Thursday, September 15, 2016
The Engelmann Spruce - Picea engelmannii
The Engelmann Spruce - Picea engelmannii - is a medium/large Evergreen tree. Growing in a tall and conical form with an average height of 80-130 feet tall, with few recorded to reach heights of over 200 ft.
Image Citation (Photos 1&2): Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service (retired), Bugwood.org
The bark is Grey, thin, scaly, flaking off in circular sections revealing an Orange color in sections below. Male flowers are a dark purple and Female are a reddish/purple, the flowers develop into shiny light brown cones that average 2-2.5 inches long. The cones form at the ends of the twigs during the Spring growth season.
The Engelmann Spruce is native through Southwest Canada, through the Cascade, Monashee, and Selkirk Mountains, continuing South through the Rocky Mountains and portions of the Pacific Northwest. It is often confused with the Blue Spruce, White Spruce, Black Spruce, Norway Spruce and Sitka Spruce-many of which take over in growth ranges where the Engelmann leaves off. The seeds are black with slender brown wings.
Engelmann Spruce wood is harvested for both paper-making and general construction. Wood from slow-grown trees such as this variety growing at high altitudes have a specialized use in the making of musical instruments such as acoustic guitars, harps, violins, and pianos.