Good seed production of red spruce usually begins after the tree is 30 years old. Heavy seed crops occur every three to eight years. Spruce seedlings have exceptionally slow growing, fibrous, shallow roots. Consequently, a critical survival factor in natural establishment is the depth of the organic layers on which the seed germinates. If the thickness of the layer exceeds two inches, the roots of spruce seedlings may not reach mineral soil and the moisture needed to carry them through dry periods. Red spruce is very shade tolerant, but requires nearly full sun light for optimum development.
Red spruce can be established in nurseries as easily as any of the other spruces. It is used some for reforestation in the northeast.
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