Picea abies; Pinaceae
the Norway spruce or European spruce, is a species of spruce native to Northern, Central and Eastern Europe. It has branchlets that typically hang downwards, and the largest cones of any spruce, 9–17 cm long. It's very closely related to the Siberian spruce(Picea obovata), which replaces it east of the Ural Mountains, and with which it hybridises freely. The Norway spruce is widely planted for its wood, and is the species used as the main Christmas tree in several cities around the world. It was the first gymnosperm to have its genome sequenced, and one clone has been measured as 9,560 years old.
Norway spruce is a large, fast-growing evergreenconiferous tree growing 35–55 m tall and with a trunk diameter of 1 to 1.5 m . It can grow fast when young, up to 1 m per year for the first 25 years under good conditions, but becomes slower once over 20 m tall. The shoots are orange-brown and glabrous (hairless). The leaves are needle-like with blunt tips, 12–24 mm long, quadrangular in cross-section (not flattened), and dark green on all four sides with inconspicuous stomatal lines. The seed cones are 9–17 cm long (the longest of any spruce), and have bluntly to sharply triangular-pointed scale tips. They are green or reddish, maturing brown 5–7 months after pollination. The seeds are black, 4–5 mm long, with a pale brown 15-millimetre wing.
The tallest measured Norway spruce is 62.26 m tall and grows near Ribnica na Pohorju, Slovenia. It can often be observed that the roots of spruces pushed over in a storm form a relatively flat disc. This is usually due to the rocky subsurface, a high clay content or oxygen-depletion of the subsoil and not to a preference of the trees to form a flat root system.
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