Picea sitchensis

Sitka spruce

Habit: this large graceful spruce can reach heights of 230 ft (70 m), with a cylindrical shaped crown in older trees. The branches are sparse near the bottom, upper branches are rigid and branchlets appear to droop. The bluish green to yellowish needles are slightly flattened to triangular in cross section but are still able to be rolled through the fingers. They are stiff and have a very sharp tip. Pollen cones are red to purple and small, seed cones are a brown to purple color and larger reaching 4 in (10 cm) long in some cases. Both cones are pendulous.

Ecology: ranging from Southern Alaska, to Northern California at low to mid elevations, although has been found at timberline in certain locations.  Picea sitchensis prefers the moist coastal areas, and floodplains.

Growing Conditions: prefers full sun, moist, well-drained soil and cool temperatures. It is intolerant to shade and pollution.

This species is the worlds largest of all spruces and provides habitat for a large variety of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. It is browsed only in the spring by a variety of birds. It is used in the production of airplanes and soundboards on musical instruments.



Evergreen Coniferous Tree
40-230 ft (12-70 m)
trunk can reach widths of 6.5 ft (2 m)
USDA Zones:

Native Habitat

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