|Norway spruce (Picea abies)|
Spruce are large trees, from 20 to 60 (–95) m tall when mature, and can be distinguished by their conical form and their needles, that are attached singly to the branches in a spiral fashion. The needles are shed when 4–10 years old.
More than half of spruce seedling mortality occurs during the first growing season and is very high during the first winter. Seedlings get freezing damage, frost heaving and erosion, and smothered by litter and snow-pressed vegetation.
Losses often remain high for some years. "Establishment" is a subjective concept based on the idea that once a seedling has successfully reached a certain size, not much is likely to prevent its further development.
- Alexander R.R. 1987. Ecology, silviculture, and management of the Engelmann spruce–subalpine fir type in the central and southern Rocky Mountains. USDA, For. Serv., Washington DC, Agric. Handb. 659.
- Noble D.L.; Ronco F. 1978. Seedfall and establishment of Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir in clearcut openings in Colorado. USDA, For. Serv., Rocky Mountain For. Range Exp. Sta., Research Paper RM-200. 12 p.
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