How to Plant a Norwegian Spruce Tree


The Norwegian spruce (Picea abies), commonly called the Norway spruce, grows to a height of 80 to a 100 feet. An evergreen conifer, the tree grows in a pyramid shape. Widely coveted as a Christmas tree because of its overall pleasing green color, the Norway spruce is the choice of the Rockefeller Center in New York City each year as its famous holiday tree, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Once planted in the home landscape as an ornamental or hedge, the Norwegian spruce tree offers a pleasing appearance with ease of care. The tree grows well in USDA zones 3 to 7.

Step 1

Choose a location with full sunlight or partial shade. The tree requires well-draining soil because it will not tolerate a wet root system. The Norwegian spruce tree grows in a wide range of soil but prefers a slightly acidic pH.

Step 2

Dig a hole that is twice the size of the tree's root system. Mix organic matter such as peat moss and aged cow manure into the soil until it feels crumbly to the touch. Space trees at least 6 feet apart when growing the Norwegian spruce as a hedge. The tree attains a width of 40 feet when fully grown, so space accordingly when planting near a structure in the home landscape.

Step 3

Fill the hole with the prepared soil and tamp it down around the tree's root system so all air pockets are removed. Apply a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch, such as bark chips, around the tree's base to keep weed growth back and help the soil retain water. Grass rarely grows under a spruce tree.

Step 4

Water the tree thoroughly once planted. Keep the Norwegian spruce tree moist but not water-logged. The tree can withstand short stretches of drought but prefers to have moist soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Aged manure
  • Peat moss
  • Mulch, such as bark chips or peat moss


  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Norway Spruce
  • U.S. Forest Service: Norway Spruce
  • National Christmas Tree Association: Picea Abies
  • Ireland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: Norway Spruce

Who Can Help

  • Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resouces: Norway Spruce
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About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.