The Norway or Norwegian spruce is, as its name implies, native to Scandinavia, but it can also be found in the northwest of Russia and in central Europe. This tree grows in mountainous regions and typically grows up to 60 feet tall, though some trees have been known to grow to 120 feet or taller. Smaller specimens are often used as Christmas trees.
Like all types of spruce, the Norwegian spruce is an evergreen that has needles instead of broad leaves. It is considered a fast-growing tree and does best in full sunlight, though it is not particular about the type of soil. In the United States, it thrives in hardiness zones 3 to 7.
The wood of the spruce is called whitewood or deal and is used in home decor, roofing and pulp for papermaking. The tree is also an excellent source of turpentine, and the wood is used for musical instruments. The shoots are also used for medicinal purposes.
The tree flowers in May, and the long, oval cones mature from green to brown throughout the summer and fall. They grow to about 5 or 6 inches in length. The needles are hard and pointed, and the reddish-brown bark tends to flake into scales.