The white spruce of the South Dakotan Black Hills differs enough from its relatives that it is usually given its own varietal name. The cones are shorter, the needles a beautiful blue-grey, and the whole habit of the tree is tight and extremely attractive, which is why it is used in America as a Christmas tree and a garden ornamental.
Because this local variety could also be suitable for small gardens in Finland, a large batch of seeds was ordered in 1993 from seed collector Dean Swift. The collection was made in the Black Hills National Forest at between 1200-1500m elevation, where the climate is very cold but rather more continental than in Finland. The resulting trees have been growing since the year 2000 in a small stand in the western part of the Arboretum. After some early problems they have developed into densely beautiful young trees with bluish needles. It seems that the Black Hills spruce, adapted to a continental climate, is best suited to the eastern parts of Finland. To date, their northern hardiness limit is undefined.