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Utah State Tree

Blue Spruce (Retired)

Utah State Tree: Blue Spruce

(Pinaceae Picea pungens)

Adopted on February 20, 1933.

The blue spruce, (Pinaceae Picea pungens,) was chosen by the Utah State Legislature in 1933 to be the Tree.

The tree is found in the Wasatch and Uinta mountains at elevations between 6,000 to 11,000 feet. It can be transplanted successfully and is widely used as an ornamental tree. Its foliage is generally silvery blue in color and has the ability to withstand temperature extremes.

The quaking aspen replaced the Colorado blue spruce, which had held the honor of state tree since 1933 on February 20, 1933

Utah State Tree: Blue Spruce (Retired)

Utah State Tree: Blue Spruce

The four-angled needles of the blue spruce are from 3/4 to 1 1/8 inches long and are dull blue green. This large tree has gray or brown bark that is furrowed into scaly ridges. Cones are from 2 1/2 to 4 inches long and are light brown with long, thin, irregularly toothed scales.

It is a slow-growing, long-lived tree of medium size that, because of its symmetry and color, is planted extensively as an ornamental. Because blue spruce is relatively scarce and the wood is brittle and often full of knots, it is not an important timber tree.

Identification of the Blue Spruce

  • Utah State Tree: Blue SpruceLeaf: Evergreen, stiff, 3/4 to 1 1/4 inch long, yellow-green to bluish or white. Needles are very sharp, and have an acidic taste.
    Flower: Monoecious; males yellow-brown to purple, scattered throughout trees; females purple, upright, in tops of the trees.
  • Fruit: Cones are 2 to 4 inches long, cylindrical, light brown in color. Cone scales are pointed with jagged-erose margins. Maturing in autumn.
  • Twig: Stout (when compared to other spruces), hairless, orange-brown. Needles are borne on woody pegs. Bud scales are noticeably reflexed.
  • Bark: Gray to red-brown, young trees with small, thin scales - older trees developing furrows.
  • Form: A medium to large tree with pyramidal form. Branches appear layered, especially with age.

Utah Law

The law designating the blue spruce as the official Utah state tree is found in the ;Utah Statutes, Title 63, Chapter 13, Section 63-13-5.5 (24).

TITLE 63. State Affairs in General.
CHAPTER 13. Miscellaneous Provisions.
SECTION 63-13-5.5. State Symbols.

63-13-5.5. State symbols.
(1) Utah's state animal is the elk.
(2) Utah's state bird is the sea gull.
(3) Utah's state centennial astronomical symbol is the Beehive Cluster located in the constellation of Cancer the Crab.
(4) Utah's state centennial star is Dubhe, one of the seven bright stars composing the Big Dipper in the constellation Ursa Major.
(5) Utah's state centennial tartan, which honors the first Scots known to have been in Utah and those Utahns of Scottish heritage, shall have a pattern or repeating-half-sett of white-2, blue-6, red-6, blue-4, red-6, green-18, red-6, and white-4 to represent the tartan worn anciently by the Logan and Skene clans, with the addition of a white stripe.
(6) Utah's state cooking pot is the dutch oven.
(7) Utah's state emblem is the beehive.
(8) Utah's state fish is the Bonneville cutthroat trout.
(9) Utah's state flower is the sego lily.
(10) Utah's state folk dance is the square dance, the folk dance that is called, cued, or prompted to the dancers and includes squares, rounds, clogging, contra, line, and heritage dances.
(11) Utah's state fossil is the Allosaurus.
(12) Utah's state fruit is the cherry.
(13) Utah's state vegetable is the Spanish sweet onion.
(14) Utah's historic state vegetable is the sugar beet.
(15) Utah's state gem is topaz, as is prominently found in the Thomas Mountain Range in Juab County, Utah.
(16) Utah's state grass is Indian rice grass.
(17) Utah's state hymn is "Utah We Love Thee" by Evan Stephens.
(18) Utah's state insect is the honeybee.
(19) Utah's state mineral is copper.
(20) Utah's state motto is "Industry."
(21) Utah's state railroad museum is Ogden Union Station.
(22) Utah's state rock is coal.
(23) Utah's state song is "Utah This is the Place" by Sam and Gary Francis.
(24) Utah's state tree is the blue spruce.

Taxonomic Hierarchy: Blue Spruce

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
    Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
    Division: Coniferophyta - Conifers
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae - Pine family
Genus: Picea A. Dietr. - spruce
Species: Picea pungens Engelm. - blue spruce

State Trees
State Trees
All of the state trees, except the Hawaii state tree, are native to the state in which they are designated.
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