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Species Of Spruce, Economic And Ecological Importance Of Spruces

Spruces are species of trees in the genus Picea, family Pinaceae. The natural range of spruces is the Northern Hemisphere, where these trees occur in boreal and cool-temperate climates. These climates are common at high altitudes on the slopes of mountains and at high latitudes towards the north, south of the arctic tundra.

Spruces sometimes dominate the forests in which they occur, or sometimes they are present in combination with other conifer species. Spruces are also common major or minor components of mixed-species forests with various angiosperm species of trees.

Short, needle-like, sharply pointed, evergreen foliage that grows from a peg-like base of the spruce may persist on the branches for as long as a decade. The crown of spruce trees is typically spire-like in shape. The bark is rough and scaly, and it oozes a resin known as spruce "gum" from wounds. Mature spruce trees develop male and female flowers, known as strobili, in the springtime. The downward-hanging, egg-shaped, woody cones of spruces mature by the end of the growing season.

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