Norfolk Island Pine?

texaslynnFebruary 17, 2010

I bought a Norfolk Island Pine to put in my yard after seeing my sister's (she lives in Sugarland). Her tree has been planted for several years now and is probably 8 feet tall. She has a neighbor who has one probably about 12 feet tall. They are both gorgeous! So I had to have one also. Mine is only about 3 feet tall and in a pot.

However, I finally read some background material on them and discovered that they are considered a tropical type tree? I was thinking they were more of the cold hardy evergreens from northern regions.

I have left mine out during every single freeze we've had this winter and it looks absolutely fine. Does anyone grow this one outdoors in areas that freeze occasionally (I am located in far Northwest Harris County). My sister's seems fine but she's a bit farther south.


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texasflip(Nacogdoches, TX z8)

Yeah, they're tropical, from the southern hemisphere. Actually, they're primitive as far as conifers go and are part of a group of conifers that once grew on Antarctica when the continent was tropical.

If you visit Galveston, you'll see some pretty big ones in the neighborhoods and at UTMB (at least before Ike hit). They are supposed to get more cold hardy as they grow older so if you do plant yours outside, I would give it plenty of protection at first. You'll need to plant it in a protected spot by the house most likely.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 10:46PM
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Oh dear....well, I'll have to just plant and see what happens (wouldn't be the first time!). Unfortunately, there really isn't any sheltered spot for a plant that will get that size at my house.

After this past weird extra cold winter, I'm a little more aware of planting non-cold hardy stuff!

Thanks for your information!


    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 8:29AM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

I got my Norfolk Pine from a friend that used to live in the Houston Heights. She was growing it in a pot in her back yard. She gave it to me, and I planted it in my yard down here in Rockport about 5 years ago. It is not in a protected area and is about 10' tall and growing like crazy. So far, I haven't had any problems with freeze damage. But then I'm further south than you and on a bay, so it doesn't get quite as cold as you, but we still get freezes.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 11:58AM
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They survived Ike with no damages. This past freeze and the freeze of 1989-below freezing for 7 days straight neither caused death or damage to any norfolks I'm aware of. There is one just as you go over the bridge on Jones drive to Moody Gardens-look to the right-it is growing IN the water! AND it has cones developing on the tips of the branches. Mine is close to 20' tall.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 5:35PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

They are truly lovely in the landscape. I saw so many near the coast and they really caught my eye.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 6:07AM
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Thanks, everyone; I certainly fell in love with my sister's tree. As I mentioned before, I had left mine out (thinking they were a hardy northern conifer!) during all the freezes that we have had and it seems fine. Now I hope it doesn't go and croak when I get it in the ground :)


    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 4:49PM
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I live out of Huntsville, Tx on Lake Livingston. The 4 days of below freezing temps may have killed mine that is in the ground. A few branches are still green but most is turning brown. I'm keeping it until the end of May hoping it will survive.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 6:39AM
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I put mine in the ground two weeks ago. It is a two year old tree that I bought Christmas of 08. I decided to take a chance and if I lose it I will get another.

I had one several years back that got so big we were afraid it would damage the roof. A lady came by and said she had the perfect spot on her enclosed porch so I gave it to her pot and all. I saw her about 6 months later and asked how the tree was in its new home. She responded "You know that dumb tree died." Moral of the story, just plant it............

They do tend to get spider mites. The mites hate sprayed water. I take the water hose with the nozzle and spray pretty hard several times when I see some leaves turning brown.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 9:44AM
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Mine is still in the original (small) pot.....I am afraid to put it in the ground now; I guess I'll have to transplant it into a larger container, although I really don't want another large potted thing! Incredibly, mine survived it's little pot.....left out in the freezes (I didn't know it was a tropical - ha!)


    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 10:01AM
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I bought, or actually got for free, a small one at a plant sale yesterday. The branches are green, but the tree itself feels "scratchey" when you brush it, not soft like they usually do. Lady at sale didn't know if it would live or not, hence getting for free. Any ideas as to giving it a helping hand and keeping it alive? Would appreciate it very much. Pot plastic, 6" size, plant has 4 trunks and is about 10" in height.Soil looks to be regular potting soil, fresh. Thanks again for any ideas or instructions.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 10:07AM
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