Black spruce grows in North America in a broad belt from Alaska to Newfoundland, and as far south as the Great Lakes. In the southern parts of its range it grows mainly on mires, further north also on drier soils. This is a small slim tree with a narrow cylindrical crown. Needle colour varies: dark green, blue-green, or grey-green. The cones are small and ball-shaped, often growing in tight bunches near the crown, and remaining on the tree for several years. Black spruce can regenerate throughout most of its range by layering from branches in contact with the ground.