University of Florida

Pinus glabra (Spruce Pine)

Spruce Pine

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  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 8A - 9B
  • Mature Height: 30 to 60 ft
  • Mature Spread: 25 to 40 ft
  • Growth Rate: Slow
  • Availability: Rarely available
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate
  • Salt Tolerance: Poor
  • Light Requirements: Full sun to partial sun.
  • Native Origin: Native to Florida.
  • Soil Drainage: Tolerates well-drained sites to sites with extended flooding.
  • Foliage: Evergreen tree with no showy fall color.
  • Flowers: Yellow, not showy flowers.
  • Pests: The main insect pests are European pine shoot moth, sawfly, pine needle scale, pine tortoise scale, pine spittle bug and spruce mites. Canker diseases may cause dieback.

Description: This heavily-foliated, much-branched evergreen has a bushy, irregular canopy of dark green, soft, two to three-inch, twisted needles and a trunk that often becomes twisted and curved with age. Do not expect a row of Spruce Pine to form a uniformly-shaped canopy of pine needles. The low branches on Spruce Pine make it ideal for use as a windbreak, large-scale screen or specimen, and also creates light shade beneath larger trees.

Although capable of reaching 80 feet in height in the woods, Spruce Pine is often seen at 30 to 50 feet when grown in the open and grows slowly. The reddish grey-brown bark has shallow ridges and furrows. The 2.5-inch-diameter cones remain on the branches for three to four years and are a source of food for wildlife.

Growing in full sun on moist fertile soils, this North American native will also tolerate poor, dry soils, as well as wet sites better than other Pines. Many people forget how picturesque this Pine can become as it grows older. It should be used more as a specimen tree. Pines are deep-rooted except on poorly-drained sites where there will be only shallow roots. Pines grow best on acid soil and are usually not recommended for planting in soil which have a high soil pH. It grows best without grass competition. Spruce Pine is unusual among the Pines in that it will grow in partial shade.

Gainesville Observations: Trees appear well suited for planting in urban landscapes and near power lines. They have grown well in our tests and in the Gainesville area in general. We have encountered no problems. Foliage yellows some in the dormant season but then greens up in summer.

Fact Sheet (pdf)
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