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Sitka Spruce Picea sitchensis
RESONANT AND STRONG SOFTWOOD
Used for many purposes and confused with many other softwoods, Sitka spruce is renowned for being resonant and as a result is often used to make guitars and other musical instruments. It is particularly straight-grained and strong for its weight. The long fibers have made it popular in the manufacture of plywood for making aircraft and for pulping to make paper.

KEY CHARACTERISTICS
Type Temperate softwood
Other names Silver spruce, tideland spruce, Menzies spruce, coast spruce, yellow spruce
Related species Red spruce (P. rubens), black spruce (P. mariana), Englemann spruce (P. engelmannii), western white spruce (P. glauca)
Sources Northwest coast of United States and west coast of Canada
Color Pale straw, with pinkish hue to heartwood
Texture Uniformly medium, with coarser texture when grown faster
Grain Straight
Hardness Medium; strong for its weight and easy to bend Weight Light (26 Ib./cu. ft.) (420 kg/cu. m)

AVAILABILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY
Sitka spruce is readily available. There is no evidence that it is under threat and it is a fast-growing tree, though there is bound to be increasing pressure on old-growth trees whose high-quality wood is favored for musical instruments. Certified supplies are available. Top-quality lumber is expensive for a softwood, but not by the standards of rare exotic hardwoods.



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Updated: 08/2017   copyright 2011 Rowecraft