by Brian Zylstra | May 4th, 2012
(Photo courtesy of Washington State Archives)
Like sentries silently standing guard for decades, they’ve flanked the north stairs leading up to the Legislative Building, mostly unnoticed by the employees and tourists walking past them.
But the two blue spruces on the north side of the Capitol soon will be no more, victims of last January’s ice storm that wiped out so many trees in the Puget Sound region.
On May 5, a contractor hired by the state will be grinding 23 tree stumps, remnants of the storm, and remove two storm-damaged Blue Spruce trees that flank the north stairs of the Legislative Building. The spruce trees were planted in 1964 in honor of Earl S. Coe, former Secretary of State (1948-1957), who died that year.
Enterprise Services’ Landscape Restoration Master Plan calls for the replacement of the spruce trees with White fir (Abies Concolor), which will grow to a similar size and shape, and an understory planting of dogwood trees. The firs will be planted in the next two weeks.
Our State Archives staff found this old photo (above) from 1964 showing Governor Rosellini planting the blue spruce outside the Office of Secretary of State near the building’s northwest corner. A very recent photo (below) shows the weather-beaten blue spruce outside the Governor’s Office near the northeast corner.