Saturday, December 26, 2015

Seedy Saturdays- The Norway Spruce

Happy Saturday Everyone and for those who celebrate the holiday, a belated Merry Christmas!  I think this tree is fitting for today's blog.

This species of spruce is native to Central and Eastern Europe, though it does grow here in southeastern Canada.  It can grow up to 55 m tall and is widely planted for its wood and to be used as the main Christmas tree in several cities around the world.  Every Christmas Oslo, the capital of Norway, provides the cities of New York, London, Edinburgh and Washington D.C. with a Norway spruce to be placed in their central square as a thank you for the aid these countries gave during WWII.  The Norway spruce is also an economically important tree in Europe as they are grown to be ornamental trees in parks and gardens, and as mentioned before, as Christmas trees.

The Norway spruce has been reported in the northern US and Canada as invasive in some areas, but are still a benefit in many ways.  They are used in forestry for timber and paper production, are the source of spruce beer which was used once to prevent and even cure scurvy, and are esteemed as a source of tonewood by stringed-instrument makers.  This tree is also a great support to a wide variety of wildlife, as winter cover for deer and small game, and as a roosting tree for hawks and owls.  

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