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'Norman Ross' Norway Spruce


Latin Name: Picea abies


Family: Pinaceae

Native Range: Native to western Europe to the Ural Mountains

Seed Source: Large specimen trees planted in the early 1900s at Indian Head Saskatchewan

Height and Spread: 18m x 7m

Overview: The 'Norman Ross' seed strain is excellent for tree planting in non-boreal regions. It is characterized by central branches which spread horizontally and smaller drooping branchlets attached to them. There are a number of mature trees of this strain over 100 years old in the town of Indian Head, Saskatchewan. This seed strain was introduced by Norman Ross, Superintendent of the Dominion Forest Nursery Station from 1901 to 1941, from Europe in the early 1900s. It has proven hardy and adaptable to a wide range of growing conditions in the southern prairies. 

Seeds: Dark brown seeds oblong at base 4 mm long. 

Average number of seeds/packet: 500


Stratification: No stratification required. Water soak 24 hours before sowing.

Ideal sowing time: Non-pretreated seed outdoors in late May.

Sowing instructions: Outdoors - sow 1.0 cm deep, 50 seeds/meter; Greenhouse - sow 3 seeds per cell.

Growing conditions: Norway spruce grows on a wide variety of soils but favours loamy soils with a pH of 5.0 to 7.0. It is shade tolerant but grows best in a sunny exposure.


'Norman Ross' Norway spruce can be used as specimen or shade trees on larger properties or farmyards. The dense shallow roots make it useful for soil stabilization and erosion control on moist sites. Its dense coniferous crown provides excellent habitat for songbirds and thermal cover for mammals. Excellent wood quality for lumber.