Engelmann spruce

Silhouette - Engelmann spruce
  • Latin name: Picea engelmannii Parry ex Engelm.
  • French name: Épinette d'Engelmann
  • Synonym(s): White spruce , silver spruce , mountain spruce , Columbian spruce
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 183291
Description

Leaves

  • Needle and needle cross section - Engelmann spruce

Form

  • Curved
  • Somewhat flexible
  • Aromatic when crushed
  • Tip pointed or blunt
  • Upper needles on a horizontal twig tending to point toward the tip

Length

  • 15–25 mm

Colour

  • Bluish-green, often coated with a whitish powder
  • Lines of white dots on all sides

Buds

Form

  • Conical
  • Non-resinous
  • Scales rounded
  • Outer scales long-pointed, slightly reflexed

Colour

  • Light brown

Twigs

  • Twig terminal - Engelmann spruce

Form

  • Somewhat hairy

Colour

  • Greyish to light brown

Seed cones (mature)

  • Cone scale; outer surface with bract (left), inner surface with winged seed (right), winged seed and seed (below) - Engelmann spruce

Form

  • Cylindrical to narrowly ovoid
  • Shiny

Length

  • 3–7 cm

Colour

  • Scales yellowish-brown

Structure

  • Scales thin, flexible, loose-fitting, tapered at both ends
  • Irregularly toothed and often split at the tip
  • Bracts comparatively prominent

Timing

  • Cones open in autumn
  • Shed during winter or following spring, often retain some seeds

Seeds

Length

  • Seed 2–4 mm
  • Seed wing 5–8 mm

Colour

  • Dark brown

Bark

Form

  • Thin, broken into large, loose, coarse, rounded scales
  • Newly exposed bark resinous

Colour

  • Brownish
  • Newly exposed bark silvery-white

Wood

Uses

  • Wood pulp, lumber

Size

Height

  • To 35 m; 55-m-high trees reported

Diameter

  • To 90 cm

Maximum age

  • 300 years

Tree form

  • Silhouette - Engelmann spruce

Forest-grown

Crown

  • Dense, symmetrical, narrow, spire-like
  • Lower branches often sloping downward
  • Secondary branches may hang vertically

Habitat

Site

  • Mountain slopes at elevations between 1000 and 2000 m, along streams at lower elevations
  • Frequently forms part of the alpine tree line

Light tolerance

  • Shade-tolerant

Associated species

  • Occurs in pure stands, more often mixed with subalpine fir, western hemlock, western larch, lodgepole pine, birches, and aspen

Range

Interior British Columbia, adjacent parts of Alberta, southward into the United States

Insects and diseases

Insects and diseases that are found most frequently and/or that cause the most damage in our Canadian forests.

Photos
  • Engelmann spruce
  • Engelmann spruce
  • Engelmann spruce
  • Engelmann spruce
  • Engelmann spruce
Distribution map
Distribution map - Engelmann spruce
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