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Sitka Spruce
Picea sitchensis
  
About Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis) 3 Nurseries Carry This Plant The Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis) is a large coniferous evergreen tree growing to 50-70 meter tall, exceptionally to 100 meter tall, and with a trunk diameter of up to 5 meter, exceptionally to 6-7 meter diameter. Native to the northwest coast of North America, primarily Humboldt and Del Norte Counties in California, it is by far the largest species of spruce, and the third tallest conifer species in the world (after Coast Redwood and Coast Douglas-fir). Also, the fourth largest conifer (behind Giant Sequia, Coast and Western Red Cedar). It acquires its name from the community of Sitka, Alaska. The bark is thin and scaly, flaking off in small circular plates 5-20 centimeter across. The crown is broad conic in young trees, becoming cylindric in older trees; old trees may have no branches in the lowest 30-40 meter. The shoots are very pale buff-brown, almost white, and smooth (hairless) but with prominent pulvini. The leaves are stiff, sharp and needle-like, 15-25 millimeter long, flattened in cross-section, dark waxy pale blue-green above with two or three thin lines of stomata, and blue-white below with two dense bands of stomata.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Tree

Size
Size
40 - 229.7 ft tall

Form
Form
Pyramidal, Upright

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Moderate

Dormancy
Dormancy
Evergreen

Flower Color
Flower Color
Yellow

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Spring

Wildlife Supported
 


Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Sun, Part Shade

Moisture
Moisture
Moderate - High

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to 20° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Medium

Soil Description
Soil Description
Prefers rich, forest soil with well-decomposed organic component derived from decaying wood. For garden purposes add redwood compost to soil mix.

Companion Plants
Companion Plants
Because of its great size, this tree should be used on large acreage with other species of the north coast such as Cascades Oregon Grape (Berberis nervosa), Water Birch (Betula occidentalis), Bush Chinquapin (Chrysolepis sempervirens), Dwarf Juniper (Juniperus communis), Huckleberry Oak (Quercus vaccinifolium), Stink Currant (Ribes bracteosum), and Western Raspberry (Rubus leucodermis).

Maintenance
Maintenance
Prune in winter when wood boring insects are less active.

Propagation
Propagation?
For propagating by seed: No treatment. ( USDA Forest Service 1974); 1 mo. stratification ( Babb 1959).

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
2, 3, 4*, 6*, 7, 14, 15*, 16*, 17*

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Moist places near river mouths at lower elevations and usually near the coast, from Ft. Bragg (Mendocino County), California to Kodiak Island, Alaska

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 41.2" - 95.3", Summer Precipitation: 0.68" - 2.93", Coldest Month: 42.6" - 47.6", Hottest Month: 57.0" - 67.8", Humidity: 0.01" - 14.02", Elevation: 2" - 2788"


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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