What white spruce looks like

Size and shape

  • Usually grows to be 24 metres tall.
  • Under ideal conditions can grow to more than 30 metres tall.
  • Trunk can reach about 60 centimetres in diameter.


  • About 2 centimetres long.
  • Bluish green or green in colour, with a whitish powdery, waxy layer.


  • Grey-brown in colour with a flaky texture.


  • 5 to 7 centimetres long.
  • Light brown in colour.

Where white spruce is found

White spruce grows throughout much of Ontario. It is a common tree in the north, growing well in the Far North and can be found along the arctic tree line.

What you need to know to grow white spruce

  • Moisture: tolerates a range of moisture levels.
  • Soil: can grow in almost any soil type.
  • Shade: tolerates shade.
  • Caution: white spruce is sensitive to frost damage when young and should be planted in a protected area.

Benefits and uses of white spruce

Wildlife benefits

Bark, branches, buds and seeds are food for deer, rabbits, porcupines, birds, and small rodents.

Commercial uses

Wood from the white spruce is used to make wood pulp and lumber. They are also grown as Christmas trees.

Current research

To learn about our research on white spruce, visit our science publications catalogue and search for “white spruce.”

Fun facts about white spruce

  • White spruce usually lives between 250 and 350 years but trees up to 1,000 years have been documented.
  • White and black spruce are difficult to tell apart, but white spruce has larger cones and longer needles than black spruce.