What Species of Trees are Most Common in Alaska

Alaska is home to several species of trees. The climate is quite diverse from zones 4 and 5 along the southern coast, to zone1 in the frigid northern part of Alaska. Here are some of the most common trees in Alaska and some information regarding the various species.

Alaska Yellow Cedar:

Mature height of 40 feet to 100 feet tall with a trunk diameter of 12 inches to 24 inches
Lifespan of 1500 years
Grows in the wetlands and sub-alpine forests and can be found from Oregon north to Prince William Sound

Balsam Poplar:

Mature height of 80 to 100 feet with a trunk girth of 3 feet in diameter
Lifespan 100 to 200 years
Found in river valleys, lake shores, and flood plains

Black Spruce:

Mature height of 15 feet to 30 feet tall with a girth of 3 inches to 6 inches in diameter
Lifespan of 250 years
Usually found at lower elevations on northern facing slopes or in bogs in the interior of the state

Mountain Hemlock:

Mature Height 50 to 100 feet with a diameter of 10 to 30 inches
Lifespan is 400 to 500 years
Can be found at sea level up to elevations of 3,500 feet from California to the Kenai Peninsula

Paper Birch:

Mature height of 80 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 inches to 24 inches in diameter
Lifespan 80 to 100 years
Commonly found in mixed forests in the interior of the state

Quaking Aspen:

Mature height of 20 feet to 40 feet tall with a trunk diameter of 3 to 12 inches
Life span of 80 to 100 years
Found on south facing slopes in the interior of the state

Red Alder:

Mature Height of 20 to 80 feet, trunk diameter of 4 to 25 inches
Lifespan of 60 to 90 years
Found along rivers and floodplains
Mature height of 20 to 80 feet with a trunk diameter ranging from 4 inches to 25 inches

Scouler Willow:

Mature height of 15 feet and a diameter of 4 inches, in some areas will grow to 50 feet tall
Usually found along the forest edge

Shore Pine:

Mature height from 20 feet to 75 feet tall with a diameter of 8 inches to 32 inches
Lifespan of 200 years to 600 years
Grows well in bogs and can be found from northern California to Yakutat Alaska

Sitka Spruce:

Mature height of 150 to 225 feet with an impressive girth of 5 feet to 8 feet in diameter. The largest Sitka on record is 17 feet in diameter.
Lifespan 500 to 800 years
Found in well drained, upland forests from California north along the coastline to the Alaska Peninsula

Tamarack:

Mature height of 30 to 60 feet tall with a trunk diameter of 4 to 16 inches
Lifespan 100 to 200 years
Grows well in bogs and moist environments

Western Hemlock:

Mature height 100 to 150 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 to 4 feet
Life span of 200 to 500 years
Can be found along the coast from California to the Kenai Peninsula

Western Red Cedar:

Mature height of 70 feet to 100 feet in Alaska but can be much taller in other areas such as California
Lifespan of 300 to 700 years and possibly up to 1,000 years in certain areas
Can be found in coastal forests up to 500 foot elevations from California north to Frederick Sound

White Spruce:

Mature height of 40 feet to 70 feet tall with a diameter of 6 inches to 18 inches
Lifespan of 250 to 300 years
Can be found in the south central part of Alaska as well as the interior of the state

Learn more about common trees in the USA here.

New Products

No Trespassing Purple Caps


Follow us