The most important of the firs, in an economic sense, is the Norway spruce (Picea excelsa), so well known in British plantations, though rarely attaining there the gigantic height and grandeur of form it often displays in its native woods.
This kind is sometimes seen in plantations, where it may be recognized by its shorter, darker leaves and longer cones.
The white spruce (Picea alba), sometimes met with in English plantations, is a tree of lighter growth than the black spruce, the branches being more widely apart; the foliage is of a light glaucous green; the small light-brown cones are more slender and tapering than in P. nigra, and the scales have even edges.
In the case of small plantations the difficulties of adjusting a right-of-way for outlet ditches have interfered seriously with this plan.
The cultivators, whether owners of the plantations, as is usual in some districts, or tenants, as is customary in others, are financed as a rule by commission agents.