Quaking aspen just needs governor's signature to become Utah's state tree

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 19 2014 7:54 p.m. MST

After both comic and scientific discussion, the House passed a bill Wednesday to change the state tree from a blue spruce to a quaking aspen.

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SALT LAKE CITY — All SB41 needs is Gov. Gary Herbert's signature and the quaking aspen will become Utah's state tree.

After both comical and scientific discussion, the House passed the bill Wednesday by a 54-19 vote to change the state tree from the blue spruce to the quaking aspen.

Earlier this week, Monroe Elementary School fourth-graders sat in the gallery as Sen. Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe, explained how the bill originated from the school. A fourth-grade class approached the governor with the idea when he was visiting Sevier County.

The Senate passed the bill Monday, so it now heads to the governor's office for a signature.

House sponsor Rep. Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, presented the bill, calling it a "travesty" that Utah's state tree has been the blue spruce since 1933.

"The Colorado blue spruce makes up less than 1 percent of Utah’s forests and it is found only in northern Utah, so if you are from southern Utah or central Utah, you should be even more incensed by this travesty," Wilson quipped.

After regaining his composure, Wilson touted the quaking aspen for its importance to Utah.

"The aspen stems grow from roots of older trees," he said. "This creates a very important metaphor that we could connect to Utah as these children of the parents grow and are very prolific."

— Madeleine Brown

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