Red Spruce - Picea rubens
Like the black spruce, this conifer has four sided needles attached to hairy twigs. However, the needles of the red spruce are yellowish-green and curved. Red spruce wood is often used in the manufacturing of string instruments. Red spruce is less widely-spread throughout Ontario than white or black spruce, and prefers well-drained soils. Squirrels and seed-eating birds enjoy the seeds of the red spruce in the fall.
Note the curved, yellow-ish needles of the red spruce. The new twigs and needles can be boiled to make spruce beer! Phot by Chris Earley.
The reddish-brown to reddish-black bark of the red spruce has thin scales which make it susceptible to fire. It is usually lighter in shade than black spruce bark. Photo by Chris Earley.
Mature cones can be 3-5cm long with easily detached scales. Photo by Sean Fox.
Ontario Tree Atlas map of non-planted Red Spruce. 1995-1999.