Bigcone Spruce, Pseudotsuga macrocarpa, is native to the mountains of
Southern California from 1500' to 6000'. At the lower elevations these
trees hide in north side ravines along the desert edge. Bigcone Spruce is visible in spots
from the I-5 and the 118 on the north side of the L.A. basin. In San Diego County it's visible on Palomar and on some of canyon roads leading to the desert. Some of the areas
that it clings to are amazing, everything looks dead and there's these
evergreens. But it also grows in some of the coastal mountains such as Santa Ynez Mts, the mountains around Ojai and Mt. Wilson.
This evergreen tree grows to 40-60' tall with a 20-30' width.
(But in a home garden expect 10-15 feet after ten years.) Very dark
green foliage. I think this tree could be used throughout California as
a drought tolerant tree to replace the non-drought tolerant Coast
Redwood. Although the tree is hardy to -10 or below, I'd not try it in
really cold spots. It would be happier in Los Angeles, not Tahoe. It
might make it in Tahoe, but other trees would do better. This
California native tree should be more widely planted.
One of our customers planted this tree from a gallon into an old sand
dune in Nipomo, in 7 years it had grown to maybe 10 foot tall and was
covered with cones. He mulched the ground with chips from the local
arborist and watered a few times the first year. No water system, no
soil amending. beach sand, and the tree was beautiful.
A perfect little Christmas Tree that tolerates containers.
Communities for Pseudotsuga macrocarpa:Chaparral, Mixed-evergreen Forest and Yellow Pine Forest.