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''Picea abies'', the Norway spruce or European spruce, is a species of
spruce A spruce is a tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including ...

spruce
native to Northern,
Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions and generalised locations * Central Africa, a region in the centre of Africa ...

Central
and
Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical reg ...

Eastern Europe
. It has
branchlet {{Short pages monitor Another spruce with smoothly rounded cone scales and hairy shoots occurs rarely in the Central Alps in eastern
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
. It is also distinct in having thicker, blue-green leaves. Many texts treat this as a variant of Norway spruce, but it is as distinct as many other spruces, and appears to be more closely related to Siberian spruce (''
Picea obovata ''Picea obovata'', the Siberian spruce, is a spruce A spruce is a tree of the genus ''Picea'' , a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal ecosystem, boreal (ta ...
''), Schrenk's spruce ('' Picea schrenkiana'') from central
Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the cont ...

Asia
and Morinda spruce (''
Picea smithiana ''Picea smithiana'' is a species of evergreen tree in the family Pinaceae family It is referred to by the common names morinda spruce and West Himalayan spruce, and is a spruce native to the western Himalaya and adjacent mountains, from northeast ...

Picea smithiana
'') in the
Himalaya The Himalayas, or Himalaya (; Sanskrit: , "snow", "dwelling", "abode"), are a mountain range in Asia separating the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. The range has some of the planet's highest peaks, including the ...

Himalaya
. Treated as a distinct species, it takes the name Alpine spruce ('' Picea alpestris''). As with Siberian spruce, it hybridizes extensively with Norway spruce; pure specimens are rare. Hybrids are commonly known as Norwegian spruce, which should not be confused with the pure species Norway spruce.


Cultivation

The Norway spruce is one of the most widely planted spruces, both in and outside of its native range, and one of the most economically important coniferous species in Europe. It is used as an ornamental tree in
park A park is an area of natural, semi-natural or planted space set aside for human enjoyment and recreation Recreation is an activity of leisure Leisure has often been defined as a quality of experience or as free time. Free time is ...

park
s and
garden A garden is a planned space, usually outdoors, set aside for the cultivation, display, and enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature. The single feature identifying even the wildest wild garden A wildlife garden (or wild garden) is an Bioph ...

garden
s. It is also widely planted for use as a
Christmas tree A Christmas tree is a decorated tree, usually an evergreen In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist wh ...

Christmas tree
. Every Christmas, the Norwegian capital city, Oslo, provides the cities of London (the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree), Edinburgh and Washington D.C. with a Norway spruce, which is placed at the central most square of each city. This is mainly a sign of gratitude for the aid these countries gave during the Second World War. In North America, Norway spruce is widely planted, specifically in the northeastern, Pacific Coast, and Rocky Mountain states, as well as in southeastern Canada. It is naturalised in some parts of North America. There are naturalized populations occurring from
Connecticut Connecticut () is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 United States census, 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, second-highest level of List of U.S. states and territories by H ...
to
Michigan Michigan () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Michigan
, and it is probable that they occur elsewhere. Norway spruces are more tolerant of hot, humid weather than many conifers which do not thrive except in cool-summer areas and they will grow up to USDA Growing Zone 8. Seed production begins when the tree is in its fourth decade and total lifespan is up to 300 years in its natural range in Europe. Introduced Norway spruces in the British Isles and North America have a much shorter life expectancy. As the tree ages, its crown thins out and lower branches die off. In the northern US and Canada, Norway spruce is reported as invasive in some locations, however it does not pose a problem in Zones 6 and up as the seeds have a significantly reduced germination rate in areas with hot, humid summers. The Norway spruce tolerates acidic soils well, but does not do well on dry or deficient soils. From 1928 until the 1960s it was planted on surface mine spoils in Indiana.


