Spruce
Overview
 
A spruce is a tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

 of the genus Picea (icon), a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen
Evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

 trees in the Family Pinaceae
Pinaceae
Pinaceae are trees or shrubs, including many of the well-known conifers of commercial importance such as cedars, firs, hemlocks, larches, pines and spruces. The family is included in the order Pinales, formerly known as Coniferales. Pinaceae are supported as monophyletic by its protein-type sieve...

, found in the northern temperate
Temperate
In geography, temperate or tepid latitudes of the globe lie between the tropics and the polar circles. The changes in these regions between summer and winter are generally relatively moderate, rather than extreme hot or cold...

 and boreal
Boreal ecosystem
The term boreal is usually applied to ecosystems localized in subarctic and subantarctic zones, although Austral is also used for the latter....

 (taiga
Taiga
Taiga , also known as the boreal forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests.Taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome. In North America it covers most of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States and is known as the Northwoods...

) regions of the earth. Spruces are large trees, from 20 – tall when mature, and can be distinguished by their whorled
Whorl (botany)
In botany, a whorl is an arrangement of sepals, petals, leaves, or branches in which all the parts are attached at the same point and surround or wrap around the stem.There are four whorls in a general flower...

 branches and conical
Cone (geometry)
A cone is an n-dimensional geometric shape that tapers smoothly from a base to a point called the apex or vertex. Formally, it is the solid figure formed by the locus of all straight line segments that join the apex to the base...

 form. 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
Pulvinus
A pulvinus is a joint-like thickening at the base of a plant leaf or leaflet that facilitates growth-independent movement. It consists of a core of vascular tissue within a flexible, bulky cylinder of thin-walled parenchyma cells...

.
Encyclopedia
A spruce is a tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

 of the genus Picea (icon), a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen
Evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

 trees in the Family Pinaceae
Pinaceae
Pinaceae are trees or shrubs, including many of the well-known conifers of commercial importance such as cedars, firs, hemlocks, larches, pines and spruces. The family is included in the order Pinales, formerly known as Coniferales. Pinaceae are supported as monophyletic by its protein-type sieve...

, found in the northern temperate
Temperate
In geography, temperate or tepid latitudes of the globe lie between the tropics and the polar circles. The changes in these regions between summer and winter are generally relatively moderate, rather than extreme hot or cold...

 and boreal
Boreal ecosystem
The term boreal is usually applied to ecosystems localized in subarctic and subantarctic zones, although Austral is also used for the latter....

 (taiga
Taiga
Taiga , also known as the boreal forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests.Taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome. In North America it covers most of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States and is known as the Northwoods...

) regions of the earth. Spruces are large trees, from 20 – tall when mature, and can be distinguished by their whorled
Whorl (botany)
In botany, a whorl is an arrangement of sepals, petals, leaves, or branches in which all the parts are attached at the same point and surround or wrap around the stem.There are four whorls in a general flower...

 branches and conical
Cone (geometry)
A cone is an n-dimensional geometric shape that tapers smoothly from a base to a point called the apex or vertex. Formally, it is the solid figure formed by the locus of all straight line segments that join the apex to the base...

 form. 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
Pulvinus
A pulvinus is a joint-like thickening at the base of a plant leaf or leaflet that facilitates growth-independent movement. It consists of a core of vascular tissue within a flexible, bulky cylinder of thin-walled parenchyma cells...

. The needles are shed when 4–10 years old, leaving the branches rough with the retained pulvinus (an easy means of distinguishing them from other similar genera, where the branches are fairly smooth).

Spruces are used as food plants by the larva
Larva
A larva is a distinct juvenile form many animals undergo before metamorphosis into adults. Animals with indirect development such as insects, amphibians, or cnidarians typically have a larval phase of their life cycle...

e of some Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera is a large order of insects that includes moths and butterflies . It is one of the most widespread and widely recognizable insect orders in the world, encompassing moths and the three superfamilies of butterflies, skipper butterflies, and moth-butterflies...

 species; see list of Lepidoptera that feed on spruces. They are also used by the larvae of gall adelgid
Gall Adelgid
Gall adelgid refers to adelgid species that produce galls in spruce trees, conifer species. Such galls can be produced by an infection by Adelges cooleyi , a species of aphid-like woolly adelgids ...

s (Adelges species).

