Picea mariana (P. Mill.) B.S.P.
Pinaceae (Pine Family)
Black spruce is a very narrow, spire-like tree,
growing 30-60 ft. tall with a limited spread. Descending branches, with dark, bluish-green needles, have upturned ends. Lower limbs sweep the ground. Tree
with open, irregular, conical crown of short, horizontal or slightly drooping branches; a prostrate shrub
Black Spruce is one of the most widely distributed conifers in North America. Uses are similar to those of White Spruce; however, the small size limits lumber production. The lowest branches take root by layering when deep snows bend them to the ground, forming a ring of small trees around a large one. Spruce gum and spruce beer were made from this species and Red Spruce.
Image Gallery: 8 photo(s) available
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
AK , CT , IL , ME , MA , MI , MN , NH , NJ , NY , PA , RI , VT , WI Canada: AB
, YT Native Distribution:
Lab. & Nf. to the Yukon Valley, s. in mts. to PA, c. WI, c. MN & B.C. Native Habitat:
Peat bogs; floodplains; swamps USDA Native Status: L48(N), AK(N), CAN(N),
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
High Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade , Shade Soil Moisture:
Wet , Moist CaCO3 Tolerance:
Low Soil Description:
Wet to mesic, acidic soils. Conditions Comments:
An extremely slow grower. Shallow root system makes this tree
susceptible to wind throw. Some disease and insect problems. A cold-climate tree,
restricted in the southern part of its range to cold sphagnum bogs. The Alaska variety is less than 30 ft. tall and often shrubby.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Twigs, leaves and seeds are important wildlife food. Very valuable as nesting sites for birds.
Use Other: Long wood fibres of black spruce are most commonly used for pulpwood, especially for producing high quality papers. A thing of the past now is the gathering of spruce gum, by gummers on snowshoes, carrying long poles fitted with chisels to knock off the resinous exudations. In the old lumber camps, spruce gum was the chewing gum. (Peattie)
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Columbia silkmoth, Bog Elfin butterfly (Callophrys lanoraieensis).
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for: