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Spruce – one of the oldest trees in Slovakia


There were primeval forests, undeveloped areas untouched by humans. Our area was covered with forests, to a large extent also with spruce, which means that it is probably the oldest tree. Oaks belong to the beech family containing about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees. Along with pine and birch, it is found in the northern temperate and boreal regions of the Earth. The best known of these is the Norway spruce. It grows best in a sunny position, the trunks are straight and long, the crowns dense and narrow. The cones are nearly four inches tall with scales wrapped around them.

The spruce is very fast growing. The wood has a low weight and is relatively elastic. It is used in industrial production and in construction, e.g. for paper and simple construction wood, for chipboard, gluedwood or as firewood. They grow 30 to 50 meters high. The Norway spruce can live up to 600 years; the forest rotation period is 100 to 120 years.

The previous botanical classification identified all conifers as firs. Therefore, the spruce is still often referred to as red fir. The regular alternation between light earlywood and darker latewood produces clear flakes on tangential surfaces and narrow stripes on radial surfaces. Depending on the growth area, the annual rings are narrow to very wide and clearly separated from each other. Spruce wood is light, soft and relatively elastic and stable. It is not prone to twisting and remains stable after drying. Shelf life can be extended by applying a protective layer.

Spruce wood is easy to process with tools and machines. It is easy to drill, grind and mill. Nails, screws or glue ensure stable wood connections. Spruce wood is available as round and sawn timber as well as plywood and veneer. It is also excellent for interior design, but is also used in the manufacture of wood composites.

Finally, from the shoots of the spruce branches you can make spruce honey, which is healthy for children as well, it is used like a bee alone on a spoon or in tea.

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