Scientists have found Norway Spruce
Norway Spruce
Norway Spruce is a species of spruce native to Europe. It is also commonly referred to as the European Spruce.- Description :...

 in the mountains in western Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, nicknamed Old Tjikko
Old Tjikko
Old Tjikko is a 9,550 year old Norway Spruce tree, located on Fulufjället Mountain of Dalarna province in Sweden. Old Tjikko is the world's oldest living individual clonal tree, however, there are many examples of much older clonal colonies , such as "Pando", estimated to be over 80,000 years...

, which at an age of 9,550 years are claimed to be the world's oldest known living trees.

Classification

DNA analyses have shown that traditional classifications based on the morphology
Morphology (biology)
In biology, morphology is a branch of bioscience dealing with the study of the form and structure of organisms and their specific structural features....

 of needle and cone
Conifer cone
A cone is an organ on plants in the division Pinophyta that contains the reproductive structures. The familiar woody cone is the female cone, which produces seeds. The male cones, which produce pollen, are usually herbaceous and much less conspicuous even at full maturity...

 are artificial. A recent study found that P. breweriana had a basal
Basal (phylogenetics)
In phylogenetics, a basal clade is the earliest clade to branch in a larger clade; it appears at the base of a cladogram.A basal group forms an outgroup to the rest of the clade, such as in the following example:...

 position, followed by P. sitchensis, and the other species were further divided into three clade
Clade
A clade is a group consisting of a species and all its descendants. In the terms of biological systematics, a clade is a single "branch" on the "tree of life". The idea that such a "natural group" of organisms should be grouped together and given a taxonomic name is central to biological...

s, suggesting that Picea originated in North America.

Species

There are thirty-five named species of spruce in the world.
  • Clade I
  • Picea breweriana Brewer's Spruce. Klamath Mountains
    Klamath Mountains
    The Klamath Mountains, which include the Siskiyou, Marble, Scott, Trinity, Trinity Alps, Salmon, and northern Yolla-Bolly Mountains, are a rugged lightly populated mountain range in northwest California and southwest Oregon in the United States...

    , North America
    North America
    North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

     and Turkey
    Turkey
    Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

    ; local endemic
    Endemic (ecology)
    Endemism is the ecological state of being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation or other defined zone, or habitat type; organisms that are indigenous to a place are not endemic to it if they are also found elsewhere. For example, all species of lemur are endemic to the...

    .

  • Clade II
  • Picea sitchensis Sitka Spruce. Pacific Coast of North America
    North America
    North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

    ; the largest species, to 95m tall; important in forestry
    Forestry
    Forestry is the interdisciplinary profession embracing the science, art, and craft of creating, managing, using, and conserving forests and associated resources in a sustainable manner to meet desired goals, needs, and values for human benefit. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands...

    .

  • Clade III
  • Picea engelmannii  Engelmann Spruce. Western North America
    North America
    North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

    n mountains; important in forestry
    Forestry
    Forestry is the interdisciplinary profession embracing the science, art, and craft of creating, managing, using, and conserving forests and associated resources in a sustainable manner to meet desired goals, needs, and values for human benefit. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands...

    .
  • Picea glauca White Spruce. Northern North America
    North America
    North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

    ; important in forestry
    Forestry
    Forestry is the interdisciplinary profession embracing the science, art, and craft of creating, managing, using, and conserving forests and associated resources in a sustainable manner to meet desired goals, needs, and values for human benefit. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands...

    .

  • Clade IV
  • Picea brachytyla
    Picea brachytyla
    Picea brachytyla is a species of conifer in the Pinaceae family.It is found only in China.It is threatened by habitat loss.-Source:* Conifer Specialist Group 1998. . Downloaded on 10 July 2007....

