Sitka Spruce is Tall and is Invading Norway

Sitka Spruce is Tall and is Invading Norway

Sitka spruce, or Picea sitchensis, can reach heights of 317 feet or 96.7 meters. It is one of the largest coniferous trees, it is the third-tallest conifer species, and is the largest spruce species. In summary, it’s a big tree. Unlike the giant sequoia, the Sitka spruce is not endangered. It’s not even threatened.

If you want to go see some Sitka spruce trees, you’ll find them along the west coast of Canada and the northwest coast of the United States including Washington, Oregon, and the northernmost part of California. You will notice that the thin and scaly bark flakes off in circular plates measuring between 5 and 20 centimeters. If you find some older trees, you’ll find that the lowest branches will potentially only be as low as 98 feet.

Sitka spruce is highly valued because it grows fast, even in poor soils where other trees would fail to grow at all. If ideal conditions are met, it’s possible for annual growth of 4.9 feet or 1.5 meters. It is so good at growing that Norway considers the Sitka spruce to be an invasive species according to Aftenposten.

The species Picea sitchensis belongs to the Picea genus in the Pinaceae family in the Pinales order of the Pinopsida class in the Pinophyta and is part of the Plantae kingdom.

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