Common Name(s): White Spruce

Scientific Name: Picea glauca

Distribution: Northern North America

Tree Size: 110 ft (34 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 27 lbs/ft3 (425 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .33, .43

Janka Hardness: 480 lbf (2,140 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 8,640 lbf/in2 (59.6 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,315,000 lbf/in2 (9.07 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 4,730 lbf/in2 (32.6 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.7%, Tangential: 8.2%, Volumetric: 13.7%, T/R Ratio: 1.7


Color/Appearance: White Spruce is typically a creamy white, with a hint of yellow.

Grain/Texture: White Spruce has a fine, even texture, and a consistently straight grain.

Rot Resistance: Heartwood is rated as being slightly resistant to non-resistant to decay.

Workability: Easy to work, as long as there are no knots present. Glues and finishes well, though it can give poor (blotchy and inconsistent) results when being stained due to its closed pore structure. A sanding sealer, gel stain, or toner is recommended when coloring Spruce.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Spruce in the Picea genus has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include skin irritation and/or respiratory disorders. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Construction grade spruce is cheap and easy to find. However, quartersawn clear pieces—free from knots—can be more expensive. White Spruce is occasionally used for piano soundboards, requiring clear quartersawn pieces.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.

Common Uses: Paper (pulpwood), construction lumber, millwork, and crates.

Comments: None.

Related Species:

  • Black Spruce (Picea mariana)
  • Engelmann Spruce (Picea engelmannii)
  • Norway Spruce (Picea abies)
  • Red Spruce (Picea rubens)
  • Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis)

Related Articles:

  • Separating Spruce and Other Lookalikes


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