it's not a locative "there" though, "there is" is a correct English wording indicating existence. Either "there is a strange spruce in the park" or "in the park there is a strange spruce" are idiomatic English, whereas "a strange spruce is in the park" or "in the park is a strange spruce" sound quite stilted.
I didn't mean to stop there! Like someone else wrote, you need to say and write "there is a strange spruce". You can't leave out "there". Many other languages have similar constructions. When you translate between languages, sometimes the wording will differ quite a bit, since the grammar and expressions are different between languages. The purpose of a translation is to express the same meaning from one language to another, not to translate word by word cause many times the translation then wouldn't make any sense in the language you translate into.