Trees are an essential element to Florida landscaping, and Florida’s subtropical climate allows for a variety of vibrant, year-round trees. If you’re looking to improve your landscape design and add some extra shade to your property, then this Daniel’s Lawn Service guide on the best Central Florida trees to plant is perfect for you! For other landscaping tips using tropical and native Florida plants, see our blog post “Tropical Plants Perfect for Your Florida Landscape.” Today’s guide features information on native Florida shade trees and palm trees.
Types of Native Shade Trees to Plant
Beyond improving your landscaping design, did you know that planting certain trees in the right spot on your property can help you cut down on energy costs and usage? This makes planting native Florida shade trees even more appealing to homeowners and business owners. There are two main categories of native shade trees: deciduous and evergreen.
Deciduous shade trees native to Florida include:
- Florida Elm — Florida elm trees have a very long life and grow to be between 60-80 feet tall. While Florida does not experience much of an autumn, a Florida elm’s leaves turn a nice golden color in the autumn, dropping small leaves that are easy to rake up.
- Hophornbeam — Hophornbeam trees are ideal for smaller landscaping spaces, as they only grow to be about 25-40 feet tall. Similar to the elm, their leaves turn a pleasant yellow in the autumn.
Evergreen shade trees native to Florida include:
- Southern Magnolia — Very well-known, Southern magnolias are admired for their white flowers in their spring and summer, along with their large size of up to 90 feet tall. Southern magnolias are better for large yards and landscaping spaces.
- Hollies — There are two main types of hollies native to Florida: the Dahoon holly and the East Palatka holly. Dahoon hollies grow up to 20-30 feet tall, while East Palatka hollies grow between 30-45 feet tall. Bird enthusiasts may particularly enjoy this tree, as female holly trees produce bird-attracting hollies.
- Sweetbay Magnolia — Somewhat different from the Southern magnolia, Sweetbay magnolias grow smaller flowers and leaves with a silver tone on their undersides. They can grow up to 50-90 feet tall, and grow best in wet soils and swampy areas.
- Gumbo-Limbo — While gumbo-limbos can grow up to 60 feet fall, they often remain on the smaller side. These trees are semi-evergreens and can provide great shade.
Palm Trees to Consider for Your Landscaping
When it comes to trees in Florida, there is no type more iconic than the palm tree. You may know a small handful of palm species, but there are truly a vast number of palms that can thrive as part of your landscape design. Palm trees provide both great shade and a year-round tropical flare.
Consider using some of these palms and palm-like plants, as listed in the Florida-Friendly Landscaping Plant Database:
- Paurotis Palm (Saw Cabbage Palm)
- Bismarck Palm
- Pindo Palm
- Chamaedorea (Bamboo Palm, Miniature Fishtail Palm)
- European Fan Palm
- Dioon (Chamal, Mexican Sago)
- Areca Palm (Yellow Butterfly Palm, Bamboo Palm)
- Fan Palm
- Date Palms
- Needle Palms
- Large Lady Palm
- Slender Lady Palm
- Scrub Palmetto
- Dwarf Palmetto (Blue-stem Palmetto)
- Cabbage Palm (Sabal Palm, Cabbage Palmetto)
- Saw Palmetto
- Windmill Palm
- Foxtail Palm
- Coontie (Florida Arrowroot, Florida Zamia)
Central Florida Professional Landscape Design
Planting trees can be a complicated process, and making sure they grow properly can be even more complex. Avoid wasted costs and wasted time with the assistance of professional landscapers! Daniel’s Lawn Service and Pressure Washing provides years of trained, professional landscape design services for your Central Florida home or business. Contact us today to get your landscaping ready for spring!