Sitka Spruce

Picea sitchensis

  1. Wildlife
  2. Trees and shrubs
  3. Sitka Spruce


The Sitka Spruce is a tall, evergreen conifer originally from the west coast of North America. It was introduced into the UK in 1831 and has become our most widely planted forest tree. Between the 1950s and 1980s, it was notoriously planted in large, regimented, dark and uniform forests.

How to identify

Spruce trees differ from firs by having downwards hanging cones, and from pine trees by having shorter needles. The Sitka Spruce has shorter cones than the Norway Spruce.

Where to find it

Widespread, planted for forestry.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Although plantations of introduced tree species are often considered to be poor for biodiversity, they can, in fact, support a range of wildlife from Red Squirrels to Firecrests. The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves sympathetically for wildlife by ensuring a range of appropriate tree species provide food and shelter. You can help too: volunteer for The Wildlife Trusts and you could be involved in everything from traditional forest crafts to raising awareness about woodland wildlife.

Species information

Common name
Sitka Spruce
Latin name
Picea sitchensis
Trees and shrubs
Height: up to 60m Pine cone length: 10cm
Conservation status
Introduced species.