Sitka Spruce is the largest of all spruces in this country, reaching a height of 160 feet or more and a diameter of from three to eight feet. The trunk is generally swollen at the base, but with a high clear stem, in dense stands, of 50 to 75 feet. The bark is very thin for a tree of this size, being only one-quarter to one-half inch thick. It is a deep reddish brown or dark purple color and broken into large thin scales. The needles are stiff, prickly, sharply pointed and stand out almost at right angles to the twig and grow all around it. The cones are from two to four inches long, hang down conspicuously from the ends of the high branchlets and are a pale yellow to reddish chocolate color. The largest known living spruce in the world is a Sitka Spruce now growing in the State of Washington. It is 280 feet high and 14 feet in diameter.
- Sitka Spruce (trade)
- Great Tideland Spruce (Cal., lit.)
- Menzies’ Spruce
- Silver Spruce (trade)
- Sequoia Silver Spruce (trade)
- Spruce (trade)
- Tideland Spruce (Cal., Oreg., Wash.)
- Western Spruce
- Western Sitka Spruce (trade)
- West Coast Spruce (trade)
- Yellow Spruce (trade)
The Sitka Spruce grows naturally in a very narrow strip along the Paciﬁc Coast from Alaska south to Northern California, at elevations from sea level to 3,000 feet. It is rarely found more than 40 to 50 miles inland.
The heartwood of the Sitka Spruce ranges in color from a light pinkish yellow, to tan with a purplish tinge, darkening somewhat on exposure to a silvery brown frequently tinged with red. The sapwood is a creamy white, which gradually shades into the heartwood. The wood is without taste or odor, soft, ﬁne straight-grained, uniform in texture, slightly lustrous, and moderately light in weight. It works very easily and the smooth ﬁnish has a silky sheen. It nails easily and holds nails and screws very well.
This wood was very highly prized for aircraft construction before metal planes replaced the wooden craft. Because of its long, strong ﬁbers, Sitka Spruce is a favorite pulpwood for the ﬁner grades of paper. It is used for lumber, boxes, crates, furniture, planing mill products, doors, blinds, sash, general mill work, poultry and apiary supplies, patterns, refrigerators, boat construction, and cooperage. Small quantities are used for piano sounding boards.
|174||Picea Sitchensis (Bongard) Carriere
The San Juan Spruce: Canada's Largest Sitka Spruce
Attribution: By Tim Gage from Vancouver, Canada (IMGP3641Uploaded by Skeezix1000) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
|175||Sitka Spruce Cones And Foliage
The cone and accompanying foliage of a Sitka Spruce
Attribution: By Walter Siegmund [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
|176||Sitka Spruce Tree Bark
Tree bark of the Sitka Spruce
Attribution: By Botaurus [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
|177||Sitka Spruce Foliage
Picea sitchensis foliage, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
Attribution: By Roland Tanglao from Vancouver, Canada (Wild-Pacific-Trail-20100606-IMG_1148.jpg) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
|178||Sitka Spruce Slab
Sitka Spruce slab by Cook Woods
Reference: “Live Edge Sitka Spruce Mini Slab.” Cook Woods, https://www.cookwoods.com/products/live-edge-sitka-spruce-mini-slab-3. Accessed 7 Sept. 2018.