I want to clarify the spruce collecting trips that I make. While the area it looks very much like natural forests it is not. It is a typical Alpine cow pasture at and above the timber line. By the middle of June farmers bring hundreds of cows to that area where they stay until beginning of September. The first thing the cows do instead of eating grass is they eat the new growth of the spruce. They do this over decades. This is why these spruce are not tall like a normal spruce but stunted and have an incredible number of lower branches which make excellent taper and character. The farmers hate these trees because eventually they will grow larger and ruin the pasture land by making a forest of it again. Therefore they hack them out here and there. It is very easy to get permission. In fact we are helping the farmers to clear their pasture from little trees. And we are actually saving the trees.
For those who wonder whether this is really good material I have two examples which came from exactly that area fifteen years ago. I wish I had taken many more at that time.
I have no doubt that all the spruce we collected will be of similar quality as these two examples one day. Well, it will take fifteen years again, I am afraid.