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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - May 13, 2009

From: Rapid City, SD
Region: Midwest
Topic: Trees
Title: What about planting a Colorado Blue Spruce in Rapid City, SD?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

What would be the best tree to plant in my small front yard that would be low maintenance? I live in Rapid City, SD, and we are landscaping our front yard. We were thinking of Colorado Blue Spruce but I think that will get too big.

ANSWER:

The Colorado Blue Spruce Picea pungens (blue spruce) is a handsome tree that is naturally conical in shape, and requires little maintenance. However its potential of reaching 100 ft makes it a poor choice for a small front yard. Fortunately, there several dwarf cultivars that are much smaller at maturity. The links below can give you more information about Picea pungens, and lists of dwarf cultivars.

North Carolina State University;  list of cultivars

National Forest Service; general information plus a list of cultivars

Images of cultivars

If you go to our Suppliers Directory and type the name of your town and state in the appropriate box, you will get a list of business that sell native plants in your locale who can help you find the tree you chose.

 


 

 

 

 

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