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Norway Spruce Sample Data Page

( Return to The Wood Explorer CD Main Page )

Also see  Eastern White Pine  and  Mahogany

Each report would normally be associated with 1-10 photos of the wood.

Norway Spruce

Scientific Name

Picea abies

Trade Name
Norway spruce

Family Name
Pinaceae

Common Names
Baltic white pine
Baltic whitewood
Common spruce
European spruce
European whitewood
Finnish whitewood
Fir
Gran
Northern whitewood
Norway spruce
Russian whitewood
Spruce
Spruce fir
Violin wood
White baltic
White deal
White fir
White pine
Whitewood

Regions of Distribution
Eastern Europe
Western Europe

Countries of Distribution
Finland
Germany
Norway
Russia
Sweden
United Kingdom

Common Uses
Balusters
Boat building: masts
Boxes and crates
Building materials
Carvings
Casks
Ceiling
Cooperages
Core Stock
Decorative plywood
Decorative veneer
Domestic flooring
Drum sticks
Excelsior
Factory flooring
Figured veneer
Flooring
Food containers
Furniture
General carpentry
Interior construction
Joinery (external): ground contact
Joinery
Ladders
Light construction
Millwork
Mine timbers
Musical instruments
Musical instruments: piano
Musical instruments: strings
Organ pipes
Packing cases
Parquet flooring
Plain veneer
Plywood corestock
Plywood
Poles
Pulp/Paper products
Sounding boards
Stair rails
Stairworks
Stringers
Structural plywood
Sub-flooring
Utility plywood
Veneer
Violin bows
Violin
Wainscotting
Xylophones

Environmental Profile
Widely abundant
Rare (read note below for sub-species)

Data source is World Conservation Monitoring Center
A sub-species, P. abies ssp. obovata , which is native to Norway, Finland, and Sweden, is currently classified as Rare within its natural habitat in Norway

Distribution Overview
The species is widely distributed throughout Europe, except in Denmark and the Netherlands. Although Norway spruce is native to and occurs in the wild over most of northern and central Europe, it is widely cultivated in the United Kingdom and southeastern Canada. It has also been successfully planted in the northeast, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific Coast regions in the United States. The tree usually grows in moist soils in humid, cool, temperate regions.

Heartwood Color
+ White
+ Brown
Yellow
Orange
Pink
Red

+ White to cream
Yellow to golden-yellow to orange
Pinkish brown
Brown
The wood varies from almost white to pale yellow-brownish in color

Sapwood Color
Red
Brown
Yellow
White

+ Color not distinct from heartwood

Grain
Figure
Growth rings (figure)
Straight
Even
Crossed
Spiral
Other (figure)
Weak (figure)

Clear growth rings (figure)
Straight
Weak figure
Spiral
Other figure
Generally straight, but not always
Growth rings are visible because of the contrast between the darker outer latewood and the lighter earlywood.

Texture
Fine
Medium

Fine
Medium

Luster
Medium
Low
High

Slightly lustrous
Lustrous
The material possesses a natural luster

Natural Growth Defects
Latex or other ducts
Gum/resin streaks

Natural Durability
Non-durable
Perishable
Susceptible to insect attack
Moderately durable
Sapwood non-resistant to furniture beetles
Resistant to powder post beetles

Non durable
Susceptible to attack by fungi
Sapwood is vulnerable to attack by furniture beetles
Resistant to attack from powder post (Lyctid & Bostrychid) beetles
Resistant to attack from pinworms (ambrosia beetles)
Pinworms (ambrosia beetles) are commonly present
Perishable
Moderately durable
Heartwood is vulnerable to attack by longhorn and pinhole borer beetles, and by wood wasps

Odor
Has an odor

No specific smell or taste

Resin Content
The tree produces resin. Resin exuded through the bark of the tree is called Burgundy pitch, and has been used to produce plasters

Toxicity
Some toxic effects

Respiratory effects
Dermatitic effects

Kiln Schedules
Drying (speed) is fast
Dry at a moderate speed

Drying Defects
Splitting
Distortion
Checking
Loose Knots

Slight end splitting
Expect moderate degrade due to knots, splits, and loosening
Slight twist/warp
Slight surface checking
Moderate surface checking
There is little tendency for the wood to check and split during drying. Knots may split and loosen, and material with pronounced spiral grain may distort

Ease of Drying
+ Fairly Easy
Moderately Difficult to Difficult
Rapidly
Slowly
Reconditioning Treatement
Thick Stock Requires Care
Requires special attention
Little degrade

Easy
Moderate
Requires care to minimize degrade
Dries rapidly
Air-dries rather well

Kiln Drying Rate
Naturally dries quickly
Naturally dries at a moderate speed

Tree Size
Trunk diameter is 100-150 cm
Tree height is 30-40 m
Tree height is 20-30 m
Trunk diameter is 150-200 cm

The large tree usually has a straight trunk and grows to a height of about 80 feet (24 m), with a diameter of about 24 inches (60 cm). The young trees are used for Christmas trees.

