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original document location: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/EP007

Native Trees for North Florida 1

Alan W. Meerow and Jeffrey G. Norcini2

In recent years, the subject of native plants has taken on new significance in Florida horticulture. Some of the reasons for this include the loss to development of natural areas in the state, coastal deterioration due to disturbance of native vegetation, and concern about water use to support exotic landscapes. The introduction of exotic plant pests that naturalize and, in some cases, out-compete native species, has become of great concern in various parts of Florida. Fortunately, relatively few of the hundreds of exotic ornamentals that have been introduced into the state fall into this category.

Many counties are considering landscape ordinances that require a percentage of native plant materials be utilized in all future developments. Several have already implemented such ordinances. This will result in a need for wider availability of native plant materials. Woody landscape plant producers, landscape designers, and home gardeners in Florida need to become informed about and prepared for the production and cultural needs of this type of plant material.

Native plants are not new to the Florida nursery industry. Many native trees are already well-represented in the inventories of north Florida nurseries. Such "staples" of north Florida horticulture as cabbage palm ( Sabal palmetto ), southern red cedar ( Juniperus silicicola ), live oak ( Quercus virginiana ), southern magnolia ( Magnolia grandiflora ), and dogwood ( Cornus florida ) are all native to the state.

Arguments For The Use Of Native Plants

A number of claims both for and against the use of native plants have been proposed. Some claims made for landscape performance of native plants are:

Energy efficiency. Because they are adapted to our soils, temperature, and rainfall patterns, native plants require less irrigation and fertilization.

This argument can be true only if several factors hold, namely that the right native has been chosen for the site to be landscaped, and that the original soil profile and hydrology at the site have not been altered. All too often, native topsoils have been removed and water flow patterns have been changed during development. If such is the case, an attempt to recreate the original composition of trees and shrubs may fail or require a great deal of extra maintenance to succeed.

Low maintenance. Native plants are resistant to pests and diseases in Florida because they have evolved under constant exposure to these organisms.

Plants do not evolve in isolation. The resistance to pests and diseases can sometimes be as much a factor of interactions between the plants that make up a vegetational association as the individual genetic resources of any one particular species. Native plants may not demonstrate any "advantages" in this respect when planted in disturbed sites or mixed with species not usually associated with them. And certainly, as with any new planting, regular care during establishment is necessary.

Ecological-Educational factor. Their landscape use preserves endangered natural resources of the state.

This argument is perhaps the best one for wider use of native plants. Florida's continued rise in population does place enormous pressures on our native vegetation. The educational benefits of native plant landscapes, particularly in teaching new residents about our state's natural bounty, have great value.

Arguments Against The Use Of Native Plants

Claims made against the landscape use of native plants include:

They are slow-growing.

Plants differ in their growth rates as much as in any other characteristic. Native plants range as widely in this category as exotics. In many cases, slow growth rates can be improved with increased nutritional levels during production. Cultivar selection and evaluation programs also improve slow growth rates. In some situations, slow growth rates may be advantageous; for example, slower growing trees will require less pruning to control size or prevent interference with power lines.

They are unattractive.

Native plants include attractive, showy trees like southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) and more homely species such as wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera). Both have a niche in landscape situations. Many native trees have a subtle beauty all their own.

Their propagation is difficult, therefore plants are expensive.

Certain plants become widely available in the trade in part because they are easy to produce. This knowledge comes about through research, in both the private and public sectors. It is true that many choice native species are difficult to propagate successfully, but on the whole, this is due to lack of research efforts and unavailability of information.

They are generally unavailable.

Even with the limited knowledge of native plant propagation, there are currently over fifty nurseries listed by the Association of Florida Native Plant Nurseries, with a combined plant inventory of over 500 species. A number of native species are already represented in the inventories of many nurseries.

Landscape Situations For Native Trees

In certain landscape situations native plant usage is particularly desirable. These include:

New development with pre-existing vegetation in which a tree canopy has been retained.

Showy exotics look out of place in landscapes in which a great deal of pre-existing native vegetation has been spared the bulldozer's blade. In such developments, the use of additional native materials to "naturalize" the area can create a more harmonious and aesthetic effect.

Environmentally sensitive areas, such as the coastal strand, barrier island, and wetlands.

These areas have suffered a great deal of mismanagement and shortsighted development. Many of the plants native to these environmentally sensitive areas are particularly adapted to the specialized conditions found there. The use of these native plants may actually help to slow further deterioration of some of these environments.

Public areas (parks, beaches, nature centers).

