Black Spruce

Abies Nigra  • 

Photo: Black Spruce

Photo: Black Spruce
Photo: Black Spruce
Photo: Black Spruce

General description

Black Spruce is a coniferous evergreen tree, native to northern North America, from Newfoundland west to Alaska, in a geographical region known as the taiga forest. 

It is a small up-right, slow growing tree (up to 25 m), with a narrow trunk, four sided dark blue-green needles and a thin bark. The fruits are small purple cones turning brown to dark grey at maturity. They are gathered in thick clusters in the upper crown of the trees and persist for several years protecting the seeds within. 

Plant requirements

Common names include ‘Bog spruce’ and ‘Swamp Spruce’ as Black Spruce forests develop most successfully in peat bogs and swamps, on soils naturally poor in nutrients.

Its root system is shallow and spreads widely in the first 15 cm of organic soil. 


The tree is bad at ‘self-pruning’ and will keep its lower dead branches for years.

Practical use

Due to the small diameter of its trunk, black spruce has rarely been used for its timber. It has been used traditionally in Canada for pulpwood and as such is still widely commercialised. 

The trees were also commonly used as Christmas trees although they have become a lot less popular due to the fact that they lose their needles as soon as they have been fell.

Black Spruce essential oil has a fresh-balsamic, oily-sweet coniferous aroma, with a fruity-resinous undertone. The effect of the fragrance is calming, clearing and elevating - a excellent essential oil for aerial dispersion and to enhance yoga and meditation.  

In terms of its chemical constituents, the essential oil is rich in monoterpenes including alpha- and beta-pinene, delta-3-carene, camphene, l-alpha-phellandrene; and esters including bornyl acetate.

Reported to be analgesic, counterirritant, stimulant and vulnerary, decoctions of Black Spruce were a traditional North American folk remedy for cough, catarrh, dyspnoea, sore throat, rheumatic pain, arthritis, dyspepsia, boils, abrasions and minor wounds. 

Clinical signs for Abies Nigra are costiveness, cough, indigestion, belching, hemorrhage, hypochondriasis, Malarial feverishness, effects of Tea and nicotine.

It is a chief remedy for the dyspepsia and constipation of the aged people, symptoms after the abuse of tea or tobacco, with pain in the pit of the stomach. Pain always comes after eating. There is a sensation of no appetite in the morning but craving for food at noon and night’ along with erructations with dyspepsia. There is a sensation of some indigestible substance stuck in the stomach with restlessness at night. Patient is normally awake and restless at night with hunger.


Variety of
Giant Fir (Abies grandis)
1 - 1000 cm
Soil type