Sitka Spruce


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British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide
Sitka1.Jpg
SITKA SPRUCE
picea sitchensis
  • Sitka Spruce is also known as Coast Spruce, Tideland Spruce, Yellow Spruce
  • Sitka Spruce has been introduced and is now widely grown in Britain and northern Europe
  • Sitka Spruce is a frequent host to the spruce weevil whose offspring will kill new growth

UNIQUE FEATURES:

  • Sitka Spruce is the largest of BC's spruces
  • Some native tribes considered Sitka Spruce to have magic powers

LOCATION:

  • Sitka Spruce are found along the west coast of British Columbia
  • Sitka Spruce usually found from sea level to 700 metres
  • Sitka Spruce prefer river and stream flood plains and coastal fogbelt

SIZE:

  • Sitka Spruce average 70 metres tall and 2 metres in diameter
  • Sitka Spruce can reach up to 93 metres tall and 5 metres in diameter

CONES:

  • seed cones - wavy, papery scales with ragged edges; reddish to yellowish-brown
  • pollen cones - red

Sitka2.Gif

NEEDLES:

  • 4 sided
  • bluish-green, stiff and sharp
  • 2 white lines on both upper and lower surfaces
  • arranged spirally along twigs
  • longest and flattest leaves of BC spruces

BARK:

  • thin, scaly
  • brown or purplish grey

WOOD CHARACTERISTICS:

  • light, soft, strong, flexible

USES:

  • modern - general construction, ship building, plywood, musical instruments, airplane construction
  • traditional - roots: hats, baskets, ropes, fishing lines, twine; inner bark/young shoots: source of vitamin C, laxative; pitch: caulk and waterproof boats, harpoons and fishing gear, medicine for burns, boils and other sking irritants, glue; wood: carved to make love charms

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Sitka Spruce