The tan colored buds have reflexed scales at the tip making it look like a rosette. In general, buds are not a distinctive identification feature for spruces; however, the buds of Picea pungens can be a useful aid when used in combination with other features.
Karren Wcisel, TreeTopics.com
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Pinaceae, tree, conifer, cone, needle, evergreen, Picea pungens, Colorado spruce, blue spruce