Picea mariana

 

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Family: Pinaceae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Black Spruce

 

 

 

The genus Picea is composed of about 30 species native to North America [12] and Eurasia [20]. The word picea comes from the ancient Latin name (pix, picis = pitch) of a pitchy pine, probably Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). The word mariana means "of Maryland", in the broad sense for North America, as this species in not native to Maryland.

Other Common Names: Amerikaanse zwarte spar, amerikansk svart-gran, black spruce, blue spruce, bog spruce, Canadian spruce, double spruce, eastern spruce, Eastern Canadian spruce, epicea noir d'Amerique, epinette batarde, epinette jaune, epinette noire, he balsam, he-balsam, juniper, muckeag spruce, New Brunswick spruce, picea negra americana, picea nera americana, Quebec spruce, sapin noir, sapinette noire, sapinette noire 'Amerique, schwarz-fichte, schwarzfichte, shortleaf black spruce, spruce pine, spruces d'america, St. John's spruce, swamp black spruce, swamp spruce, transcontinental spruce, water spruce, western spruce, yew pine.

Distribution: Black spruce has a widespread distribution across northern North America near the northern limit of trees, from Newfoundland, Labrador and northern Quebec, west to the Hudson Bay, northwest Mackinaw and central, western and southern Alaska, south to central British Columbia, and east to southern Manitoba, central Minnesota, Wisconsin, southeastern Michigan southern Ontario, New York, central and northeastern Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

The Tree: Black spruce trees reach heights of over 50 feet, with diameters of 1 foot. Exceptional trees grow to 90 feet with a diameter of almost 2 feet.

General Wood Characteristics: The wood dries easily and is stable after drying, is moderately light in weight and easily worked, has moderate shrinkage, and is moderately strong, stiff, tough, and hard. It is not very resistant to bending or end-wise compression. It is straight, even grained, medium to fine textured, soft and produces a lustrous finish. It is without characteristic odor or taste. The wood is a pale yellowish white, and there is little difference between the heartwood and sapwood. It has exceptional resonance qualities, in the form of thin boards. It has moderately high shrinkage, but is easily air or kiln dried. It is easily worked, glues well, is average in paint holding ability, but rates low in nail holding capacity. It also rates low in decay resistance and is difficult to penetrate with preservatives.

 

 

Mechanical Properties (2-inch standard)

 

 

 

 

Compression

 

 

 

 

Specific

gravity

MOE

x106 lbf/in2

MOR

lbf/in2

Parallel

lbf/in2

Perpendicular

lbf/in2

WMLa

in-lbf/in3

Hardness

lbf

Shear

lbf/in2

Green

0.38

1.38

6100

2840

240

7.4

370

740

Dry

0.43

1.61

10800

5960

550

10.5

520

1230

aWML = Work to maximum load.

Reference (56).

 

Drying and Shrinkage

Type of shrinkage

Percentage of shrinkage
(green to final moisture content)

0% MC

6% MC

20% MC

Tangential

6.8

5.4

2.3

Radial

4.1

3.3

1.4

Volumetric

11.3

9.0

3.8

References: (56, 192).

Kiln Drying Schedulesa

 

Conventional temperature/moisture content-controlled schedulesa


Condition

4/4, 5/4
stock

6/4 stock

8/4
stock

10/4
stock

12/4
stock

British schedule
4/4 stock

Standard

T11-B4

NA

T10-B3

T5-A2

T5-A2

K

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

aReference (28, 74, 185).

 

Conventional temperature/time-controlled schedulesa

 

Lower grades

Upper grades

Condition

4/4, 5/4 stock

6/4 stock

8/4 stock

4/4, 5/4 stock

6/4 stock

8/4 stock

12/4, 16/4 stock

Standard

291

291

291

291

289

289

288

aReferences (28, 185).

 

High temperaturea


Condition

4/4, 5/4 stock

6/4 stock

8/4 stock


Other products

Standard

400

400

400

NA

aReferences (28, 185).

 

 

 Working Properties: It is easily worked, glues well, is average in paint holding ability, but rates low in nail holding capacity.

Durability: It also rates low in decay resistance.

Preservation: It is difficult to penetrate with preservatives.

Uses: The largest use of black spruce is for pulpwood. It is also used for framing material, general millwork, boxes and crates, and piano sounding boards.

Toxicity: Working with fresh spruce wood may cause dermatitis, or other contact sensitivity (5,9&15).

Additional Reading & References Cited (in parentheses):

1. Boone, R. S.; Kozlik, C. J.; Bois, P. J., and Wengert, E. M. Dry kiln schedules for commercial woods - temperate and tropical. Madison, WI: USDA Forest Service, FPL-GTR-57; 1988.

2. Dallimore, W.; Jackson, A. B., and Harrison, S. G. A handbook of Coniferae and Ginkgoaceae. London, UK: Edward Arnold Ltd.; 1966.

3. Elias, T. S. The complete trees of North America, field guide and natural history. New York, NY: van Nostrand Reinhold Co.; 1980.

4. Fraser, D. A. Vegetative and reproductive growth of black spruce [Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP.]. Canadian Journal of Botany. 1966; 44:567-580.

5. Hausen, B. M. Woods injurious to human health. A manual. New York, NY: Walter de Gruyter; 1981.

6. Heinselman, M. L. Natural regeneration of swamp black spruce in Minnesota under various cutting systems. Washington, DC, USA.: USDA Forest Service, Production Research Report No. 32.; 1959.

7. Henderson, F. Y. A handbook of softwoods. London: HMSO; 1977.

8. Little, jr. E. L. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Washington, DC: USGPO, USDA Forest Service, Ag. Handbook No. 541; 1979.

9. Mitchell, J. and Rook, A. Botanical dermatology: plants and plant products injurious to the skin. Vancouver, BC: Greenglass Ltd.; 1979.

10. Ostrander, M. D. Eastern Spruce ... an American wood. Washington, DC, USA: USDA Forest Service, FS-263; 1974.

11. Simpson, W. T. Dry kiln operator's manual. Madison, WI: USDA Forest Service, FPL Ag. Handbook No. 188; 1991.

12. Summitt, R. and Sliker, A. CRC handbook of materials science. Vol. 4. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Inc.; 1980.

13. USDA. Wood handbook: wood as an engineering material. Madison, WI: USDA Forest Service, FPL Ag. Handbook No. 72; 1974.

14. Viereck, L. A. and Johnston, W. F. in: Burns, R. M. and Honkala, B. H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America. Volume 1, Conifers. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service; 1990; pp. 227-237.

15. Woods, B. and Calnan, C. D. Toxic woods. British Journal of Dermatology. 1976; 95(13):1-97.