Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis) NON-NATIVE
of all the spruces (up to 60-90 metres high in its native habitat) was introduced
from North America in 1831 and has become the most widely planted commercial forest tree in the UK.
Over 45% of woodlands in Scotland consist of Sitka Spruce.
It is an evergreen,
coniferous tree which grows up to 45 metres in height. It is conical in shape,
with the upper branches ascending, while lower branches drooping and heavier. It has smooth
bark which peels off in rounded flakes.
It is widely planted for commercial forestry and on a wide range of soils.
Male and female flowers are in seperate clusters towards the tips of branches near the top of the same tree.
Needles are sharp and stiff.
Woody, light brown, cylindrical cones are 5-8cm long, have crinkled scales and hang downwards.
timber, which is fast growing, used in the construction industry, packaging,
and paper making (pulp).