Sitka Spruce

Alaska State Tree

Sitka_Spruce_small.jpg

Sitka spruce seedling

Sitka Spruce; photo © The Arboretum at Penn State Behrend (used by permission).

Sitka Spruce

Alaska designated Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis) as the official state tree in 1962. Named for Sitka Sound in Alaska, the Sitka spruce is the tallest conifer in the world. Moist ocean air and summer fog are the main factors that account for Sitka spruce's large growth.

Sitka spruce trees provide good roosting spots for bald eagles and peregrine falcons. Deer, porcupines, elk, bear, rabbits, and hares browse the foliage. Native to northwest America, Sitka spruce trees are found on the coast from northern California to Alaska. Sitka spruce is also the most important timber tree in Alaska, used for many products including ladders, oars, aircraft components, planking, masts, and sounding boards for musical instruments (pianos, guitars, etc).

Alaska

Images

Sitka spruce in morning mist - photo © Doug Penn: PBS - Harriman (used by permission)
Sitka spruce trees in morning mist