Spruce / Fir
Also known as: (1) Norway Spruce, White Deal, Whitewood, (2) Fir, Silver Fir
Botanical Name: (1) Picea abies, (2) Abies alba
Origin: Central and Northern Europe
Description: Although the solid timber from these two members of the Pinaceae family possess slightly different properties, the veneer obtained from both is so similar in appearance that it is acceptable for them to be grouped together as one. Norway Spruce, Europe’s tallest native tree, is the one traditionally used to decorate our homes at Christmas time. Silver Fir does not grow as far north, preferring the slightly less severe regions of central to southern Europe. The veneer obtained from both is light in colour, being creamy-white to a pale yellowy-brown, generally quite fine-grained for a softwood and with a pleasing lustre. Gum pockets, absent in Fir, are common in Spruce and the best veneers will be from logs that are as free of these as possible. With both, only the cleanest, knot free logs are of interest, those that are heavily knotted being marketed with other Knotty Pines. They may be flat-sliced or quarter-cut as there is a demand for both crown and straight-grained veneer. The best examples have a very elegant look for a softwood. Mainly used on good quality doors and furniture.