Product Sources
Much of Norway spruce bes imported into the United Kingdom from Russia and Scandinavia under the trade name of Whitewood or White deal.

Certified Source
Certified Source

Substitutes
Simarouba (Simarouba amara)

Comments
General finishing qualities are rated as good

Blunting Effect
Moderate
Little
High to severe

Blunting effect on machining is variable
Blunting effect on machining is slight
Blunting effect on machining is moderate
Blunting effect on cutting edges is slight, but hard, dead knots may damage tool edges

Boring
Fair to good results
Fairly easy to very easy

Cutting Resistance
Easy to saw

Rather low

Gluing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult

Easy to glue
Moderate gluing properties
Glues well

Mortising
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy

Moulding
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy

Movement in Service
Excellent Stability - Small Movement
Fair to Good Stability - Medium Movement

Small
Stable
Moderate stability when properly seasoned
Medium
Medium movement in use.

Nailing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fair to Good Results
Very Good to Excellent Results

Holds nails well
Easy to nail
Good nailing characteristics

Planing
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fair to Good Results

Difficult to plane
Knotty wood requires sharp cutting edges for best results, because tear may occur around knots in planing. Clear stock works easily with both hand and machine tools in planing, turning, boring, moulding, and in most wood working operations to produce smooth and clean surfaces

Resistance to Impregnation
Resistant heartwood
Permeable heartwood
Resistant sapwood
Permeable sapwood

Heartwood is resistant
Heartwood is permeable
Poor response to preservative treatment

Response to Hand Tools
+ Easy to Work
Fairly Difficult to Difficult to Work
Responds Readily

Easy to machine
Very sharp cutting edges are required to produce a smooth surface
Variable qualities
Responds well to hand tools
Moderate working qualities
Difficult to machine

Sanding
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy

Good sanding properties

Screwing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fair to Good Results

Screwing yields good results
Easy to screw

Turning
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy

Veneering Qualities
Veneers easily
Suitable for peeling
Veneers moderately easy
Difficult to veneer
No drying degrade

There is slight to moderate drying degrade and the potential for buckles and splits
No drying degrade. Dries flat without splitting
Moderately easy to veneer
Easy to cut

Steam Bending
Poor to Very Poor Results
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult

Very poor

Painting
Fair to Good Results
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy

Good results
Takes paint well
Satisfactory results

Polishing
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy

Good results

Staining
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Very Good to Excellent Results

Finish is generally good
Good staining qualities
Finish is generally satisfactory

Varnishing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fair to Good Results
Very Good to Excellent Results

Good results
Satisfactory

Strength Properties
+ Density (dry weight) = 23-30 lbs/cu. ft.
31-37 lbs/cu. ft.
Low
Hardness (side grain) = very soft
Shrinkage, Radial = very small
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = very low
Shrinkage, Tangential = small
Medium
Max. crushing strength = low
Toughness-Hammer drop (Impact Strength) = very low
Toughness (total work) = very low
Small
Mor/Bending strength = very low
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = very low
Moderate
Max. crushing strength = very low
Low
Low
Low
Fairly large
15-22 lbs/cu. ft.

Trength properties are reported to vary widely and are dependent upon origin, but the timber is comparable to Redwood (Sequoia) in most respects. It has medium bending strength in the air-dry condition (about 12 percent moisture content). It is closer in strength to Mahogany than either Teak or White oak. It is weak in compression parallel to grain (maximum crushing strength). The wood is soft, and surfaces may dent easily. It also does not wear well, and mars easily. Wood is low in weight, and has average, or medium, density. Wood produced by Spruce trees from central and eastern Europe possesses exceptional resonance qualities and is used for sound boards of pianos and bellies of violins and guitars.
Work to Maximum Load

Numerical Data
                       Item     Green      Dry English    
           Bending Strength      5299     9128 psi        
                    Density        28          lbs/ft3    
                   Hardness       377          lbs        
            Impact Strength        19       17 inches     
  Maximum Crushing Strength      2816     5149 psi        
          Shearing Strength      1138          psi        
                  Stiffness      1121     1406 1000 psi   
                  Toughness       130          inch-lbs   
       Work to Maximum Load         6        9 inch-lbs/in3
           Specific Gravity      0.31     0.43            
                     Weight        25       25 lbs/ft3    
           Radial Shrinkage         2          %          
       Tangential Shrinkage         7          %          

