Did You Know? About Spruce Trees

Red Spruce

Red Spruce (Picea rubens) as part of a landscaping scheme. Photo: F.D. Richards

For many American homes, the centerpiece of Christmas decoration is the Christmas tree, often a spruce tree, cut locally. Year-round, spruces are trees ornamentally popular with landscapers. They are admired for their all-seasons green color, and their tidy symmetrical growth profile. They have dense branches, but they are easy to decorate.

We should know that the spruce tree has more talents than just looking pretty. Spruce is very useful as a construction wood. It has many uses as lumber, ranging from general construction work, to crates, to highly specialized uses in wooden aircraft and as a “tonewood” in many musical instruments (including guitars, mandolins, cellos, violins and the soundboard at the heart of a piano, and the harp. The Wright Brothers’ first aircraft was built of spruce.

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Volunteers Use Thanksgiving Weekend to Give Back to GSWA

Volunteers Clear CMA Entrance

GSWA volunteers clear fallen trees and debris from the entrance to the Conservation Management Area in Harding, NJ. November 25, 2012

Some came to connect with family and give back to the watershed by working together. Some came to catch a break from family after the long Thanksgiving holiday; others because they are longtime members and volunteers, or because they were offered extra credit by savvy Environmental Science high school teachers. Some even came for the coffee, hot chocolate, and donuts! Whatever reason, a lot of volunteers turned out on Sunday, November 25 for an outdoor workday at the Great Swamp Watershed Association’s Conservation Management Area.

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