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Description + Attributes:

The Black Hills spruce is the state tree of South Dakota, and for good reason. This variety of the more widespread white spruce is found naturally only in southwest South Dakota and a small portion of northeast Wyoming. In fact, it is the only spruce native to the Black Hills region.

While not as widely known as other spruces, one tree expert claims that it is “ornamentally superior to the standard white spruce” and can be planted just about anywhere that the more common Colorado spruce will grow.

  • Offers a denser, more compact habit than the white spruce.
  • Is adapted to cold and is very resistant to winter injury.
  • Features dark green to blue-green needles that are somewhat rigid, sharply pointed and roughly –¾" in length. They are spirally arranged on the branch.
  • Yields cylindrical tan cones that are 1–2" long and mature in a single season. They appear in July and may persist through January.
  • Requires little pruning.
  • Grows in a pyramidal shape.
  • Works well as a windbreak/shelterbelt, privacy screen, accent planting, group planting in recreation areas and public grounds and even as a Christmas tree.
  • Cannot tolerate flooding and is sensitive to soil compaction.


Tree Type



Mature Size

Height 30’-60’ & Width 15’-25’


Growth Rate

Slow - <12”/year


Wildlife Value

Nesting, Winter Cover, & Food Source for Birds, Small Animals & Deer



Full Sun/Partial Shade

Acidic, Moist, gravelly, sandy loam, or fine clay soils

Drought Tolerant

Blackhills Spruce -1 Quart

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