Spruce Facts

Spruce Facts
Spruce is a type of evergreen coniferous tree that belongs to the family of pines. Oldest known fossil of spruce (its pollen) originates from Paleocene and it was found on the territory of North America from where this plant most probably originates. There are 35 species of spruce today that can be found in temperate and boreal regions of the northern hemisphere. Spruce is mostly cultivated as ornamental plant and as source of high-quality wood.
Interesting Spruce Facts:
Most species of spruce grow to the height of 60 to 200 feet. Sitka spruce is the tallest species of spruce that can reach 300 feet in height.
Spruce tree is conical in shape thanks to whorled branches. Tree grows very fast, from 6 to 11 inches per season, even though some species can grow 60 inches per year.
Spruce has needle-like leaves that are spirally arranged on the branches. They grow from the peg-like structure called pulvinus. Leaves are shed after 4 to 10 years.
Each spruce tree produces male and female cones. Young cones are green. Mature cones are brown in color. Cones with ovules (female cones) are larger than cones with pollen (male cones).
Wind carries pollen from the male cones to the female cones. Female cones open three years after pollination to release mature seed.
Wright brothers' used wood of spruce tree for the manufacture of their first aircraft called "Flyer".
Wood of spruce is used in the manufacture of various music instruments such as violins (including Stradivari violins), guitars, mandolins, cellos, pianos and harps. Wood also has application in the industry of furniture and ship masts.
Some species of spruce are cultivated as a source of pulpwood that is used in the industry of paper.
Captain Cook used fresh shoots of spruce for the manufacture of alcoholic drink rich in vitamin C. Consumption of this beverage was obligatory among the crew during the long voyages to prevent scurvy, disorder induced by vitamin C deficiency.
Tips of spruce needles are used in the manufacture of spruce tip syrup. Needles can be also boiled in water and consumed in the form of tea.
Leaves and branches of Sitka spruce tree are used in the manufacture of spruce beer.
Resin and oils extracted from the bark of spruce are ingredients of various ointments that are used in treatment of rheumatism, muscle ache and poor blood circulation.
Native Americans used gummy resin that leaks from the injured spruce tree to ease thirst.
Some species such as Norway spruce and Serbian Spruce are used as Christmas trees.
Spruce can survive few thousand years in the wild. Some trees, such as Norway spruce, called Old Tjikko, found in Sweden can reach the age of 9.550 years. This tree is probably the oldest tree on the planet.

Related Links:
Plants Facts
Animals Facts

Educational Videos