AbstractA number of important anatomical features and chemical composition in opposite, normal, and compression wood of Norway spruce (Picea abies) were evaluated to optimally utilize spruce logs containing compression wood. A comparison of axial tracheid and ray cell features in the opposite, normal, and compression wood was provided. Lignin, cellulose, acetone-soluble, and water-soluble extractive contents of the woods were also determined. Results revealed a major variation in the anatomical and chemical characteristics of the woods. Compression wood showed extremely different microscopic features, and chemical composition compared to normal and opposite wood. In most of features investigated in the present study, normal wood occupied a transitional position between opposite and compression wood.