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Native Plant Database

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Picea sitchensis

Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carrière

Sitka spruce

Pinaceae (Pine Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: PISI

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

The world’s largest spruce, with tall, straight trunk, from buttressed base, and broad, open, conical crown of horizontal branches. Sitka spruce is a 50-100 ft. tree wide spreading, rigidly branched and drooping branchlets. Bark is scaly and dark red-brown. Needles are green on the lower surface, white above.

The main timber tree in Alaska, Sitka Spruce produces high-grade lumber for many uses and wood pulp for newsprint. Special products are piano sounding boards, boats, and food containers. It was formerly used in aircraft construction.

 

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Brown
Size Class: 72-100 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May

Distribution

USA: AK , CA , OR , WA
Canada: BC
Native Distribution: Pacific Coast region from s. AK through w. B.C. to n.w. CA
Native Habitat: Moist to swampy coastal areas

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Moist to wet soils.
Conditions Comments: Susceptible, especially in the Pacific Northwest, to defoliation by red spider and to malformation by spruce gall.

Propagation

Description: Sitka spruce is propagated from seed which is slow to germinate. Cuttings root in low percentages.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: No treatment is necessary, but seeds may benefit from 1-3 month stratification.
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FACU FAC FAC
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA

Additional resources

USDA: Find Picea sitchensis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Picea sitchensis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Picea sitchensis

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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