White Spruce : Physical Features

The white spruce is considered a medium-sized conifer.  It grows upright and has a long, straight trunk.  The white spruce is known for its “handsome conical crown which extends nearly to the ground.” (Harlow, W. & Harrar, E.,1958, p 127)  They usually grow to be around 60-70 feet tall and 18-24 inches in diameter.  The bark of the white spruce has a thin, “flaky” appearance with a brownish-gray tint.  The twigs are an orange-brown color with small protrusions that give it texture.  The leaves (needles) are four-sided, tend to be a pale blue-green color and range from ” to ¾” long.  The light brown cones can grow up to 2½ inches long and have thin scales.  The wood is usually white with a yellow tint and is easy to work with if there are no knots.  Its texture is even and the grain is straight.  It works well with glue, but not stain because it has closed pores. White spruce is used most commonly for pulpwood (for paper production), lumber and crates.  It can also be used for furniture, pallets, musical instruments, and paddles.