Black Spruce

Picea mariana

Black spruce

Though black spruce is not native to the area, it is closely related to red spruce (Picea rubens), the only spruce tree native to the southeastern U.S. These evergreen trees typically have sharp and stiff leaves called needles, though black spruce is the least prickly of the various species. Red spruce is found only in high-elevation pockets in the southeast, as it thrives in cooler climates. Spruce was an important part of the logging industry, as its soft wood was used for construction materials and pulp, as well as a tonewood in musical instruments. Native Americans and pioneers used its resin as a form of chewing gum, and boiled the needles to create a tea high in vitamin C. Red spruce is very susceptible to the effects of acid rain.

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