Spruce refers to trees of the genus Picea, a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the Family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal (taiga) regions of the earth. Spruces are large trees, from 20–60 (–95) m tall when mature, and can be distinguished by their whorled branches and conical 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 sterigmata. The needles are shed when 4–10 years old, leaving the branches rough with the retained sterigmata (an easy means of distinguishing them from other similar genera, where the branches are fairly smooth).
The word "spruce" derives from an obsolete term for Prussia.
2 Cones with thickish wavy scales, leaves slightly to strongly flattened: section Omorika
3 Cones with very thin, wavy scales: section 'Casicta'
Spruces are also popular ornamental trees in horticulture, 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 trees.
Spruce wood, often called whitewood, is used for many purposes, ranging from general construction work and crates to highly specialised uses in wooden aircraft and many musical instruments, including guitars, mandolins, cellos, violins, and the soundboard at the heart of a piano. The Wright Brothers first aircraft was built of spruce.
The resin was used in the manufacture of pitch in the past (before the use of petrochemicals); the scientific name Picea is generally thought to be derived from Latin pix, pitch (though other etymologies have been suggested).
The leaves and branches, or the essential oils, can be used to brew spruce beer. The tips from the needles can be used to make spruce tip syrup. Native Americans in eastern North America once used the thin, pliable roots of some species for weaving baskets and for sewing together pieces of birch bark for canoes. See also Kiidk'yaas for an unusual golden Sitka Spruce sacred to the Haida people. Native Americans in New England also used the sap to make a gum which was used for various reasons.
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 in an environment where meat is the only prominent food source.
Spruce branches are also used at Aintree racecourse, Liverpool, to build several of the fences on the Grand National course.
Visual landscape character of oriental spruce (Picea orientalis (L.) link.) mountain forests in Turkey/ Turkijos kalnu, kuriuose auga kaukaziniu egliu (Picea orientalis (L.) link.) miskai, vizualusis krastovaizio apibudinimas.(Report)
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