The black spruce is one of seven indigenous species in North America. Like the white spruce, it is to be found throughout North America, with the exception of the west coast. The height of the black spruce will vary according to the type of terrain. In a moist environment, its growth is slower and it will develop to a height of roughly 20 metres (65 ft.), whereas in a well-drained environment, it may reach 30 metres (98 ft.).
Generally, the black spruce can be found in lowland stations, where the soil is black and thick, but unlike the white spruce, it is not very tolerant of shade. However, like the white spruce, the roots of the black spruce grow close to the surface, which means that the tree is liable to be uprooted by strong winds.
For their purposes, the pulp and paper and lumber industries consider the black spruce to be one of the most important species on the North American continent. Indeed, it was seen as a major source of national wealth at the beginning of the 20th century, the quality of its fibre being superior to that of other species. The black spruce is also used for the manufacture of spruce beer, employing a manufacturing technique that goes back to the days of the first French settlers.