When Lamplighter first bought the property for our headquarters in Mount Morris, a large Norwegian Spruce stood erect in front of the building. This summer, we cut the massive 80 foot tree down. It was a hard decision, but the tree's extensive root system was compromising the foundation of our 100-foot bell tower. We were all curious how old the mighty spruce was, so in true scientific fashion, we counted the rings representing one for each year of its life and were amazed to discover 89 rings! The Norwegian Spruce is the fastest growing tree in its family. You may have seen this type of tree before, because for Christmas each year, the Rockefeller Center in NYC prefers this type of tree because of its outrageous strength for holding strand after strand of lights and all the ornaments. The Norwegian Spruce can be found all across Northern Europe, North America, and many other locations. The reason the tree can be found in so many diverse locations is because it is able to grow in adverse soil conditions and is able to take root quickly.
Not only do many households decorate spruce trees for Christmas, but the wood has many purposes. Spruce wood can be used for constructing buildings, basket weaving, parts of instruments - cellos, mandolins, guitars, and piano soundboards - and the Native Americans even used the roots to sew together pieces of their canoes. Fresh spruce shoots and needle tips contain large amounts of vitamin C that can be ingested for health.
Do you know what paper is made out of? By now you might have guessed spruce trees and you’d be correct! Spruce is quite important to the paper making industry because the wood has long fibers which draw together and make strong paper.