White Spruce


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British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide


Whitespruce1.Jpg

WHITE SPRUCE
picea glauca

  • The White Spruce is also known as Canadian Spruce, Eastern Spruce, Black Hills Spruce, Skunk Spruce, Cat Spruce, Engelmann Spruce

UNIQUE FEATURES:

  • The White Spruce is a large tree with a narrow crown
  • The White Spruce is often confused with the Engelmann Spruce
  • Known as Interior Spruce in the central Interior where it interbreeds with Engelmann Spruce
  • Twigs have no hairs
  • The White Spruce is shallow rooted so can be easily blown over
  • Downed trees are perfect breeding sites for the spruce beetle which can kill hectares of mature trees

LOCATION:

  • The White Spruce is found through the interior of British Columbia
  • The White Spruce grows from seal level to mid-elevations
  • Only pure species grows north of Dawson Creek
  • The White Spruce can grow in a variety of environments
  • Often found with lodgepole pine, subalpine fir, aspen, birch and willow

Whitespruce2.JpgSIZE:

  • The White Spruce can grow up to 40 metres in height and 1 metre in diameter

CONES:

  • seed cones - light brown, purplish; scales are rounded and smooth; open when dry
  • pollen cones - pale red

Whitespruce3.Gif

NEEDLES:

  • four sided
  • stiff and sharp
  • arranged spirally on twigs
  • distinctive odor; foul when young but pleasant when older

BARK:

  • scaly
  • greyish-brown

WOOD CHARACTERISTICS:

  • important commercial use

USES:

  • modern - lumber, pulp
  • traditional - saplings: snowshoe frames, bows; resin: glue to fasten skins onto bows and arrowheads onto shafts; decayed wood: tanning hides; bark: baskets, cooking pots, trays

QUICK/EASY ID (identification) for WHITE SPRUCE

  • cones: smooth
  • needles: square, smelly, spikey, stiff, spiral arrangement (on twigs)
  • bark: scaly

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White Spruce