Spruce is the most common tree in Sweden, growing in all parts of the country. It is the youngest of our native trees, immigrating from Finland 3500 years ago.It has short evergreen needles, and the b ark is thin and grayish brown. The seeds are black and the cones 9 – 17 cm long. It can grow 40 meters tall and get 400 years old.Spruce grows in shaded, moist habitats. It is vulnerable to draught and air pollution and also, due to its shallow root system, to storms.
Both sap- and heartwood has the same light whitish yellow color. It is light in weight and its combination of strength and resilience have made it a favored wood for rake handles, scythe shafts(snaiths), ladders, wind mill wings and, lately, in caravans. Slow grown spruce has been used in musical instruments, it is also used in common construction work and for plywood and particle board manufacturing. Roots and branches were used for baskets, fences, barrel hoops, and for bows in crossbows.Spruce is a very important material for pulp.
Did you know that:
- The resin was used for bandages, ointment, chewing gum, as sealer and as glue. Resin cleared traps from human scent.
- The bark has a high content of tannins, and is used for tanning leather.
- Twigs are used for smoking fish.
- Its evergreen needles made the spruce a symbol of fertility.
- The Christmas spruce tradition originated in middle Europe in the 15th century and was brought to Sweden through the upper classes in the late 16th century. It was not until 200 years later that the spruce became The Christmas Tree.