White spruce (Picea glauca)


Cones are oval, 2" or so, non-jagged lip April 22 and 29, 2009 Queen Elizabeth Drive east of Bank St Bridge


White spruce needles are smaller than Colorado spruce and not as sharp. They have distinct whitish lines. It seems to me that when a branch is looked at head on, the needles form a simple whorl around the end bud, as shown here. In the case of Colorado spruce and Norway spruce, they seem to form a pinwheel whorl. The needles on the branch underside do not seem to move sideways as they do for Norway spruce.

Similar species

Norway spruce is very similar and common in the Glebe. The differences I detect are: The cones are very different. White spruce cones are about 2-3" long; oval - not big. Norway spruce are perhaps 6-7" long, and cylindrical. The branches: Norway spruce branches usually, but not always, droop noticeably, somethimes hanging vertically from their bigger branch. The terminal drooping branch segments are often longer than white spruce end segments. Needles: they are very similar but a close examination seems to show that Norway spruce have no white lines, whereas white spruce has a rather faint one and this seems to give the white spruce a paler tint than Norway spruce from a distance. Norway spruce needles seem a richer green. Bark: it looks to me like Norway spruce has bigger platy bark. White spruce bark seems more scaly. Colorado spruce is often distinctly bluish in colour. The cones are somewhat longer and paler and the lips of them are fringed, not entire. Balsam fir: the needles are flat and have two distinct white lines.