Norway Spruce in Windbreaks

Norway Spruce ----Picea Abies

The Norway Spruce is our favorite and best large evergreen for windbreaks.

The Norway Spruce is a fast growing (2-3' per year) evergreen that has dark green needles that are 1 inch long. It never drops its needles but keeps them on for up to 10 years. Its branches extend to the ground, giving excellent wind protection. It is a native of Europe where it grows throughout the region.

It will grow to 100+ ft tall and 25+ ft wide, it is very wind firm due to its large spreading root system, and tough flexible wood. It does live a very long life in windbreaks of over 100 years old in most soils. Due to its shape, heavy snow and ice storms cause little damage. Deer will not normally eat this species unless there is nothing else available.

It will grow well in hardiness zones from 2-7 with some sites in the southern areas being too warm for this spruce as they enjoy colder climates better. I have seen them growing in a variety of soils and does well in clay soils where pine and fir would not do well. They will grow in a soil PH of up to 9 but does prefer a 7.5 and lower for best growth rates. It is able to take more moisture than other species and should be considered where soils can stay moist and where the land is level and does not drain as well.

In areas where the summer can be hot and dry (Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming) they will not do well unless they have adequate moisture, for best growth rates they should have 25" of rain per year or more. They Norway Spruce have few disease problems unless stressed. Fungal diseases that effect other spruces do not usually effect it, and insect pests occur rarely except on older or stressed trees.

A 2' tall potted tree can be over 10 ft tall in 5 years, in good soil, with adequate moisture and weed and grass control around the base. Spacing- single row 14' apart, double row 16' apart, multiple rows 20 'or more apart with the trees staggered from the other row.

Here in Iowa and in most of the US it is a superior windbreak tree and I highly recommend it.


Size after 4 years and 2 months (12ft) from potted tree (18"-24")

Norway Spruce Sizes
18"-24" bare-root - $4.00
18"-24" - Potted - $14.00
2'-3' - Potted - $20.00
3'-4' - Potted - $29.00
4'-5' - Potted - $38.00

Back to NorwaySpruce.com