Norway spruce originated in Europe, despite its name. As people emigrated, they often took Norway spruces with them. Norway Spruce is the most widespread, fastest growing, largest and most disease resistant spruce in the northern hemisphere. Has many uses including lumber, pulpwood, musical instruments, Christmas trees and landscape specimen trees. Its dense branching pattern and tolerance of soil variations has also made it a popular tree for windbreaks.
Culture for Norway Spruce
Typically fast growth reaches to about 60 feet but can reach 100 feet. Thrives in plant hardiness zones of 2 to 7 where there is adequate rainfall of at least 25” per year. Needs full sun. Grows best when the pH is lower, 5 to 7. Maximum growth is achieved when the soil is rich, moist and well drained, but adaptable to all but extreme soil types. Irrigation is often required during summer drought.
Concerns about Norway Spruce
Norway Spruce is the most disease resistant spruce and is affected by few insects, and none serious, such as mites and spruce bud scale. The spread of southern pine beetle locally onto Norway spruce is a concern. Needlecast can cause lower branch dieback. Is generally deer resistant. Can tolerate some drought. Does not like heat, and so is a poor choice for urban sites.
Management Practices for Norway Spruce
Branches resist breakage and little pruning is required for good form. Mulch is very beneficial to spruce root systems. It protects shallow spruce roots from temperature and moisture extremes, increases soil nutrients and aids in building soil structure.