only choice. Rabbits are easily caught in live animal traps. After the trees are bigger, animals can be welcomed back into the area if wanted.
In the picture to the right this a Norway Spruce that has had its bottom branches severely eaten by rabbits during a long winter. The Norway spruce will grow back quite well with only light browsing, (tips only) but the bottom branches shown here will not grow back. Do not let this happen to your trees, Take action.
Norway Spruce Sizes for sale
Fall is for planting potted trees, bare root trees should only be planted in the springtime as they dry out too much during the winter and can have substantial losses.
8-16" Bare Root Seedling--$1.50 each
Bare root-left--seedling, /center--18"-24" Transplant.---right-- 2'-3' transplant