The Tiger Tail spruce or Alcock’s Spruce (Picea torana) is a broad pyramidal-shaped tree with spreading branches. The genus name, is derived from the word pix in reference to the sticky resin typically found on most spruce bark. All spruce cones hang and point downward. In contrast to pine cone scales, spruce cone scales are thin. Because the tiger spruce is intolerant of most air pollutants, it would be less suited for city planting. The branch tips are pendulous like tiger tails. It was described first in 1855 and introduced in the West by JG Veitch in 1861.
Common name: Tiger Tail Spruce, Alcock’s Spruce
Scientific Name (family and order): Picea torana ‘Koehne’ (Picea polita [Siebold & Zucc.] Carr.) (Pinaceae, Pinales)
Species Origin: Southern Japan
New Jersey Status: USDA not listed
Habit: 90’ tall, conical in shape.
Habitat: Grows in volcanic sites
Trunk/Stem: Straight stem with exfoliating bark.
Leaves: Evergreen, needle-like. Needles bright green, 1’ long stiff and very sharp pointed; needles radiate out all around the bright yellow-brown twigs. The rigid verticaly flattened glossy-green needles have the shapest spine tips of any spruce; they penetate skin.
Fruits and seeds: Cones 5 – 7 “ long.
documented on 1959 map of the park