Lutz Spruce

Lutz Spruce

 

A Hybrid between Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) and White spruce (Picea glauca)

 

The Terrace area of British Columbia is known for its high quality spruce woods. This is the area where much of the spruce used to build early World War II aircraft came from. It is also known as an area that producers high quality spruce tonewood.

 

There are three spruce species that grow in this area. They are Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) and White spruce (Picea glauca). On the eastern slopes of British Columbia's coast mountain range hybridization of these species is common. In the Skeena and Nass River drainages hybridization of the three species occurs most often and it appears that all of the spruce stands in this area (the community of Terrace is built on the banks of the Skeena River), 90 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, are not pure. The spruce in this area is known as Lutz or Roche spruce. What does this mean for tonewood use? Well, the very best of all worlds!! The size, strength and stiffness of Sitka and the texture and lustre of Engelmann/White Spruce. Large straight and clear spruce trees are in high demand. The history of use of spruce from this area has been poor. It's long fibre made it an ideal wood for pulp purposes and beautiful large clear trees were harvested and chipped for that purpose 50 years ago. Today, these trees have come into a proper demand. The unfortunate part of this demand is that quality wood is harder to find and becomes expensive. We all feel that!.

 

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