Conifer, evergreen, generally tall and symmetrical, usually pyramidal or conical. Nearly 40 species in the genus, mostly confined to colder regions in the Northern Hemisphere. A peg-like stalk supports each leaf (needle) and they remain when leaves fall. Spruce needles usually 4-sided, sometimes flat. Cones mostly hanging. Many cultivars occur within some species, e.g., P. abies, P. glauca, P. pungens.
Picea: an ancient Latin word for the spruces, derived from pix, a word for pitch.
Fir flat needles (usually) and friendly (to the touch, usually, but Spanish Fir is sharp pointed)
Spruce sharp, square (needles in cross-section, usually)
Pine in packages (needles in groups of 2, 3, 5, rarely one)