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Black Spruce Picea mariana


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Family: Pinaceae, Pine view all from this family

Description Slow-growing, small upright evergreen coniferous tree. Growth varies with site quality. Shrubby occasionally, straight trunk with little taper, scruffy habit, and narrow, pointed crown of short, compact, drooping branches with upturned tips. Bark thin, scaly, grayish brown. Leaves needle-like, 6-15 mm. long, stiff, four-sided, dark bluish green on the upper sides, paler glaucous green below. Cones smallest of spruces, 1.5-4 cm. long and 1–2 cm. broad, spindle-shaped to nearly round, dark purple ripening red-brown, produced in dense clusters in upper crown, opening at maturity but persisting for several years.

Dimensions Height: 6-18 m. (20-60 ft.)
Diameter: 0.1-0.3 m. (4-12 ft.).

Habitat Canyons & valleys, Mountains, Watersides (fresh).

Range Alaska, Great Lakes, Western Canada, Mid-Atlantic, Plains, New England, Eastern Canada.

Discussion Fallen trees (roots are shallow and wide spreading) colloquially called "drunken trees", often associated with thawing of permafrost.