Picea rubens Sarg.

 

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Family: Pinaceae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Red 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 rubens means reddish, referring to the reddish brown cones.

Other Common Names: Abetina rossa, Adirondack spruce, black spruce, blue spruce, Canadese rode spar, Canadian red spruce, Canadian spruce, double spruce, eastern spruce, epicea rouge du Canada, he balsam, he-balsam, Hudson-fichte, kanadensisk rod-gran, North American red spruce, picea roja de Canada, picea rossa del Canada, red spruce, rot-fichte, sapinette rouge du Canada, spruce pine, spruces d'america, West Virginia spruce, yellow spruce.

Distribution: Red spruce is native to Cape Breton Islands, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, west to Maine, southern Quebec and southeastern Ontario and south to central New York, northeastern Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey and Massachusetts. It also grows in the Appalachian Mountains of extreme western Maryland, eastern West Virginia, northern and western Virginia, western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee.

The Tree: Red spruce can reach heights of 110 feet, with diameters of 4.5 feet. At the northern limit of its range, red spruce reaches heights of only 80 feet and diameters of 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

0.37

1.33

6000

2720

260

6.9

350

750

Dry

0.41

1.61

10800

5540

550

8.4

490

1290

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

7.8

6.2

2.6

Radial

3.8

3.0

1.3

Volumetric

11.8

9.4

3.9

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

Lower grades

T11-B4

NA

T10-B3

T5-A2

T5-A2

K

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

aReference (28, 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

291

291

NA

aReferences (28, 185).

 

High temperaturea


Condition

4/4, 5/4 stock

6/4 stock

8/4 stock


Other products

Standard

410

NA

411

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 (6,9&15).

 

Additional Reading and References Cited (in parentheses)

1. Betts, H. S. Eastern spruce. Washington, DC, USA: USDA Forest Service, USGPO 653024-45; 1945.

2. Blum, B. B. Picea rubens Sarg., Red Spruce. in: Burns, R. M. and Honkala, B. H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America. Volume 1, Conifers. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service; 1990; pp. 250-259.

3. 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.

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

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

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

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. Stern, E. G. and Norris, E. B. Strength properties of red spruce from West Virginia. Bulletin of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute. 1943; 36(8):1-26.

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

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

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