White Spruce is one of the three spruces, red, white and black, all commonly called Eastern Spruce. Ordinarily the White Spruce is a shapely tree 40 to 90 feet tall and 12 to 24 inches in diameter, with many branches which droop downward from the trunk, then turn up to form a beautiful cone-shaped tree tapering to a long, sharp crown. The needles are four-angled, short, pointed and grow profusely around the twigs and curve upward around the branches. They are a dark blue-green and when bruised give off an offensive odor which has given the tree the name “Skunk” and “Cat Spruce.” The cones are from one to one and a half inches long and cylindrical, and when mature are a glossy, light-muddy-brown color. After the seeds are released most of the cones drop from the tree; a few cling on the branches until spring. The tree suffers greatly from forest ﬁre, probably because of its resinous exudations or “bleeding” and its thin bark. Much damage also occurs from fungi and insect attacks, the most conspicuous being the European sawﬁy and the spruce bud worm.
- White Spruce (Vt., N.H., Mass., N.Y., Wis., Mich., Minn., Ont., and trade)
- Bog Spruce (New Eng.)
- Blue Spruce (Me.)
- Adirondack Spruce (trade) Eng, Ontario)
- Canadian Spruce
- Cat Spruce (Me., New Eng.)
- Double Spruce (Vt.)
- Eastern Spruce (trade-in part)
- Pine (Hudson Bay)
- Spruce (Vt.)
- Skunk Spruce (Wis., Me., New Eng., Ontario)
- Single Spruce (Me., Vt., Minn.)
The growth range of White Spruce extends from Newfoundland and Labrador to Alaska, south to British Columbia, western Montana, northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, eastward throughout the northeastern States. A variety of White Spruce is also found in scattered stands in South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and northern Washington. White Spruce thrives best on moist, well drained soils and along the banks of streams.
The wood of the White Spruce is very uniform in texture, pale yellowish-white, straight-grained, soft and light in weight. It is easy to work, free from pitch and takes a good ﬁnish. It nails easily and holds nails and screws very well. In seasoning it shrinks moderately.
The White Spruce is a very important source of paper pulp because of the long ﬁne quality of the ﬁbers. The wood is also used for interior ﬁnish, boxes and crates, furniture, sash, doors, frames, dairy and poultry supplies, cabinets, general construction and is especially prized for sounding boards for musical instruments, canoe paddles and light oars.