TREES & plants

Black Hills spruce

Cones and branches of Black Hills spruce.
Black Hills spruce is a small- to medium-height tree with a dense habit and broad, pyramidal form. It is a good addition to residential landscapes or for use in windbreaks.
Botanical name: 
Picea glauca var. densata
All Common Names: 
Black Hills spruce
Family (English): 
Family (Botanic): 
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
  • Evergreen (foliage year-round)
Native Locale: 
  • North America
Planting Site: 
  • Residential and parks
Landscape Uses: 
  • Screen, 
  • Specimen, 
  • Windbreak
Size Range: 
  • Medium tree (25-40 feet), 
  • Small tree (15-25 feet)
Mature Height: 
20-40 feet
Mature Width: 
10-15 feet
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 3, 
  • Zone 4, 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago)
Soil Preference: 
  • Acid soil, 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Acid Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Intolerant
Salt Spray: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Poor Drainage: 
  • Intolerant
Season of Interest: 
  • Early winter, 
  • Mid winter, 
  • Late winter, 
  • Early spring, 
  • Mid spring, 
  • Late spring, 
  • Early summer, 
  • Mid summer, 
  • Late summer, 
  • Early fall, 
  • Mid fall, 
  • Late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Inconspicuous
Shape or Form: 
  • Round
Growth Rate: 
  • Moderate
Transplants Well: 
  • Yes
  • Browsers, 
  • Nesting birds, 
  • Songbirds
More Information: 

Tree & Plant Care

Tolerates a wide range of conditions.

Disease, pests, and problems

Mites, bagworms and sawfly are potential pests.

Native geographic location and habitat

Found in the Black Hills area of South Dakota.

Bark color and texture 

Scaly bark, silvery-gray in color.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Evergreen needles, green to blue green, brighter than those of the species.  Held singly on the stem.  Foliage is denser than that of the species.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Inconspicuous, male and female flowers on the same tree in different structures (monoecious).

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Pendulous cones, 1 to 2 inches long, brown at maturity.

Picea glauca var. densata or Black Hills spruce