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Old 10-30-2013, 07:19 PM
 
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I moved to the Ozarks in Arkansas and love the thick oak woods.
However, I rarely see pine trees ( lots of cedar)

This spring I bought (3) Colorado Blue Spruce from Walmart garden center ( about 18 inches high )
I planted them in my front yard and watered every week the rainfall wasn't sufficient.
They have grown 12 inches since early spring.

Will they thrive in Arkansas.
I ask because I have not seen them here and a neighbor said......." wrong zone for Colorado Blue Spruce "

Opinions ?
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:49 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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Normally a nursery or garden center will not sell plants/trees that are not suited to the area, but you said this was Walmart. They do prefer zones 3-7, but can do OK in somewhat warmer climates. We had them in CA in zone 9B, and they did fine. I would water regularly the first two years, then in dry summer periods after they are established. See what USDA hardiness zone you are in, if it's 3-9 you should be fine.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:04 PM
 
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The higher the elevation the better the chances are of them to do alright, since that will be more similar to their natural habitat. Most of the time people worry about their "zone" (the USDA climate zone for cold hardiness) like those found here: 2010 Arkansas Interactive Plant and Tree Hardiness Zone Map in this case most of the Ozarks fall into the warm end of the Colorado Blue Spruce survival range.

There are other "zones" to consider in this case. The heat and humidity of your area may effect their health over the long run. If you are in Heat Zone 6 or cooler it will probably do fine, but Heat Zone 7 (and up) may mean the trees will need a little extra coddling (mostly watering) in the summer months when the heat and humidity is at its worst. Here's the Heat Zone map for you to check if you don't know what it is for your area: Arkansas Interactive Gardening Heat Zones Map

Good luck with them!
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:19 PM
 
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interesting about not seeing lots of pines in your part of Arkansas---the state tree is loblolly pine/pinus taeda so would assume that kind of pine at least is common and important in your state. might want to check with your forestry dept. or county extension agent for suggestions for which pines might do well in your area. FWIW, according to the "southern living garden book" several kinds of spruce apparently can be planted in parts of Arkansas (which seems to be listed as the "upper" and "middle south" according to their classifications) along with the blue type (picea pungens "glauca") including p. orientalis/oriental spruce, omorika/Serbian spruce, and glauca/white spruce among others. possibly all would benefit from being planted in an area with good drainage (soils that are warm and moist in the summer may cause lethal root rots), a cooler microclimate--north or east exposure, and mulching around the base to keep the roots cool and suppress competing vegetation (and keep lawn mowers away, LOL). hope this is of some interest and help. good luck.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:24 AM
 
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How Far South For Colorado Blue Spruce?

We grow Colorado Blue Spruce in Delaware, and they do just fine in Zone 7, no "coddling" necessary. They are more expensive, though, as compared to other evergreens. We bought two balled Colorado Blue Spruces for Christmas a few years ago, planted them at our previous location (Delaware) in January and they are still thriving. Here's a link from the Delaware Christmas Tree Growers Association:
Delaware Christmas Tree Growers Association - Firs, Spruces and Pines

Last edited by rdlr; 10-31-2013 at 06:34 AM..
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:01 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
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I have two huge Colorado Blue Spruce in my front yard. Well duh, I live in Colorado, right? No, not exactly. Blue Spruce tend to prefer elevations over 9,000 feet, and I live at around 5,900 feet or so. The trees which grow naturally where I am tend to be things like cottonwoods and so forth, not evergreens. The key is water and more water. Make sure you give your Blue Spruce plenty of water during the hot summer months, especially as their root system is becoming established. Good luck with your two Colorado natives!
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:19 AM
 
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Thanks to everyone for their informative answers.

I paid $63 for the 3 of them at Walmart this spring,but they already were 18 inches tall.

They truly are my " pride and joy" because we bought our retirement house in April of last year and these 3 Blue Spruce are the only trees of my planting.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy52 View Post
Thanks to everyone for their informative answers.

I paid $63 for the 3 of them at Walmart this spring,but they already were 18 inches tall.

They truly are my " pride and joy" because we bought our retirement house in April of last year and these 3 Blue Spruce are the only trees of my planting.
I know how that feels, retirement is a whole new chapter and starting new in a different area means learning all new rules for what works. It also never helps to be told how great something grows elsewhere or how easy it is for others in much more moderate climates to grow something.

Your part of the state is the most likely part to work for getting the Colorado Spruce to thrive. It sure is a beautiful evergreen and I miss being able to grow one as I have previously, but it just is too hot for them here. If it makes you feel any better the Cooperative Extension for your state also mentions that it for much of the state Colorado Blue Spruce don't thrive except for the most northern portion. Colorado Rambler has real life experience in the kind of extra care they will need but I believe he/she gave you the best guidance to make it work.

