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
4 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

Neighbor's Arizona ash roots in Houston
September 30, 2009 - There is a huge Arizona Ash tree in my neighbor's yard. Its trunk is about 27 feet away from the foundation of my house and its foliage reaches my roof. I am planning to dig a trench on my side of t...
view the full question and answer

Plants in bloom in April in Stuart FL
February 24, 2012 - Can you tell me which plants I might reasonably expect to see in bloom in April of this year?
view the full question and answer

Plant spacing of Cenizo in Bulverde TX
November 14, 2009 - How far apart should Texas sage be planted?
view the full question and answer

Tree for area around patio in East Texas
December 31, 2008 - What is the best type of tree to plant around my patio which faces the southeast
view the full question and answer

Something dripping from red oak in Austin
July 30, 2012 - There is a large red oak outside my apartment. The leaves are shiny and covered with what appears to be oil. The ground underneath is coated with this also. When I parked under the tree my car beca...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center