Common Name: White Spruce
|Collection Number: 357|
Entry Author: K. Rice
Description: Straight trunk with broadly crown conic to spirelike.
Needles: 3/8 - 3/4 in long blue green in color.
Cones: 1-2 in long with flexible scales.
Bark: Thin, flaky, or scaly, ashy brown; freshly exposed layers somewhat silvery.
Branching Pattern: Branches do not droop.
Height: 60-70 ft.
Life Span: 200 years.
Zone: 2 to 5
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest:
Range: Canada: Yukon, North West Territories, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland; France: St. Pierre and Miquelon; USA: Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine
Ecological Interactions: Studies have examined forest response to autecological factors, tree physiology, fire ecology, spruce budworm outbreaks, climate change, dendrochemistry questions including isotope ratio work, geomorphic change, permafrost dynamics, arctic driftwood, and a variety of miscellaneous topics.
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide: Low risk of becoming endangered.
Uses (Human): The sap, gum, needles and inner bark have numerous medicinal uses including panacea, with use by most native peoples in the species' range. The powdered rotten wood was used on babies in lieu of talcum powder, and also to make a yellow dye; the roots were used for cordage and in basketry; the bark was used for roofing, flooring, and canoes (they weren't always birchbark); the wood was used for bark canoe frames, dugout canoes, canoe paddles, and of course structures; and numerous other uses are recorded as well. These included magical uses - for example, the Koyukon thought that the trees would protect those who slept beneath them from malevolent spirits.
Today, it is primarily used for its wood, and is exploited for commercial timber throughout much of its range.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
This page was created by: K. Rice
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Last updated 12/01/04