Sitka Spruce, Ally in the Maritime Forest

Look up from the tide pools to the forest above. If your gaze turns landward, you’ll probably be staring into a spruce forest. No other conifer is as closely associated, in our minds, and in reality, with the Pacific Northwest’s misty wind-buffeted headlands.

Below are three spruce forest perspectives. They frame the shoreline forest of my daydreams.

Sitka doesn’t mind the kiss of salt air

Above the beach the spruce forest looms, brooding

At home on the headlands

Even on distant beaches, not quite so much under Sitka’s spell, you’ll find reminders.

Seed cone, a driftline connection to the maritime forest

Spruce calling card

Whether I’m on my belly in the tide pools or walking the beaches, I’m grateful for the connections between exposed shores and the maritime forests above. If you feel like connecting with an individual Sitka spruce tree, take a moment to look at Octopus Tree, an iconic Oregon spruce and an ally worth knowing.



  1. Sitka spruce capture the foggy mist on the billions and billions of needles . The water then drips from their sharp tips to the forest floor, adding water to the rich soil, enabling the wild riot of mosses, giant ferns, huckleberry, salal, salmonberry, and other plants.

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