In case they show signs of being out of their element there are some alternatives mentioned by the help desk of your Cooperative Extension here: Ask Janet Carson Reference Desk


Your best resource for any garden questions is the local Master Gardener Association. All Master Gardeners are supposed to trained in local climate conditions and understand the specific climate issues that may effect your choices for what you plant. Most of them have years of experience growing things right where you live. You can contact them by finding your county or the next closest one on this list: Active Master Master Gardener Counties in Arkansas

Best of luck in your retirement adventures!
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:43 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J&Em View Post
I know how that feels, retirement is a whole new chapter and starting new in a different area means learning all new rules for what works. It also never helps to be told how great something grows elsewhere or how easy it is for others in much more moderate climates to grow something.

Your part of the state is the most likely part to work for getting the Colorado Spruce to thrive. It sure is a beautiful evergreen and I miss being able to grow one as I have previously, but it just is too hot for them here. If it makes you feel any better the Cooperative Extension for your state also mentions that it for much of the state Colorado Blue Spruce don't thrive except for the most northern portion. Colorado Rambler has real life experience in the kind of extra care they will need but I believe he/she gave you the best guidance to make it work.

In case they show signs of being out of their element there are some alternatives mentioned by the help desk of your Cooperative Extension here: Ask Janet Carson Reference Desk


Your best resource for any garden questions is the local Master Gardener Association. All Master Gardeners are supposed to trained in local climate conditions and understand the specific climate issues that may effect your choices for what you plant. Most of them have years of experience growing things right where you live. You can contact them by finding your county or the next closest one on this list: Active Master Master Gardener Counties in Arkansas

Best of luck in your retirement adventures!
Well, I'm no expert at growing Blue Spruce in Arkansas, but I can tell you about growing Blue Spruce in the most extreme southwest part of Colorado. It's just too warm in this region for Blue Spruce to do well if left to their own devises. They responding to the stress of too much warmth by transpiring like crazy and you will need to make up for the resulting water deficit they will undergo. Besides the two huge Blue Spruce in the front yard, there is also a nice wind break of about 15 of them at the back of the property. I was quite surprised when I moved here and observed this highly unusual number of healthy Blue Spruce trees. In fact, mine is the only property around here where any can be found growing. The secret is that this is part of an alfalfa farm that gets plenty of irrigation water in the summer. Whoever planted all my Blue Spruce was smart enough to realize that they would probably do just fine since the property is getting all that water anyway thanks to the alfalfa production.

I guess we always wish for what we can't have. I miss being able to grow some of the beautiful hardwood trees that are common in my original home state of Kentucky (and likely, Arkansas as well).
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
Well, I'm no expert at growing Blue Spruce in Arkansas, but I can tell you about growing Blue Spruce in the most extreme southwest part of Colorado. It's just too warm in this region for Blue Spruce to do well if left to their own devises. They responding to the stress of too much warmth by transpiring like crazy and you will need to make up for the resulting water deficit they will undergo. Besides the two huge Blue Spruce in the front yard, there is also a nice wind break of about 15 of them at the back of the property. I was quite surprised when I moved here and observed this highly unusual number of healthy Blue Spruce trees. In fact, mine is the only property around here where any can be found growing. The secret is that this is part of an alfalfa farm that gets plenty of irrigation water in the summer. Whoever planted all my Blue Spruce was smart enough to realize that they would probably do just fine since the property is getting all that water anyway thanks to the alfalfa production.

I guess we always wish for what we can't have. I miss being able to grow some of the beautiful hardwood trees that are common in my original home state of Kentucky (and likely, Arkansas as well).
The area you live in now is certainly a bit different from Kentucky but it is beautiful in its own way. We were seriously thinking of moving there after we traveled up from NM through CO. We loved being close to the mountains and the feel the area had. The southern CO areas we drove through had a feel of transition and it was quite dry. That was in late spring so I can imagine how hard it is on the spruce. I suspect the Ozarks provide a similar kind of challenge, especially in summer.


Interesting that your trees were planted so that they would get better irrigation. I would agree someone was pretty smart. Gardening in places with big swings in temperatures over the year must be a challenge and it struck me that you must have pretty cold winters and pretty warm summers. We wound up living in the transition zone one state south of your old home state, which has swung through drought and flooding, hotter than normal and colder than normal in the last several years. Transition zone gardening and tree care can be tricky in both directions since you are on the edge with the more heat sensitive and cold sensitive plants, shrubs and trees. The basic training in Master Gardener classes usually emphasize that depending on the overly simplistic zone thinking makes for bad advice for just this reason.
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