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Spruce Conifers | Picea

Our Picea or Spruce tree range includes trees with foliage in beautiful blues, whites and greens. Spruce trees are tidy, conical shaped trees and all of ours are evergreen, so great for providing year-round interest and structure. Unlike many conifers, Spruce trees have individual needles attached to the brances rather than clusters of needles. The needles are arranged in a spiral fashion, creating the appearance of soft, circular branches.

Spruce needles are square and sharply pointed, and can easily be rolled between the fingers. They're attached to the branches on small peg-like projections and when the needles shed, the projections stay on the boughs of the tree, making them rough to the touch. Their bark is particularly rough, even when young, whereas most coniferous species adopt a textured bark only with maturity

Like almost all coniferous trees, Spruce produce cones which can remain on the branches for a number of years. Often these male and female cones appear mainly on the upper third of the tree, and their delicate scales are much thinner than those of other species, with an almost paper-like texture.

Picea is a genus of 35 evergreen species, and part of the Pinacaea family. It is thought that the name originally derived from the local pronunciation of the word "Prussia" or "Prusy", a historical region which is today part of Poland. Prusy was a general term for the goods brought to England from Prussia by Hanseatic merchants; amongst the imported items of the times were Spruce trees as we know them today.

 

Positioning & Planting Spruce Trees

Our range of Spruce trees are specially selected to be suitablely sized for gardens and are great for providing year-round interest and structure, whether planted as part of a border, as a foil for other specimens or as a small feature tree. They will even fare will fare well when grown in a pot or planter. They look particularly attractive when the lower branches are permitted to skirt the tree to the ground with a mulch underneath, rather than a cleaned up trunk.

Mostly they are found growing on mountain sides or on wet plains in East Asia so that gives an indication that they do well in similar conditions in the UK where they mostly like acidic, damp but well drained soils, ideally in areas of high rainfall. Picea pungens particularly likes cold conditions.

 

Uses of Spruce

  • The Norwegian Spruce  (Picea abies) is the traditional Christmas tree, introduced to the UK for that purpose by Prince Albert replaced in recent years by the Nordmann Fir.
  • Spruce wood is lightweight yet strong, and is commonly used in the building trade. Although nowadays it is mainly used in general construction, in has previously been used in the production of wooden aircraft - in fact, it was the Wright brothers' wood of choice when building The Flyer, the World's first aeroplane
  • The wood has long fibres which bind together easily and for this reason it is one of the most important woods used in the manufacture of strong paper
  • The young shoots are thought to be a good source of Vitamin C and can be used to make beer, tea and syrup
Spruce Conifers | Picea
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