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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Pacocha

Pine, Fir and Spruce Trees….. Do you know the difference?

Updated: Oct 23, 2021

Even though all evergreen trees are routinely called “pine trees” by the casual observer, there are other unique species that deserve to be called by their proper names.  To begin, we can differentiate between evergreen tree species (conifers) by identifying them as being either a Pine, Fir or Spruce tree.  

Pacocha - western yellow pine tree

Pine Tree: Twigs have needles in groups/clusters of two, three or five. Pine tree needles are smooth to the touch and can get very long (12"+/-). It's bark is rough and can be considered somewhat flaky. Pine trees prefer acidic soil. Pine cones are very hard in comparison to softer fir and spruce cones.

Fir Tree: Single, soft, pointy needles on twig and are flat (needles do not roll between fingers). Fir cones stand on top of branch and trees have smooth bark.

Spruce Tree: Single, stiff, pointy needles on twig and are four-sided/square, rolling somewhat easily between fingers. Spruce trees have cones that hang down on branches and have rough bark. Spruce trees can adapt to most soil conditions and are most common in our area.

Pacocha - Spruce with cones

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions you may have.

Pacocha - Manchurian Fir Abies holophylla

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