                       Item     Green      Dry Metric
           Bending Strength       372      641 kg/cm2
                    Density       448          kg/cm3
                   Hardness       171          kg  
            Impact Strength        48       43 cm  
  Maximum Crushing Strength       197      362 kg/cm2
          Shearing Strength        80          kg/cm2
                  Stiffness        78       98 1000 kg/cm2
                  Toughness       149          cm-kg
       Work to Maximum Load      0.42     0.63 cm-kg/cm3
           Specific Gravity      0.31     0.43     
                     Weight       400      400 kg/cm3
           Radial Shrinkage         2          %   
       Tangential Shrinkage         7          %   
       Volumetric Shrinkage        14          %   
       Volumetric Shrinkage        10          %   
       Volumetric Shrinkage        15          %    

References
Bolza, E.,1976,Timber and Health,Div. Building Res. C.S.I.R.O. Australia

Brown, W.H.,1978,Timbers of the World, No. 6 Europe,TRADA, Red Booklet Series

Clifford, N.,1957,Timber Identification for the Builder and Architect,Leonard Hill (Books) LTD. London

Dallimore, W. and Jackson, A. Bruce,1966,A Handbook of Coniferae and Ginkgoaceae Fourth Ed. Revised by S.G.,Harrison,Edward Arnold (Publishers) Ltd. London

Findlay, W.P.K.,1975,Timber: Properties and Uses,Crosby Lockwood Staples London,224PP

Forest Products Research Laboratory U.K.,1957,A Handbook of Softwoods,Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Forest Products Research,HMSO

Forest Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1937,A Handbook of Home-Grown Timbers,HMSO

Forest Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1969,The Movement of Timbers,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough Technical Note,No.38

Howard, A.L.,1948,A Manual of Timbers of the World.,Macmillan & Co. Ltd. London 3rd ed.

I.U.F.R.O.,1973,Veneer Species of the World,Assembled at F.P.L. Madison on behalf of I.U.F.R.O. Working Party on,Slicing and Veneer Cutting

Jackson, A. and D. Day. 1992. Good Wood Handbook - The Wood worker's Guide to Identifying, Selecting and Using the Right Wood. HarperCollins Publishers, London

Kloot, N.H., Bolza, E.,1961,Properties of Timbers Imported into Australia,C.S.I.R.O. Forest Products Division Technological Paper,No.12

Lavers, G.M. 1966. The Strength Properties of Timbers. Forest Products Research Bulletin, No. 50. Ministry of Technology, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London.

Lavers, G.M.,1983,The Strength Properties of Timber (3rd ed. revised Moore G.L.,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Building Research,Establishment Report (formerly Bulletin No.50)

Lincoln, W.A. 1986. World Woods in Color. Linden Publishing Co. Inc., Fresno, California.

Little, E.L. 1980. The Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Trees - Western Region. Published by Arthur A. Knopf, New York.

Mitchell, A.F. 1985. Conifers. Forestry Commision Booklet No. 15. Forestry Commission, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London.

Nairn, P.M., Editor. 1936. Wood Specimens - 100 Reproductions in Color - A Series of Selected Timbers Reproduced in Natural Color with Introduction and Annotations by H.A. Cox. The Nema Press, Proprietors of Wood, London.

Patterson, D. 1988. Commercial Timbers of the World. Fifth Edition. Gower Technical Press, Aldershot, UK. ix + 339 pp.

Patterson, D.,1988,Commercial Timbers of the World, 5th Edition,Gower Technical Press

Redding, L.W.,1971,Resistance of Timbers to Impregnation with Creosote,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Building Research,Establishment Bulletin No.54 pp.43

Rendle, B.J.,1969,World Timbers (3 Vols.,Ernest Benn Ltd. London

Rijsdijk, L.F. and Laming, P.B.,1994,Physical and Related Properties of 145 Timbers, Information for,Practice,TNO Building and Construction Research Centre for Timber Research Kluwer,Academic Publishers

T.D.A.,1942,Timber Leaflet - No.48 Whitewood (Picea abies,TRADA Timber Leaflet

T.R.A.D.A.,1942,Home-grown timber trees - their characteristics, cultivation and Uses,TRADA

Timber Development Association Ltd.,1955,World Timbers (3 Vols.,Timber Development Association Ltd.

Titmuss, F.H. 1965. Commercial Timbers of the World. Third Edition (Enlarged of A Concise Encyclopedia of World Timbers). The Technical Press Ltd., London.

Titmuss, F.H.,1965,Commercial Timbers of the World,Technical Press Ltd., London, 3rd edition

Wallis, N.K. 1956. Australian Timber Handbook. Sponsored by The Timber Development Association of Australia. Angus & Robertson, Ltd., 89 Castlereagh Street, Sydney, Australia.

WCMC. 1992. Conservation Status Listing - Trees and Timbers of the World. World Conservation Monitoring Center - Plants Programme, Cambridge, CB3 ODL, United Kingdom.

Return to The Wood Explorer CD Main Page

Also see  Eastern White Pine  and  Mahogany

 


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