This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas tree week: Colorado spruce

This continues Christmas tree week on this blog, which started yesterday with the Norway spruce.

The Colorado Spruce, often called the blue spruce, is probably the most common evergreen you will see in Rensselaer, though most of them are not very big. It is not native to Indiana--as its name suggests, it comes from the Rocky Mountains. The biggest one I have seen in Rensselaer is at the corner of Jay and Monnett. There are hundreds of smaller versions around town. Usually the bluish tint to its needles makes it very easy to identify.

The cones of the blue spruce are high on the tree. In the picture below, the two cones that are shown completely are blue spruce. The bottom of the large cone on the left is Norway spruce. Notice that it is smoother than and also larger than the cones of the blue spruce. Here is a site that has cone identification for some of the trees we have. And if you really want to get thorough with conifers, here is a good site.
Yes, the blue spruce is used as a Christmas tree.

Update

On the Friday after Christmas, while I was out of town on an unexpected trip, Rensselaer had severe storms that toppled a number of trees. One of the trees down was a medium-sized blue spruce on Bunkum road just opposite Weston Cemetery. Until it is cut up, it gives an excellent look at a Colorado Blue Spruce.

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