Picea glauca 'Densata'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 1 Professionals
Common Name: white spruce
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Pinaceae
Zone: 3 to 6
Height: 20.00 to 40.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer


Best grown in moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Best performance is in cold winter climates with cool summers. Plants will struggle in St. Louis summers and should not be grown in the eastern U. S. south of USDA Zone 6.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Black Hills spruce is a variety of white spruce that is native to a geographically isolated area in and around the Black Hills of South Dakota. It was originally called Picea glauca var. densata, but many experts now designate it as Picea glauca ‘Densata’ because its differences from the species are judged insufficient to justify classification as a botanical variety. In its small native habitat, it is commonly found growing at around 6000’ in elevation. It typically grows rather slowly in a dense, symmetrical cone to 20-25’ tall, but over time may rise to 40-60’ or more. It is distinguished from the species by having (1) smaller size with slower growth rate, (2) denser habit, (3) brighter green to blue-green needles and (4) slightly shorter cones. By reputation in the horticulture industry, Black Hills spruce is a superior ornamental tree to the species. Black Hills spruce is the state tree of South Dakota.


No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to needle and stem rust, canker, trunk and root rot. Yellow-headed spruce sawfly, spruce budworm and eastern spruce beetle are problems in some areas. Spider mites are common.

Garden Uses

Specimen for landscape. Windbreak or screen.