Red spruce grows best in a cool, moist climate. The climate of the northeastern part of its range can be summarized as follows: annual precipitation (total), 910 to 1320 mm (36 to 52 in); annual snowfall, 203 to 406 cm (80 to 160 in); days with snow cover, 100 to 140; January temperature, -7° to -1° C (20° to 30° F) maximum and -18° to -13° C (0° to 8° F) minimum; July temperature, 21° to 27° C (70° to 80° F) maximum, and 11° to 14° C (52° to 58° F) minimum; frost-free days, 90 to 150 (28). Red spruce attains maximum development in the higher parts of the southern Appalachian Mountains where the atmosphere is more humid and the rainfall heavier during the growing season than in other parts of its range (47). Local extension of the range of red spruce, as along the southern Maine coast, is related to marine exposure, which provides a cool growing season and ample moisture supply (8).
- Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods. Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp. http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm