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Īvande FirA Close-up of a Young Cone of a Norway Spruce
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The Young Green Shoots of Spruce in the Spring, Parastā egle (Picea abies), Egles (Picea)

The Young Green Shoots of Spruce in the Spring

Code: A-037-22
Author: Aivars Gulbis
Photo taken on June 5, 2022
FREE 1000 x 667 px
72 dpi
108 KB
L 5624 x 3749 px
47.61 x 31.74 cm / 300 dpi
17.5 MB

Picea abies, the Norway spruce, is a species of spruce native to Northern, Central and Eastern Europe. It has branchlets that typically hang downwards, and the largest cones of any spruce, 9–17 cm (3 1⁄2–6 3⁄4 in) long. It is very closely related to the Siberian spruce (Picea obovata), which replaces it east of the Ural Mountains, and with which it hybridises freely. The Norway spruce is widely planted for its wood, and is the species used as the main Christmas tree in several cities around the world. It was the first gymnosperm to have its genome sequenced, and one clone has been measured as 9,560 years old.

Norway spruce

 Kingdom:

 Plantae
 Division:  Pinophyta
 Class:  Pinopsida
 Order:  Pinales
 Family:  Pinaceae
 Genus:  Picea
 Species:  P. abies


Description
Norway spruce is a large, fast-growing evergreen coniferous tree growing 35–55 m (115–180 ft) tall and with a trunk diameter of 1 to 1.5 m (39 to 59 in). It can grow fast when young, up to 1 m (3 ft) per year for the first 25 years under good conditions, but becomes slower once over 20 m (65 ft) tall. The shoots are orange-brown and glabrous (hairless). The leaves are needle-like with blunt tips, 12–24 mm (15⁄32–15⁄16 in) long, quadrangular in cross-section (not flattened), and dark green on all four sides with inconspicuous stomatal lines. The seed cones are 9–17 cm (3 1⁄2–6 3⁄4 in) long (the longest of any spruce), and have bluntly to sharply triangular-pointed scale tips. They are green or reddish, maturing brown 5–7 months after pollination. The seeds are black, 4–5 mm (5⁄32–3⁄16 in) long, with a pale brown 15-millimetre (5⁄8-inch) wing.

The tallest measured Norway spruce is 62.26 m (204 ft) tall and grows near Ribnica na Pohorju, Slovenia.

It can often be observed that the roots of spruces pushed over in a storm form a relatively flat disc. This is usually due to the rocky subsurface, a high clay content or oxygen-depletion of the subsoil and not to a preference of the trees to form a flat root system.

Range and ecology
The Norway spruce grows throughout Europe from Norway in the northwest and Poland eastward, and also in the mountains of central Europe, southwest to the western end of the Alps, and southeast in the Carpathians and Balkans to the extreme north of Greece. The northern limit is in the arctic, just north of 70° N in Norway. Its eastern limit in Russia is hard to define, due to extensive hybridisation and intergradation with the Siberian spruce, but is usually given as the Ural Mountains. However, trees showing some Siberian spruce characters extend as far west as much of northern Finland, with a few records in northeast Norway. The hybrid is known as Picea × fennica (or P. abies subsp. fennica, if the two taxa are considered subspecies), and can be distinguished by a tendency towards having hairy shoots and cones with smoothly rounded scales.

Norway spruce cone scales are used as food by the caterpillars of the tortrix moth Cydia illutana, whereas Cydia duplicana feeds on the bark around injuries or canker.

Other uses
The Norway spruce is used in forestry for (softwood) timber, and paper production.

The tree is the source of spruce beer, which was once used to prevent and even cure scurvy. This high vitamin C content can be consumed as a tea from the shoot tips or even eaten straight from the tree when light green and new in spring.

It is esteemed as a source of tonewood by stringed-instrument makers. One form of the tree called Haselfichte [de] (Hazel-spruce) grows in the European Alps and has been recognized by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage. This form was used by Stradivarius for instruments. (see German Wikipedia for details).

Norway spruce shoot tips have been used in traditional Austrian medicine internally (as syrup or tea) and externally (as baths, for inhalation, as ointments, as resin application or as tea) for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, skin, locomotor system, gastrointestinal tract and infections.
en.wikipedia.org

The Young Green Shoots of Spruce in the Spring

Code: A-037-22
Author: Aivars Gulbis
Photo taken on June 5, 2022
FREE 1000 x 667 px
72 dpi
108 KB
L 5624 x 3749 px
47.61 x 31.74 cm / 300 dpi
17.5 MB
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