Sitka spruce
Picea sitchensis

Sitka spruce is the largest spruce species. It occurs along the northwest coast of North America, from northern California to Alaska. Moist ocean air and summer fog are important factors accounting for Sitka spruce's large growth. Sitka spruce is the most important timber tree in Alaska.

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Light Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Sitka spruce is used for ladders, oars, aircraft components, planking, masts, turbine blades for wind-energy converters, sounding boards for musical instruments (pianos, guitars, etc.).


Wildlife Value
      Deer, porcupines, elk, bear, rabbits, hares, browse the foliage. Sitka spruce provides good roosting spots for bald eagles and peregrine falcons.
          Attracts: squirrels, rabbits, hares, porcupines, deer, elk, bears, eagles, falcons

Regeneration methods
      Sitka spruce is shade tolerant and can be regenerated by a variety of methods. Clearcuts are commonly used, but group selections, single tree selection, and shelterwoods also work.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
white pine weevil distorted or dead leaders

Fun facts
Sitka spruce is commonly associated with tidewater and fog. It is very tolerant of shade and mixed stands of Sitka spruce and western hemlock are among the most productive forests in the world. The wood is light and strong, is used in many musical instruments, and is a valuable pulp species.
Picea: Latin "pix" (pitch-producing) from Greek "pissa" (pitch) / sitchensis: of Sitka, Alaska
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

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