Young male catkins - raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring. Immature female cones - cooked. The central portion, when roasted, is sweet and syrupy. The cones are 3 - 5cm in diameter. Inner bark - dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to cereals when making bread. An emergency food, it is only used when all else fails. Seed - raw. The seed is about 2 - 4mm long and is too small and fiddly to be worthwhile unless you are desperate. A refreshing tea, rich in vitamin C, can be made from the young shoot tips.A gum is exuded from the tree as a result of injury to the sapwood. It is used for chewing.
The pitch from the trunk has been used as a poultice on rheumatic joints, the chest and the stomach in order to relieve congestion and pain.A decoction of the bark has been used in the treatment of lung complaints and throat problems.
Cuttings of semi-ripe terminal shoots, 5 - 8cm long, August in a frame. Protect from frost. Forms roots in the spring. Cuttings of mature terminal shoots, 5 - 10cm long, September/October in a cold frame. Takes 12 months.Cuttings of soft to semi-ripe wood, early summer in a frame. Slow but sure.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Picea rubens. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
This species has been planted experimentally as a timber crop in N. Europe. It is slow to get started, but can then grow fairly rapidly when established though it soon slows down and seems to be fairly short-lived in cultivation, around 100 years is probably the limit. Wild trees live about 300 - 400 years. In some upland areas, especially over granitic or other base-poor soils, growth rate and health have been seriously affected by aluminium poisoning induced by acid rain. Seed production commences when the tree is about 15 years old, though reliable crops are not produced for another 5 - 10 years. Heavy crops occur every 4 - 6 years. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus. Closely related to and hybridizes in the wild with P. mariana. It is believed by some botanists to be a hybrid between P. mariana and P. glauca. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance.The crushed leaves are redolent of apples or camphor.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
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