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Picea mariana (Mill.) Britton & al.
This is the "black spruce".  It is a very successful species which manages to survive on
permafrost and thrive in areas where permafrost is either absent or where seasonal thawing
is significant.  The tree is stunted and often deformed on permafrost but given favorable
conditions it often grows to considerable height and in youth often has the pyramidal shape
associated with the white spruce, Picea glauca.

ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 183302









1.  Typical stunted black spruce on permafrost.

2.  Late July photo showing struggling black
spruce trees.  Young spruce in foreground has
new cones near the top with smaller dried
male cones below.

3.  Late May photo of a robust pair of black spruce
growing in an area of discontinuous permafrost.
Buds in the treetops will soon produce new
cones and stems with needles.

4.  Twin-topped black spruce with cones.
Note the extra stem on the left visible in the
large photo

5.  There are cones from several years present
in this treetop photographed  in late may
including unopened cones from last year.

6.  A young black spruce in a favorable location
with old cones, male cones (red) at an early
stage and leaf buds.

7.  Black spruce surrounded by paper birches
in an area not subject to permafrost.

8.  Closer view of the spruce at the left with
female cones  especially at the top.  There are
a few of the smaller male cones near the bottom
of the photo

9.  Extreme telephoto shot of the top of the
spruce at the left.

10.  Female cone just out of bud stage
surrounded by older cones.

11.  Female cones with bud scales clinging
to some.  Also leaf buds.

12.  Female cones just out of the bud stage above
with an area of male cones below.

13.  Female cones and leaf buds in mid-June.

14.  Male cones in mid-June.

15.  Male Cones with pollen in mid-june.

16.  An older photo of the male spruce cone
opening. The red color will fade.

17.  Branch with male cones and last year's
mature female cones below.

18.  Female cones with dripping sap in late
June. The new needles have not yet spread.

19.  Male and Female cones on a side branch.
In this case the male cone is above the
female and has begun to dry.

20.  Late August picture of mature cones.  Note
cones at end of branch lower on tree.

21.  Closeup photo of cones on tree at left.
Dark mature cones are typical of this species.

22.  Young black spruce growing in thin layer
of soil above granite bedrock. Note strange
cone-like structure at mid-left.

23.  Similiar discoloration on what appear to be
leaf buds.

24.  Closeup of affected cone-like structure and
affected leaf bud below.

25.  Closeup of affected bud

26.  Normal expanding leaf buds.


27.  This is a frame from a Quicktime movie
taken after tapping one of these affected buds.

28.  This is a fungus infestation on spruce.
similar in color to that on the previous photos.
Forest Service-Spruce Broom Rust

29.  Late May view of the "witch's broom".
This broom is dead, there are no buds.

30.  Mid-June view of an active "Witch's

31.  The fungus is just beginning to affect the
buds.  Needles will form, the rust will cover
them and they will fall off.

32.  View of the entire active "broom"

33.  Late July photo of Spindly dying spruce
with a healthy spruce in the background.

34.  Cone from healthy tree in front of dying
tree. Note the difference in size.

35.  Late September photo, the needles have
turned white and have fallen from the tree.

36.  Top: a cone from the healthy spruce.
Bottom: cones from the dying spruce,
decreasing in age from left to right.

37.  Spruce pitch leaking from a damaged
area on a tree.

38.  May 14, 2009.  A very young black spruce.

39.  February 28, 2009.  Unopened Female cones
from 2008 with the remains of the male cones
on the lower branches.

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