Content Detail

Oriental spruce can reach a height of 50 to 60 feet with a spread of 15 to 25 feet. The delicate texture of the small needles and graceful habit make this a good choice for the home landscape.

  • Family (English) Pine
  • Family (botanic) Pinaceae
  • Planting site Residential and parks
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Evergreen (foliage year-round)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large tree (more than 40 feet)
  • Mature height 50-60 feet
  • Mature width 15-25 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest early winter, midwinter, late winter, early spring, mid spring, late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Inconspicuous
  • Shape or form Pyramidal
  • Growth rate Slow
  • Transplants well Yes
  • Planting considerations Intolerant of pollution, May be difficult to find in nurseries
  • Wildlife Browsers, Nesting birds, Songbirds
  • Has cultivars Yes

Size and form:

Oriental spruce’s mature height is 50 to 60 feet and mature width is 15 to 25 feet.

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is found natively in the mountains of the Caucasus.

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife:

Nesting birds, browsers, and song birds are attracted to it.

Bark color and texture:

The bark is brown and may peel as the tree ages.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, texture, and color:

Its short, dark green, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long needles are attached singly to the stem. Needles are four-sided with a blunt tip.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Flowers are not ornamentally important.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Cones are on short stalks found at the ends of branches. Mature cylindrical cones are 2 to 4 inches long and 1 inch wide. Cone scales have smooth margins. The cones start out reddish-purple, changing to brown at maturity.

Plant care:

Oriental spruce is best planted in full sun. It is adaptable to many soil types as long as they are moist and well-drained. The shallow, spreading root system benefits from 3 to 4 inches of organic mulch. Spruces require very little pruning. All evergreens experience seasonal needle drop in autumn and on spruces this occurs on the interior of the tree.

List of pests, diseases and tolerances:

It can be affected by rhizosphaera needle cast, cankers, bagworms and mites.

Gowdy oriental spruce (Picea orientalis ‘Gowdy’):

This is a narrow, slow-growing cultivar.

Skylands oriental spruce (Picea orientalis ‘Skylands’):

New foliage emerges yellow and contrasts with the darker green inner foliage. Color will fade in summer and needles may burn in hot climates.


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