The Q&A Archives: Spruce

Question: >Is it possible to find an Iseli Foxtail Spruce any where near S.C. this time of year? I've downloaded the list of dealers in the area but I was wondering if you had more of an idea of what you were growing and if a nusery could get an Iseli from you.
>Can you recommend a tree for part shade in zone 8, preferably an evergreen for an oriental theme. It's going to live in a 9x9 foot area.
>Thank you

Answer: Chris,

Unfortunately we at the Q&A service don't have information on which plants are sold at the many retailers who carry Monrovia plants. Due to the seasonal nature of Monrovia's plants and limited quantities on many varieties, each garden center will offer a different array of plants. Not all plants are available in all regions at all times. Your best bet is to contact a local retailer and see if they can get the plants you are interested in.

I can say however that the Iseli Spruce is listed only as far south as heat zone 8 and you are in heat zone 9. I suspect it would really suffer in the long hot summers there.

Regarding a tree for that location you might consider one of the many Japanese Maples (Acer palmatum). They fit the space requirements you have. While Monrovia lists most as only heat zone 8 I find those with wider foliage (not the finely cut types) grow well farther south as long as they aren't in too much sun; especially late day sun.

Another option might be one of the semi dwarf crape myrtles if your site would get at least half day sun. There are many varieties and bloom colors to choose from and they have such a nice long period of summer bloom. The smooth bark makes for nice winter interest too.

One other small tree would be Bright N' Tight Carolina Cherry Laurel. It can take more shade than the crape myrtle, is evergreen and grows 8 to 10 feet tall but only 6 to 8 feet wide. Normally a shrub, you could prune away the lower shoots to form a mini tree.

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