Category: Coniferous Trees
Facts about Sitka Spruce Tree, Scientific name for Sitka Spruce Tree is Picea sitchensis". Sitka Spruce Tree is sometimes called the tideland spruce, yellow spruce and coast spruce. Picea sitchensis is occasionally considered the Picea sitchensis Bong for the most common variety.
Sitka Spruce Tree "Picea sitchensis" is a member of the pinaceae or pine family. It is a member of the pinales order, pinopsida class and tracheophyta phylum.
The Sitka Spruce Tree is a conifer. It has light green and bluish green leaves. The leaves have four sides ad have light white bands on their upper surface. Needles grow in a spiral pattern. The cones are reddish and yellow brown and the Sitka Spruce Tree's pollen cones are red.
The seed scales are thin and irregularly toothed. The scales have a lighter tipped edge.
The Sitka Spruce Tree’s bark is thin, ranging from brown to reddish gray.
The Sitka Spruce Tree is the largest member of its genus. It also grows faster than its relatives.
The Sitka Spruce Tree regularly reaches 200 feet (60.9 meters) in height if allowed to grow that long and 6 1/2 feet (two meters) in diameter. The tallest known specimen was 305 feet (93 meters) tall and 16 1/2 (five meters) across.
It occurs across much of the Pacific Northwest, growing from the tidewater all the way up to one kilometer or half a mile up the mountainside. In Alaska and areas where winters are not moderate, the Sitka Spruce Tree only reaches elevations of 656 feet (200 meters).
Sitka Spruce Tree is always found in close proximity to ocean weather, but can survive in a variety of soils as long as it receiving annual precipitation from 4 1/4 to 13 feet (1.3 meters to 4 meters). The Sitka Spruce Tree can tolerate acidic soils that other trees don’t do well in.
It is found from Oregon to Alaska, taking over after the redwood ends. The Sitka Spruce Tree grows on both the mainland and islands off the coast of the Western shore.
The Sitka Spruce Tree is considered a pioneer after disturbance, one of the first species to appear after a fire or logging.
The Sitka Spruce Tree species of pine is abundant and of least concern to the IUCN.
The Sitka Spruce Tree is parasitized by the spruce weevil. The weevil lays its eggs in the tree bud, and they kill the new growth on the Sitka Spruce Tree.
Place in the Ecosystem
It is regularly found with Tsuga heterophylla, a shade-dwelling competitor and other conifers like the western red cedar and yellow cedar. It grows among western hemlock trees. The Sitka Spruce Tree’s canopy towers over ferns, mosses, blueberry bushes and horsetails.
The Sitka Spruce Tree is primarily used for its lumber; large specimens are still used today for ship masts and construction. The Sitka Spruce Tree’s wood has one of the highest strength to weight ratios in the world. The largest trees have been mostly logged, with few known examples over 250 feet (76.2 meters) today, but the species is not endangered due to its abundant numbers and deliberate planting. Smaller trees today are used for paper pulp.
Native Americans used to use the Sitka Spruce Tree’s roots to make ropes, fishing lines, sewing materials and baskets. The dried inner bark was used as source of vitamin C, but the fresh inner is a laxative and should not be consumed. The pitch was used as caulk for boats and water-proofing of clothing. The pitch was used as a medicine for burns and skin irritants.
Sitka Spruce Tree is also the name of a city in Alaska. Sitka Spruce Tree do surround the city.
Sitka pines have been planted in Ireland and among the Scottish moors to start timber plantations.