44. BLUE SPRUCE, Picea pungens
There are a number of Colorado Blue Spruce planted around the Hunter Cabin at Westmoor Park. They were planted by Mr. Hunter after he built the cabin in the 1940s. They are a fine tree in Colorado and the Rocky mountains, but in truth they struggle when out of their native range. Known in the west to be extremely long-lived trees (600 years is mentioned a lot) they often do not see 50 - 75 years of age in the east. These trees are probably around 75 and showing severe signs of stress.
While the location for the cabin may have been idyllic, as a home for Spruce its a little on the dry side. Some conifers do well in dry conditions, but many will not.
NEW GROWTH, NAMESAKE
Colorado Blue Spruce features bluish needles on its new growth each year - giving the tree a very distinctive look and also its name.
THE HUNTER CABIN
The Hunter Cabin was built by Charles Hunter (benefactor of Westmoor Park with his wife, Leila) in the 1940s shortly after he acquired the land at foreclosure. The land had been continuously farmed since the late 1600s but had been fallow for some time.
Stories abound about why he built the cabin, but the one that persists is he was fond of cigars and his wife decidedly was not.