Is Serbian Spruce Toxic to Dogs?

Serbian spruce (Picea omorika) is non-toxic to dogs and is safe to keep in homes with pets as long as precautions are taken.

What is Serbian spruce?

Family Pinaceae – Pine
Botanical name Picea omorika
Common names Serbian spruce, Bosnian spruce, Omorica
Mature height 50 – 60 feet (15-18 metres)
Needle retention Good
Scent Citrus
Native to Southeastern Europe
Toxicity Non-toxic

A close relative of the Norway spruce, the Serbian spruce is a medium-sized evergreen with dark green leaves on the top and silver blue on the underside. Serbian spruce grows in a narrow pyramidal shape, with branches that curve upwards and leaves are approximately 1.25 – 2.5 cm (1/2 – 1 inch) long, and rounded at the tip.

As a narrower tree, the Serbian spruce can fit into smaller corners than the Norway spruce. The leaves impart a citrus smell when crushed.

Related: Caring for a Christmas tree


While Serbian spruce is non-toxic to dogs, care must be taken to keep pets safe.

  • Always secure the tree to a wall with fishing wire to prevent it from being toppled over.
  • Unplug Christmas tree lights when they are not in use, or there is nobody there to supervise.
  • Do not place edible decorations on the Christmas tree.
  • Take care with tree preservers, aspirin or fertilisers in the tree water bowl, due to their toxicity and do not let pets drink out of the water reservoir.
  • Place breakable objects higher up on the tree and non-breakable ones lower down.
  • Avoid angel hair tinsel which can be injested and cause a linear foreign body obstruction.
  • Clean up dropped needles regularly.
  • Do not use fake snow on the tree.

Toxicity of common Christmas trees

Common name

Scientific name

Toxicity level

Norway spruce Picea abies Non-toxic
Blue spruce Picea pungens Non-toxic
Serbian spruce Picea omorika Non-toxic
White spruce Picea glauca Non-toxic
Nordmann fir Abies nordmanniana Non-toxic
Fraser fir Abies fraseri Non-toxic
Douglas fir Pseudotsuga menziesii Non-toxic
Noble fir Abies procera Non-toxic
Balsam fir Abies balsamea Non-toxic
Grand fir Abies grandis Non-toxic
Scotch pine Pinus sylvestris No information available
White pine Pinus strobus No information available
Virginian pine Pinus virginiana Toxic
Norfolk Island pine, house pine Araucaria heterophylla Non-toxic