Characteristics of Norway spruce as a Christmas tree species
The needles of Norway spruce (Picea abies) are no more than 1-2 cm long, green and sticky. Norway spruce loses its needles more often than noble fir. If you cut across the needles, the cross section is quadratic, and on each outside surface, there is a light stripe. On young trees and on the branches of the Norway spruce, the bark is reddish brown, and the stem has a small deposit of scurf. Over time, the bark becomes more greyish brown, and the scurf deposit becomes more extensive and coarse.
Within the Nordic countries, the Norway spruce is considered to be the "original" Christmas tree. However, with the entry of central heating in private homes, the climate became warmer and drier (and more healthy), and the Norway spruce therefore dries out faster today than was previously the case. This results in needle loss. However, the needle loss can be reduced substantially, if the tree is put into water after harvest. Evaporation can also be limited, if the tree is brought inside immediately prior to Christmas Day.