Native plants should be a priority in public areas for their environmental and educational value.

Site Factors To Consider When Choosing Native Species

Careful consideration to the characteristics of the planting site must be used when choosing native plant materials for landscaping. First, some concerns relating to the past history of the site must be answered.

What was the original vegetation of the area?

This knowledge will give an indication of which native plants will perform best on the site. Assuming that the answer to the next question is no, native species that once grew in a given location are likely to do best when replanted in comparison with species from very different types of native vegetation.

Have the native soil and/or hydrology been modified?

During development, topsoil is often removed, and original drainage patterns disturbed. Fill soil of very different quality may have been brought in to replace the topsoil removed. If such is the case, it may be impossible to re-establish the same species that once grew on the site, or else require a great deal of maintenance to do so.

Secondly, considerations must be paid to the present condition of each planting site. If fill soil was added during construction, its composition can vary over a short distance. Does the site accumulate standing water? What is the soil type: muck? white sand? coral rock? Is there salt spray exposure on the site? Will the landscape plants have to be integrated with turf, and possibly be subjected to turf-oriented irrigation practices? All of these factors will influence the degree of success with which particular native species will perform in a landscape.

What landscape functions need to be fulfilled?

Certain aesthetic factors come into play when choosing materials natives, just as they do with exotic plant materials. Should the trees primarily provide shade, barrier effects, or beauty in the form of flowers of fruit, or is low maintenance the main criterion for plant selection? The size of the lot also restrict the use of some species whose mature dimensions require a lot of space.

Planting Native Trees

Planting native tree species is no different than planting exotics. Consider first the time of year the tree is to be planted. Containerized trees can be planted any time. Trees that are balled-and-burlapped can be planted in winter and spring. Bare-root trees should be planted only in the spring.

Amending the backfill soil is not recommended. The crown of nursery stock should be situated at the same level in the soil as occurred in the field or the container. Large masses of circling roots in container stock should be slit lengthwise to stimulate lateral root production. It may be necessary or desirable to reduce top growth; this should be accomplished by thinning out (removing one or several, well-distributed branches at their point of origin), rather than heading back (cutting all top growth back to approximately the same level). Thinning cuts will preserve the natural shape of the tree.

The trees should be well irrigated after planting, and a 2- to 4-inch mulch of organic material is recommended. A top-dressing of a slow-release fertilizer can be applied within the dripline of the tree before the mulch. If it rains on a regular basis in the first six months after planting, additional watering may not be needed during that period. If not, periodic irrigation will be necessary. Generally, supplementary irrigation is required during the first year after planting. The frequency of irrigation (weekly, to several times per week during the first month) will depend on temperature and the water-holding capacity of the soil. Irrigation frequency can be reduced in successive months. Generally, the production of new growth is the best indication that a tree is becoming established. Supplementary fertilization one or two times per year may be desirable, at least during the first year after planting.

Using The Native Tree Selection Tables

The tables which list native tree species suitable for use in north Florida will help in making the right choices for various landscape situations. These lists are by no means a complete inventory of the tree species native to the northern part of the state, but is representative of those native trees that have proven themselves in the landscape, are available from nurseries, or are judged worthy of wider use and availability. The two tables list the characteristics and environmental requirements of various native trees.

Special attention should be paid to environmental factors such as soil pH and light requirements, and drought and salt tolerances.

Drought tolerance refers to Florida conditions only and should be interpreted as follows:

  • High : will not require supplemental irrigation after establishment
  • Medium : may require occasional irrigation during periods of unusual water stress
  • Low : will require irrigation during periods of drought.
Salt tolerance should be interpreted as follows:

  • High: will withstand direct salt spray and soil salinity
  • Medium: should be protected from direct salt spray but will withstand moderately saline conditions
  • Low: sensitive to salt.
Under the category of "Hardiness Zone," if a particular species can be used in central and south (subtropical and tropical) Florida as well, this has been indicated. Subtropical refers to the transitional area between central and tropical Florida where an occasional winter frost will occur. Tropical refers to southernmost mainland Florida and the Keys where winter frosts are rare to nonexistent.

In general, the best guide to determining which natives to use in a landscape situation is to become familiar with the species in the wild, and also to observe which species are performing well in nearby landscapes. Understanding the characteristics of the natural communities in which a particular species grows will provide insight into the cultural conditions necessary for that species to thrive in the landscape.

