Spruce trees are members of the pine family and grow in most of the United States and Canada, with the exception being the very hottest areas. Spruce trees, with their symmetrical shapes from pyramid to cone, make a dramatic statement in any landscape, and there are varieties for any size. The trees are close cousins, but they all have their own special qualities--different colored needles, shapes and pine cones.
Serbian spruce (Picea omorika) is hardy in USDA Zones 4 to 7. The tree grows up to 50 feet tall with a crown spread of about 20 feet and has a pyramid shape. The tree produces needles with a dark-green color and a glossy finish on the top and two white pores on the underside that grow less than 2 inches long. Plant Serbian spruce in full sun or partial shade and a soil that is moist and well drained.
Norway Spruce ( Picea abies) grows from 50 to 150 feet tall with a crown spread of about 20 feet and a trunk diameter of up to 5 feet. The tree produces gray-green colored needles measuring up to 1 inch long. Female cones are reddish-brown and 4 to 6 inches long. Male cones are smaller. Plant Norway spruce in full sun and a consistently moist soil. The tree is hardy in USDA Zones 3 to 8.
Blue spruce (Picea pungens) grows up to 50 feet tall with a spread of about 20 feet. Plant in full sun or partial shade and a moist, well-drained soil. Blue or silver-blue needles grow up to 1-1/4 inches long. Cones grow up to 3 inches long, starting out as light-green and turning brown or tan when mature. The tree is hardy in USDA Zones 2 to 7.
Oriental spruce (Picea orientalis) is also known as Caucasian spruce. The tree grows from 50 to 120 feet tall and a spread of 20 to 30 feet with short, densely-packed, dark-green needles. The cones start out as purple and turn brown as they mature, growing from 2 to 4 inches long and 1 inch wide. Plant Oriental spruce in full sun or partial shade and a moist, well-drained soil. The tree is hardy in USDA Zones 4 to 8.
Engelman spruce (Picea engelmannii) is native from Western Canada to Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico and is hardy from USDA Zone 3 to 5. The tree grows from 40 to over 100 feet tall with densely-packed, four-sided, blue needles about 1 inch long. Tan-colored, egg-shaped cones measure from 1 to 3 inches long and 1 inch wide. Plant Engelman spruce in full sun and an organic, well-drained soil.