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Things you probably didn’t know about Sitka Spruce

The spruce tree is embedded in North American culture and mountain landscapes. Many states claim a type of spruce as their state tree- the Alaskan state tree is the Sitka spruce; the Colorado State tree is the Colorado blue spruce; with South Dakota State trees the black Hale spruce and the Utah State tree is the blue spruce.

Spruce tree characteristics

Spruce trees are hardy, evergreens usually found in countries in the northern hemisphere. Unlike pine or fir trees, spruce trees produce single needles along the branches, leaving a small base from the stem if the needle falls from the tree, and the cones hang from the branches up to several months after they are ripe.

Spruce tree types

Varieties include the black spruce, red spruce, and the white spruce, named for their needle or cone color. Other common varieties are the oriental spruce, Japanese spruce, Himalayan spruce, Norway spruce, Colorado spruce, Colorado blue spruce, Serbians Bruce, Anna Sitka spruce named for their native locations. The largest is the Sitka spruce, and the world’s largest Sitka spruce it’s 191 feet tall with a circumference of 58 feet. The oldest recorded spruce was a white spruce at 852 years old.

Spruce tree uses

Spruce wood has long been used for a variety of purposes including lumber, boxes, and crates; to create musical instruments including Stradivari violins; to build ship mess; to make burgundy pitch from the Norway spruce, and to make tannin from spruce bark extract. Young growth is used to make spruce beer the resin is an ingredient in many events and oils to relieve muscle tension rheumatism and to increase circulation.

Spruce tree and Christmas

Every year people purchase several varieties of spruce trees sold in mass quantities as Christmas trees. The United States national Christmas tree is a living Colorado blue spruce adorned with decorations each holiday season and surrounded with festivities. Every year, Norway gifts the city of New York with a Norway spruce placed in the middle of Rockefeller Center.
Cultures have held the spruce as a protective tree. The spruce tree was once a symbol of the protected female element; a tree of life, and mother tree.  Maypoles were often made of spruce and some towns in Bavaria still practice this tradition.

So, these were some unknown facts about spruce trees that you were probably not aware of. Contact Alaska Specialty Woods for the finest Sitka Spruce instrument tonewood material.

Brent Cole

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