Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carrière
Pinaceae (Pine Family)
USDA Symbol: PISI
The world’s largest spruce, with tall, straight trunk, from buttressed base, and broad, open, conical crown of horizontal branches. Sitka spruce is usually a 50-100 ft. tree with wide spreading, rigidly branched and drooping branchlets. It can be much taller. 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 CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Cone
Size Notes: Up to about 250 feet tall. Often much shorter.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
DistributionUSA: AK , CA , OR , WA
Native Distribution: Pacific Coast region from s. AK through w. B.C. to n.w. CA
Native Habitat: Moist to swampy coastal areas
Growing ConditionsWater 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.
PropagationDescription: 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
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Web ReferenceWebref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Picea sitchensis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Picea sitchensis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Picea sitchensis
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-09-21
Research By: TWC Staff