There’s a big chance that you have probably come across a Blue Spruce tree as it’s commonly used in making the Christmas tree. It’s always evergreen, enough to stay fresh during the entire festive season.
In addition, it features beautiful bluish-gray foliage that’s handy in giving a lively appeal to the Christmas tree.
Nonetheless, is it only suitable for aesthetics? Can you use its wood for construction? Rather, is blue spruce wood good for anything?
With an even texture, it’s essential for use as a building material. In addition, its wood is lightweight thus can be useful in various wood low-stress applications.
Also, it has immense value in the manufacture of soundboards in piano and violins. Lastly, due to its lightweight properties, it is useful in making airplanes, barrels, and boats.
For decorative purposes, the Blue Spruce tree has no match. But there’s more to it than the applications above.
I will leave no stone unturned in revealing all there is to know about this beautiful tree. Thus, take a look at some of the nine intriguing insights about it.
Is Spruce Easy to Work With?
Most spruce trees are characterized by knots. Thus, Blue Spruce lumber is easy to work with, but this is only limited to knotless wood.
In addition, you can use glue and finishes to give the wood an improved appeal. However, it does not absorb a stain well since it has a close pore structure. Thus, staining delivers an inconsistent appearance throughout the lumber surface.
The best way to color the wood is by using a gel stain. Alternatively, you can apply a sanding sealer or toner first before a paint layer.
Is Blue Spruce Softwood or Hardwood?
The tree is a softwood based on the structure of its grains. It shares similar characteristics to some common softwood trees, such as larches and pines. For instance, Blue Spruce, like these trees, has resin canals.
Nonetheless, Blue Spruce differs from these softwood trees on two main properties. First, unlike the two, the Blue Spruce tree has relatively smaller resin canals.
In addition, while pines are known to have a strong scent, this feature is lacking in Blue Spruce.
Is Blue Spruce good firewood?
It’s not common to use Blue Spruce as firewood, especially with other options available. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean you cannot use it on your wood stove or fireplace. The tree has a low density. Thus, it’ll form loads of creosote in your chimney.
However, when allowed to age and season under the optimal conditions, it’s as good as any other softwood firewood. It is also easy to use as you can split the wood effortlessly.
Also, while it features a low BTU (British Thermal Units), you can still use it as the trees are readily available.
But you must have plenty of Blue Spruce firewood if you intend to use it for long as it burns entirely so fast.
Is Blue Spruce wood good for furniture?
You can use Blue Spruce wood for making furniture but only for indoor use. Note, since it is a softwood, this wood is susceptible to rot, water damage, and splitting.
The rule of thumb with Blue Spruce furniture is not to expose it to moisture. Thus, you should not use wood to make front doors. Exposing its furniture to outdoor use will immensely hamper its durability.
The upside of using Blue Spruce for furniture making is that it’s inexpensive and readily available.
Nonetheless, you must ensure that the wood is kiln-dried to improve its durability. This will make it suitable for making veneers, runners, banisters, and even doors.
What are the disadvantages of Blue Spruce Wood?
As an ornamental tree, Blue Spruce is one of the best that you’ll come across. Nonetheless, it has loads of downsides that you can’t afford to ignore when dealing with the trees. They include:
With Blue Spruce and other varieties of the Spruce tree, you have a lot of insects to worry about. The most common ones include spider mites that draw sap from the tree needles leading to discoloration.
Others include the pine needle scale, Spruce needle miner, and the Western pine shoot borer.
These trees are also susceptible to a wide range of diseases that include root rot, spruce needle rust, and needle bright.
Not Drought Tolerant
The idealist conditions for growing the Blue Spruce trees are moist and well-drained soils. Thus, planting them in areas without such conditions will result in poor performance.
While they might endure areas with high rainfall, they are not suited to drought.
With most softwood trees, the Blue Spruce has shallow roots. Therefore, they are easily blown away by the wind. Also, it can easily be carried off by surface runoff.
Thus, if you intend to plant the trees in areas with limited moisture, it’s imperative to water them. It will be handy in encouraging extensive root growth.
What can Blue Spruce be used for?
Bruce Spruce trees are helpful as windbreaks since they are evergreen all year. The trees also form a conically shaped canopy which is imperative in breaking wind. They are also valuable for controlling soil erosion despite having shallow roots.
Earlier, we said that the trees produce lumber. Nonetheless, it’s noteworthy that this is among the least used as they have numerous knots. Their timber is also relatively weaker than that of other trees.
Is Blue Spruce edible?
If you are an adventurous eater, you will find immense value in Blue Spruce as it contains edible parts. The trees’ tips are edible and have a high volume of Vitamin C.
In addition, these leaves have a characteristic tart flavor which you can use to spice things up in the kitchen.
Nonetheless, you must confirm that the tips are not sprayed with insecticides. Also, you can harvest the tips anytime they appear. However, they are at their best just before they start to stiffen.
With the young Blue Spruce tips, you are sure to get a citrus-like flavor. Also, the young needles of the tree are useful even though they are tough to chew. You can use them in stuffing fish or chicken.
Is Blue Spruce toxic to humans?
No part of this tree is toxic. Conventionally, Native Americans were fond of eating any part of the tree. However, you should be cautious not to confuse the Blue Spruce for the highly toxic Yew.
The Yew also grows in the same environment as the Blue Spruce. Thus, you need to be extra careful when identifying the tree.
Among the key differentiating factors of the Yew is that it has flat needles and no cones. Also, Yews do not have the conical shape that is a vital characteristic of the spruce.
Is spruce safe for dogs?
There’s no harm if your dog ingests spruce leaves or tree tips. However, they are likely to cause some oral irritation which will be uncomfortable for the animals.
In addition, if taken in massive amounts, they may induce a gastrointestinal upset for the dog.