Spruce Branch Pocket Journal

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Model: PJ-41
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Norway Spruce  (Picea abies)

Spruces are ornamental, steeple-shaped evergreen trees of cold climates whose needlelike leaves are somewhat four-angled, short, stiff and sharp.  Spruces grow to the northern limit of trees; forests thin down to dwarf specimens extending far into the tundra.  To the south, one species persists on mountaintops as far south as Georgia.

Spruces are often used as Christmas trees.  The wood is soft, light, resinous and straight-grained.  It is valuable for sounding boards in pianos, construction work and boat building.  Tannin and “burgundy pitch” used in varnishes and medicinal compounds comes from the bark of certain species.  Some species are tapped for turpentine.

The most widespread and common spruce in North America is the exotic Norway Spruce of the European Alps, Scandinavia and western Russia.  It was brought by early settlers and was partly used to rectify the disastrous effects of clearing the native woods, which left farmland exposed.  Spruces were planted to form shelterbelts on both sides of the U.S./Canada border.

All things in nature have symbolic qualities as well, and the spruce represents healing, intuition and new realizations.

artwork by Bente King, text by Steve Sierigk

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