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Alberta Spruce in Texas heat

Q: I live in Texas, the Dallas area, more importantly - Zone 8. I have found a Dwarf Alberta Spruce available at a local nursery. I believe it is in a 7 gallon container.

The nursery owner bought them during the Christmas season as living Christmas trees and had several left over. He was, however, a little hesitant about how well it might fair in the heat down here in this area in the summer.

Can you tell me if it will be able to take the hot Texas heat in June, July and August?
Thank you, Anne.

A: You pose a very good question. I usually get asked, "Will this type of tree grow here up north?"

Dwarf Alberta spruces were discovered in (you may have guessed it) Alberta CANADA (rumor has it, a plant-lover who was waiting for a train spotted one, but don't quote me on this).

It is a type of white spruce, which is a northern plant common throughout Canada and up into Alaska.

As such, I would hesitate to say yours would fair well in the heat of Texas summers. I would drive around to see if you spot any others anywhere in your locale.

If you see nary a one, I'd say this is a good indication that they don't survive the heat. And, since your nursery owner was hesitant, I'd side with him or her on this one.

If you decide to give it a go, though, I'd place it in a somewhat shady spot and be prepared to water the daylights out of it in summer. However, this may just be a slow, torturous death for the plant.

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Tom Mugridge

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