Norway Spruce

Picea abies

  1. Wildlife
  2. Trees and shrubs
  3. Norway Spruce


The Norway Spruce is a tall, evergreen conifer, originally from Scandinavia that was introduced into the UK in the 16th century. Familiar to us all as the traditional 'Christmas tree', the Norway Spruce is a common sight across the UK's landscape, cultivated in plantations for the Christmas tree market and for timber products.

How to identify

Spruce trees differ from firs by having downwards hanging cones, and from pine trees by having shorter needles. The Norway Spruce has longer cones than the Sitka Spruce; the female cones are reddish-brown and cigar-shaped.

Where to find it

Widespread, planted for forestry particularly in the lowlands.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Although plantations of introduced tree species are often considered to be poor for biodiversity, they can, in fact, support a range of wildlife from Red Squirrels to Firecrests. The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves sympathetically for wildlife by ensuring a range of appropriate tree species provide food and shelter. You can help too: volunteer for The Wildlife Trusts and you could be involved in everything from traditional forest crafts to raising awareness about woodland wildlife.

Species information

Common name
Norway Spruce
Latin name
Picea abies
Trees and shrubs
Height: up to 50m Pine cone length: 15-20cm
Conservation status
Introduced species.