En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
3 ratings

Wednesday - November 11, 2009

From: Boerne, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Possibility of Colorado Blue Spruce tree in Boerne TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is it possible to plant Colorado Blue Spruce trees in the Boerne, Texas area?

ANSWER:

Sure, it's possible, you can plant anything you can dig a big enough hole for. The questions are (1) how far out of your area will you have to go to find that tree to purchase and (2) will it live?

Picea pungens (blue spruce), also known as Colorado spruce or Colorado blue spruce is found growing naturally no nearer to Boerne than the mountains of New Mexico and western Colorado. In these areas, the tree is in its comfort range of average January temperatures of 12 to 16 deg. F, and maximum July temperatures of 70 to 72 deg. F. In Central Texas, 72 deg. F overnight is considered a cold snap, much less during the day. Picea pungens is considered hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 2 to 7. Kendall County, in the Texas Hill Country is in Zone 8b.

So, in answer to our first question, can it be purchased, the answer is probably not. The preferred propagation method for this plant is by seed. The main reason for this is that transplanting conifers, which usually have taproots, is very difficult, as damaging the taproot can mean death to the tree. Shipment would be expensive and survival not be guaranteed. It seems very unlikely, under those conditions, that your neighborhood nursery is going to be carrying this tree for sale. In answer to the second question, you can draw your own conclusions. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they grow naturally. You already know where the Colorado blue spruce will grow, and can make your own judgment on where it won't grow.

For more information, see this website from Ohio State University on Picea pungens.

 

More Trees Questions

Native Desert Willow and bunchgrass for Lubbock TX
July 29, 2013 - We live in Lubbock and have decided to try to make our front yard as native as possible. It has been a very difficult process finding native species locally (even the local Aggie nursery sells a lot ...
view the full question and answer

Mixed native plantings for steep slope in Austin
April 18, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: We wrote to you recently about plantings for a fairly steep slope in a park in Austin. We had asked about grasses and perennials. An article about planting on slopes in this mo...
view the full question and answer

Looking for yellow bottlebrush (Callistemon sp.) and native substitutes
February 14, 2008 - I have been looking for years for a yellow bottle bush. It is identical to the red but is yellow. there are several varieties, but the one i want is just like the red one in appearance. I live in Flor...
view the full question and answer

Live oak roots and house foundation in Austin
March 01, 2009 - Our builder left a live oak on our lot that is 7' from our foundation. The tree is now around 18' tall with a 20" circumference. Will this tree eventually cause damage to our foundation and is th...
view the full question and answer

Replacement trees for southwest facing backyard in Austin, TX.
September 23, 2010 - The back of the house we are purchasing faces southwest and is completely devoid of large shade trees. I have been told that the previously existing trees were destroyed by oak wilt. I am in love wi...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center