(7) SPRUCE FIR
The SPRUCE FIR (Abies excelsa, D.C.) is, as a British timber-tree, next in value to the Scotch pine. The young plants and the spray are durable; and the trunk grows straighter, more erect and slender, than the larch. The trunk is seldom sawn into boards; the great value of the tree being for poles of every kind, from those fit for the hop up to masts for smaller ships. It is often used with the bark on, for poles or fence-wood. In most parts of Europe, the poles used in the scaffolding employed in erecting buildings are formed of this tree, the wood being light and elastic. The spruce fir ripens seeds abundantly in Britain, from which plants are as easily raised as the Scotch pine and the larch. It prefers a rather moist soil, and only attains a great height in sheltered situations; but it grows anywhere to a size fit for hop-poles or fencing in a short time. Like the Scotch pine, it is subject to few diseases. The spruce is a native of Germany, Sweden, Russia, and Norway, but not of Britain or of North America.
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