Sitka Spruce

Photo of the Tree

The Sitka spruce is the tallest conifer in North America. It grows to an average height of between 182 and 264 feet (55 and 80 metres), and has an estimated life span of from 700 to 800 years.

One of the most spectacular specimens of the Sitka spruce is found in the forest of the Carmanah Valley on Vancouver Island. It is 314 feet (95 metres) tall, which is a record for a Canadian tree.

The Sitka spruce occurs along the Pacific coast, from Alaska down to the southern United States. It is most abundant on Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands.

Because of its high moisture requirements, the Sitka spruce occurs in the fog belt and along inlets and streams. It prefers moist, well-drained soils. It grows in pure stands, but is more often mixed with other species of the Pacific coast.

Its high quality wood has been used in aircraft construction. During the Second World War, aircraft, including the famed Mosquito bomber, were made from Sitka spruce.


Leaf

Photo - Leaf

Needles, pointed and flat, often at 90 degree angle to twig.

Fruit

Photo - fruit

Fruits, brownish yellow seed cones.