Every tree, whether deciduous, coniferous or fern-like, is limited to a specific life span. Some trees grow, age, and die in decades, while others are allowed to live for centuries. For example, sea buckthorn has a life span of up to 30 years, quince tree – up to 50, rare specimens will live 60. Baobab or Sequoia can live for thousands of years-these are recognized centenarians. In this article, we know how long do Christmas trees last.
Types of spruce – Christmas tree
Spruce is represented by 120 species. European and Russian spruce, available in the forests of the temperate zone of our continent – is an ordinary species. But in the Asian part of Russia, Siberian spruce is found, in the Caucasus mountains – Eastern. American spruce is referred to as black. Chinese – rough, one of the most prickly. Different species begin to produce cones with seeds at the age of 10 to 70 years. This is adult spruce.
The life span of individual species
The tree that often pleases children in the New year can live up to 300 years. And this is provided that it is not cut down prematurely. Enterprising representatives of local and Federal authorities support the healthy promotion of forest conservation, and trees are planted in squares that can be dressed up and hung with garlands for the holidays, without cutting them down – they grow in one of the flowerbeds.
Black spruce, common in the United States, can live a little longer – up to 350 years. It is easily recognized by the cones, which at a young age have a black-purple hue, and when the seeds Mature in them – black-crimson. Sithinskaya spruce can live as long as European or Siberian-3 centuries.
Its range is the Alaska Peninsula. It is used to plant a small spruce forest in the Park or a few specimens on the dacha plot.
Norwegian (Scandinavian) spruce also lives 300-350 years, its height is approximately 15-30 m. Red spruce, which grows in Canada, New England and Scotland, can live up to 400 years – about the same as black spruce. It has red-brown cones. Japanese spruce has a maximum age of up to 500 years. This is by right a long-lived among all widespread species, the most prickly of all firs. Its range is the Pacific Islands of volcanic origin.
In the province of Dalarna in Sweden, there is a specimen of European spruce, whose age, according to scientists, is approaching 10,000 years, specifically-has passed 9550.
Perhaps this age was achieved due to the fact that, when the old tree died, it “gave birth” to root offspring that gave rise to new trees.
The fact is that all spruce trees are able to reproduce not only by seeds from cones but also by layering.
How to determine the life span of a coniferous tree?
You can determine exactly how old a particular tree is by the diameter of the trunk, only by cutting it down and counting the number of annual rings. The age estimate based on the actual diameter of the trunk is not entirely accurate. The fact is that the annual rings of a particular tree can be of different thickness. Depending on how fertile the soil where the tree grew, and how frequent and long the rains were, in different years the thickness of one ring may vary by 2 or more times.
Narrow annual rings are a sign of poor nutrition, frequent droughts, and excessively cramped growing conditions. The rainy seasons may differ due to weather anomalies and climate change in recent years. Wide and narrow in thickness rings are often arranged in random order.
Even knowing exactly the growth characteristics of a particular type of spruce and statistical data on its cut samples, it is hardly possible to predict the exact age of an uncut tree.
The second method is the number of divergences of several branches on the tree trunk. In plants of the genus spruce whorled arrangement of branches – 3 or more branches converge at one point of the trunk. Add 4 to the number of whorls. The resulting value is considered the conditional age of the spruce, but the correction is also made for the height of the trunk.
How to extend the life of a spruce Christmas tree?
Any species that grow in urban environments, where the ecology is much worse than in the forest, lives significantly less – not 250-500 years, but 100-150. There are several reasons for this.
- Most conifers do not tolerate the scorching heat of the summer, their branches and needles to fall prematurely. With the onset of a colder time, the plant grows young shoots every 1.5-2 years. In hot summer conditions, it is necessary to provide abundant and timely watering of trees, especially when there is no prolonged rain and several consecutive weeks are not expected.
- The spruce itself was created by nature for shady places. Indirect sunlight, it can also live for centuries – but this is typically only in a spruce forest, and even then not for all species. In a mixed forest, Christmas trees form a second tier, growing under the crowns of deciduous trees. In the taiga, this is possible when the forest is mostly pine. Also, plants survive at the expense of each other there is plenty of shade in the spruce forest.
- But instances that grow at the edges will live less than those that grow in more “lost” rows, closer to the middle.
- Polluted air, the presence of buildings, and congested highways reduce the life of fir trees up to several times. It is more correct to organize a man-made spruce forest in a city Park by planting spruce under the crowns of poplars, plane trees, and other deciduous species, which, unlike coniferous trees, require a lot of direct sunlight. In the Park, as in the forest, the air is much cleaner than on a busy highway. In the alley of the city Avenue or on the sidewalks of streets, it is advisable to plant this tree not individually, but in rows or groups.
- In winter, roads are often sprinkled with salt and filled with reagents to prevent people and cars from sliding on ice. In such conditions, the tree quickly degrades and dies from salting the soil in which it grows. Young trees are a lot of poachers who do not stop at anything that can make a quick profit.
- When growing spruce trees in nurseries for sale, plant them in groups – from a few dozen in each. If you plant a spruce tree too disjointed, it will not live long, and its quality will be far from the original, inherent in the specimens that grew up in the forest.
In natural conditions, many species of spruce in the first 15 years of life, the main root begins to die off. Because of this, spruce can’t stand a hurricane – especially when it grows in open areas. Also, the old plant is adversely affected by drought – the near-surface layers of the soil, in which it has managed to take root well, are deprived of moisture, and the tree has almost nowhere to replenish its supply if the side roots have not grown deep enough.
In the subsequent years of the life of single spruce, the roots grow to the sides and closer to the surface of the soil, which does not allow the tree to hold on as many deciduous trees do.
Spruce is adapted by nature to grow under the cover of taller trees of other types, species, and varieties. Windbreak in spruce forests is a frequent occurrence.
Spruce’s contribution to air purification
Spruce is not ignored as a type of tree for landscaping cities and localities. In spruce and pine forests, the air is almost sterile – no more than 300 non-pathogenic microbes and spores per cubic meter of air. For comparison, operating rooms in hospitals and clinics are allowed to contain no more than 1,500 microbes per cubic meter. Spruce not only refreshes the air with coniferous volatile substances that fight all microbes and viruses but also produces oxygen no less than its deciduous counterparts. The air in the taiga, where there are a lot of pines and firs, is healing for people.