Picea smithiana
Common Name: morinda spruce 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Pinaceae
Native Range: Himalayas
Zone: 7 to 8
Height: 70.00 to 100.00 feet
Spread: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zone 7 (possibly 6) where it may be grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. If attempted in the St. Louis area, it should be sited in a protected location. Best performance is in climates with somewhat cool summers. Plants may struggle in the heat and humidity of the deep south.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Picea smithiana, commonly called Morinda spruce (also Western Himalayan spruce in reference to its geographical range) is a tall, pyramidal, needled conifer with horizontal branching and drooping branchlets that typically grows to 70-100' (occasionally in the wild to 200') tall. It is native to the western Himalayas from Afghanistan to Nepal and Tibet. Needle-like green leaves (to 1 1/2” long) surround the branches and are four-angled in cross section. Tree bark is a scaly gray. Shiny, brownish-purple, female cones (to 6" long) are pendulous.

Genus name is reportedly derived from the Latin word pix meaning pitch in reference to the sticky resin typically found in spruce bark.

Specific epithet honors the gardener (Smith) in Hopetoun, Scotland who reportedly was the first to grow this tree in Scotland in the 1820s.

Morinda is in reference to the Nepalese name for this tree.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Spruces are generally 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.

Uses

Large ornamental specimen tree for the landscape.