SEVEN INTERESTING STATISTICS OF SPRUCE TREES
Spruce trees are classified in the Pinaceae family in the genus Picea. They are coniferous trees that range from 20-60 metres (60-200 ft) tall. They prefer moist soil and full sun, but will grow in a variety of habitats and are found across Canada.
While there are upwards of 35 different species of Spruce trees, only 5 are native to Canada. Of those, ReForest London suggests that Black, White, and Norway Spruce are the only trees you should plant ‘with caution’ in London, Ontario.
Spruce trees are a popular choice for Christmas trees. The Christmas Tree Farmers of Ontario note that White Spruces are one of the top 4 species chosen in Ontario. Their strong slender twigs, dense foliage and symmetrical shape make them a favourite among fans of real Christmas trees. Don’t forget to water this thirsty tree though or it will lose its 2 cm long needles before Santa arrives!
The Rockefeller Centre in mid-town Manhattan, New York City, NY has officially been erecting Christmas trees since 1933. Norway Spruce have traditionally been the species of choice. This year’s tree comes from Bloomsburg, PA, is 85 ft high, and will be lit on December 3rd, 2014.
The Wright Brothers first plane was built out of “giant spruce” or Sitka spruce. Sitka Spruce can grow up to 100 m tall and is found on the West Coast of North America from Kodiak Island, Alaska down to Fort Bragg in Northern California. Canada’s tallest Sitka, the Carmanah Giant, is 96 m tall and is found on Vancouver Island, BC.
Long before the Wright Brothers used spruce wood in their first airplane, it was a popular wood for many reasons. It is used in general construction, for making crates, in the pulp and paper industry, and is even a popular wood for soundboards in musical instruments like guitars, mandolins, and cellos. Native people also traditionally used spruce tree’s roots to sew up their birch bark canoes.
Many animals use spruce trees to shelter in. Birds, deer, small rodents and rabbits also love spruce bark, branches, buds and seeds as a meal source. And why not?! Explorers like Captain Cook discovered that spruce needles are a source of vitamin C for humans. Young shoots can be boiled and eaten as well, when you are out for a wilderness survival walk.
Now you know!