The Norway Spruce is native to the European Alps, with its range extending north into Scandinavia. It was introduced to the British Isles in the 16th century, and then to the Americas in the 19th century. It was planted mainly in the northeastern United States, southeastern Canada, the Pacific Coast, and the Rocky Mountain States. These trees thrive in stands of the same species, or with several others, including beeches and firs. They tend to grow in moderate temperate zones, with rich, well-drained clay/loam soil with moderate moisture content. They have relatively high drought and fire resistance.
Origin, history, and uses:
The Norway Spruce was first introduced to the Americas sometime in the 18th century, and was distributed across the northeastern United States, upwards into Canada, and also in the Pacific Coast and Rocky Mountain States. This tree has been used historically for windbreaks and shelterbreaks in western prairies, as well as an ornamental species. Famously, the Rockefeller Center in New York City displays an enormous Norway Spruce at Christmas every year, with the tallest standing over 100 feet tall.
The Norway Spruce is a wind-pollinated gymnosperm, with a monoecious reproductive set-up. This means that the plant has both male and female cones on the same plant. The pollen produced by the male cones is carried by the wind to reach fertilize the female cone. The seeds are then also wind dispersed, often not father than the height of the tree. The seeds germinate shortly after reaching soil. The plant repoductive cycle begins in mid-summer for the Norway Spruce, and then remains dormant through the winter after having released its seeds.