Choosing the Right Tree
July 9, 2009
by Debbie Hughes, Estates Horticulturist
Everyone needs a tree in their yard to provide some shade, and our summer rainy season is a perfect time for planting. I am going to tell you a little secret to help you decide on what tree to choose. The most important mantra you should repeat to yourself is “Right plant in the right place.” If you want to be happy with your choice for the lifetime of the tree, do the research.
- Determine the mature height and spread, the flower, fruit, or leaf drop, and the wet, cold and salt tolerance.
- Size matters – especially if you don’t want the tree to take over your property (or your neighbors).
- A tree with flowers that fall on your driveway and car can be messy, but perfectly acceptable over the middle of the grass.
- Most tropical fruit trees won’t survive in cold winter temperatures in northern regions of the county.
- If you only live in Florida in the winter months and want a fruiting or flowering tree, make sure it blooms while you are in town.
Most people buy plants and then decide where it should go in the landscape. This is a no-no. You will end up with the wrong tree for your situation and have to spend the money to cut it down later; not to mention losing all those years of growth only to be back where you started.
Some great choices for trees include (but there are many more):
- SMALL: East Palatka Holly, Crape Myrtle, Orange Geiger, Bahama Strongbark, Sweet Acacia, Senna Surattensis, Tabernaemontana Orientalis (blooms smell like buttered popcorn)
- MEDIUM: Foxtail Palm, Shady Lady Black Olive, Tabebuia (Golden Trumpet and Caribbean Queen)
- LARGE: Live Oak, Royal Poinciana, Jacaranda, Mahogany, Royal Palm
As the Edison and Ford Winter Estates restores the botanical gardens of the historical property, we invite you to commemorate your marriage, celebrate the birth of a child, or honor a passed away loved one by planting a tree in the gardens or sponsoring a memory bench. For more information on donating a Celebration Tree to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, please visit https://www.edisonfordwinterestates.org/events/celebration-tree-plantings.