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South Dakota State Tree

Black Hills Spruce Picea glauca var. densata Adopted: March 10, 1947
South Dakota state tree
South Dakota state tree: Black Hills Spruce
North Dakota Tree Handbook

The Black Hills spruce adopted by the South Dakota Legislature is considered a regional variety of white spruce (Picea glauca) found only in the Black Hills of South Dakota. This Black Hills distinction is not universally accepted however.

According to the S.D. Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry:

Black Hills spruce is a variety, or subspecies, of the widely distributed white spruce. White spruce has bluish-green foliage while the Black Hills spruce has a typically denser and a bright bluish-green foliage. Black Hills spruce is also a slower growing species than white spruce. While Black Hills spruce has been given the variety distinction, it is now considered to be a geographical variety, rather than a botanical variety.


The State of South Dakota. South Dakota Codified Laws. Pierre: State of South Dakota. Web. 12 Jul 2011. <http://legis.state.sd.us/statutes/TitleList.aspx>.
Herman, D.E., et al. North Dakota Tree Handbook. Bismarck: USDA NRCS ND State Soil Conservation Committee; NDSU Extension and Western Area Power Administration, 1996. Print.
Shearer, Benjamin F. and Barbara S. State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 3 Sub edition, 2001.

South Dakota state tree
South Dakota state tree: Black Hills Spruce
North Dakota Tree Handbook

Additional Information

State Tree: Black Hills Spruce: South Dakota Department of Transportation: Kid's page.

Black Hills sprucs Picea glauca var. densata: Black Hills Spruce fact sheet from the S.D. Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry, Pierre, SD.

Black Hills Spruceadobe document: North Dakota Tree Handbook.

North Dakota Tree Handbook: North Dakota State University - North Dakota Forest Service.

Black Hills Spruce Picea glauca 'Densata': Monrovia Horticultural Craftsmen.

CalPhotos Photo Database: Photographs of Picea glauca from CalPhotos, a project of the Biodiversity Sciences Technology group (BSCIT), part of the Berkeley Natural History Museums at UC, Berkley.

White spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss: Tree Identification Fact Sheet from the Virginia Tech.

White spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss: Landowner Fact Sheet from the Virginia Tech.

Plant Profile for Picea glauca (Moench) Voss (white spruce): USDA, NRCS. 2011. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 24 July 2011). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

Picea glauca (Moench) Voss (White Spruce): United States Department of Agriculture: Forest Service: Agriculture Handbook 654: Silvics of North America.

Picea glauca var. densata Bailey: Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Here you will find authoritative taxonomic information on spiders, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.

State trees: Complete list of official state trees from NETSTATE.COM.

More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official South Dakota state symbols from NETSTATE.COM.

The Tree Book for Kids and Their Grown Ups

The Tree Book for Kids and Their Grown Ups, by Gina Ingoglia. 96 pages. Publisher: Brooklyn Botanic Garden (October 7, 2008) Reading level: Ages 9-12. How do trees grow? Why do leaves change color? What kind of tree is that? After you and your children read this book, you’ll know! Featuring 33 different trees that grow in North America, The Tree Book’s beautiful illustrations show each tree as it appears in a particular season, as well as life-size depictions of its buds, leaf, flower, fruit, and seed. Histories of each tree bring to life its character and significance to us.

  • Lovely, full-color illustrations on every page
  • Simple-to-understand text, reviewed by the scientists and educators at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • Glossary and resources sections
A Field Guide to Western Trees
A Field Guide
to Western Trees

George A. Petrides

A Field Guide to Western Trees, by George A. Petrides. 448 pages. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Second Edition edition (July 25, 1998) A Field Guide to Western Trees features detailed descriptions of 387 species, arranged in six major groups by visual similarity. The 47 color plates and 5 text drawings show distinctive details needed for identification. Color photographs and 295 color range maps accompany the species descriptions.

Trees of the Northern United States and Canada

Trees of the Northern United States and Canada , by John Laird Farrar. 502 pages. Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (January 16, 1991) Trees of the Northern United States and Canada is the most complete book on the trees of northern North America ever published. It features:

  • More than 300 species of trees and shrubs of the northern United States and Canada.
  • 136 range maps of Canada and the northern United States that show the territory of each species.
  • A new easy tree identification method in which trees are organized into 12 groups based on leaf shape and arrangement along the twig.
  • Keys for both summer and winter identification of trees and shrubs.
  • 600 color photographs and 1600 drawings of special features useful for identification.

Trees for the Northern United States and Canada is a must for the forest professional, landscape architect, amateur naturalist, student, or teacher and for anyone who is fascinated by trees and forests.

The Sibley Guide to Trees
The Sibley Guide
to Trees

David Allen Sibley

The Sibley Guide to Trees, by David Allen Sibley. 426 pages. Publisher: Knopf (September 15, 2009) Monumental in scope but small enough to take into the field, The Sibley Guide to Trees is an astonishingly elegant guide to a complex subject. It condenses a huge amount of information about tree identification—more than has ever been collected in a single book—into a logical, accessible, easy-to-use format.

With more than 4,100 meticulous, exquisitely detailed paintings, the Guide highlights the often subtle similarities and distinctions between more than 600 tree species—native trees as well as many introduced species. No other guide has ever made field identification so clear.