It can grow up to 50 m or more with a trunk over 2m in diameter.
Is greyish brown which gets curved fissures and flaky plates as it grows.
Leaves Flowers and Cones
Where and how does the Sitka Spruce grow?
This conifer naturally grows on the west coast of North America . It has a very fast growth rate compared to some other trees. This means it can yield high volumes of timber in a comparatively short time. Foresters have developed models for growth or yield. The “yield class” figure is the mean cubic metres growth, for each hectare of tree species for each years growth. Sitka spruce has a yield class of 14 (14 cubic metres per hectare per year); Oak can be as low as 4. In terms of time, a Sitka spruce only needs to grow for 40 -60 years to reach its maximum timber potential. An oak can take up to and over 150 years.
Wildlife around the Sitka Spruce
Sitka Spruce can grow close together to make a very dense canopy. It is difficult for sunlight to find it’s way through to the woodland floor so few plants can grow underneath them. Sitka Spruce do, however, give excellent shelter from wind, rain, cold and sometimes the heat of the sun. Larger animals such as deer and foxes like to find cover amongst the branches. Birds of prey, like Goshawks and Sparrowhawks can find excellent nesting and hunting sites on and around the Sitka Spruce.
Smaller birds such as the Crossbill, Tree Creeper, Coal tit and Siskin also enjoy living and feeding around the Sitka Spruce. picture
The wood from this tree is top quality - it is very versatile and is easy to work with. “Thinnings” (smaller trees taken from plantation) are particularly valuable for paper making as the white colour of the wood and long cellulose fibres make strong but smooth paper
Sitka spruce wood today
Boat and ship construction, pallets, packing boxes, board manufacture and paper making
Old uses - Used for aircraft frames and gliders.