White Spruce

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By neighborhoodforest

Many of you will be receiving a White Spruce through Neighborhood Forest and The Family of Trees this spring (Earth Day / Week 2020).

Here is some information about this beautiful tree.

The white spruce grows to a height of 40–60 feet and a spread of 10–20 feet at maturity. This tree grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24 inches per year.

This tree thrives in a lot of sunlight – ideally six hours of direct sunlight per day. The white spruce grows well in a variety of different soils and has some drought tolerance.

The white spruce does well when transplanted. It can withstand wind, heat, cold, drought, crowding and some shade. It does well in cities and often serves as rural windbreaks.

You can find simple planting instructions here.

Aside from providing nesting for birds and shelter for other animals, white spruces provide food for many kinds of wildlife. Crossbills, evening grosbeaks, and red-breasted nuthatches feed on its seeds. The foliage is eaten by grouse, rabbits, and deer. Red squirrels bite open cones to eat the seeds, and they delight upon young, tender spruce shoots.

When Jacques Cartier sailed up the broad St. Lawrence River in 1535, he became the first European to see North America’s white spruces. As he laid claim to the lands he beheld, he proclaimed them to be “as beautiful…as one could wish for.” The trees, he said, were “the finest trees in the world.”

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