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Black Hills Spruce are large trees, from 20–60 (–95) m tall when mature. The needles, or leaves, of spruce trees are attached singly to the branches in a spiral fashion, each needle on a small peg-like structure called a pulvinus. The needles are shed when 4–10 years old, leaving the branches rough with the retained pulvini (an easy means of distinguishing them from other similar genera, where the branches are fairly smooth).  Spruces are popular ornamental trees, admired for their evergreen, symmetrical narrow-conic growth habit.