    Sargent's Spruce. Southwest China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

    .
  • Picea chihuahuana Chihuahua Spruce. Northwest Mexico
    Mexico
    The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

     (rare).
  • Picea farreri
    Picea farreri
    Picea farreri is a species of conifer in the Pinaceae family.It is found in possibly China and Myanmar. The only confirmed occurrence is in the Fen-Shui-Ling Valley on the Myanmar-China border.It is threatened by habitat loss and logging....

    Burmese Spruce. Northeast Burma, southwest China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

     (mountains).
  • Picea likiangensis
    Picea likiangensis
    Picea likiangensis is a species of conifer in the Pinaceae family.It is found in Bhutan and China.-References:* Conifer Specialist Group 1998. . Downloaded on 10 July 2007....

    Likiang Spruce. Southwest China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

    .
  • Picea martinezii Martinez Spruce. Northeast Mexico
    Mexico
    The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

     (very rare, endangered).
  • Picea maximowiczii
    Picea maximowiczii
    Japanese Bush Spruce is a species of conifer in the pine family. It is endemic to Japan; its range is limited to Mount Fuji and the Yatsugatake Mountains on Honshu.-Source:...

    Maximowicz Spruce. Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

     (rare, mountains).
  • Picea morrisonicola
    Picea morrisonicola
    Picea morrisonicola is a species of conifer in the Pinaceae family.It is found only in Taiwan.It is threatened by habitat loss.-Source:* Conifer Specialist Group 2000. . Downloaded on 10 July 2007....

    Yushan Spruce . Taiwan
    Taiwan
    Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

     (high mountains).
  • Picea neoveitchii
    Picea neoveitchii
    Picea neoveitchii is a species of conifer in the Pinaceae family.It is found only in China.It is threatened by habitat loss.Picea neoveitchii is an endemic pine species of central China. Several scattered communities and individuals can be found growing on the south slope of Qinling Mountain in...

    Veitch's Spruce. Northwest China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

     (rare, endangered).
  • Picea orientalis Caucasian Spruce or Oriental Spruce . Caucasus
    Caucasus
    The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

    , northeast Turkey
    Turkey
    Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

    .
  • Picea purpurea
    Picea purpurea
    Picea purpurea is a species of conifer in the Pinaceae family.It is found only in China.-References:* Conifer Specialist Group 1998. . Downloaded on 10 July 2007....

    Purple Spruce. Western China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

    .
  • Picea schrenkiana Schrenk's Spruce. Mountains of central Asia
    Asia
    Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

    .
  • Picea smithiana Morinda Spruce. Western Himalaya.
  • Picea spinulosa Sikkim Spruce. Eastern Himalaya.
  • Picea torano
    Picea torano
    Picea torano, commonly known as the Tiger-tail Spruce, is a species of conifer in the genus Picea. It is native to Japan.-Synonyms:* Abies torano* Abies polita* Picea polita Carrière* Pinus polita...

    Tiger-tail Spruce. Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

    .
  • Picea wilsonii
    Picea wilsonii
    Picea wilsonii is a species of conifer in the Pinaceae family.It is found only in China.-References:* Conifer Specialist Group 1998. . Downloaded on 10 July 2007....

    Wilson's Spruce . Western China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

    .

  • Clade V
  • Picea abies Norway Spruce. Europe
    Europe
    Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

    ; important in forestry
    Forestry
    Forestry is the interdisciplinary profession embracing the science, art, and craft of creating, managing, using, and conserving forests and associated resources in a sustainable manner to meet desired goals, needs, and values for human benefit. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands...

    . The original Christmas tree
    Christmas tree
    The Christmas tree is a decorated evergreen coniferous tree, real or artificial, and a tradition associated with the celebration of Christmas. The tradition of decorating an evergreen tree at Christmas started in Livonia and Germany in the 16th century...

