Sitka Spruce is highly valued not only for its extremely high strength to weight ratio but also for its excellent tone and resonating qualities. It is used as the sounding board in the finest grand pianos, acoustic guitars and other fine stringed instruments.
Stronger than the same weight component made of steel, Sitka Spruce is often used in airplane framework components. It is easily shaped and glued making it useful for a wide variety of products including boat building. It is also suitable for food storage and processing since it has virtually no odor or taste.
The Sitka Spruce is the tallest conifer in North America. It grows to an average height of between 180 to 260 feet (55 to 80 meters), and has an estimated average life span of from 700 to 800 years.
One of the most spectacular specimens of the Sitka Spruce is found in the forest of the Carmanah Valley on Vancouver Island. It is 311 feet (95 meters) tall, which is a record for a Canadian tree.
Sitka Spruce occurs along the Pacific coast, from Alaska down to the southern United States and grows only near sea level. It is most abundant on Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands.