Please donate to support our ‘Plants to Save the Planet’ Project. The Project is directed at enabling designers of ‘carbon farms’ and ‘food forests’: agroecosystems of perennial plants, to choose the most appropriate plants for their requirements and site conditions. We are working on a subset of plants in the PFAF database identified as having the most potential for inclusion in such designs. We are adding search terms and icons to those plants pages, and providing a range of search options aligned to categories of plants and crop yields, with Help facilities including videos. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Picea rubens - Sarg.

Common Name Red Spruce
Family Pinaceae
USDA hardiness 6-7
Known Hazards The sawdust, the resin from the trunk and even the needles can cause dermatitis in some people[222].
Habitats At or near sea level in the northern part of its range, where it grows in swamps, along bogs or on well-drained slopes. In the south it is found in mountain ranges, usually in thin soils[229].
Range Eastern N. America - Newfoundland to New England and North Carolina, south to Tennessee and Georgia.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Picea rubens Red Spruce


http://www.flickr.com/photos/91008793@N00
Picea rubens Red Spruce
www.forestryimages.org

 

Translate this page:

Summary

Bloom Color: Red. Main Bloom Time: Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Pyramidal.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Picea rubens is an evergreen Tree growing to 30 m (98ft 5in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in leaf all year, and the seeds ripen from October to November. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
It cannot tolerate atmospheric pollution.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

P. rubra. (DuRoi.)Link.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Inner bark  Leaves  Seed
Edible Uses: Gum  Tea

Young shoots. An emergency food, used when all else fails[177]. Young male catkins - raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring[172]. Immature female cones - cooked. The central portion, when roasted, is sweet and syrupy[172]. The cones are 3 - 5cm in diameter[82]. Inner bark - dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to cereals when making bread[172]. An emergency food, it is only used when all else fails. Seed - raw[172]. The seed is about 2 - 4mm long[229] and is too small and fiddly to be worthwhile unless you are desperate[172]. A refreshing tea, rich in vitamin C, can be made from the young shoot tips[172, 257]. A gum is exuded from the tree as a result of injury to the sapwood. It is used for chewing[46, 61, 171].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Pectoral  Poultice

A tea made from the boughs has been used in the treatment of colds and to 'break out' measles[222, 257]. The pitch from the trunk has been used as a poultice on rheumatic joints, the chest and the stomach in order to relieve congestion and pain[222]. A decoction of the bark has been used in the treatment of lung complaints and throat problems[257].

Our new book Edible Shrubs is now available.

Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

Read More

Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses

Basketry  Fibre  Gum  Pitch  Wood

The bark has been used to make baskets[257]. Pitch can be obtained from the trunk[257]. The roots have been used to make thread for sewing baskets, canoe skins etc[257]. Wood - straight-grained, soft, light, not strong[46, 61, 171, 229]. It weighs 28lb per cubic foot[235]. Used for boxes, sash frames etc. It is also valued for its use in the pulp industry to make paper[46, 61, 171, 229] and is commonly used to produce stringed musical instruments[229].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Screen, Specimen. Likes abundant moisture at the roots, if grown in drier areas it must be given a deep moist soil[11]. Tolerates poor peaty soils[200]. Succeeds in wet cold and shallow soils but is not very wind-firm in shallow soils[1]. Resists wind exposure to some degree[200]. A shallow-rooted tree, in the wild it is often blown down by strong winds[229]. Prefers a pH between 4 to 6[200]. Dislikes shade[200]. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution[11]. This species has been planted experimentally as a timber crop in N. Europe[50]. It is slow to get started, but can then grow fairly rapidly when established though it soon slows down and seems to be fairly short-lived in cultivation, around 100 years is probably the limit[185]. Wild trees live about 300 - 400 years[229]. In some upland areas, especially over granitic or other base-poor soils, growth rate and health have been seriously affected by aluminium poisoning induced by acid rain[200]. Seed production commences when the tree is about 15 years old, though reliable crops are not produced for another 5 - 10 years[229]. Heavy crops occur every 4 - 6 years[229]. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly[200]. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus[200]. Closely related to and hybridizes in the wild with P. mariana[229]. It is believed by some botanists to be a hybrid between P. mariana and P. glauca[226]. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance[200]. The crushed leaves are redolent of apples or camphor[185]. Special Features: North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

image

The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now

Propagation

Seed - stratification will probably improve germination so sow fresh seed in the autumn in a cold frame if possible[80]. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible in a cold frame[78]. A position in light shade is probably best[78]. Seed should not be allowed to dry out and should be stored in a cool place[80]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. They can be planted out into their permanent positions in early summer of the following year, or be placed in an outdoor nursery bed for a year or so to increase in size. They might need protection from spring frosts. Cuttings of semi-ripe terminal shoots, 5 - 8cm long, August in a frame. Protect from frost. Forms roots in the spring[78]. Cuttings of mature terminal shoots, 5 - 10cm long, September/October in a cold frame. Takes 12 months[78]. Cuttings of soft to semi-ripe wood, early summer in a frame. Slow but sure.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Picea abiesNorway SpruceTree30.0 2-7 FLMHNMWe21 
Picea asperataChinese SpruceTree40.0 - MLMHNDM20 
Picea brachytylaSargent SpruceTree40.0 7-10 FLMHNM20 
Picea brewerianaWeeping Spruce, Brewer spruceTree15.0 5-9 SLMHNM20 
Picea engelmanniiMountain Spruce, Engelmann spruceTree20.0 3-7 MLMHNMWe22 
Picea glaucaWhite Spruce, Black Hills Spruce, Canadian SpruceTree15.0 2-6 FLMHNMWe22 
Picea glehniiSakhalin SpruceTree30.0 4-7 FLMHNMWe20 
Picea jezoensisYezo SpruceTree35.0 - MLMHNM21 
Picea marianaBlack Spruce, Swamp SpruceTree20.0 3-5 SLMHNMWe22 
Picea omorikaSerbian SpruceTree25.0 4-7 FLMHNMWe20 
Picea orientalisCaucasian SpruceTree20.0 4-7 FLMHSNM20 
Picea pungensBlue Spruce, Colorado SpruceTree20.0 3-7 MLMHNDM20 
Picea purpureaPurple-Coned SpruceTree45.0 4-7 MLMHNM20 
Picea sitchensisSitka SpruceTree50.0 6-7 FLMHNMWe22 
Picea smithianaMorinda SpruceTree30.0 6-9 SLMHNM20 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment

Author

Sarg.

Botanical References

1143200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Picea rubens  
All the information contained in these pages is Copyright (C) Plants For A Future, 1996-2012.
Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567,
Web Design & Management
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.