Leaves. The needles
of the white spruce are dark blue-green, arranged in a spiral,
more crowded on the upper side, 1/2-3/4" long, 4 sided, kind of
stinky in fragrance and persist for 6 to 10 years. White spruce
is a broadly pyramidal tree with broadly upwardly sweeping
branches near the end with a broad open crown.
spruce flowers are in solitary cone like clusters, forming in
May to June, pale red turning yellow, spirally arranged on a
Fruit. The cones of
the white spruce are 1-2" long, cylindrical, falling off the
tree soon after shedding the seeds. Seed is about 1/8". The
cones hang down unlike most firs which point up. Immature cones
are green, mature cones are red-brown.
Winter Buds. Buds
are 1/8-1/4", forming at the tip as well as up and down the twig
which helps in maintaining the dense form of the tree.
Bark. Mature trunks
on white spruce is gray-brown, scaly, thin.
Wood. The wood is
light, 25 pounds per cubic foot, soft, weak, non porous straight- grained
with wide rings and light yellow
colored sapwood used mainly for lumber as it is easy to saw but
splits easily when nailed, and also is used for pulp. other uses
are for sounding boards in pianos, ladders, ship building and
Pests. The spruce budworm
is a major pest. These can be
generally treated with an application of Sevin.
White spruce is mainly a northern tree. Found from northern
Canada to Alaska, south to the southern Canadian provinces,
Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and north.
Christmas tree though the Fraser and Douglas fir are more in
demand as they have a better fragrance and better needle
retention. A beautiful tree and may be the the origin of the
phrase "spruced up".