Norway spruce: description, photo, distribution, useful properties and application

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Norway spruce: description, photo, distribution, useful properties and application
Norway spruce: description, photo, distribution, useful properties and application
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This beautiful plant (Spruce) is used in landscaping and ornamental gardening. Widely used in industry and its wood. Immature cones are raw materials for the manufacture of medicines. And most importantly, in many countries there is a tradition according to which a Christmas tree is decorated for the New Year and Christmas.

The article presents some information about Norway spruce: description, habitats, etc.

Norway spruce needles

General information

In addition to all of the above, Norway spruce is quite widely used to create plantations along roads in order to protect against snow drifts.

Many varieties have been bred that differ in the size and shape of the crown, as well as the color of the needles. This plant is the most widespread coniferous tree in Europe. It should be noted that spruce is the official flower emblem of Medelpad, a Swedish province.

Common spruce (description given below) is a type species belonging to the coniferous genus of the Pine family.

Distribution

The plant, widespread in the north-east of the European territory, forms continuous arrays (spruce forests). To the west, spruce is found only in mountainous areas - in the Alps, the Carpathians and the mountains of the Balkan Peninsula. Within Russia, the northern border of the range largely coincides with the forest border, and the southern part reaches the black earth zone. To the east, starting from the Volga, Norway spruce is gradually replaced by Siberian spruce.

In the north of Europe (from Finland and further) and in the east, hybrid forms of Siberian and common spruce grow. Naturally localized Norway spruce tree in the British Isles, the Pyrenees and North America.

This plant is a forest-forming species. In the taiga zone, it often forms extensive spruce forests. In the central Russian zone, it is adjacent to deciduous trees and Scotch pine, often forming mixed forests.

solid spruce forest

Like other species, Norway spruce has good shade tolerance. It grows on soils of very different composition - from sandy soils to heavy loams. With all this, the plant is quite demanding on soil fertility. It is preferable for him to moisten with running water. Does not grow in waterlogged soils with stagnant moisture.

Although spruce has excellent drought and frost tolerance, it can be affected by frost coming in the spring.

Description

Spruce is a woody evergreen plant that grows up to 30 meters or more in height.The cone-shaped crown is formed by outstretched or drooping branches (arranged in whorls). The peeling bark is gray in color.

young fruits

The needles of this variety are tetrahedral, arranged in a spiral. They are found on leaf pads one at a time. Their length is 1-2.5 cm. Each needle has a life expectancy of more than 6 years. Due to the fact that the plant is characterized by a superficial location of the root system, it is often subjected to windfalls.

Megastrobiles (female cones of Norway spruce) appear at the tips of branches that are 2 years old. They grow vertically at first, and then turn and become drooping (top down). Ripening occurs in autumn (in Russia - in October). Mature cones acquire an oblong shape and grow up to 15 cm in length with a width of 4 cm. The ovoid-pointed seeds (up to 4 mm long) have a reddish-brown wing. Seeds remain in cones until the middle of winter, and their rash occurs from January to May.

Common spruce cone

At the age of 20 to 60 years, the plant begins to produce seeds, depending on the density of the trees in the forest. Seed production does not occur annually - once every 4 or 5 years.

Determination of age

Spruce in the forest is a familiar picture. However, few people know how old this evergreen tree can reach. The oldest tree known to date has been growing for 468 years. In fact, it is very rare to find specimens growing over 300 years old. And on the siteconiferous-deciduous forests age decreases to 120-150 (rarely 180) years, and this applies only to individual trunks. It is known that a tree has the ability to give new shoots-clones from the roots of extinct trunks. The oldest spruce known today (including clones) has reached the age of 9550 years.

Since the "floors" of branches are formed once a year, it is quite simple to determine the age of a young plant: count the number of branches and add 3-4 years (the period of formation of the very first "floor"). The average age of the common spruce is approximately 250 to 300 years.

Norway spruce bloom

In medicine

The cones of common spruce are used as medicinal raw materials (the description of the fruits is given above). They should be harvested before the seeds begin to ripen, in summer. You need to dry under canopies on racks. The composition of the cones includes tannins, resins and essential oil. Infusions and decoctions of cones are used in the treatment of bronchial asthma and respiratory diseases.

Infusion of the kidneys has antimicrobial, antispasmodic and desensitizing effects. The needles contain ascorbic acid (300-400 mg in spruces growing in the mountains and in the north). It is used for the preparation of vitamin concentrates and antiscorbutic infusions. Pine needle baths in folk medicine are recommended for people suffering from rheumatism.

Wood

In regions where spruce grows, its wood is widely used as a raw material for paper production. Soft and light wood with low resin content and high cellulose contentis the main raw material in the production of pulp and paper. It is also widely used in construction and for the manufacture of furniture, sleepers, musical instruments, telegraph poles and containers.

Spruce bark contains tannins, which are especially abundant in oppressed young trees. It is used for the production of tanning extracts in the leather industry. From resin, which is obtained by tapping living trees (about 60 grams from one tree), wood vinegar, rosin and turpentine are produced.

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