Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis)
Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis) originates from the west coast of North America and is named after Sitka, Alaska. It has been grown for timber since it was introduced to Britain in 1830s.
Useful info about Sitka Spruce trees
|Latin Name||Picea sitchensis|
|Height||Can grow up to 50 m (164ft)|
|Spread||The branches can spread out to 10 m (32ft)|
|Soil Types Preferred||Clay, Loam, Sand|
|Locations Suitable||Farmland, Gardens, Parks|
|Flowers||Bright green foliage tips in spring|
|Fruit||Cones in late summer / autumn|
Sitka Spruce is an evergreen Tree growing to 50 m (164ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a fast rate.
The trees flowers in May, and the seeds (cones) ripen from September to October.
The cones are 6 - 10cm long.
The young shoots and young male catkins can be eaten raw or cooked.
A refreshing tea, rich in vitamin C, can also be made from the young shoot tips.
Sitka Spruce can be used as a flavouring
The central portion of the female cones, when roasted, is sweet and syrupy.
The inner bark can be eaten raw or cooked. It can be dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to cereals when making bread.
The seeds can be eaten raw and are rich in fats.
A gum, obtained from the bark, can be hardened in cold water and then used for chewing. It needs to be aged for 3 days or more before using it though. The best gum is gathered from the southern side of the tree.
Sitka spruce was widely employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who used it especially for its antiseptic and pectoral qualities in the treatment of lung complaints, wounds, sores etc. It is rarely, if at all, used in modern herbalism.
Any uses for trees or tree extracts, whether edible or medicinal, have not been tried or tested by EFORESTS.
Please take caution and seek proper advice before attempting any recipes or medicinal extracts from any of the trees listed on our site.
Culture and Symbolism
The spruce is also known as the tree of birth.
Spruce trees are believed to represent life and hope, resistance and strength.
In Greek mythology, the spruce is devoted to Artemis, goddess of the Moon and of the wild.
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