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Spruce (Picea)

   Spruce (Picea), fam. Pinaceae.
   There are several exemplars in the city and in the forest.
   It is possible to prepare vitamin-rich beverage from spruce needle-leaves, as well as from pine. Needle leaf infusion is considered antiscorbutic and general tonic remedy. In winter the spruce leaves are particularly rich in vitamin C. As calculated, 25…30 g of them is enough to satisfy the daily needs for this vitamin. The leaves should be washed, and then cooked in fivefold amount of water or thoroughly ground in a blender.

   Let's consider another question: there are many conscious people, who feel sorry for the Christmas trees (called spruces in Russian and Ukrainian traditionally, but actually they are mostly pines). These people would buy a synthetic Christmas tree instead of a natural one. Is it reasonable from ecological point of view? It happens that it is not: the production of one synthetic Christmas tree harms the nature 20 times more than cutting down one live tree. This is explained by the fact that the production of plastic involves work of ecologically unsafe chemical plants, and moreover, the recycling of plastic in Ukraine is done very poorly – it would either lie for several thousand years in a landfill, or get burned eventually, emitting toxic substances. On the contrary, natural trees decompose easily during a few years without any harm, and the young substitution will grow over that time.
   As for completely harmless options: 1) to decorate a live Christmas tree in the yard (if you have it); 2) to buy a little tree in a pot and to plant it in spring after using it for celebration on winter (and then go to option number 1); 3) to create an improvised composition from paper or pine branches from the forest that fell down by themselves, in the wind.

Spruce (Picea) Spruce (Picea) Spruce (Picea)