Best and Worst trees to Plant in South and Central Florida Part one: the best trees to plant

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No matter where you live, there are variations in climate, soil, and insects. All these factors must be considered when deciding which trees will thrive and which trees are likely to struggle or not live long at all. Additionally, there are sometimes trees that have been introduced from other areas which, even though the foreign trees will do well, they are invasive and should not be planted. The following list gives examples of trees you should plant if you live in South and Central Florida.

  • Lawns: This palm is Florida’s state tree, and is rightly so as it fits perfectly into the climate and soil conditions of most of the state. It can be found both domesticated and in Florida’s natural areas. Growing up to a height of 90 feet, this majestic palm grows quickly in dry soil or wet, in sun or shade, and without the need for fertilizer or watering. Seedlings or mature trees can be transplanted without problems.
  • Magnolia: This tree is not only an excellent shade tree but is lovely to look at with its year-round large, shiny green leaves that are backed in bronze. One of Florida’s many flowering trees, the Magnolia has gorgeous, huge white flowers that bloom in the spring. Magnolias grow quite rapidly and prefer fertile, almost soggy soil. They are even tolerant of salt. The sweet magnolia is a smaller version of this tree species and does equally well in South and Central Florida.
  • Live Oak: A magnificent shade tree which has been in Florida for centuries as it can live for hundreds of years, the live oak is a Florida favorite. It can grow up to 60 feet with a broad, spreading canopy (top). For this reason, though it can be pruned, it is best to plant a live oak away from structures so the tree can spread out with it natural beauty. There are several varieties of oaks including the live oak and the laurel oak which prefer moist, fertile soil with a sandy content. It is a good idea to mix organic material in the soil around the roots. Other varieties of oak, Including the sandy oak, turkey oak, and myrtle oak prefer dry, sandy soil so are ideal if your yard tends to be on the dry side.
  • Silver buttonwood: This pretty tree is noted for its silver leaves and small, bright orange fruit. While it is often used for hedges or shrubs, it can grow as high as 30 feet so makes a striking, ornamental tree. It is salt tolerant which is good for yards near saltwater, but it does not like extreme cold so is best planted in South rather than Central Florida.

Planting trees are an essential part of creating a beautiful and sustainable landscape. By following the advice of professional landscapers in your area you can determine which trees will do the best and look the best. If you live in Ocala, Florida or the surrounding areas, Best Cut Lawns and Landscaping has been successfully helping folks plant the right trees for over 25 years. Their specialist will gladly work with you to make sure you understand what will work best in your situation. You can call their office with your questions and set up an appointment for a free estimate. The phone number for Best Cuts is (352) 216-0512. Part two of this series will focus on which trees you should not plant in South and Central Florida.