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White Spruce vs Norway Spruce

These species are sometimes confused, although they are usually relatively easy to distinguish. In cold regions, they are both widely planted in landscaping.

White Spruce (Picea glauca)

Norway Spruce (Picea abies)

A conifer native to North America, with a northerly distribution; often found on richer sites than other spruces.
Native to Europe, and widely planted in northeastern North America, occasionally established in the wild. The spruce in North America with the widest growth habit.
Foliage pale bluish.
Photo © Derek, CC BY 4.0.
Foliage dark green.
Photo © Mark Apgar, CC BY 4.0.
Shorter cones (usually 2.5-6cm.) Each cone scale is smoothly rounded at the apex.
Photo © Shawn Treelife, Public Domain.
Longer cones (usually 12-16cm.) Each cone scale is notched at the apex.
Photo © Derek, CC BY 4.0.
Foliage upright.
Photo © Ben Armstrong, CC BY 4.0.
Foliage drooping, often strongly.
Photo © Mark Apgar, CC BY 4.0.
Slightly pointier crown, slightly narrower spread at base. Lower branches more horizontal. More erect foliage usually visible in silhouette.
Photo © Mary Krieger, CC BY 4.0.
Slightly rounder crown, slightly broader spread especially at base. Lower branches descending. Droopy foliage usually visible in silhouette.
Photo © johnyochum, CC BY 4.0.