This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
Another evergreen and cone-bearing tree which fur-nishes great quantities of lumber to the market every year is the spruce. There are three kinds of spruce, white, black, and red, of which the white spruce and the red spruce are the varieties commonly found on the market. The white spruce is scattered throughout all of the northern states, along the streams and lakes, the largest varieties being found in Montana. The black spruce is found in Canada and in some of the northern states. It is distinguished from the other varieties by its leaves and bark only, the foliage being much darker in color than that of the white spruce, while the cones remain in place for several years, a much longer time than do those of the white spruce. The red spruce is sometimes known as Newfoundland red pine and is found in the northeastern part of North America. It is used very extensively in northern New England where it serves as a substitute for soft pine, and large quantities of it are used up every year for pulp wood.
The leaves of the spruce are single and have sharp points at the ends. They are short and four-sided and are arranged on the stem so as to point in all directions. The cones hang downward, while those of the fir trees point upward.
Spruce trees have many natural enemies and numbers of the trees are destroyed before they reach the market. Large quantities of fallen tree trunks are to be found in the forests, blown down by the wind alone during heavy wind storms, or so weakened by the ravages of insects that they have fallen from their own weight. There is a beetle which attacks these trees especially, and which causes great damage, while very often the same trees are attacked by various kinds of fungous growths.
Spruce timber is of a light color, very nearly white except the heartwood which has a reddish tinge. It is very dense and compact in structure and straight grained. The wood is light and soft, fairly strong for a soft wood, but not very durable when exposed. It is very resonant and is frequently used for sounding boards on this account. It can not be obtained in large sizes, but it is considered by many to be the best framing timber available, except the pines.