The most common spruce tree in N. America. Common Name: Englemann Spuce

The most common spruce tree in N. America. Common Name: Englemann Spuce
  • Binomial Name:  Picea engelmannii
  • Soil Type:  Moist/rich
  • Sunlight:  Full sun/Light shade
  • Plant Type: Evergreen tree
  • Form: Pyramidal
  • Foliage: Evergreen needles
  • Fruit/Flower: Cones

Named in honor of the German born botanist George Engelmann, the Engelmann spruce can grow up to 150 feet tall and can live to be over 500 years old. One of nearly forty species in the genus Picea, it is the most common spruce tree in North America. Growing at mid to high elevations east of the Cascade Crest, it serves as an important food source for everything from bighorn sheep, deer, porcupine and a number of native bird species.

Pyramidal in form, the Engelmann spruce is a slender, densely branched conifer with blue-green needles that most commonly grows alongside sub-alpine fir in its native habitat. They say never to shake hands with a spruce, but the needles of Picea engelmannii are much more forgiving than those of its close relative, the Colorado blue spruce.

Engelmann spruce can be found growing alongside a number of trails and protected wilderness areas in the Cascade Mountains, including the Mt Adams and Indian Heaven Wilderness Areas in SW Washington as well as the Badger Creek Wilderness southeast of Mount Hood.

By the City Landscape and Urban Forestry Department