Up to 40 metres tall, the Englemann spruce is one of the taller conifers in the Southern Interior Mountains ecoprovince. It has pointed bluish-green needles that spread out on all sides of its twigs and are squarish if you roll them between your fingers.
RANGE & HABITAT
It is found throughout southern B.C. and up through the interior. This spruce can grow in a variety of different habitats, from subalpine regions to floodplains and lakeshores.
These cold-tolerant species can live up to 1000 years of age. They produce cones after 20 years and the seeds are dispersed by the wind.
Beyond the fact that the spruce provides important habitat and winter shelter for a variety of small animals, it also is a food source for the big horned sheep and porcupine which munch on the bark and foliage. The seeds are well liked by many species of birds as well as small mammals.
TRADITIONAL FIRST NATIONS USES
The Nlaka’pmx and Secwepemc used the bark to make canoes. They also would split the roots for sewing baskets and use the pitch (the sap or sticky stuff) for slivers and sores.
Today we use the wood to make musical instruments like violins and pianos. The spruce is also used to make plywood.
COSEWIC: Not at Risk
Photo: Calypso Orchid