Tree Species of the World's Boreal Forests

Herbs, Shrubs and Other Plants

Terminology | Pictorial

Picea sitchensis
Sitka Spruce
Pinaceae (Pine Family)

The Sitka Spruce is the world's largest spruce. It has a tall, straight trunk and a broad, open, conical crown of horizontal branches. It can reach a height of 49 m with a diameter of 0.9 - 1.5 m; sometimes even larger.

Sitka Spruce


Distinguishing Features - Needles: evergreen; spreading on all sides of twig, 1.5 - 2.5 cm long; flattened and slightly keeled, sharp-pointed; dark green. Bark: gray, smooth, thin; becoming dark purplish-brown with scaly plates. Twigs: brown, stout, hairless, rough, with peglike bases. Cones: 5 - 9 cm long; cylindrical, short-stalked, light orange-brown; hanging at ends of twigs; opening and falling at maturity; cone-scales long, stiff, thin, rounded, and irregularly toothed; paired, brown, long-winged seeds.


Pacific Coast from southern Alaska and British Columbia to northern California; prefers coastal regions in fog belt, high rainfall and cool climate; in pure stands; also with Western Hemlock.


The Sitka Spruce is the main timber tree in Alaska. It produces high-grade lumber for many uses and wood pulp for newsprint. It was formerly used in aircraft construction. Remember the "Spruce Goose" of Howard Hughes fame?

Return to Top of Page

Home | Forest Capital of Canada | About Our Website |
Ontario's North (West) Forest | Boreal Forests of the World | North (West) Forest Industry |
World Links and Resources | "Forest Finder" Search Engine | Educational Resources |
What's Happening | Contacts | Site Map |