Sitka Spruce Is The State Tree Of Alaska From 1962. The Legislature Of Alaska designated Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) as the official state tree in 1962. The natural home of Sitka spruce is a narrow belt of the Pacific Northwest coast of North America. It grows along this coast from Alas ka in the north down through Briti sh Columbia, Washington and Oregon to California.
Alaska State Tree grows at low elevations, hugging the coastline and islands and only venturing inland along river valleys. Research and experience have proven that National Tree Of Alaska Sitka spruce from the middle of this natural range, from British Columbian (including Queen Charlotte Island) and Washington provenances, are best suited for timber production purposes in Ireland.
General: Spruce Family (Pinaceae). Alaska State Tree Sitka spruce is a large, native, evergreen tree that can grow up to two hundred feet in height. The needles are yellowish green to bluish-green, stiff, very sharp, 1 to 1½ inches long, with white lines of stomata on the upper surface (Pojar & MacKinnon 1994). The cones are one to four inches long, hanging down, with very thin scales, rounded, and irregularly toothed. The bark is gray and smooth on small trunks, becoming dark purplish-brown on older trunks.
Interesting Facts About Sitka Spruce Trees:
- Sitka Spruce trees can produce a myriad of natural oils, which can aid minor ailments.
- Sitka Spruce wood has many purposes aside from tonewood. Sailors often used Sitka Spruce wood for masts on their ships, and crates for their cargo.
- Sitka Spruce trees are one of the tallest species of trees, right up there with Redwoods and Giant Sequoias. Sometimes, they get to be very old, and outrageously tall.
- The Sitka Spruce tree is a symbol for a female protector and guardian; the Sitka is the “mother tree”.
- The tallest tree is just shy of 200 feet tall; you can view this tree in Olympic National Park, Washington.