Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
2 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

Problem with leaves of Texas Ash in Austin
May 21, 2012 - We purchased a 3' to 4' Texas Ash in March 2012. The past few days I noticed new leaves at the top are curled under, have a milky substance on them, and more than a few ladybugs on them. What is thi...
view the full question and answer

Large Leaved Trees in Sugarland, TX
June 27, 2011 - Can you give me a list of trees which bear thick and broad leaves?
view the full question and answer

Trees and shrubs for adobe soil in Penngrove CA
June 19, 2010 - Hi, I'd like to find a list of trees that are native, drought tolerant and suitable to the adobe soil in Penngrove. We will be landscaping a bare .5 acre parcel starting later this fall. Another fea...
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native avocado outside from Austin
December 27, 2012 - My son has a very large avocado tree that he rooted from a pit that is currently growing in a large container. However, it has gotten too big to winter inside. Can it be planted in the ground in Aust...
view the full question and answer

Natural Privacy Planting for New Jersey
October 09, 2013 - I have a question about privacy plantings in New Jersey (Monmouth County). We have a wooden fence around the perimeter of backyard with some various older trees. We wanted to start anew and wanted to ...
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.