Species of Wood: Spruce, Engelmann
Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) grows at high elevations in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. This species is also known as white spruce, mountain spruce, Arizona spruce, silver spruce, and balsam. About two-thirds of the lumber is produced in the southern Rocky Mountain States and most of the remainder in the northern Rocky Mountain States and Oregon. The heartwood of Engelmann spruce is nearly white, with a slight tinge of red. The sapwood varies from 2 to 5 cm (3/4 to 2 in.) in width and is often difficult to distinguish from the heartwood. The wood has medium to fine texture and is without characteristic odor. Engelmann spruce is rated as lightweight, and it is low in strength as a beam or post. It is also soft and low in stiffness, shock resistance, and shrinkage. The lumber typically contains many small knots. Engelmann spruce is used principally for lumber and for mine timbers, railroad crossties, and poles. It is used also in building construction in the form of dimension lumber, flooring, and sheathing. It has excellent properties for pulp and papermaking.