Weeping Norway Spruce

Picea abies

Leaves: Evergreen. Needles are ½-1” long and stiff, with a sharp tip. Light or dark green color, often shiny, with 2 or 3 stripes or lines on each side.

Bark/Twigs: Thin, light to dark gray colored bark on younger trees. Bark on older trees is thick, with small, thin, gray-brown, flaking scales and wide ridges.

Flowers/Fruit: Inconspicuous flowers. Cones are cylindrical, 4-6” long, 1½-2” wide and hang down. Pendulous cones are purple or green in youth, light brown at maturity.

Mature size and shape: Large. 30-60’h x 10-20’w. Pyramidal with pendulous branches. The cultivar ‘Pendula’ has a smaller, unique weeping shape.

General information/special features: Plant in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Best in moderately moist, sandy, acidic, well-drained soil. Prefers a cold climate. Needs regular watering, especially in extreme heat.

Landscape use and Maintenance: Good specimen tree. Norway spruces are more tolerant of hot, humid weather than many other conifers which typically like cool-summer areas. They do not do well in dry soil. Average growing rate. Low maintenance. Prune in early spring. The weeping variety Picea abies ‘Pendula’ makes a good focal point specimen and only grows 12-15 feet.

USDA Hardiness Zone:  3-7

Family/Origin: Pinaceae – Pine. Native to central and eastern Europe.

Campus use: Somewhat uncommon. Can be found on the northeast side of President’s Circle. Weeping variety can be found northwest of Chemistry (Bld 85).

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Oriental Spruce

Picea orientalis

Leaves: Evergreen. Very short needles, ¼-½ “long. Shortest needles of the spruce species. Dark green color.

Bark/Twigs: Brown bark exfoliating in thin scales.

Flowers/Fruit: Inconspicuous flowers. Cones are short-stalked, oval to cylindrical, and 2-4” long, by approximately 1” wide.

Mature size and shape: Large. 50-60’h. Dense, compact, narrow shaped pyramid with horizontal branches.

General information/special features: Plant in full sun. Will tolerate poor, gravelly soils. Protect from harsh winter winds.

Landscape use and Maintenance: Very attractive evergreen ornamental tree. Slow growing rate. Low maintenance.

USDA Hardiness Zone:  4-7

Family/Origin: Pinaceae – Pine. Native to Caucasus, Asia Minor.

Campus use: Somewhat uncommon. Can be found north of Marriott Library (Bld 86). Mature specimens can be found near northeast corner across the street from Public Safety Building (Bld 301).

Blue Spruce

Picea pungens

Leaves: Evergreen. Needles are 4-sided with a diamond-shaped cross section and reach ¾-1¼". Very stiff and sharp, needles grow on all sides of the branches. Fragrant when crushed. Varies from blue-green to silvery-green color.

Bark/Twigs: Light to dark gray bark. Bark is made of grey-black, layered scales. Deep fissures develop in older trunk.

Flowers/Fruit: Inconspicuous flowers during late spring. Light chestnut-brown cones are 2-4" long by 1-1½” wide and papery. Cone scales have ragged edges and are toothed at the tip.

Mature size and shape: Large. 30-60'h x 10-20'w. Grows much larger in nature. Densely pyramidal shape with horizontal branching all the way to the ground. Trees become less dense with age.

General information/special features: Plant in full sun. Moderately shade tolerant. Prefers moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soils. Moderately drought tolerant. Hot dry winds and extreme heat are problems. Over-watering will lead to rapid decline and slower growth. National champion is 122’ by 36’ in Ashley National Forest, UT.

Landscape use and Maintenance: Originally Utah’s official state tree prior to 2014. Use as a specimen or in groups. Makes a good windbreak and visual or sound screen. Slow-medium growing rate. Low maintenance.

USDA Hardiness Zone:  2-7

Family/Origin: Pinaceae – Pine. Native to Utah, the Rocky Mountains and Intermountain states.

Campus use: Extremely common. Can be found on east side of President’s Circle and north of the Bookstore (Bld 67).