European Spruce ??

This topic contains 10 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Matt Hayden 3 weeks ago.

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  • #271

    zorro
    Participant

    Tried to put this question on the “Ask Santa Cruz” page but could not open it.
    So…Do any of you SCGC informants no what the term means?? Like versus Italian or German or Moon.
    My O.T. top is Italian and so stated on the specs. My F cut away is German, also stated on the specs. The 1934 D Zorro is Adi and specified on the build order.
    Just wonder why the origin of the wood is so specific on most and the Euro is generic ?


    1993 Martin Custom HD-28 Eir/Sitka
    2001 SCGC Custom F Cutaway Maple/Sitka

    2008 SCGC Custom Otis Taylor H Madi/Italian
    2015 SCGC Custom OM “The Tree” Hog/European
    2016 SCGC Custom 1934 D-45 Braz/ Adi

  • #272

    zorro
    Participant

    Sorry for the wrong “no” I meant KNOW


    1993 Martin Custom HD-28 Eir/Sitka
    2001 SCGC Custom F Cutaway Maple/Sitka

    2008 SCGC Custom Otis Taylor H Madi/Italian
    2015 SCGC Custom OM “The Tree” Hog/European
    2016 SCGC Custom 1934 D-45 Braz/ Adi

  • #283

    haasome
    Participant

    I think it is used generically. When I purchased an OM with a Euro top last year I emailed Carolyn to ask and she checked with the shop. They indicated it was German. Perhaps there are times when they can fine tune the designation and other times when they can’t. I believe it is all the same species – Picea abies.


    – Paul –

  • #289

    irvine
    Participant

    If the spruce is German, Italian, Swiss, Austrian, alpine, carpathian, you can be sure, its all the same species – Picea abies – because there is no other endemic spruce in Europe. (Well, not entirely true, there is a very small area near Sarajevo, where Serbian spruce – Picea omorika – grows.) The differences, if any, come from the conditions, under which the trees are growing (temperatures, soil, amount of rainfall, sun hours per year, wind, etc.), and therefore the region of origin can say something about these conditions, though thats not sure at all. Even in the same region, e.g. the Alps, I could show you fast growing trees with huge late wood rings, and a few miles from there extremely slow growing trees with much more even wood, simply because one grows in the valley with rich soil and a long vegetation period, and the other in 1700 metres altitude on a stony northern slope, and water is frozen half of the year.

    Moon spruce is kind of a funny brand name. Time for harvesting spruce trees for best quality is winter, thats common sense, but some people believe considering the moon phase also yields to better wood quality. I don’t know, for me its a bit too esoteric, and some scientific studies done on that matter say: no difference.

    Andrea Florinett in Switzerland is one of those harvesting “moon spruce”. Anyway – if the moon helped sucking out the water and nutrients, or not – Florinett’s moon spruce comes from trees in high alpine altitudes, and is said to be superior quality. Here is more about moon spruce at Florinett’s website:

    http://www.tonewood.ch/moonwood.html

  • #290

    zorro
    Participant

    Thanks Irvine,
    Excellent answer.


    1993 Martin Custom HD-28 Eir/Sitka
    2001 SCGC Custom F Cutaway Maple/Sitka

    2008 SCGC Custom Otis Taylor H Madi/Italian
    2015 SCGC Custom OM “The Tree” Hog/European
    2016 SCGC Custom 1934 D-45 Braz/ Adi

  • #291

    Matt Hayden
    Participant

    Euro spruce is, as Irvine says, picea abides, although noble fir, abies glauca, has also been sold as such.  With acid rain, European forest yields are reduced and what is available can vary.

    There’s an excellent article in one of the older GAL RedBooks that discusses ‘which spruce is which’; the consensus at that time more or less divided the world into generic European/Alpine/Italian,  Englemann (which could and often did sub for European), Adirondack (then barely coming back), Sitka, and a few other things like spruce from northern Japan which Kohno and a few others used.  Preferences were very builder-specific.

    I’ll see if I can find it and photocopy it for you if you’d like…

    mh

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  Matt Hayden.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  Matt Hayden.
  • #293

    Chris aka digdog
    Participant

    Here is another good source to sort out the spruce questions.

    http://www.lutherie.net/eurospruce.html

    Paul Hostetter site   as in  H model.; http://www.lutherie.net/lutherie.html

  • #295

    Chris aka digdog
    Participant

    A quick paragraph that spells it out  clearly and simply.

    Once again, German spruce sold to the lutherie world is often spruce sold by German dealers, and whatever species of spruce it actually is tends to come from a variety of sources, including a certain amount historically imported from the US and Canada. Engelmann spruce, for example, is very popular among luthiers and for decades has been exported to Europe where it has been sold back to Americans (among others) as—you guessed it—German spruce. And because of the lutherie trade, spruce from anywhere in Europe is pretty much identified now as German spruce.

    Unless you cut the tree yourself or can be absolutely certain where that tree was harvested, it is probably safest to just call it spruce. If you’re certain it grew and was harvested in Europe, there’s no point in getting your turban in a twist over common names. If someone says German spruce, just think, “OK, Picea abies, or European spruce.”

    It is a very good thing to read all of Pauls post at his site for a more thorough understanding

  • #297

    irvine
    Participant

    Matt — interesting, that abies glauca is sold as European spruce. Where? In America? Curious in double way, because its neither a spruce (its a “Tannenbaum”), nor is it European. It was brought from America to Europe, growing now in gardens and in plantations as chrismas trees, but never played a big role as a forest tree.

    Unfortunately different names for the same tree, and the same name for different trees is historical reality. And accidents still happen. For example: Fazioli, an Italian piano manufacturer, uses spruce from South Tyrol, which is often called Rot-fichte there. And a clever translator translates their brochure into english, stating, that Fazioli uses red spruce, which is another tree from another continent — namely what you would call adirondack spruce.

    Acid rain was a big problem in the eighties in middle Europe, but this is overcome now. Austrias forests (where 60% is spruce) are getting bigger and bigger.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  irvine.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  irvine.
  • #1983

    Badger
    Participant

    I’m D’03 German Spruce/mahogany owner. I’m Italian and I live in Alps near Swisse border and near Farinet Family’s area. Not far I have Trentino/Paneveggio lands (the wood preferred by Stradivari). In my mountainous region we have very different micro clima spot area. I think that any mountain side have different quality of red spruce. The forest culture and management is also very important to get hight quality spruce wood. Not all region alp is same. I think that german (I think Bavarian region) management of spruce wood is traditionally good. Is that right what I say? Do you have different news?

    Franco

  • #1994

    Matt Hayden
    Participant

    Irvine – in the article, it noted that several of the larger European wood suppliers were selling wood to Americans, and Abies glauca was indeed being subbed for Picea abies.   I don’t think they look at all alike – Picea abies has a lot of transparency compared to Abies spp – but this was twenty years ago.

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