59. WHITE SPRUCE, Picea glauca
A pair of mature White Spruce trees dominate the sky as you visit the wildflower meadow or the pond. The attractive, columnar trees are quite hardy and have a lifespan of 250 years.
White Spruce is a monecious conifer (M/F cones on the same tree). The female cones are in purple, and the male pollen cones are in the center. The pollen cones are beginning to enlarge.
MALE POLLEN CONES, 3 STAGES
Three stages of male pollen cones. Top left is dormant, top right is emergent, and the last two images show the cones ready to release pollen. Shortly after releasing the pollen, the cones will wither and fall off the tree. They will be replaced with new dormant cones for the winter.
The striking cone at right is the female White Spruce cone in Spring. At left is the cone maturing...
MATURE CONES, BARK
Mature seed cones of White Spruce. At right is the scaly bark of the tree, typically grayish with tinges of brown or red in it. The upraised scaly plates may exfoliate, but not to a great extent. The wood of White Spruce is durable and used in construction lumber and pulpwood. One interesting application for is for sounding boards for musical instruments.