Native to the Northwest, the Sitka Spruce is the largest of the spruce family and a fast grower. Its needles are very sharp and stiff, and its branches are long, growing from well down on the trunk, with an upward sweep at the end. The largest known Sitka Spruce in the lower 48 is found near Seaside, Oregon. Native Americans used this spruce to make baskets, rainhats, rope, tea, and chewing gum. We use it today for ladders, doors, oars, scaffolding, bleachers, boat masts, and musical instruments such as violins.