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"Perserve, Protect, Enhance and Educate"

Botanical Society of ZooMontana

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During 2018 the Yellowstone Arboretum is working with ZooMontana to establish a new conifer garden located just across the main pathway from the bear habitat. The area is currently home to spruce and Austrian pine. In spring of 2018 volunteers planted 3 new Colorado Spruce trees that were donated as memorial trees. Soon to arrive will be a Limber Pine memorial tree along with plans to introduce several species found in the region. Even with the new trees this unique area will still keep it's "mountain fresh" appeal as visitors pass on their way to the bear and lynx exhibits.

This species can be found throughout the zoo. It is an excellent landscape tree for Montana. Not true for some parts of the country where disease plays an important part in the choice of this tree.

Botanical name: 
Pinus nigra
All Common Names: 
Austrian pine
Family (English): 
Pine
Family (Botanic): 
Pinaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
Foliage: 
  • Evergreen (foliage year-round)

This under-used pine, native to the western United States, is more tolerant of alkaline soils than the Eastern white pine. The dark blue green needles help this tree stand out in the landscape.

Botanical name: 

Pinus flexilis
All Common Names: 
limber pine
Family (English): 
Pine
Family (Botanic): 
Pinaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
Foliage: 
  • Evergreen (foliage year-round)

Blue spruce, also known as Colorado spruce, is a conical-shaped evergreen tree with stiff horizontal branches and short stiff needles. It is a commonly used tree in Midwest landscapes. In nature the needles are often green, but many specimens produce blue-green needles.
Botanical name: 
Picea pungens
Different cultivars will produce different shades of color. Of course, it will be given in the name if it shows the distinct "Colorado Blue" shading. Bear Meadows has many different cultivars, hence, it gives a nice palette of blues and greens. The newest planting are a direct Colorado Spruce with it's popular green tones.