Habit

Norway spruce exhibits an excurrent crown form with marked apical dominance, visible even in individuals of advanced age (Fig. 2.1). The lateral branches typically droop. The maximum height may reach 62 m and maximum diameter at breast height may reach 2 m. The beautiful conical crown shape renders the species a choice Christmas tree throughout Europe. Studies of growth habit and morphology constitute a large body of literature from the early work of SYLVEN (1909) and others from Europe, Asia, and North America, including descriptions of a number of varieties. Variant crown forms are often found in montane populations. Often the crowns appear narrow and cover the entire length of the trunk (Fig. 2.2). Trees possessing narrow crowns in northern and high elevation sites are presumably more efficient in intercepting sunlight at low sun angles for the production of biomass (PULKKINEN and POYKKO 1990).

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