    .
  • Picea alcoquiana
    Picea alcoquiana
    Picea alcoquiana is a species of conifer in the Pinaceae family.It is native only to Japan.-References:* Conifer Specialist Group 1998. . Downloaded on 10 July 2007....

    ("P. bicolor") Alcock's Spruce. Central Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

     (mountains).
  • Picea alpestris Norway Spruce, Alpine Spruce. The Alps
    Alps
    The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

     in Europe
    Europe
    Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

    ; rare, often treated as a variant of P. abies (and hybridises with it) distinct cones.
  • Picea asperata Dragon Spruce. Western China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

    ; several varieties.
  • Picea crassifolia
    Picea crassifolia
    Picea crassifolia is a species of conifer in the Pinaceae family.It is found only in China.-References:* Conifer Specialist Group 1998. . Downloaded on 10 July 2007....

    . China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

    .
  • Picea glehnii
    Picea glehnii
    Picea glehnii is a species of conifer in the Pinaceae family.It is found in Japan and Russia. It was named after Russian botanist Peter von Glehn.-References:* Conifer Specialist Group 1998. . Downloaded on 10 July 2007....

    Glehn's Spruce. Northern Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

    , Sakhalin
    Sakhalin
    Sakhalin or Saghalien, is a large island in the North Pacific, lying between 45°50' and 54°24' N.It is part of Russia, and is Russia's largest island, and is administered as part of Sakhalin Oblast...

    .
  • Picea jezoensis Jezo Spruce. Northeast Asia
    Asia
    Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

    , Kamchatka
    Kamchatka Peninsula
    The Kamchatka Peninsula is a peninsula in the Russian Far East, with an area of . It lies between the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Sea of Okhotsk to the west...

     south to Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

    .
  • Picea koraiensis Korean Spruce. Korea
    Korea
    Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

    , northeast China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

    .
  • Picea koyamae Koyama's Spruce. Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

     (mountains).
  • Picea mariana Black Spruce. Northern North America
    North America
    North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

    .
  • Picea meyeri Meyer's Spruce. Northern China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

     (from Inner Mongolia to Gansu).
  • Picea obovata Siberian Spruce. North Scandinavia
    Scandinavia
    Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

    , Siberia
    Siberia
    Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

    . Often treated as a variant of P. abies (and hybridises with it) but distinct cones.
  • Picea omorika Serbian Spruce. Serbia
    Serbia
    Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

     and Turkey
    Turkey
    Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

    ; local endemic
    Endemic (ecology)
    Endemism is the ecological state of being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation or other defined zone, or habitat type; organisms that are indigenous to a place are not endemic to it if they are also found elsewhere. For example, all species of lemur are endemic to the...

    ; important in horticulture.
  • Picea pungens Blue Spruce or Colorado Spruce. Rocky Mountains
    Rocky Mountains
    The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

    , North America
    North America
    North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

    ; important in horticulture.
  • Picea retroflexa
    Picea retroflexa
    Picea retroflexa is a species of conifer in the Pinaceae family.It is found only in China.It is threatened by habitat loss.-Source:* Conifer Specialist Group 1998. . Downloaded on 10 July 2007....

    . China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

    .
  • Picea rubens Red Spruce. Northeastern North America
    North America
    North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

    ; important in forestry
    Forestry
    Forestry is the interdisciplinary profession embracing the science, art, and craft of creating, managing, using, and conserving forests and associated resources in a sustainable manner to meet desired goals, needs, and values for human benefit. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands...

    . Known as Adirondack
    Adirondack
    __notoc__Adirondack may refer to:*Adirondack Mountains, *Adirondack County, New York, a proposed county in New York...

     in musical instrument making.


Timber

Spruce is useful as a building wood, commonly referred to by several different names including North American timber, SPF (spruce, pine, fir) and whitewood
Whitewood
Whitewood can be:*The wood of spruce trees.*A species of Seagrape, Coccoloba krugii*An endemic tree from the island of St Helena, Petrobium*An Australian rainforest tree, Elaeocarpus kirtonii*An Australian rainforest tree, Elaeocarpus obovatus...

