Evergreens world-wide, whether they are spruce or pine or fir, are often called Christmas trees. Around this time of year, it is more likely to be true. Little by little these trees begin to become transformed into highly decorated and glowing specimens. Some trees go so far as to leave their roots behind and seek warmer weather indoors.
This particular specimen in Jackson, NJ is a Norway Spruce (Picea abies) and the rest of the year, it is a dark green pyramid with graceful pendulous branches. A native of Northern and Central Europe, it was introduced to the U.S. in colonial times where it found widespread favor as a specimen tree and in wind breaks on farms. Trees transplant easy and grow at a medium to fast pace reaching 50 to 70 feet regularly but can exceed 100 feet. Larger specimens are often chosen as the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center in NY.
Norway Spruce has a shallow spreading root system and does best in sandy, acid soils, but will tolerate any soil with adequate moisture. Spider mites, spruce gall adelgid and budworms can be problems, but healthy trees can easily overcome these irritations. Recently, Norway Spruce has become more popular in reforestation projects and are, of course, extensively cultivated as Christmas trees.
Whether it’s summer or winter, cedar, pine, or spruce, we can all use a little Christmas throughout the year. What better way to do it than to plant a Christmas tree!