Picea abies is also known as the Picea abies ‘Excelsa’, Pinus excelsa, Picea abies ‘Lexa’, or commonly known as Norway Spruce, Baltic Whitewood, Spur Fir, White Deal, Common Spruce, Burgundy Pitch Tree, European Spruce.
It is native to Europe in particular northern, central, and Eastern Europe. Picea abies has an almost 300-year life span. It starts producing seeds when it is in its forties.
It is part of the Pinaceae family of plants. Picea abies is mostly planted for its wood, it is also a popular Christmas tree. The name Abies in Latin means fir-like. Picea abies is dense and fast-growing. It is an evergreen coniferous tree.
Picea abies can grow to 55m or 180ft tall. The trunk could be as wide as 1.5m or 5ft in diameter. It grows up to 1m or 3ft per year when it is young. Picea abies has blunt needle-like green leaves. The shoots are orangish. It produces brown cones in summer and autumn. The cone scales are consumed by caterpillars of the Cydia illutana moth.
The tallest Picea abies recorded as of 2020 is 62.26m or 205ft tall. It is located in Slovenia. Norwegian capital, Oslo, gifts a Norwegian Spruce Tree each Christmas as an appreciation for the aid during Second World War. They send three trees each to London, Edinburgh, and Washington D.C. where it is usually placed in a central square such as Trafalgar Square in London.
How to grow Picea abies
Place Picea abies in the sun. Plant it in acid to neutral, moist but well-drained soil. Avoid dry and deficient soils. Propagate Picea abies by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings. You don’t need to prune Picea abies. It is generally disease-free, but watch out for adelgids, aphids, and red spider mite. Picea abies is used for its wood and for paper production.