The spruce bears the smoke of great cities better than most of the Abietineae; but in suburban localities after a certain age it soon loses its healthy appearance, and is apt to be affected with blight (Eriosoma), though not so much as the Scotch fir and most of the pines.
The observations of Spruce are of themselves almost conclusive as to the possibility of Europeans becoming acclimatized in the tropics; and if it is objected that this evidence applies only to the dark-haired southern races, we are fortunately able to point to facts, almost equally well authenticated and conclusive, in the case of one of the typical Germanic races.
In the woods of Canada it occurs frequently mingled with the black spruce and other trees.
From the coast to the eastern base of the Cascade Mountains the state is heavily timbered, except in small prairies and clearings in the Willamette and other valleys, and the most important tree is the great Douglas fir, pine or spruce (Pseudotsuga Douglasii), commonly called Oregon pine, which sometimes grows to a height of 300 ft., and which was formerly in great demand for masts and spars of sailing-vessels and for bridge timbers; the Douglas fir grows more commercial timber to the acre than any other American variety, and constitutes about five-sevenths of the total stand of the state.
The spruce timber covering much of the area is of great value, compensating for the labour of clearing the land.
Some of these are: Jack pine (Pinus Banksiana), Rocky Mountain pine (Pinus flexilis), black pine (Pinus Murrayana), white spruce (Picea alba), black spruce (Picea nigra), Engelman's spruce (Picea Engelmanni), mountain balsam (Abies subalpina), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga Douglasii), mountain larch (Larix Lyallis).
By the peasantry of its native countries the Norway spruce is applied to innumerable purposes of daily life.
The Puget Sound Basin and the neighbouring slopes of the Cascade and Olympic Mountains are noted for their forests, consisting mainly of giant Douglas fir or Oregon pine (Pseudotsuga Douglasii), but containing also some cedar, spruce and hemlock, a smaller representation of a few other species and a dense undergrowth.
For the export trade it is packed in square boxes made of spruce or some other odourless wood.
In the area of the Newer Appalachian Mountains, the eastern Panhandle region has a forest similar to that of the plateau district; but between these two areas of hardwood there is a long belt where spruce and white pine cover the mountain ridges.