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Spruce – Englemann

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Botanical Name

Picea engelmannii

Other Names

Engelmann Spruce, Mountain Spruce, Silver Spruce, White Spruce

Main Color Group

Yellow / White

Grain Pattern

Even

Workability

Easy

Avg Dry Weight - LB/FT3

24

Avg Dry Weight - KG/M3

385

Janka Hardness - LBF

390

Janka Hardness - Newtons

1740

Engelmann Spruce is typically a high-altitude mountain evergreen tree, indigenous to the mountainous regions of western North America, with scattered, isolated distribution in surrounding lower-level areas. The wood is prized among many acoustic guitar luthiers, for its superior resonance and tonal response qualities when used as a soundboard (acoustic guitar top). Its color can range from a light off-white to cream.

It is straight grained and has a fine, consistent texture, which makes it generally easy to work — although common-grade pieces may contain numerous small knots, and the wood can be difficult to stain. Its excellent stiffness-to-weight ratio has made it historically useful in a variety of construction and utility applications, benefited, also, by a virtually limitless domestic supply.

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Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being “a species of least concern.”

Common Uses: Acoustic guitar soundboards, harps, violins and pianos, construction lumber, sheathing, railroad ties, wood pulp / papermaking and also used in the Western US as Christmas trees.

Comments: Although Engelmann Spruce is a fairly cheap, easily accessible lumber, clear instrument-grade, quartersawn billets can be very pricey — as small knots are quite common in the species, and such coveted clear pieces typically are derived from undisturbed specimens grown at higher altitudes.

While Sitka Spruce remains a more heavily utilized wood for such acoustic guitar soundboard applications (being slightly stronger and heavier than Engelmann), there are a number of discriminating guitar builders who covet Engelmann. (By comparison, Sitka Spruce trees are far more massive in stature.) Due to this unique demand, premium-grade billets can command prices comparable with any of the most expensive domestic wood species.

Species Description: Wood Species

Although we don't have any listed pieces for this species available in our online store, add this species to your Quote Request and we'll get back to you with availability in our warehouse.