Engelmann spruce
Picea engelmannii

Engelmann spruce is a large western conifer found growing at high elevation locations with short, cool summers and long, very cold winters. The wood of Engelmann spruce is used for a variety of products and many birds and small mammals utilize it as a food source.

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Light Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Engelmann spruce is used for pulpwood, lumber, mine timbers, rail road ties, poles, prefabricated wood products, veneer for plywood, musical instruments, specialized aircraft parts.


Wildlife Value
      Small mammals and birds eat the seeds. Spruce grouse and blue grouse feed on the buds and needles.
          Attracts: chickarees, chipmunks, voles, red squirrels, chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, owls

Regeneration methods
      Engelmann spruce is shade tolerant. However, due to the even greater shade tolerance of firs and hemlocks, clearcutting in strips or patches and group selections are used to regenerate Engelmann spruce. The shelterwood method works too, but it favors fir and hemlock slightly more than spruce.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
spruce beetle foliage loss of color; patches of dead trees

Fun facts
Engelmann spruce is an important watershed protecting species in the western U.S. Its wood typically contains many knots, but it is used where high-quality lumber is not important. Engelmann spruce is occasionally used as in landscape as a screen, windbreak, and as a specimen tree.
Picea: Latin "pix" (pitch-producing) from Greek "pissa" (pitch) / engelmannii: after Dr. George Engelmann
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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.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu