Picea abies, the Norway spruce, is a species of spruce native to Central and Eastern Europe. It grows up to 55 m (180 ft) tall, and bears needles 12–24 mm (0.47–0.94 in) long and cones 9–17 cm (3.5–6.7 in) long. It is very closely related to the Siberian spruce, Picea obovata, which replaces it east of the Ural Mountains, and with which it hybridises freely. Picea abies is widely planted for its wood, and is the species used as the main Christmas tree in several cities around the world. It was the first gymnosperm to have its genome sequenced, and one clone has been measured as 9,550 years old.
Picea abies is a large, fast-growing evergreen coniferous tree growing 35–55 m (115–180 ft) tall and with a trunk diameter of 1 to 1.5 m. It can grow fast when young, up to 1 m (3 ft) per year for the first 25 years under good conditions, but becomes slower once over 20 m (66 ft) tall. The shoots are orange-brown and glabrous (hairless). The leaves are needle-like, 12–24 mm long, quadrangular in cross-section (not flattened), and dark green on all four sides with inconspicuous stomatal lines. The cones are 9–17 cm long (the longest of any spruce), and have bluntly to sharply triangular-pointed scale tips. They are green or reddish, maturing brown 5–7 months after pollination. The seeds are black, 4–5 mm long, with a pale brown 15 mm wing.
Mattern’s Pine Ridge Nursery specializes in Norway Spruce on our Lafayette, Indiana tree farm. Find all of your Christmas Tree and decoration needs here.