Cultivars

Several
cultivar A cultivar is a type of plant that people have bred for desired traits, which are reproduced in each new generation by a method such as grafting, tissue culture or carefully controlled seed production. Most cultivars arise from purposeful human ...
s have been selected as ornamentals (‘Barrya’, ‘Capitata’, ‘Decumbens’, ‘Dumosa’, ‘Clanbrassiliana’, ‘Gregoryana’, ‘Inversa’, ‘Microsperma’, ‘Nidiformis’, ‘Ohlendorffii’, ‘Repens’, ‘Tabuliformis’, ‘Maxwellii’, 'Virgata', 'Inversa', ‘Pendula’), with a wide variety of sizes and shapes, from full-sized forest trees to extremely slow-growing, prostrate forms. They are occasionally traded under the obsolete
scientific name In taxonomy Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a specific classification scheme. Originally used only ...
''Picea excelsa'' (an
illegitimate name ''Nomen illegitimum'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
). The following cultivars have gained the
Royal Horticultural Society The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), founded in 1804 as the Horticultural Society of London, is the UK's leading gardening Gardening is the practice of growing and cultivating plants as part of horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultiv ...
's
Award of Garden Merit The Award of Garden Merit (AGM) is a long-established annual award for plants by the British Royal Horticultural Society The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), founded in 1804 as the Horticultural Society of London, is the UK's leading gardeni ...
: *'Acrocona' - tall and broad *'Clanbrassiliana' - tall by broad *'Inversa' - tall by broad *'Little Gem' - tall and broad *'Nidiformis' - tall by broad


Other uses

The Norway spruce is used in
forestry Forestry is the science and craft of creating, managing, planting, using, conserving and repairing forest A forest is an area of land dominated by tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, ste ...
for (
softwood Scots Pine, a typical and well-known softwood Softwood is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or t ...
)
timber Lumber, also known as timber, is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, sup ...

timber
, and
paper Paper is a thin sheet material Material is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition ...

paper
production. The tree is the source of
spruce beer Spruce beer is a beverage flavored with the buds, needles, or essence of spruce A spruce is a tree of the genus ''Picea'' , a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and ...
, which was once used to prevent and even cure
scurvy Scurvy is a disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of ...
. This high vitamin C content can be consumed as a tea from the shoot tips or even eaten straight from the tree when light green and new in spring. It is esteemed as a source of
tonewood Tonewood refers to specific wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the Plant stem, stems and roots of trees and other woody plants. It is an organic materiala natural composite material, composite of cellulose fibers th ...
by stringed-instrument makers. One form of the tree called (Hazel-spruce) grows in the European Alps and has been recognized by
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
as intangible cultural heritage. This form was used by
Stradivarius A Stradivarius is one of the violins, violas, cellos and other string instruments built by members of the Italian family Stradivari, particularly Antonio Stradivari (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic la ...

Stradivarius
for instruments. Norway spruce shoot tips have been used in traditional Austrian medicine internally (as syrup or tea) and externally (as baths, for inhalation, as ointments, as resin application or as tea) for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, skin, locomotor system, gastrointestinal tract and infections.


Longevity

A press release from
Umeå University Umeå University ( sv, Umeå universitet; Ume Sami language, Ume Sami: ) is a public university, public research university located in Umeå, in the mid-northern region of Sweden. The university was founded in 1965 and is the fifth oldest within ...
says that a Norway spruce clone named
Old Tjikko Old Tjikko is a 9,550 year-old Norway spruce ''Picea abies'', the Norway spruce or European spruce, is a species of native to , and . It has s that typically hang downwards, and the largest cones of any , 9–17 cm long. It is very closely ...

Old Tjikko
, carbon dated as 9,550 years old, is the "oldest living tree". The oldest individual specimen of Norway spruce discovered by tree ring dating found in 2012 in a nature reserve of Buskerud County, Norway was found to be 532 years old. However, Pando, a stand of 47,000
quaking aspen ''Populus tremuloides'' is a deciduous In the fields of horticulture and botany, the term ''deciduous'' (; ) means "falling off at maturity" and "tending to fall off", in reference to trees and shrubs that seasonally shed leaves, usually in ...
clones, is estimated to be between 14,000 and one million years old. The stress is on the difference between the singular "oldest tree" and the multiple "oldest trees", and between "oldest clone" and "oldest non-clone". Old Tjikko is one of a series of genetically identical clones growing from a root system, one part of which is estimated to be 9,550 years old based on carbon dating. The oldest known individual tree (that has not taken advantage of
vegetative cloning File:Bryophyllum daigremontianum nahaufnahme1.jpg, ''Bryophyllum daigremontianum'' produces plantlets along the margins of its leaves. When they are mature enough, they drop off and root in any suitable soil beneath. Vegetative reproduction ( ...
) is a Great Basin
bristlecone pine The term bristlecone pine covers three species of pine tree (family Pinaceae, genus ''Pinus'', subsection ''Balfourianae''). All three species are long-lived and highly resilient to harsh weather and bad soils. One of the three species, ''Pinus ...
over 5,000 years old (germination in 3051 BC).


