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Norway spruce tree appearance wood uses and lumber

Norway spruce trees are common throughout north, East and Central Europe. This popular Christmas tree looks amazing and has excellent wood properties. The scientific name of Norway spruce is picea abies and is part of the pinnaceae family. The trees are planted throughout many other parts of the world including North America and Asia. Norway spruce lumber has many uses and is traditionally used for making sounding boards and posts for violins and guitars!

norway spruce trees

Norway spruce tree, needles and fruit description

norway spruce tree bark needles and conesThe Norway spruce tree can grow to heights up to 165 feet or 50 meters. The tree is classed evergreen and has needles all year.

Norway spruce needles are dark green colored on all sides. They produce a nice and typical Christmas smell when rubbing or crushed. Norway spruce needles are not very long and reach lengths up to 0.8 inch or 2 cm.

Tree fruits are pendant cigar shaped cones. Young cones are green and get a light brown color when aging. The cones can reach lengths up to 6 inches or 15 cm and hang in clusters at the end of the branches.


Norway spruce tree bark and trunk

Young Norway spruce trees have smooth orange brown bark. When the tree gets older the bark gets darker turning grey brown and gets scaly. The trunk of the Norway spruce is long and straight with many branches. Bottom branches often die and break off when the tree has no free space around. The diameter of the trunk depends on the age of the tree. Old trees can have trunks with a diameter up to 5 feet or 1.5 meters.

Norway spruce wood properties and durability

Fresh Norway spruce heartwood is creamy white to light yellow colored that darkens in time. The sapwood is even paler then the heartwood. Exposure to sunlight gives the wood a darker color, more in line with the heartwood. Norway spruce wood is known for its fine even texture, straight grain and nice colorations. It has good working properties and no distinctive odor. The average dried weight of the wood at a moisture content of 12% is 460 kg per cubic meter. The durability of Norway spruce wood is classed as IV low to moderate durability.


Norway spruce wood working tips and uses

Norway spruce wood is very popular among carpenters and the wood work industry. The lumber is relatively cheap and easy to work with.

norway spruce tree wood properties and usesThe lumber nails, screws, glues, and works well both by hand or machine. Pre drilling is always advised when screws or nails are used. Norway spruce wood contains knots that should, if possible be avoided when working with it.

Norway spruce is used in a wide range of products like

  • Christmas tree
  • small furniture
  • music instrument soundboards for violins
  • paper pulp
  • crates
  • plywood
  • veneer
  • and more!

More Norway spruce tree pictures!