Black Spruce Picea mariana
Family: Pinaceae (Pine)
Branching: Evergreen

Black Spruce is typically associated with swampy, boggy areas, where identification is very easy.  Sometimes, though, it grows on upland sites and often overlaps with Red Spruce (hybridization may occur).  In these cases, identification can be difficult.  Black Spruce has the shaggiest bark, hairiest twigs, smallest cones, and shortest needles of the Spruces.  Spruces as a group, though, can be very difficult, and sometimes it's best to simply call it a spruce!

Black Spruce twigs and needles

Closeup of the needles

Another view of the needles, shorter than other spruces

Young Black Spruce bark is very shaggy

Typical growth form of Black Spruce in its swampy home

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copyright © 2008 Josh Sayers
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