Wood carvings Online-Shop About us
Your cart 0,00 €
Shopping cart

Spruce wood

The spruce or fir is sometimes called "bread tree of Central European forestry", a title that already gives an indication of the great importance of this widespread wood, with very special properties. In the Alps and low mountain ranges, the spruce is by far the most common tree. In western Germany, the proportion of spruce is as high as 30% of the total forest area.


The botanical name of the conifer is 'spruce' or, in Latin, 'Picea abies'. Worldwide, there are many species of spruce that are used. In central Europe, only the common spruce is native.

Spruce trees can live up to 300 years and about 50 metres in height. The top of the spruce tree tapers upwards and in good conditions the roots penetrate deep into the ground and branch out widely. On poorly ventilated soils, the spruce tree forms a root ball that is only about 20-30 centimetres deep, which is why spruce trees are particularly affected by wind inclination in unfavourable locations.

The evergreen spruce is easy to recognise due to its reddish trunk. The trunk has a diameter of around one metre, rarely reaching up to two and a half metres. Every 3-6 years, the spruce forms cones.

Spruces grow quickly and thrive in open spaces. They have a great ability to establish themselves against fast-growing vegetation in the form of grasses, ferns or berries. The relatively large shade tolerance also ensures that the spruce feels at home in different locations. Spruce play a crucial role in the reforestation of devastated areas.

What does the spruce look like?

Fresh spruce wood can be recognised very well by its strong resinous smell. It is uniformly bright, almost white or yellowish-white. Externally and in terms of properties, it is similar to spruce. The influence of light causes spruce to darken to a brownish-yellow tone.

The annual rings of spruce can be narrow to very wide and clearly visible. The longitudinal section shows the striations typical of softwood. Resin channels and cracks can usually be seen clearly. When planed, spruce has a dull sheen. Heartwood and sapwood do not differ in colour.

Fichtenholz MaserungThe longitudinal section of spruce wood shows the stripes typical of softwood. Resin channels and mesh holes are usually clearly visible.

What are the properties of spruce wood?

Spruce has a very soft, medium-weight wood type. The average gross density is 470 kg/m³, the moisture content 12-15 per cent. The greater the width of the annual ring, the lower the density. As the mechanical properties decrease with density, only wood with a tree ring width between 4 and 6 millimetres is permitted as structural timber.

Despite its low structural density, spruce is generally regarded as a type of wood with excellent mechanical properties. Since untreated spruce wood breaks down quickly, it is particularly important when using it outdoors to dry it thoroughly and to protect the fronts well from water. Chemical protection is also possible. Spruce should not absorb much water so that it is well protected against fungal attack.

Spruce is light and elastic at the same time. That is why the wood is also particularly suitable for use in construction. Spruce wood shrinks moderately and has excellent strength after careful drying. Only low-quality spruce wood with strong twisted growth shows deformation.

How can spruce be processed?

FichtenwaldA typical spruce forest

Due to its low weight, its elasticity, its soft structure and its load-bearing capacity, spruce wood can be processed very well both by hand and by machine. Almost any tool can be used. The fewer large branches there are, the easier it is to work. Spruce can be glued very well and holds screws and nails very well.

What is spruce wood used for?

Spruce wood is used both as a construction material and to generate energy. It is commercially available in round logs, as veneer and in the form of glued structural elements. Due to its good workability and high availability, it is the most widely used construction timber in Europe. It is used, among other things, for roof structures and also in bridge construction and industry.

Spruce is also the material of choice for interior design: from built-in furniture to ceiling tiles to saunas; there are many things that make a cosy interior made of spruce wood. Despite its low resistance to weathering, it is also used outdoors: fences, window frames and doors. Spruce wood is indispensable in industry: pallets, wood-based materials and paper are largely made from domestic spruce. It is not only of interest as a mass-produced product but, grown uniformly and without knots, is also appreciated internationally in instrument construction.

Crib stables

Most of our crib stable are made of high-quality spruce wood.

Nativity Stable Duledafrom 222 €
Nativity Stable Steviafrom 255 €
Nativity Stable Secedafrom 216 €
Nativity Stable Sasplatfrom 233 €

How to care for spruce wood?

If spruce is used indoors, like any other wood, it can be treated very well with oils, stains and varnishes. After all, the care depends on the type of treatment. Basically, the wood should always be wiped with a dry cloth and contact with water should be avoided. Spruce is very susceptible to weathering, which is why adequate protection is necessary when used outdoors. A fir garden shed should not be exposed to the weather without protection. With the help of an appropriate chemical treatment, however, you can keep a garden shed in good, healthy condition for many years.

How much does spruce cost?

Spruce is available in different qualities. It differs according to sorting class, sawn thickness, processing and origin. Depending on the quality, spruce timber costs about 350-550 euros per m³. Interestingly, prices of imported spruce from America are at the same level.

How suitable is spruce as firewood?

Spruce is optionally chosen as firewood. However, there are some important details to understand before making a final judgement on firewood. Basically, it plays an important role in the area of energy use. The calorific value of wood is 4.5 kWh/kg. Spruce wood is often processed into wood pellets, wood shavings or briquettes. Residual wood from industry and forestry is used for energy in biomass thermal power plants.

Fichtenholz FeuerSpruce wood is certainly suitable as firewood

Anyone who likes crackling fireplaces should not despise spruce either. The wood, which contains a lot of resin, is known for its intense flying sparks and pleasant burning noises. Because it burns very quickly in the fireplace, it is particularly suitable as firewood. Other advantages of spruce are its low price and short storage time. One year's storage is sufficient to dry it.

Those who like smoky aromas can also use spruce for smoking. The famous Black Forest ham is traditionally smoked over spruce wood.

More posts

Ash wood

The manufacturers make use of the special properties of ash wood for bent parts in the construction of boats, furniture and sports equipment. In our online store we offer a beautiful Christmas crib entirely hand-carved made of ash wood, the Fabulous Nativity Scene.

Yew wood

If the yew tree really has magical powers, as is said many times, we cannot be sure. However, this article about the tree, which has become rare in this country, and its precious wood, contains many interesting facts that will amaze you.

Chestnut wood

The chestnut trees are beautiful trees. Children love to make pretty little chestnut trees that they picked themselves. Chestnut wood is also of extraordinary beauty and can be worked in many ways. To learn more about chestnut wood click here!