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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

White Spruce - Picea glauca

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
See rank details.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    White Spruce (Picea glauca) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 05/25/2012
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    Score1-2 - Small to Moderate. Population size is imprecisely known but is believed to be >2,000 individuals and <100,000 individuals.

    CommentHybrids with P. engelmannii are common in some areas, though "pure" P. glauca appears to be rare in Montana.

    Range Extent

    Score1 - Peripheral, Disjunct or Sporadic Distribution in MT: Widespread species that is peripheral, disjunct or sporadically distributed within MT such that it occurs in <5% of the state (<7,500 sq. miles or the combined area of Beaverhead and Ravalli Counties) or is restricted to 4-5 sub-basins.

    Area of Occupancy

    Score0-1 - Moderate to High. Occurs in >10 Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s), though the species' distribution is not sufficiently documented to place it within one class.

    Environmental Specificity

    Score1 - Moderate: Species is restricted to a specific habitat that is more widely distributed or to several restricted habitats and is typically dependent upon relatively unaltered, good-quality habitat (C Values of 5-7).


    Score0-1 - Stable to Minor Declines:


    Score0 - Low: Impacts, if any, to the species are expected to be minor or insignificant (affecting <10% of populations) in severity, scope and immediacy.

    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    Score0 - Low Vulnerability: Species does not have any unusual or specific life history or biological attributes or limted reproductive potential which makes it susceptible to extirpation from stochastic events or other adverse impacts to its habitat and thus slow to recover.

    Raw Conservation Status Score

    Score 3 to 6 total points scored out of a possible 19.

General Description
Small tree to 30 m tall with a conical crown. Bark gray-brown. Leaves 1–2 cm long. Seed cones 25–60 mm long. Scales fan-shaped, widest near the entire-margined tip (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Although Lesica (2012) reports only one specimen from Carbon County, Taylor (1993 in Fl. N. Amer. Vol. 2) indicates the species extends south into MT from BC and AB, and the Rocky Mountain Herbarium Specimen Database indicates 15 specimens from MT, most collected in the past twenty years, including Carbon, Gallatin, Madison, Park, Sweet Grass, and Stillwater counties; AK to NL south to MT, CO, SD, WI, and NY (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).


  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Daubenmire, R. 1974. Taxonomic and ecological relationships between Picea glauca and Picea engelmannii. Canadian Journal of Botany 52:1545-1560.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
    • Little, E.L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agriculture Handbook No. 541. U.S. Forest Service, Washington, D.C. 375 pp.
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Citation for data on this website:
White Spruce — Picea glauca.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from