Oriental spruce

Picea orientalis

Native range

Native to the Caucasus and the mountains of North-east Asia Minor.

Provenance choice

No provenance testing has been carried out in Britain and there are few forest plots; seed should be sourced from the natural range.

Site requirements

A species that is adapted to warm summers and cold winters and seems to tolerate dry conditions better than Norway or Sitka spruce. Best suited to soils of poor to rich nutrient status and slightly dry to moist soil moisture. Does not tolerate peats but will grow on alkaline soils though less suited to the latter than Serbian spruce. Should be cold hardy throughout Britain but only moderately tolerant of exposure; a very late flushing species and therefore can be used on sites prone to late spring frosts.

Pests and pathogens

Generally considered to be largely disease free when growing in its native range, occasionally affected by some needle cast and rust diseases. However, it has been found to be highly susceptible to Dendroctonus micans (great spruce bark beetle).


Growth rates are generally comparable with Norway spruce. A species which could be considered on sites predicted to become marginal for Sitka or Norway spruce in eastern parts of Britain.