Sitka Spruce on High Close tree trail

Sitka Spruce

The natural range of this tree is all along the coast of North West America, and is named after the city Sitka in Alaska.

Latin name

Picea sitchensis

A few facts about the Sitka Spruce

Introduced to the UK in 1831 by Scottish botanist David Douglas, its height and graceful shape meant it was one of the first ‘exotic’ tree species to be planted in Victorian parks and landscape gardens. High Close arboretum was created because of the vogue for exotic and unusual species during this era. These tall, evergreen species frame the vistas into the surrounding fell landscape.

Sitka Spruce is used in commercial plantations due to its speedy growth rate, quality and versatility. It takes only around 50 years to reach maximum timber potential. Timber can be used for ship construction, paper making and provide high quality tonewood for guitars. Young Sitkas are even used to make spruce beer, even author Jane Austen brewed a ‘great cask’ of it.