Conifer · Edible · Tree · Vancouver Island Native

Picea sitchensis

Scientific name: Picea sitchensis


Common names: “Sitka spruce” “tideland spruce” “coast spruce” “Menzies spruce”

Plant Type: Evergreen conifer tree


Zone: 6-7

Light: Full sun best, cannot grow in shade

Exposure: Exposed or sheltered, tolerant of some salt spray

Soil: Sandy – average, tolerates poor soil

Moisture: Moist-wet


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Plant Size: H 60-160′ W 34′

Leaf and Stem shape: Very sharp, stiff somewhat flattened needles surround branches, leaving little pegs when they fall off

Cone: Small reddish brown pollen cones and larger long narrow seed cones with irregularly toothed scalesRelated image

Pruning: None required

Maintenance: Low – zero

Landscape use: Specimen tree, conservation area, native garden, coastal, bog garden

Propagate: By seed

Pests & Disease: Generally healthy, lower new shoots may get deer pruned

Comments: BC native, State tree of Alaska, edible young shoots are high in vitamin C, young bark was used by first nations as a laxative, the pitch was used as a medicine for skin conditions, peeled, split and dried roots were used to make twined, water-tight hats and baskets

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