Sitka spruce at Cape Perpetua
Sitka spruce grows along the windy Pacific Coast.
However when growing in valleys where it is protected form the coastal
winds, it can grow to a tall, massive tree up to 260 feet (80 meters)
The needles are thin and stick out all around the twig like a bottle
brush. You can
easily identify a spruce by touching the needle points, which are quite
sharp. Also, spruce needles are unique in growing from short,
woody pegs that remain after the needles fall off.
cones have paper-thin scales that are narrower than those of
Douglas fir and missing the 3-pointed bracts of Douglas fir.
is gray, thin, and breaks into scales on large trees.The base is
buttressed on large trees.
Where it grows: Sitka
spruce grows along
the Pacific Coast and in the coastal forests to elevations of several
hundred feet. At higher elevations, it is usually replaced by western
hemlock. It also
grows along coastal rivers some miles inland and along the Columbia
River as far east as
the Columbia Gorge.
Near the Coast, the wind often deforms the trees, as in the
tree: Engelmann spruce
grows in the Cascades above
4000 feet (1200 meters). The best
way to distinguish Sitka spruce from Engelmann spruce
location. You can also distinguish them by rolling a needle
between your fingers. The flat Sitka needle will not roll, but the
square-shaped Engelmann needle will.
other spruces, Sitka spruce is used for making paper, lumber,
fine musical instruments such
as guitars and violins. It has also been used in making airplanes,
Names: Sitka spruce is named
after Sitka, Alaska, and it is the state tree of Alaska. Sitchensis
to Sitka, Alaska. Other common names: Tideland spruce, coast
spruce, and yellow spruce.
Sitka spruce at Ecola State Park
needles with unique pegs