White Spruce Cat Spruce Skunk Spruce Labrador Spruce
=Habitat and Range.=--Low, damp, but not wet woods; dry, sandy soils,
high rocky slopes and exposed hilltops, often in scanty soil.
Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, through the provinces of Quebec and
Ontario to Manitoba and British Columbia, northward beyond all
other trees, within 20 miles of the Arctic sea.
Maine,--frequent in sandy soils, often more common than P. rubra, as
r south as the shores of Casco bay; New Hampshire,--abundant around
the shores of the Connecticut river, disappearing southward at
Fifteen-Mile falls; Vermont,--restricted mainly to the northern
sections, more common in the northeast; Massachusetts,--occasional in
the mountainous regions of Berkshire county; a few trees in Hancock (A.
K. Harrington); as far south as Amherst (J. E. Humphrey) and Northampton
(Mrs. Emily H. Terry), probably about the southern limit of the species;
Rhode Island and Connecticut,--not reported.
West through the northern sections of the northern tier of states
to the Rocky mountains.
=Habit.=--A handsome tree, 40-75 feet high, with a diameter of 1-2 feet
at the ground, the trunk tapering slowly, throwing out numerous
scattered or irregularly whorled, gently ascending or nearly horizontal
branches, forming a symmetrical, rather broad conical head, with
numerous branchlets and bluish-green glaucous foliage spread in dense
planes; gum bitter.
=Bark.=--Bark of trunk pale reddish-brown or light gray, on very old
trees ash-white; not as flaky as the bark of the red spruce, the scales
smaller and more closely appressed; young trees and small branches much
smoother, pale reddish-brown or mottled brown and gray, resembling the
fir balsam; branchlets glabrous; shoots from which the leaves have
fallen marked by the scaly, persistent leaf-cushions; new shoots pale
fawn-color at first, turning darker the second season; bark of the tree
throughout decidedly lighter than that of the red or black spruces.
=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds scaly, ovoid or conical, about 1/4 inch
long, light brown. Leaves scattered, stout as those of P. rubra or
very slender, those on the lower side straight or twisted so as to
appear on the upper side, giving a brush-like appearance to the twig,
about 3/4 of an inch long; bluish-green, glaucous on the new shoots,
needle-shaped, 4-angled, slightly curved, bluntish or sharp-pointed,
often mucronate, marked on each side with several parallel rows of dots,
malodorous, especially when bruised.
=Inflorescence.=--April to May. Sterile flowers terminal or axillary, on
wood of the preceding season; distinctly stalked; cylindrical, 1/2 an
inch long; anthers pale red: fertile flowers at or near ends of season's
shoots; scales pale red or green, spirally imbricated, broader than
long; margin roundish, entire or nearly so; each scale bearing two
=Fruit.=--Cones short-stalked, at or near ends of branchlets, light
green while growing, pale brownish when mature, spreading, 1-2-1/2
inches long, when closed cylindrical, tapering towards the apex,
cylindrical or ovate-cylindrical when open, mostly falling the first
winter; scales broad, thin, smooth; margin rounded, sometimes
straight-topped, usually entire.
=Horticultural Value.=--A beautiful tree, requiring cold winters for its
finest development, the best of our New England spruces for ornamental
and forest plantations in the northern sections; grows rapidly in moist
or well-drained soils, in open sun or shade, and in exposed situations.
The foliage is sometimes infested by the red spider. Propagated from
1. Branch with sterile flowers.
2. Stamen, front view.
3. Stamen, side view.
4. Branch with fertile flowers.
5. Cover-scale and ovuliferous scale, outer side.
6. Ovuliferous scale with ovules, inner side.
7. Fruiting branch.
8. Open cone.
9. Seed with ovuliferous scale.
11. Cross-sections of leaves.
=Tsuga Canadensis, Carr.=