The Oriental spruce (Picea orientalis) is native to Asia Minor, in particular the Caucasus and adjacent northeast Turkey. This evergreen slowly grows into a large tree with a narrow shape and hanging branches. This tree has the shortest needles of all spruces ( .5″). They are 4-sided with a blunt tip and dark green. Cones are slender with rounded scales and found at the ends of branches. The tree is often used as a Christmas tree. The bark is brown with peeling thin scales. Introduced to Europe in 1837.
Specimen Provenance: #529. Picea orientalis (L.) Link; Tree died
Common name: Oriental Spruce, Caucasian Spruce, Eastern Spruce
Scientific Name (family and order): Picea orientalis (L.) Link (Pinaceae, Pinales)
Species Origin: Caucasus, N.E. Turkey
New Jersey Status: USDA not listed
Habit: 100 – 180’ tall x 50’; Narrowly, slender dense, conical.
Habitat: Zones 4 – 7; mountain forests.
Trunk/Stem: Bark pinkish brown, flaking in small plates.
Leaves: Evergreen, soft, short needle-like leaves, 5/16” long, that are rigid, blunt-tipped (but also described as soft), four-sided, glossy dark green pointing forward all around hairy whitish to pale brown shoots..
Flowers: Monoecious. Male cones red opening yellow; female cones red in separate clusters on the same plant in spring.
Fruits and seeds: A cylindrical, hanging cone, 4” long purple ripening to brown. Cone marked with resin.