Genetics

The genome of ''Picea abies'' was sequenced in 2013, the first gymnosperm genome to be completely sequenced. The genome contains approximately 20 billion base pairs and is about six times the size of the human genome, despite possessing a similar number of genes. A large proportion of the spruce genome consists of repetitive DNA sequences, including long terminal repeat
transposable elements A transposable element (TE, transposon, or jumping gene) is a DNA sequence that can change its position within a genome, sometimes creating or reversing mutations and altering the cell's genetic identity and genome size. Transposition often resul ...
. Despite recent advances in massively parallel DNA sequencing, the assembly of such a large and repetitive genome is a particularly challenging task, mainly from a computational perspective. Within populations of ''Picea abies'' there is great genetic variability, which most likely reflect populations' post-glacial evolutionary history. Genetic diversity can in particular be detected when looking at how the populations respond to climatic conditions. E.g. variations in timing and length of the annual growth period as well as differences in frost-hardiness in spring and autumn. These annual growth patterns are important to recognize in order to choose the proper reforestation material of ''Picea abies''.


Chemistry

p-Hydroxybenzoic acid glucoside, ,
piceatannol Piceatannol is a stilbenoid Stilbenoids are hydroxylated derivatives of stilbene. They have a C6–C2–C6 structure. In biochemical terms, they belong to the family of phenylpropanoids and share most of their biosynthesis pathway with Chalconoid, ...

piceatannol
and its glucoside (
astringin Astringin is a stilbenoid, the 3-β-D-glucoside of piceatannol. It can be found in the bark of ''Picea sitchensis'' or ''Picea abies'' (Norway spruce). It is also present in ''Vitis vinifera'' cells cultures and in wine. See also *Phenolic com ...

astringin
), (the isorhapontigenin glucoside),
catechin Catechin is a flavan-3-ol Flavan-3-ols (sometimes referred to as flavanols) are derivatives of flavan The flavans are benzopyran derivatives that use the 2-phenyl-3,4-dihydro-2''H''-chromene skeleton. They may be found in plants. These comp ...

catechin
and
ferulic acid Ferulic acid is a hydroxycinnamic acid, an organic compound. It is an abundant phenolic phytochemical found in plant cell walls, covalently bonded as side chains to molecules such as arabinoxylans. As a component of lignin, ferulic acid is a pre ...
are phenolic compounds found in mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal roots of Norway spruces. and
astringin Astringin is a stilbenoid, the 3-β-D-glucoside of piceatannol. It can be found in the bark of ''Picea sitchensis'' or ''Picea abies'' (Norway spruce). It is also present in ''Vitis vinifera'' cells cultures and in wine. See also *Phenolic com ...

astringin
are also found in ''P. abies''.


Research

Extract An extract is a substance made by extracting a part of a raw material A raw material, also known as a feedstock, unprocessed material, or primary commodity, is a basic material that is used to produce goods, finished Product (business), prod ...

Extract
s from ''Picea abies'' have shown inhibitory activity on porcine
pancreatic lipase Triglyceride lipases () are a family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, ...
in vitro ''In vitro'' (meaning in glass, or ''in the glass'') studies Study or studies may refer to: General * Education **Higher education * Clinical trial * Experiment * Observational study * Research * Study skills, abilities and approaches applie ...

in vitro
.


