Do you know about the Alaska State Tree? Keep reading to learn all you need on How to Grow It at home!
You must have seen the Alaska State Tree but never had an idea that it holds that title! Let’s have a look at the details and its growing requirements!
Alaska State Tree
- Sitka Spruce has been the official Alaska State Tree since 1962.
- The tree derives its name from Baranof Island, once known as Sitka Island, full of trees.
- Sitka is the third tallest conifer species and one of the largest in the world.
- Peregrine falcons and Bald eagles find an excellent roosting spot on the Alaska State Tree. Elks, beer, rabbits, deer, hares, and porcupines browse the foliage.
- It is an essential tree for timber in Alaska that is usually used to make oars, planking, masts, ladders, aircraft components, and sounding boards for guitars and pianos.
Growing Requirements of the Alaska State Tree
Alaska State Tree loves to grow in bright light but can tolerate shade too. It is best to plant it in a spot that enjoys direct sun for 4-6 hours daily. If you are growing it in a pot, shift it to a shaded, cool spot in the afternoon of warm months.
This tree loves light sandy, heavy clay, and medium loamy soil but won’t mind growing in regular garden soil too. Amend the soil with plenty of organic matter and compost to boost growth.
Alaska State Tree loves to stay in a moist growing medium. Remember not to leave it in standing water to avoid root rot. Water when the topsoil feels a little dry to the touch, and avoid moistening the soil daily.
If you have used organic matter in the growing medium, it will do just fine without feeding. To boost the growth when the plant is young, use a balanced liquid fertilizer, diluted to 1/2 of its strength, once in 6-8 weeks till it grows to about 4-6 feet in height.
Trim off young branches to create the desired shape. It will help boost new growth and give you control over the height and shape of the tree.
It is ideal for pruning this species in late winter when the tree is still in a dormant stage.
Pests and Diseases
Alaska State Tree is not susceptible to many pests and diseases; Sitka Spruce Tip Weevil can attack the tree. Apply fungicides with copper hydroxide or chlorothalonil to protect your tree from infections like rhizosphere in spring and summer.