. Spruce wood is used for many purposes, ranging from general construction work and crates to highly specialised uses in wooden aircraft, and as a tonewood
Tonewood
Tonewood generally refers to any wood which may be used in the construction of a musical instrument. Many acoustic properties are often assigned to specific wood species; however the description of these properties is itself a large subject and beyond the scope of this article...

 in many musical instruments, including guitar
Guitar
The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with...

s, mandolin
Mandolin
A mandolin is a musical instrument in the lute family . It descends from the mandore, a soprano member of the lute family. The mandolin soundboard comes in many shapes—but generally round or teardrop-shaped, sometimes with scrolls or other projections. A mandolin may have f-holes, or a single...

s, cello
Cello
The cello is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is a member of the violin family of musical instruments, which also includes the violin, viola, and double bass. Old forms of the instrument in the Baroque era are baryton and viol .A person who plays a cello is...

s, violin
Violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

s, and the soundboard
Sounding board
A sound board, or soundboard, is the surface of a string instrument that the strings vibrate against, usually via some sort of bridge. The resonant properties of the sound board and the interior of the instrument greatly increase loudness over the string alone.The sound board operates by the...

 at the heart of a piano
Piano
The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal...

 and the harp
Harp
The harp is a multi-stringed instrument which has the plane of its strings positioned perpendicularly to the soundboard. Organologically, it is in the general category of chordophones and has its own sub category . All harps have a neck, resonator and strings...

. The Wright brothers
Wright brothers
The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur , were two Americans credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903...

' first aircraft, the Flyer
Wright Flyer
The Wright Flyer was the first powered aircraft, designed and built by the Wright brothers. They flew it four times on December 17, 1903 near the Kill Devil Hills, about four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, U.S.The U.S...

, was built of spruce.

Because this species has no insect or decay resistance qualities after logging, it is generally recommended for construction purposes as indoor use only (ex. indoor drywall framing). Spruce wood, when left outside can not be expected to last more than 12–18 months depending on the type of climate it is exposed to.

Pulpwood

Spruce is one of the most important woods
Pulpwood
Pulpwood refers to timber with the principal use of making wood pulp for paper production.-Applications:* Trees raised specifically for pulp production account for 16% of world pulp production, old growth forests 9% and second- and third- and more generation forests account for the balance...

 for paper uses, as it has long wood fibres which bind together to make strong paper. The fibres are thin walled and collapses to thin bands upon drying. Spruces are commonly used in mechanical pulping as they are easily bleached
Bleaching of wood pulp
Bleaching of wood pulp is the chemical processing carried out on various types of wood pulp to decrease the color of the pulp, so that it becomes whiter. The main use of wood pulp is to make paper where whiteness is an important characteristic...

. Together with northern pine
Pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

s northern spruces are commonly used to make NBSK
NBSK
NBSK is an acronym for Northern bleached softwood kraft, the paper industry's benchmark grade of pulp. Market NBSK is produced mainly in Canada and the Nordic countries. Some NBSK is also produced in north-western USA and in Russia. NBSK futures are traded on the Chicago Mercantile...

. Spruces are cultivated
Plantation
A plantation is a long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale, often in distant markets rather than for local on-site consumption...

 over vast areas as pulpwood.

Food and medicine

The leaves and branches, or the essential oils, can be used to brew spruce beer
Spruce beer
Spruce beer is a beverage flavored with the buds, needles, or essence of spruce trees. Spruce beer can refer to either alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages....

 . The tips from the needles can be used to make spruce tip syrup . Native Americans in New England also used the sap to make a gum which was used for various reasons, and which was the basis of the first commercial production of chewing gum
Chewing gum
Chewing gum is a type of gum traditionally made of chicle, a natural latex product, or synthetic rubber known as polyisobutylene. For economical and quality reasons, many modern chewing gums use rubber instead of chicle...

