The root of Utah’s tree issue

We agree in part with a Utah state senator who believes his state should dump its current state tree in favor of one that doesn’t advertise for a neighboring state.

Sen. Ralph Okerlund is right. Utah should stop claiming the Colorado blue spruce as its state tree when that same species is also Colorado’s state tree. But Okerlund’s proposed solution, to choose the aspen as Utah’s state tree, is also off base when there are far more aspen in this state than in Utah and we already have a moderately well-known ski resort with that name.

So, here are some suggestions that are more appropriate for the beehive state. First, and most promising, is the Utah juniper. Choosing it would reflect the state’s large expanses of high desert, which are arguably more important to Utah’s tourism economy than its alpine areas.

If that is not acceptable, there are smaller plants such as the Utah serviceberry, the Utah honeysuckle, the Wasatch penstemon or even Mormon tea.

Just drop the claim to the Colorado blue spruce.


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