Information about: Spruce

Index | Spruce

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Spruce. The name given to several species of trees of the genus Picea. The Norway spruce is Picea excelsa, which yields the valuable timber known under the name of white or Christiania deal. It is a native of a great part of northern Europe, and is a noble tree of conical habit of growth, reaching sometimes the height of 150 feet. The white spruce is Picea alba, the black spruce is Picea nigra, both natives of North America. The latter attains the height of seventy or eighty feet, with a diameter of from fifteen to twenty inches. Its timber is of great value on account of its strength, lightness, and elasticity, and is often employed for the yards of ships and the sides of ladders. From the young shoots is extracted the essence of spruce, a decoction used in making spruce beer. Douglas's spruce or fir, the Picea Douglasii of northwestern America, reaches a height of 300 feet and a diameter of twelve feet in its native forests. The timber is heavy and strong, and is very valuable for building purposes.