White Spruce vs Black Spruce | What is the difference?

White spruce

White spruce(Picea glauca) is one of the famous large coniferous evergreen trees. It is also known as Canadian spruce, skunk spruce, cat spruce, Black Hills spruce, western white spruce, Alberta white spruce, and Porsild spruce. 

Picea glauca is softwood, softwood simply denotes woods that are soft. Their density is less than hardwood.

Black spruce

Black Spruce (Picea mariana) is native to Northern North America but widespread across Canada. It is a small upright evergreen coniferous tree. The length of its tree is less than white spruce. So that it does not produce large lumber.

Picea mariana is an excellent choice for cold northern climates and is tolerant of wet sites. 

White and black spruce both play an important role in the Canadian economy. It is widely cultivated in Canada.

#White spruceBlack spruce
Scientific Name: Picea glaucaPicea mariana
Native to:Northern North AmericaNorthern North America
Tree Size:30- 34 m (100- 110 ft) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter5–15 m (15–50 ft) tall, 1-1.5 ft (.3-.5 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 27 lbs/ft3 (425 kg/m3)28 lbs/ft3 (450 kg/m3)
Janka Hardness: 480 lbf (2,140 N)520 lbf (2,320 N)
Crushing Strength:4,730 lbf/in2 (32.6 MPa)5,410 lbf/in2 (37.3 MPa)
Workability:Very GoodVery Good
Uses: Paper (pulpwood), construction lumber, millwork, and crates.Pulp, fuel, Christmas trees, and other products (beverages, medical salves, aromatic distillations).

White Spruce vs Black Spruce Uses

White Spruce uses

Christmas tree: White Spruce tree is cone-shaped. It is widely used as a Christmas tree. Because of their short, stiff needles and evenly spaced branches.

Go board: It is used to make Go or Weiqi boards.  It is a board game for two players in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent. This game is very popular in Japan.

Wild food: White Spruce (Picea glauca) is a good source of wild food.

Black Spruce uses

Fuelwood: It can be used as firewood. However, its BTU value is not very high. So that it does not produce much heat during burning.

Common uses

Both White Spruce and Black Spruce are very close to each other. The wood is lightweight, soft, and moderately strong.

There are some common uses of these woods, which are as follows.

Paper (pulpwood): White Spruce and Blake Spruce are used in the paper industry. The Paper industry uses wood as raw material to produce pulp and paper. According to the quality of the paper, many types of wood are used. 

Such as pine for cardboard and maple and oak wood are used for making toilet paper.

Construction lumber:  This wood is moderately strong. So being used for making cross-laminated timber. Cross-laminated allows high strength due to the right cross structure.

Millwork:  They can be used for millwork. Because of their great workability, lightweight, and low density.

Crates: To make quality boxes and crates, the wood should be light and strong. So White Spruce and Black Spruce are good choices for making crates and boxes.

White Spruce vs Black Spruce Tree

Spruce Tree cones
White Spruce TreeBlack Spruce Tree
Tree: White spruce has a narrow crown, It grows to 30- 34 m (100- 110 ft) tall, with a trunk diameter of up to 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m). It generally occurs on well-drained soils.

They require little care and grow in a variety of colors, such as yellow and silvery blue. The color depends on their environment.

Bark: Younger trees have bark that is thin and gray. while Mature bark is loose, scaly, and greyish-brown.

It can be easily peeled off with your hands.
Needles: Needles are four-sided, and stiff, and attached individually to the branches. Needle tips are pointed but not sharp. It is 12 to 20 mm long. It is silver-green.
Whitish-green Young needleless, not pleasant smelling, As they mature, they emit a pleasant scent.

Cones: Young cones are green or reddish, maturing to pale brown 4 to 8 months after pollination. They are hanging from the upper branches.
Trees can begin producing seeds at 4 years of age. The seed remains on the tree for about 12 to 18 months. It can be 1inch (2.5 cm) to 2½ inches (6 cm) long. 
Tree: Black spruce tree does not grow very high, 5–15 m (15–50 ft) tall, with a trunk diameter of up to 1-1.5 ft (.3-.5 m). 

Its trees have a straight trunk, narrow, pointed crown, compact, drooping branches with upturned tips.

Bark: The young tree has smooth and reddish-brown bark but as the tree grows older it becomes dark grayish-brown, irregularly shaped, thin scales. 

Needles: The leaves are needle-like, The needles are attached individually to the branches. A branch is 1.5–4 cm (1⁄2–1+1⁄2 in) long and 1–2 cm (1⁄2–3⁄4 in) broad. Whereas the needle is 6–15 mm (1⁄4–9⁄16 in) long.
Its needles are dark bluish-green on upper sides, paler glaucous green below.

Cones: It is a cone-producing tree. The cones of Black Spruce are the smallest of all species, 1.5–4 cm (1⁄2–1+1⁄2 in) long and 1–2 cm (1⁄2–3⁄4 in) broad. 

They are egg-shaped to nearly round, they are dark purple, ripening to red-brown. It becomes dark brown when it matures. Cones are produced in dense clusters in the upper crown.

Wood Color

The wood of the White Spruce is fine, uniform texture, creamy-white with a yellowish tone, straight-grained, soft, and light in weight.

Black spruce wood is similar to white spruce. There is not much difference in their texture. The wood is creamy white or straw-colored. Black spruce wood has a fine, even texture and is straight-grained. 

Work with White Spruce and Black Spruce

Easily to work with White Spruce and Black Spruce. Both are soft and have straight grain patterns, fewer knots are present. Easy to work with hand and machine tools. Glues and finishes well. 

White Spruce vs Black Spruce Growth Rates

White Spruce trees grow at a medium to fast, with height increases of 12–24 inches (1 to 2 ft ) per year. The tree grows over 8 ft tall in 5 years in good soil.

Black Spruce grows slowly. It grows to about 6 to 12 inches (1/2 to 1 ) per year. The ideal soil for black spruce is a loose loam or sandy loam.