. In survival situations spruce needles can be directly ingested or boiled into a tea. This replaces large amounts of vitamin C. Also, water is stored in a spruce's needles, providing an alternative means of hydration . Spruce can be used as a preventative measure for scurvy
Scurvy
Scurvy is a disease resulting from a deficiency of vitamin C, which is required for the synthesis of collagen in humans. The chemical name for vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is derived from the Latin name of scurvy, scorbutus, which also provides the adjective scorbutic...

 in an environment where meat is the only prominent food source .

Other uses

The resin
Resin
Resin in the most specific use of the term is a hydrocarbon secretion of many plants, particularly coniferous trees. Resins are valued for their chemical properties and associated uses, such as the production of varnishes, adhesives, and food glazing agents; as an important source of raw materials...

 was used in the manufacture of pitch
Pitch (resin)
Pitch is the name for any of a number of viscoelastic, solid polymers. Pitch can be made from petroleum products or plants. Petroleum-derived pitch is also called bitumen. Pitch produced from plants is also known as resin. Products made from plant resin are also known as rosin.Pitch was...

 in the past (before the use of petrochemical
Petrochemical
Petrochemicals are chemical products derived from petroleum. Some chemical compounds made from petroleum are also obtained from other fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas, or renewable sources such as corn or sugar cane....

s); the scientific name Picea is generally thought to be derived from Latin , pitch (though other etymologies have been suggested).

Native Americans in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 use the thin, pliable roots of some species for weaving basket
Basket
A basket is a container which is traditionally constructed from stiff fibres, which can be made from a range of materials, including wood splints, runners, and cane. While most baskets are made from plant materials, other materials such as horsehair, baleen, or metal wire can be used. Baskets are...

s and for sewing together pieces of birch
Birch
Birch is a tree or shrub of the genus Betula , in the family Betulaceae, closely related to the beech/oak family, Fagaceae. The Betula genus contains 30–60 known taxa...

 bark for canoe
Canoe
A canoe or Canadian canoe is a small narrow boat, typically human-powered, though it may also be powered by sails or small electric or gas motors. Canoes are usually pointed at both bow and stern and are normally open on top, but can be decked over A canoe (North American English) or Canadian...

s. See also Kiidk'yaas
Kiidk'yaas
Kiidk'yaas, also known as the Golden Spruce, was a Sitka Spruce tree, Picea sitchensis 'Aurea', that grew on the banks of the Yakoun River in Haida Gwaii archipelago, British Columbia...

 for an unusual golden Sitka Spruce sacred to the Haida people.

Spruces are also popular ornamental trees in horticulture
Horticulture
Horticulture is the industry and science of plant cultivation including the process of preparing soil for the planting of seeds, tubers, or cuttings. Horticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of plant propagation and cultivation, crop production, plant breeding and genetic...

, admired for their evergreen, symmetrical narrow-conic growth habit. For the same reason, some (particularly Picea abies and P. omorika) are also extensively used as Christmas tree
Christmas tree
The Christmas tree is a decorated evergreen coniferous tree, real or artificial, and a tradition associated with the celebration of Christmas. The tradition of decorating an evergreen tree at Christmas started in Livonia and Germany in the 16th century...

s.

Spruce branches are also used at Aintree racecourse, Liverpool, to build several of the fences on the Grand National course. It is also used to make sculptures and Christmas trees.

Etymology

The word "spruce" entered the English language from Old French
Old French
Old French was the Romance dialect continuum spoken in territories that span roughly the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium and Switzerland from the 9th century to the 14th century...

 , the name of Prussia
Prussia (region)
Prussia is a historical region in Central Europe extending from the south-eastern coast of the Baltic Sea to the Masurian Lake District. It is now divided between Poland, Russia, and Lithuania...

. Spruce was a generic term for commodities brought to England by Hanseatic
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

merchants and the tree was believed to have come from Prussia. According to a different theory, some suggest that it may however be a direct loanword from a Polish expression which literally means "[tree / timber] from Prussia". That would suggest that the late mediaeval Polish-speaking merchants would import the timber to England and the English would pick up the expression from them.

External links

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