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Growing on the High Plains Episode
Wed January 9, 2013
School Kids Choose Colorado's State Tree
The Colorado Blue Spruce was first discovered by botanist, CC Parry, in 1862, thriving on Pike's Peak. 30 years later, it was Colorado school children voted it the state tree. However, it was not officially designated until 1939 when a resolution was passed by the state general assembly. It has now become one of the most widely planted landscape trees in the U.S.
Symmetry and color are two of its most attractive features. Sometimes called the silver spruce, the Colorado blue spruce ranges in color from green to blue to silver. The evergreen is quite a slow grower, taking its time to reach for the sky, while establishing a strong root system to keep it planted in strong winds, and sturdy branches that can withstand ice and snow. It also is tolerant of many soil types and has a wide growing range.
A full grown tree can reach 50 to 75 feet tall, and have a width of 25 foot at the base. It comes in many shapes, but before choosing your variety, be forewarned that there is debate as to whether a true dwarf variety exists. Over the years, many a blue spruce has outgrown its intended space.