Obtaining Native Plants

Native plants should not be transplanted from the wild, unless the plants face destruction from development. Superior clones in native populations should be identified where possible, and nursery stock propagated vegetatively or by seed from them. The Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) regularly publishes a bulletin called The Palmetto containing horticultural information on natives. You can obtain a copy by writing to:

  • FNPS
c/o Cameron Donaldson (The Palmetto editor)
2112 Helen Street
Melbourne FL 32901
(321) 951-2210 (voice)
(321) 951-1941 (fax)
http://www.fnps.org/
The best source of information on obtaining Florida native plants is Native Plant and Service Directory which is published by:

  • Association of Florida Native Nurseries
P. 0. Box 434
Melrose, Florida 32666-0434
(352) 475-5413
1-877-352-2366 (1-877-FLA-AFNN)
http://www.afnn.org/
There is a place in Florida horticulture for both superior exotic and native ornamentals. The "native plant movement" should be looked upon as an impetus to add to the diversity of landscape materials at our disposal in Florida.

Tables

Table 1. Characteristics.

Scientific Name

Common Name

Natural Height

Plant Type1

Tree Shape2

Flower Color

Flower Characteristics

Flowering Season3

Acer rubrum


Red maple


35-50 feet


Decid


O


Red


Showy


W,Sp


Acer saccharum


Silver maple


40-70 feet


Decid


O


Pink


Inconspicuous


Sp


Acer saccharum var. Floridanum (A. barbatum)


Florida sugar maple


20-40 feet


Ever


R


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Aesculus pavia


Red buckeye


15-25 feet


Decid


R


Red


Showy


Sp


Betula nigra


River birch


45-65 feet


Decid


O


Brown


Insignificant


Sp


Bumelia spp.


Buckthorn, Saffron plum, Bumelia


20-40 feet


Decid,Ever


R


White


Insignificant


F


Carpinus caroliniana


American hornbeam


25-35 feet


Decid


O


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Carya aquatica


Water hickory


60-100 feet


Decid


O


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Carya glabra


Pignut hickory


80-120 feet


Decid


R


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Catalpa bignonioides


Catalpa


25-45 feet


Decid


R


White


Showy


Sp


Celtis laevigata


Sugarberry


40-60 feet


Decid


R


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Cercis canadensis


Redbud


20-30 feet


Decid


R


Pink, White


Showy


Sp


Charmaecyparis thyoides


Atlantic white cedar


30-90 feet


Ever


O


Purple


Cone


Sp


Chionanthus virginicus


Fringe tree


10-30 feet


Decid


R


White


Showy, Fragrant


Sp


Cornus florida


Flowering dogwood


20-30 feet


Decid


R


White


Showy


Sp


Crateagus spp.


