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Woody > Picea > Picea jezoensis > Picea jezoensis

Picea jezoensis

Yezo Spruce,Jezo Spruce, Yeddo Spruce Ezo-matsu (Japanese), El’ ayanskya (Russian), Kamunbi namu (Korean), Yu liny un shan (Chinese)

Origin:  Species name originates from another name for the Japanese island Hokkaido (Yezo). Northeast China: coastal part of Jilin, Russia: Far East, Central Japan: Hokkaido, Honshu, and North Korea.
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Picea jezoensis is a large evergreen tree that grows 30-50 m tall and is native to parts of North Eastern Asia and Japan. There are uses for virtually every part of this tree. The tree itself is a conical shape or broad upright oval shape and is blue/green to grey/white. The cones can appear to be a reddish hue until they are mature becoming a brownish colour they are also very slender looking. It has a slow to medium growth rate of up to 30 cm a year, at 10 years of age, P. jezoensis will attain a height over 4.5 m.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Tree (evergreen)
USDA Hardiness Zone
Canadian Hardiness Zone
RHS Hardiness Zone
Temperature (°C)
-32 - 37
Temperature (°F)
-25 - 98
25 - 35 m
10 - 15 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
The branches have upturned tips coloured blue/green to grey/white; while the tree has a conical shape. The bark can be thin and scaly looking especially in older trees and the cones are slender and are green-reddish, turning brown when mature with flexible scales.
As an ornamental in large gardens.
Grows well in a temperate climate to warm temperate climate. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 - 90 cm. Picea jezoensis is frost tolerant and cold hardy when dormant. Grows well in deep moist soil, tolerates poor peaty soils, and prefers full sun. It can succeed in wet, cold, and shallow soils but is not wind firm in shallow soils. It grows well in pH 4-6 and dislikes shade. Picea jezoensis is also very intolerant of atmospheric pollution.
Its shape is broad upright or oval/conical shape.
ID Characteristic
Needles are a blue/green in colour and the tree is broad, upright or oval/conical in shape.
This evergreen may be susceptible to spruce budworm, wood rot, and brown rot.
Picea jezoensis can be found from near sea level to 2700 m, and in various soils in cold climates that are preferably moist or wet. It is commonly found growing in association with other firs.
Bark/Stem Description
The bark is greyish brown and contains fissures and ridges as the tree ages. The tree peels and sheds its bark in plates.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
The buds can be slightly resinous and are about 5-8 mm in length.
Leaf Description
The foliage is showy as the tree has flat, glossy dark green leaves which are retained all year. The leaves are needle-like and 15-20 mm long, dark green above with no stomata and blue-white to white below with two dense bands of stomata.
Flower Description
Flowers are small but brilliant in colour. The bright red 1-2 cm flowers pop against the green foliage. Usually 3-6 flowers will appear on each mature branch. The flowers are monoecious.
Fruit Description
The cones are small and cylindrical. They are crimson when young and mature into a rich brown. The cones ripen in September to October and bear seeds approximately 5-7.5 cm in length.
Colour Description
The leaves are green/blue and grey/white throughout the year. The bark is greyish brown. The cones start out in spring with a reddish hue and ripen to a brownish colour through the autumn. The seeds are black.
Notable Specimens
A Picea jezoensis bonsai specimen planted in 1939 can be seen at The U.S. National Arboretum in Washington D.C.; in the US National Bonsai and Peijing Museum, established in 1976.
Fresh seeds should be sown during autumn in a cold frame. Cuttings of semi-ripe terminal shoots should be 5-8 cm long collected during August and put into a cold frame, roots should form in the spring. Similarly, cuttings of mature terminal shoots should be 5-10 cm long during September to October and put into a cold frame for about year or so.
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
This tree has many uses and virtually every part of the tree may be utilized. It is used by the pulp and paper industry, for furniture, construction, and wood products. The body of the Tonkori, a stringed instrument used by the Ainu people of Hokkaido, Northern Japan, is made from the Jezo spruce. P. jezoensis can be used as an ornamental in large gardens. Resin from the bark of the tree and essential oils from the leaves are both used medicinally. Many parts of the tree can be used for food; the young male catkins can be eaten raw or cooked; while, immature female cones when cooked or roasted have a centre that is sweet and syrupy. The inner bark can be dried and ground into a powder to be used in soups or added to cereals or bread. The young shoot tips can be made into a tea that is high in vitamin C.