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Large sitka spruce in Glen Affric, Scottish Highlands, Uk. Sitka Spruce Picea sitchensis (Pinaceae) HEIGHT to 52m. Large conical evergreen tapering to a spire-like crown. Trunk is stout and buttressed in large specimens. BARK Greyish-brown, becoming purplish and scaly in older specimens. BRANCHES Ascending with slightly pendent, hairless side-shoots. LEAVES Needles, to 3cm long, stiff and flattened with a distinct keel, bright green above with 2 pale-blue bands below; appear crowded on upper surface of shoot, with lower surface more exposed. General impression is of tough, sharply spined, blue-green foliage on a sturdy tree. REPRODUCTIVE PARTS Female cones are yellowish and small at first, growing to about 9cm, becoming cylin¬drical and shiny pale brown, covered with papery toothed scales. STATUS AND DISTRIBTION Native of high-rainfall areas on W coast of North America. The largest spruce species and some specimens, guarded in National Parks, have reached heights of 80m. Introduced to our region and widely planted for commercial forestry and sometimes for ornament.