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What Is a Canadian Spruce?

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  • Written By: A. Gamm
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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Canadian Spruce, more commonly known as White Spruce, gets its name from the fact that it is native to Canada and a few small areas of the Northern regions of America. It is an evergreen tree that is valued for its commercial use as well as its importance to wildlife. The tree typically grows as high as 82 feet (about 25 meters) in a cone-like shape. Canadian Spruce may grow in a variety of environments and usually hybrids easily with other species of spruce.

The Canadian Spruce is strong, yet lightweight and soft, which makes it a popular type of wood for commercial products. More specifically, it is found in lumber for housing, paneling, furniture, instruments, paddles and boxes, among others. The long and tough fibers of the wood also make it popular for creating pulp, which is used to make various types of paper, insulating boards and particle boards. In some areas, this tree is commonly sold as a Christmas tree.

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Several types of wildlife also depend on the Canadian Spruce for shelter as well as sustenance. The density of the branches provides shelter from rain and snowfall. White spruce is also known for its high production of seeds, which provide a reliable source of food for many forest animals. In fact, the spruce periodically produces a significant overabundance of seeds so that it may sustain the animals, but also ensures successful reproduction. The profusion of this tree in Canada only strengthens its importance to the wildlife.

Typically, the Canadian Spruce grows to 82 feet (about 25 meters) in height and 3 feet (about 1 meter) in diameter. It normally holds a cone shape and the bottom branches may droop down, sometimes touching the ground. The spruce has evergreen needles that range from a yellow-green to a blue-green color and is sometimes coated with a white wax. Cones are usually slender and purplish when young and then turn a brown color and open when mature. Canadian Spruce may occasionally begin to produce cones when it is approximately four years old, but typically does not produce an abundance of cones and seeds until it is at least 30 years old.

White Spruce may thrive in a variety of environments. For optimum growth, well-irrigated areas with direct sunlight are preferred. Most types of soil may work, but sandy areas tend to not harvest the best spruce. A variety of pH balances are also acceptable. Its adaptability also means it hybrids and integrates well with other spruce species.

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