Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - May 13, 2009

From: Rapid City, SD
Region: Midwest
Topic: Trees
Title: What about planting a Colorado Blue Spruce in Rapid City, SD?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

What would be the best tree to plant in my small front yard that would be low maintenance? I live in Rapid City, SD, and we are landscaping our front yard. We were thinking of Colorado Blue Spruce but I think that will get too big.

ANSWER:

The Colorado Blue Spruce Picea pungens (blue spruce) is a handsome tree that is naturally conical in shape, and requires little maintenance. However its potential of reaching 100 ft makes it a poor choice for a small front yard. Fortunately, there several dwarf cultivars that are much smaller at maturity. The links below can give you more information about Picea pungens, and lists of dwarf cultivars.

North Carolina State University;  list of cultivars

National Forest Service; general information plus a list of cultivars

Images of cultivars

If you go to our Suppliers Directory and type the name of your town and state in the appropriate box, you will get a list of business that sell native plants in your locale who can help you find the tree you chose.

 


 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Removing suckers from Escarpment oak in Austin
October 11, 2010 - I have a small but mature grove of Escarpment Live Oak in my back yard. Five years ago we removed the St. Augustine grass that grew under these oaks and since then root suckers have begun to grow aro...
view the full question and answer

Tiny holes oozing sap from Austin
August 22, 2012 - My ash tree becomes loaded with butterflies on the trunk. At closer inspection, I see they are drinking sap which is coming from small holes in the trunk. Are the butterflies creating the holes? I ...
view the full question and answer

Texas Ash
January 03, 2007 - Where can I purchase a Texas Ash? One native tree nursery advertised Texas Ash but the trees turned out to be Fan-Tex, which I believe is an Arizona Ash cultivar.
view the full question and answer

Problem with Chinese Pistache tree
September 01, 2014 - We have a gorgeous Chinese Pistache in our yard, about 25 feet tall. We bought it for its gorgeous fall color. The problem is that it has never turned color for us. All the other pistaches in the neig...
view the full question and answer

Identification of mystery tree in Huntington Beach, CA
March 25, 2015 - Have a "tree" that has grown from about 18" tall to about 10' tall in a little over a years time. It has a central trunk that is about 3/4" in diameter at it's largest. It has short thin branch...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.