How to Grow a Norway Spruce


The Norway spruce, also referred to as mountain spruce, is a hardy evergreen that is native to Europe. Norway spruce trees grow in a pyramidal shape to a height of 80 feet and spread of 40 feet. The tree is hardy to plant in USDA growing zones 2 through 8 where the yearly rainfall is a minimum of 20 inches. Norway spruce trees grow quickly and require a planting location that allows for the height and spread of the tree.

Step 1

Choose an area to plant the Norway spruce by verifying it has full sunlight and air circulation. Norway spruce grows best in a well-draining, slightly acidic soil. Clay loam or sand loam soil types work well.

Step 2

Test the soil in the planting location to verify it has a pH of 5.0 to 7.5. Work ground rock sulfur into the soil to lower the pH and let it rest for two weeks. Follow the package instructions for the square feet of soil needing amendment.

Step 3

Dig a planting hole that is the same depth and twice as wide as the Norway spruce root ball. Work equal amounts of organic compost into the removed soil to increase the water-draining properties and nutrient content.

Step 4

Set the Norway spruce root ball into the hole and gently pack amended soil into the bottom half of the hole. Fill the hole with water to compact the soil and let it absorb into the surrounding ground. Fill soil into the remaining hole area and gently pack to eliminate air pockets around the root ball.

Step 5

Water the soil well to settle the soil around the root ball. Continue to provide supplemental water to the Norway spruce twice a week during the first two months after planting by soaking the ground to a depth of 10 to 14 inches. Established Norway spruce trees do not require supplemental water applications.

Step 6

Fertilize established Norway spruce trees by applying a slow-release tree fertilizer tablet each spring.

Step 7

Apply a 3-inch layer of organic mulch over the root ball area of tree once the root system is established. Leave a 6-inch gap between the trunk of the tree and start of the mulch to lower the risk of moisture buildup at the base of the tree. Remove weeds that grow in the mulched area as they compete for soil moisture and nutrients.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil pH test
  • Ground rock sulfur
  • Water
  • Shovel
  • Organic compost
  • Slow-release fertilizer tablets
  • Organic mulch


  • University of Florida: Norway Spruce
  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Norway Spruce
  • North Carolina State University: Picea Abies
Keywords: grow Norway spruce, plant Norway spruce, Norway spruce evergreen

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.