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
1 rating

Sunday - March 17, 2013

From: Santa Paula, CA
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Supplier for non-native Norfolk Pine to East Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I would like to buy a Norfolk Pine Tree for my uncle who lives 90 miles east of Dallas, Texas. He saw my Norfolk Pine tree in CA which is 30 to 40 ft. tall. Where can I find a company that will ship a tree to Texas?

ANSWER:

Auracaria heterophylla (Norfolk Island Pine) is endemic (meaning it only grows naturally in), well, Norfolk Island, a small Pacific island between Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia. Before you make any decisions, we suggest you read this article from Purdue University Yard and Garden Norfolk Island Pine Needs TLC. Notice paticularly this paragraph:

"What is most challenging for the typical home gardener is giving this plant the high relative humidity it needs. Norfolk Island pine thrives at 50 percent relative humidity, yet it is not unusual for the average house to drop to 15 percent during the winter heating season, unless steps are taken to increase moisture in the air. Running a humidifier will increase the comfort of people and plant and is the most effective way to adequately raise the humidity."

Since you live in Santa Clara County, near the Pacific Coast in Central California, you probably have enough humidity from the ocean to support this plant. In Texas, even East Texas, 50% humidity is rare. Furthermore, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, never recommends plants unless they are native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants are native, which doesn't even include California.

Most people grow this plant as a house plant, or use it for a Christmas tree, and then when it dies from the lack of humidity, it is tossed. If you search the internet on "Norfolk Pine to be shipped" you will receive a number of hits. Just keep in mind what will be the fate of the gift.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Control of non-native invasive ground ivy in Grand Junction TN
May 08, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I live in the Southwest portion of TN about 50 miles east of Memphis. We have an invasive plant, called Ground Ivy, Glechoma hederacea L in our yard and pasture now which is ta...
view the full question and answer

Does NPIN include non-native plant species?
September 03, 2009 - I'm writing a book on the plants eaten by 12th century Indians of Florida. I'd like to use your site for some of my research. You say all of your plants are native, but then under some listings (wil...
view the full question and answer

Care for some non-native salvias from Austin
November 12, 2012 - Mexican bush sage and Salvia "indigo spires" are both blooming in my Austin beds right now. Once they stop blooming and/or frost gets them, could you tell me by how much they should be cut back? R...
view the full question and answer

Texas native bamboo vs. non-native for hedge.
August 25, 2008 - Why is Mr. Smarty Plants so against bamboo when there is a native American/Texan bamboo and an active bamboo society in the Austin area? I live in Central East Austin and I need the cheapest, fas...
view the full question and answer

Indoor non-native palm tree turning yellow from Leavenworth WA
March 22, 2011 - Why are my indoor palm plant leaves turning yellow. It's about 4 feet bought at local Home Depot store, and it was beautiful when I brought it home. It gets plenty of light. I have only had it for ...
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