USA Official State Tree of South Dakota


White Spruce

"> (Pinaceae Picea glauca)
Adopted in 1947.


The Black Hills spruce, Pinaceae Picea glauca, a member of the evergreen family, is the state tree. The pyramid-shaped tree is characterized by dense foliage of short, blue-green needles and slender cones.

White spruce also known as Canadian spruce, skunk spruce, cat spruce, Black Hills spruce, western white spruce, Alberta white spruce, and Porsild spruce, is adapted to a wide range of edaphic and climatic conditions of the Northern Coniferous Forest. The wood of white spruce is light, straight grained, and resilient. It is used primarily for pulpwood and as lumber for general construction.

  • Leaf: Evergreen, stiff, 1/3 to 3/4 inch long, green to blue-green in color, square in cross section. When crushed a pungent odor is apparent. Needle tips are pointed, but not sharp.
  • Flower: Monoecious; males reddish but turning yellow; females purple.
  • Fruit: Cones are 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long, cigar-shaped, light brown in color. Scales are rounded with entire margins. Maturing in August.
  • Twig: Slender, light brown or pale, sometimes glaucous, hairless. Needles borne on woody pegs.
  • Bark: Thin, gray-brown in color, smooth, later flaky or scaly.
  • Form: Conical, medium-sized trees.
Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom Plantae -- Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta ? Seed plants
Division Coniferophyta ? Conifers
Class Pinopsida ?
Order Pinales ?
Family Pinaceae ? Pine family
Genus Picea A. Dietr. ? spruce
Species Picea glauca (Moench) Voss ? white spruce


Dendrology at Virginia Tech
U.S. Department of Agriculture