Hawthorns


15-25 feet


Decid


O,R


White


Showy


Sp


Diospyros virginiana


Persimmon


30-60 feet


Decid


O


White


Insignificant


Sp


Fagus grandifolia


American beech


50-100 feet


Decid


R


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Fraxinus caroliniana


Water ash


40-60 feet


Decid


R


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis


Thornless honey locust


20-50 feet


Decid


R


Orange


Inconspicuous


Sp


Gordonia lasianthus


Loblolly bay


30-40 feet


Ever


O


White


Showy, Fragrant


Su


Halesia caroliniana


Silverbell


15-25 feet


Decid


O


White


Showy


Sp


Ilex cassine


Dahoon holly


25-40 feet


Ever


O


White


Insignificant


Sp


Ilex opaca


American holly


30-45 feet


Ever


O


White


Insignificant


Su


Ilex vomitoria


Youpon holly


10-20 feet


Ever


O


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Juniperus silicicola


Southern juniper


25-30 feet


Ever


P


Brown


Cone


Sp


Juniperus virginiana


Eastern red cedar


10-40 feet


Ever


O


Brown


Cone


Sp


Liquidambar styraciflua


Sweetgum


60-100 feet


Decid


P,O


White


Insignificant


Sp


Liriodendron tulipfera


Tulip tree


80-100 feet


Decid


O


Greenish yellow


Showy


Sp


Magnolia ashei


Ashe magnolia


10-20 feet


Decid


R


White


Showy


Sp


Magnolia fraseri var. pyramidata


Pyramid magnolia


20-50 feet


Decid


P


White


Showy, Fragrant


Sp


Magnolia grandiflora


Southern magnolia


60-100 feet


Ever


P,O


White


Showy, Fragrant


Sp


Magnolia virginiana


Sweetbay


40-60 feet


Decid


O


White


Showy, Fragrant


Su


Malus angustifolia


Crab apple


15-30 feet


Decid


R


Pink


Showy


Sp


Myrica cerifera


Wax myrtle


15-25 feet


Ever


O


White


Insignificant


Su,Sp


Nyssa aquatica


Water tupelo


30-50 feet


Decid


O


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Nyssa slyvatica


Black tupelo


50-80 feet


Decid


O


White


Insignificant


Sp


Ostrya virginiana


Eastern hophornbeam


20-40 feet


Ever


V


Green


Insignificant


F,Sp


Oxydendron arboreum


Sourwood


10-40 feet


Decid


O


White


Showy


Sp,Su


Pinus clausa


Sand pine


60-80 feet


Ever


P,O


Brown


Cone


Sp


Pinus glabra


Spruce pine


30-50 feet


Ever


P,O


Brown


Cone


Sp


Pinus palustris


Longleaf pine


80-100 feet


Ever


P,O


Brown


Cone


Sp


Pinus serotina


Pond pine


40-70 feet


Ever


P


Brown


Cone


Sp,Su,F,W


Pinus taeda


Loblolly pine


80-100 feet


Ever


P,R


Brown


Cone


Sp


Planera aquatica


Water elm


15-50 feet


Decid


O


Yellow


Insignificant


Sp


Plantanus occidentalis


Sycamore


70-150 feet


Decid


O,R


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Prunus caroliniana


Cherry laurel


30-40 feet


Ever


O


White


Insignificant, Fragrant


Sp


Prunus umbellata


Flatwoods plum


10-20 feet


Decid


R


White


Showy


Sp


Ptelea trifoliata


Hoptree


10-25 feet


Decid


R,S


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Quercus alba


White oak


50-80 feet


Decid


R


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Quercus austrina


Bluff oak


25-40 feet


Decid


O


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Quercus chapmanii


Chapman oak


30-45 feet


Decid


O


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Quercus incana


Bluejack oak


20-30 feet


Decid


O


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Quercus laevis


Turkey oak


40-50 feet


Decid


O


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Quercus laurifolia


Laurel oak


60-100 feet


Ever


O


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Quercus michauxii


Swamp chestnut oak


40-100 feet


Decid


R


Yellow


Insignificant


Sp


Quercus myrtifolia


Myrtle oak


10-25 feet


Ever


O


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Quercus nigra


Water oak


60-100 feet


Ever


V


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Quercus shumardii


Shumard oak


40-60 feet


Decid


O


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Quercus virginiana


Live oak


50-60 feet


Ever


S


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Sabal palmetto


Cabbage palmetto, sabal palm


45-70 feet


Palm


*


White


Insignificant


Sp,Su,F


Salix caroliniana


Coastal plain willow


20-30 feet


Ever


R


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Sassafras albidum


Sassafras


20-50 feet


Decid


R


Yellow


Insignificant


Sp


Stewartia malacodendron


Virginia stewartia


10-20 feet


Decid


R


White


Showy


Su


Styrax grandifolia


Snowbell


15-30 feet


Decid


O


White


Showy, Fragrant


Sp


Symplocos tinctoria


Sweetleaf


15-35 feet


Ever


O


Yellow


Insignificant


Sp


Taxodium distichum


Bald cypress


60-100 feet


Decid


P,O


Green


Cone


Sp


Tilia caroliniana


Carolina basswood


20-40 feet


Decid


O


White


Fragrant, Insignificant


Sp


Tilia floridana


Florida basswood


30-60 feet


Decid


R


Yellow


Insignificant


Sp,Su


Torreya taxifolia


Florida nutmeg


10-40 feet


Decid


R


Yellow


Insignificant


Sp,Su


Ulmus alata


Winged elm


20-40 feet


Decid


V


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Ulmus americana


American elm


80-100 feet


Decid


V


Green


Insignificant


Sp


Vaccinium arboreum


Sparkleberry


15-30 feet


Ever


R


White, Pink


Showy


Sp


Viburnum rufidulum


Rusty blackhaw


15-25 feet


Decid


O


White


Showy


F


Zanthoxylum clava-herculis


Hercules' club, Toothache tree


25-50 feet


Decid


R


White
Insignificant


Sp
1 Plant Type: Decid = Deciduous, Ever = Evergreen


2 Tree Shape: O = Oval, R = Round, V = Vase, P = Pyramidal, S = Spreading * = Single stemmed


3 Flowering Season: Sp = Spring, Su = Summer, F = Fall, W = Winter


Table 2. Environmental Requirements

Scientific Name

Common Name

Growth Rate

Soil pH1

Hardiness Zone2

Salt Tol.3

Light Requirements

Drought Tol.

