En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - What are the pines growing at South Padre Island, Texas

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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - November 20, 2011

From: Wimberley, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Trees
Title: What are the pines growing at South Padre Island, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, On a recent trip to South Padre Island, we noticed a large number of beautiful long leaf pines. I asked several residents what the name was but no one knew. I have searched and googled trying to identify this tree, to no avail. I'm wondering if you know what it is and if so, will it grow in Wimberley TX.

ANSWER:

The USDA Plants Database shows no Pinus sp. (pines) growing naturally in Cameron, Kenedy, Kleberg, Nueces and Willacy Counties (the counties included in South Padre Island).   That doesn't mean that someone might not have planted pines at their business or home, but I suspect what you saw was not a true pine.  Searching on the internet I found a reference to Norfolk pines on South Padre Island.  I suspect that is what you were seeing— Araucaria heterophylla (Norfolk pine) or the related, Araucaria columnaris (Cook Island pine), both native to South Pacific islands.  If one of these is what you were seeing, it is not likely to thrive in Wimberley outdoors since they are considered tropical and sub-tropical species.  The recommended USDA Hardiness Zones are 10-11 for Norfolk pine and zones 9-11 for Cook Island pine; whereas, Wimberley is in Zone 8.   They are often sold as indoor plants and here is one version of how to care for an indoor Norfolk pine.

Additionally, we wouldn't recommend planting this tree outdoors in Wimberley because it is not native to North America and:

"The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes."

 

More Trees Questions

Proper watering of cedar elm trees in Sachse, TX
August 15, 2008 - I've just planted two Cedar elm trees in clay soil, each about four inches in diameter, and I want to water them correctly. I'm aware that too much water can be bad as well as too little water. I ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Desert willows in El Paso, TX
August 27, 2009 - We have some volunteer Desert Willows growing on an empty lot nearby. Can we dig them up and transplant them in the yard? If so, how? They are about 3-4 feet tall
view the full question and answer

Native holly (ilex) for Austin area
May 28, 2006 - Hi--my brother and his family live in Austin, TX--their german shepard "Holly" just died (she was 13)--I was throwing around the idea of sending them a holly plant of some sort to have in honor of H...
view the full question and answer

Small Yard Tree for Washington DC
July 20, 2012 - What do you suggest for a tree or shrub in my front yard? The yard is small; 9 ft x 12 ft. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Frost protection for non-native citrus trees from Austin
November 24, 2013 - With ice predicted, should I pick citrus, lemons, limes, satsumas that are not quite ready?
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