The Engelmann Spruce is a tall, narrow, well-shaped tree 80 to 150 feet tall with trunk diameter up to ﬁve feet. The tree grows in the higher mountains of the west at elevations of 4,000 to 12,000 feet. The trunk is straight and slightly tapering. The bark is a dark purplish brown to a russet color, and has small loose thin overlapping scales scarcely one-half inch thick. The needles, which are a deep blue-green color, are about an inch long, ﬂexible and soft but four-angled and rather ﬂat pointed, with a tendency to curve forward. The cones are a light chocolate color, have smooth scales, and are about two inches long. Good seed crops are produced every three or four years, the seed remaining fertile in the soft duff of the forest ﬂoor for several years. The tree is named in honor of Dr. George Engelmann, a distinguished American physician and botanist, who ﬁrst identiﬁed and classiﬁed this particular spruce species about 1860-1865.
- Engelmann’s Spruce (Utah, Idaho)
- Balsam (Utah)
- Arizona Spruce (Cal., lit.)
- Mountain Spruce (Mont.)
- Silver Spruce (Colo.)
- White Pine (Utah, Idaho)
- White Spruce (Oreg., Colo., Utah, Idaho)
The growth range of Englemann Spruce extends from British Columbia and western Alberta southward through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, to small, scattered stands in Nevada and northern California.
The heartwood of Englemann Spruce is a very light creamy-white color with a light reddish-brown or light-yellowish tinge. The narrow sapwood is one-half to two inches thick and a light-creamy color rather difﬁcult to distinguish from the heart-wood were it not for the reddish tinge of the latter. The resin ducts are few in number and small but serve to distinguish this wood from that of the various ﬁrs. The wood is straight-grained, light in weight, medium stiff, soft, and has a ﬁne texture. It is without odor or distinguishing taste. It is very easily worked and glued.
Engelmann Spruce is excellent for making ﬁne quality paper of many kinds. It is very good lumber for construction purposes, subﬂoors, sheathing and dimension lumber. Because of its light weight and strength this wood has been used to some extent in airplane construction. It is also used for interior trim, sash, doors, railroad ties, posts and poles.