Common spruce, or European-P. Abies-coniferous tree, the type species of the genus Spruce (Picea) of the Pine family (Pinaceae). The only native species of spruce in Central Russia.
Homeland-Europe. Forms clean or mixed forests. It is protected in nature reserves. In the North-West of Russia, it is a species of local flora. In old parks in the vicinity of Saint Petersburg, individual trees reach 36-40 m in height. However, it can be sensitive to early spring frosts, especially in depressions and micro-valleys of terrain and in closed clearings.
Evergreen woody plant up to 30 m high (occasionally up to 50 m). The crown is in the form of a cone, formed by drooping or prostrate branches, arranged whorl. The root system is superficial. The bark is grey, flaking off in thin plates. Four-sided needles (leaves), arranged in a spiral, sit one at a time on leaf pads. The length of the needles is from 1 to 2.5 cm. The life span of each pinecone is six years or more. Mature cones are oblong — up to 15 cm long and 4 cm wide.
It lives 250-300 years, sometimes 400-500 years. Annual growth in height-50 cm, in width-15 cm. Up to 10-15 years, it grows slowly, then quickly.
In Europe, in culture for centuries, in the British Islands known since about 1500. The main importance is in forestry, where one of the most important breeds has been cultivated for a long time. As a Park tree, it plays an essential role in parks transformed from natural forest. It is widely used in hedges, as a snow-protecting rock in forest belts along Railways and highways. Spruce wood is widely used, including in industry. Immature cones are medicinal raw materials. In many countries, there is a tradition to dress up a fir tree for Christmas and New year.
Shade-tolerant, at a young age can suffer from spring sunburn. Prefers fresh, well-drained acidic, sandy loam and loam soils, does not tolerate water stagnation, salinity and dryness of the soil. Tolerates excessive flow of moisture. It is successfully combined with firs, pines, birch, maples, ash, narrow-leaved Loch and other shrubs.