Sitka Spruce - c’əlqayʔac - (Picea sitchensis)
A large, fast-growing, coniferous evergreen, Sitka Spruce is the largest species of spruce typically reaching 125-180 feet tall with some being known to have reached up to 330 feet tall with a trunk diameter at breast height that may exceed 16 feet. It is a long-lived tree with known individuals being over 700 years old. Sitka Spruce has a broad conical crown when younger, but becomes more cylindric with maturity. The bark is thin and scaly, with yellowish-green sharp, needle-like leaves. The Sitka Spruce’s pendulous cones are slender 2.5- to 4-inch-long cylinders that have thin, flexible scales. The shallow root system of Sitka Spruce can make it susceptible to wind throw, and paired with its thin bark susceptible to fire damage. However, Sitka Spruce acts as an early pioneer in undeveloped soils of landslides, sand dunes, uplifted beaches and deglaciated terrain, and acts as a secondary-colonizer near fire-burned sites via wind dispersed seeds. This tree is a critical habitat for wide array of wildlife, including Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons. The Sitka Spruce is valued for its wood that has excellent acoustic properties making it a favorite used in musical instruments. Its spring tips are enjoyed by wildlife, and often used to flavor beer and boiled to make syrup. Native Americans have believed the Sitka Spruce has mystical properties and as such have used it ceremoniously, as well as medicinally, and for other uses.
*Prefers full sun, does not tolerate shade well
* Prefers deep, moist, well-drained soils
*As a maritime species it grows from shoreline to timberline
* Max height 330 feet, with a 16-foot max diameter
*Sold Bare Root
*Sold in bundles of 10
c’əlqayʔac *Lushootseed provided by the Puyallup Tribal Language Program and audio by Chris Briden, Puyallup Tribal member.