It’s a Christmas period and one of the trees which are used as a Christmas tree in our houses is Norway spruce(“Picea abies”). Even if in its English name there is a word Norway it is very popular in Poland. Unfortunately it loses its needles really fast, but it has a very good smell which reminds about Christmas. If you want to see how many varieties the Norway spruce has you can visit this page: https://puzon.com.pl/galeria-zdjec/drzewa-i-krzewy-iglaste/picea-swierk/.
The Norway spruce comes from Europe. It is the only one Christmas tree which grows in Poland naturally. It takes around 6% of forest surface. In Tatry (Polish mountains) it can be seen until 1500 m.a.s.l. It can reach even up to 40 meters of height. These higher spruces can be easily found in spruce forests where is many of these. It belongs to a family of pine plants.
It better grows on fertile soil and while well exposed to the sun, but it can also survive in penumbra.
Bark of this tree is thick. Spruce is a conifer, so it produces resin. Wood of this tree is bright and light. It is used to produce a lot of things like furniture, construction elements of houses, paper or instruments.
Its branches are elastic and they bend slightly when charged by cones and snow. By the way, it looks great during sunny winter days when covered by white snow. It has leaves in a form of needles. They are green or a little blue, they reach 1-3 cm of length and they are prickly.
Female inflorescences of the Norway spruce grow on top of a tree. Before pollination they rise on branches upwards and once pollinated they start to hang downwards. Male flowers grow lower then female and they are red and yellow.
Cones of the Norway spruce have about 13 cm and they hang below branches. They’re light brown. There are seeds of 3-4 mm length inside the cones.
Cones and branches of this tree are often used for home decorations. My grandparents using few spruce cones made a very nice Christmas table decoration(on the picture).
The last curio I wanted to share with you is that the Stradivarius violin was that amazing because it was made from spruce wood from Czech Republic.