Siberian spruce: description, habitat, use in traditional medicine

Siberian spruce: description, habitat, use in traditional medicine
Siberian spruce: description, habitat, use in traditional medicine

Siberian spruce is a widespread plant. It differs from its relatives by lush needles, impressive size (up to 30 meters or more), as well as the shape and size of cones. In Russia, miraculous properties have long been attributed to this tree. The forest beauty was loved and revered not only in Western Siberia - the main area of ​​\u200b\u200bits growth, but also far beyond its borders.

Siberian spruce

Appearance of the plant

A tall tree, occupying a decent space in width (up to one and a half meters or more), has a lush crown with pointed tetrahedral needles about 2-2.5 cm in length, thanks to its unpretentiousness and endurance, it perfectly coexists with more powerful relatives. The photo of Siberian spruce, presented below, is unlikely to be able to convey all the beauty and grandeur of the plant. Young trees, forced to fight for a place in the sun, tolerate shade well, but are quite sensitive to the composition of the soil. SpruceSiberian does not like sand or swamps, but it is very resistant to low temperatures. This allows her to feel great in the middle and southern taiga. The bark of young trees is smooth, with a brown tint, with age it gets a certain roughness and brightens a little.

The trunk of a he althy spruce is even, with sparse branches. The tree grows rather slowly, and young shoots are sensitive to spring frosts. Unlike most relatives, the Siberian beauty is characterized by a rather colorful flowering. Cones appear in mid or late spring. The females, usually bright red, are clearly visible through the needles at the top of the tree. Men's, no less noticeable, contain a large amount of pollen. The wind carries it over long distances, as a result, it settles literally everywhere. By September, female cones reach their maximum size (up to 8 cm), seeds ripen in them, which are food for many Siberian birds and some mammals.

Locations and growing conditions

Siberian spruce range

In Europe, Siberian spruce, along with common spruce, occupies the northern and northeastern lands. Due to its high frost resistance and less demanding on soil and moisture levels, it is common in Western Siberia and the Far East, with the exception of the polar latitudes. The range of Siberian spruce occupies thousands of kilometers, starting from the border with the forest tundra and ending in the south with the lower reaches of the Kama. The tree lives up to 300 (rarely - 500) years, perfectly enduring both hilly and flat terrain.

Types of Siberian spruce

Depending onfrom growing conditions and other natural factors, the tree has a number of morphobiological forms. Outwardly, they mainly differ in the color of the needles. It can be green, silver, golden or bluish-gray. The last of these varieties is considered the rarest. Siberian blue spruce is listed in the Red Book. Its industrial felling has been banned in recent years. Due to the unique shade of needles, it is often used as an ornamental plant.

Siberian blue spruce

Reproduction and artificial rearing

In the natural environment, mature seeds that fall from cones are dispersed by wind, birds and mammals. Under favorable circumstances, they can germinate and eventually turn into young trees. A few decades later, they will take on the traditional spruce shape, and reach impressive sizes only by the end of their first century.

In artificial conditions, propagation by woody cuttings is sometimes practiced. Seed germination in spruce is quite good - up to 70%, but due to the rather slow growth, this method is not used very often. In the first year after planting, the tree will barely reach 10 centimeters in height. And it will be ready to move to a permanent place after 5-7 years. In addition, young spruces are very susceptible to various diseases. So the efficiency of growing from seeds is quite low.

photo of Siberian spruce

Industrial use

Siberian spruce, along with common spruce, belongs to valuable tree species. It is widely appliedfor the production of furniture, musical instruments, in construction, as well as in the pulp and paper industry. In addition to wood, needles also have a certain value. It is a source of healing essential oils, used in medicine, in the production of cosmetics, tannins and animal feed additives.

All types of spruce, including Siberian, are valued in park management. Coniferous plantations perfectly purify the air, making it useful for the respiratory system. Walks in the spruce park are recommended for people with respiratory diseases.

Medical use

Due to the high content of phytoncides in the needles, spruce is one of the most powerful antiseptics. Moreover, it is able to sterilize even the surrounding air, releasing useful substances in a natural way.

In medicine, it is used to treat respiratory diseases, including asthma. Patients are advised to inhale with a decoction of young cones, needles, or even walk through a spruce grove. The resin of the plant is taken internally to treat gastrointestinal disorders. It is sometimes recommended for bronchitis.

In folk medicine, Siberian spruce is also known for its healing properties. The description of recipes for its use is very extensive. Everything is used - from resin and cones to bark and needles.

Decoction of young branches is used for arthritis and rheumatism. Spruce essential oil is a powerful antifungal agent. And immature cones brewed in water or milk are a source of vitamin C. Spruce is also known for its bioenergetics. Walking through the coniferous forest is shown to people after stress,serious illness, overexertion or just to improve mood.

Siberian spruce description

Siberian spruce is not just a beautiful and majestic tree, common in most of the Russian Federation. For industry, it is a source of wood; for medicine, it is an antiseptic and high-quality essential oil. And for the average person - aromatherapy, stress management and good mood.

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