University of Tennessee
Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
Our Center Home Page Arboretum Home Page

Norway Spruce (Picea abies)

Norway Spruce Tree Norway Spruce Needles Norway Spruce Cones

Norway Spruce, a native tree of north, central, and eastern Europe, has been widely planted in eastern North America and in parts of the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountains. A number of examples are present at the Arboretum near the top of the Tulip Poplar Trail and along the upper edge of the sinkhole area near the Program Shelter. This tree may grow to heights of 100 to 200 ft. It has characteristic pendulous branches with orange-brown twigs bearing short (1 to 2.5 cm) blunt-tipped needles. The tan-brown cones, 4 to 7 in. long, are found on branch tips in the upper third of the tree’s canopy. The bark becomes gray scaly as the tree matures. Norway spruce is used for lumber, pulp, musical instruments, Christmas trees, and as an ornamental. Several Norway Spruce research projects have been carried out on the UT Forest Resources Center, including growth and adaptation studies associated with genetic sources and improvement of needle retention for use as cut Christmas trees. In 2013 and 2014, Norway Spruce from the Cumberland Forest Unit of the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center were selected as the Tennessee State Christmas tree for display at the State Capital in Nashville. These trees were grown as part of the tree improvement and genetic research projects.

Return to Tree List

University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
901 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830 · Telephone: 865-483-3571 · Email: