Spruce (Sitka) Softwood

Spruce (Sitka)

Sitka Spruce, also known by its botanical name Picea sitchensis, is a creamy-white to light yellow wood. Its sapwood blends seamlessly into its heartwood, which is pinkie or light pinkie-yellow to pale brown with a purplish hue. On exposure to the elements, its colour darkens to a silvery-brown with a faint touch of red. The grain of Sitka Spruce is typically straight, but occasionally spiral, and is often dimpled on tangential surfaces. This timber has an even, medium to fine texture and a natural gloss, with clearly defined annual rings and no resinous qualities.

Sitka Spruce is a versatile timber that can be used for a variety of purposes, including joists, construction, decking and more. If currently available from sustainable and legal sources, you can find suppliers of Sitka Spruce through our interactive system.

  • Spec:
  • FAQ's:
  • Uses:
  • Links:

Material Type:

Also Called:
Silver Spruce, Menzies Spruce, Tideland Spruce, Coast Spruce, Yellow Spruce

Durability Notes:
Spruce (Sitka) wood is non durable. It is perishable and should only be considered for internal use.

The drying and seasoning of Spruce (Sitka) is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Spruce (Sitka) - both air and kiln dries readily, but if large timber sections is dried too quickly twisting and cupping can occur. Checks, splits and raised grain are other problems that can arise in young-growth wood. Spruce is moderately stable in use. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.

Sitka Spruce has low resistance to shock loads and low stiffness, medium crushing and bending strength but very poor steam-bending properties. Spruce works easily and well with both machine and hand tools and has only a slight blunting effect but hard knots can damage cutters. Spruce planes, turns, saws, drills, moulds, glues, sands, nails, screws, varnishes, paints and stains well. - a good performer all round.

Typical Uses:
Furniture, Cabinets, Flooring, Musical Instruments, Plywood, Veneer, Joinery, Decking, Log Homes, Musical Instruments, Trusses, Pallets, Boxes.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 10-18% for KD (+/- 2%)

Commonly asked questions about Sitka Spruce Wood

Is Spruce a hardwood or a softwood? Spruce is a softwood. It is the same for; is Sitka Spruce hardwood or softwood? - Sitka Spruce is a softwood.

Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Spruce family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.

What colour is Sitka Spruce? Sitka Spruce can be described as light brown, white/cream (vert light brown), yellow/brown

Is Sitka Spruce good for outdoor use? or is Sitka Spruce good for exterior use? Sitka Spruce is most suited for interior/interior use. Sitka Spruce can be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).

Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood

Are you in the timber industry?

Would you like help growing your business and have access to free industry tools and eBooks? Then please visit:



Any One Wood - The Wood Databse