Synonyms

''Picea abies'' (L.) H. Karst is the accepted name of this species. More than 150 synonyms of ''Picea abies'' have been published. Homotypic synonyms of ''Picea abies'' are: *''Pinus abies'' L. *''Abies picea'' Mill. *''Pinus pyramidalis'' Salisb. *''Pinus abies'' subsp. ''vulgaris'' Voss *''Abies abies'' (L.) Druce Some
heterotypic synonym The Botanical and Zoological Codes of nomenclature treat the concept of synonymy differently. In botanical nomenclature Botanical nomenclature is the formal, scientific naming of plants. It is related to, but distinct from taxonomy Taxonomy (g ...
s of ''Picea abies'' are: *''Abies alpestris'' Brügger *''Abies carpatica'' (Loudon) Ravenscr. *''Abies cinerea'' Borkh. *''Abies clambrasiliana'' Lavallée *''Abies clanbrassiliana'' P. Lawson *''Abies coerulescens'' K. Koch *''Abies conica'' Lavallée *''Abies elegans'' Sm. ''ex'' J.Knight *''Abies eremita'' K.Koch *''Abies erythrocarpa'' (Purk.) Nyman *''Abies excelsa'' (Lam.) Poir. *''Abies extrema'' Th.Fr. *''Abies finedonensis'' Gordon *''Abies gigantea'' Sm. ''ex'' Carrière *''Abies gregoryana'' H. Low. ''ex'' Gordon *''Abies inverta'' R. Sm. ''ex'' Gordon *''Abies lemoniana'' Booth ''ex'' Gordon *''Abies medioxima'' C.Lawson *''Abies minuta'' Poir. *''Abies montana'' Nyman *''Abies parvula'' Knight *''Abies subarctica'' (Schur) Nyman *''Abies viminalis'' Wahlenb. *''Picea alpestris'' (Brügger) Stein *''Picea cranstonii'' Beissn. *''Picea elegantissima'' Beissn. *''Picea excelsa'' (Lam.) Link *''Picea finedonensis'' Beissn. *''Picea gregoryana'' Beissn. *''Picea integrisquamis'' (Carrière) Chiov. *''Picea maxwellii'' Beissn. *''Picea montana'' Schur *''Picea remontii'' Beissn. *''Picea rubra'' A. Dietr. *''Picea subarctica'' Schur *''Picea velebitica'' Simonk. ''ex'' Kümmerle *''Picea viminalis'' (Alstr.) Beissn. *''Picea vulgaris'' Link *''Pinus excelsa'' Lam. *''Pinus sativa'' Lam. *''Pinus viminalis'' Alstr.


See also

*
Norway pine ''Pinus resinosa'', known as red pine or Norway pine, is a pine A pine is any Pinophyta, conifer in the genus ''Pinus'' () of the family (biology), family Pinaceae. ''Pinus'' is the sole genus in the subfamily Pinoideae. The Plant List compile ...
*
List of Lepidoptera that feed on spruces Spruce A spruce is a tree of the genus ''Picea'' , a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal ecosystem, boreal (taiga) regions of the Earth. ''Picea'' is the sole ...


References


External links


Spruce Genome Project
at Congenie.org
''Picea abies''
- distribution map, genetic conservation units and related resources.
European Forest Genetic Resources Programme European Forest Genetic Resources Programme (EUFORGEN) is an international network that supports the conservation and sustainable use of forest genetic resources in Europe. The programme’s tasks include to coordinate and promote ''in situ'' and ' ...
(EUFORGEN) {{Authority control
abies Firs (''Abies'') are a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), ...
Trees of continental subarctic climate Trees of humid continental climate Trees of subpolar oceanic climate Trees of Europe Trees of Russia Flora of Belarus Flora of Bulgaria Flora of Croatia Flora of the Czech Republic Flora of Estonia Flora of Germany Flora of Italy Flora of Latvia Flora of Lithuania Flora of Poland Flora of Moldova Flora of Romania Flora of Serbia Flora of Slovakia Flora of Slovenia Flora of Ukraine Flora of the Alps Flora of Northern Europe Plants described in 1753
Taxa named by Carl Linnaeus Taxonomy (biology), Taxa named by Carl Linnaeus (1707−1778), an 18th-century Swedish taxonomist, botanist, and zoologist. Known as the "father of modern taxonomy" – from his inventing and developing binomial nomenclature; the taxonomy (biology) ...
Least concern plants