Spruces are prized for their color and distinct form that holds up well even with age. White spruces are symmetrical, formal-looking trees with strong wood and dense foliage made up of short, square needles. They’re more spire-like than their Colorado Blue cousins. White spruces are bred from trees native to the Northern US and Canada, making them very cold tolerant. Smaller mutation of Dwarf Alberta that forms a dense cone shape. Avoid planting on hot, sunny southwestern exposures, and protect from winter sun and wind. They prefer moderately moist, well-drained soil but perform well in clay soils of the Midwest. They can be planted in most average soils in the area with enough moisture during establishment. Avoid pruning lower branches, they will help shade and cool the soil. Effective as windbreaks.Because they’re slow growing (no more than 12-15 inches per year), Spruces form a dense habit that rarely needs pruning. If needed, prune just the new growth in the spring as it is forming. Photos courtesy of Monrovia.