Nutritional Needs

Acer rubrum


Red maple


Fast


W


C,N,ST


L


High


Low


Low


Uses: Shade, perimeters, parking lots, medians, boulevards, residences.

Notes: Excellent red fall color. Good for wet sites.


Acer saccharum


Silver maple


Fast


W


N


none


High


Low


Medium


Uses: Parks, shade, residences, buffers.

Notes: Extreme north Florida only. Weak-wooded.


Acer saccharum var. Floridanum (A. barbatum)


Florida sugar maple


Fast


W


N


L


Medium


Medium


Medium


Uses: Parks, parking lots, residences, shade.

Notes: Holds on to dead leaves in winter. Aphids can be a problem.


Aesculus pavia


Red buckeye


Medium


A


N


L


Low,Medium


Low


Medium, High


Uses: Parks, residences.

Notes: Often shrubby, best in half shade.


Betula nigra


River birch


Fast


W


C,N


L


High


Low


Medium


Uses: Shade, residences, buffers.

Notes: Suitable for wet sites. Attractive bark.


Bumelia spp.


Buckthorn, Saffron plum, Bumelia


Medium


W


C,N,ST,T


M,L


Medium


Medium, High


Medium


Uses: Perimeters, parks, parking lots.

Notes: Several native species reach tree size. Not all are cold-hardy. Thorny.


Carpinus caroliniana


American hornbeam


Slow


W


C,N


L


Medium


Low


Low


Uses: Residences.

Notes: Best for wet sites. Unusual sinewy branches.


Carya aquatica


Water hickory


Slow


W


C,N


L


High


Low


Low


Uses: Residences, boulevards.

Notes: Suitable for most sites.


Carya glabra


Pignut hickory


Fast


W


C,N


L


High


High


Low


Uses: Residences, shade.

Notes: Nuts can be messy.


Catalpa bignonioides


Catalpa


Fast


W


N


L


High


Low


Medium


Uses: Parks, shade, boulevards, residences.

Notes: Weak-wooded. Fruits unsightly.


Celtis laevigata


Sugarberry


Fast


W


C,N


L


High


High


Low


Uses: Shade, perimeters, parking lots, residences, parks.

Notes: Can be weedy.


Cercis canadensis


Redbud


Medium


W


C,N


L


Medium


High


Medium


Uses: Residences, parks, boulevards.

Notes: Flowers best if native sources are used.


Charmaecyparis thyoides


Atlantic white cedar


Slow


A


C,N


L


High


Low


Medium


Uses: Parks, specimen plants.

Notes: Good for wet sites.


Chionanthus virginicus


Fringe tree


Slow


A


C,N


L


Medium


Low


High


Uses: Parks, residences.

Notes: Often shrubby, subject to scale and mites.


Cornus florida


Flowering dogwood


Medium


W


C,N


L


Medium


High


Medium


Uses: Parks, residences, medians, boulevards, buffers.

Notes: Native selections are best. Pink and red forms will not flower in Florida.


Crateagus spp.


Hawthorns


Slow


W


C,N


L


High


High


Medium


Uses: Residences, parks, boulevards.

Notes: Thorny trees. Subject to fire blight. Many species available.


Diospyros virginiana


Persimmon


Medium


W


C,N


L


High


Medium


Medium


Uses: Residences, parks.

Notes: Improved cultivars available. Edible fruit.


Fagus grandifolia


American beech


Slow


A


N


M


Medium


Medium


High


Uses: Parks, residences, shade.

Notes: Shallow roots. Turf does poorly underneath. Performs best in panhandle.


Fraxinus caroliniana


Water ash


Fast


W


C,N


L


High


Low


Low


Uses: Parks, residences, shade.

Notes: Best for wet sites.


Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis


Thornless honey locust


Fast


W


N


M


High


High


Medium


Uses: Parks, parking lots, residences, boulevards.

Notes: Very tolerant of city conditions.


Gordonia lasianthus


Loblolly bay


Medium


W


C,N,ST


L


High


Low


Medium


Uses: Residences, shade, parks, boulevards.

Notes: Suitable for wet sites. Flowers summer through fall. Can be difficult to establish.


Halesia caroliniana


Silverbell


Slow


A


N


L


Medium


Low


High


Uses: Parks, residences.

Notes: Pretty flowering tree for part shade. H. diptera also native.


Ilex cassine


Dahoon holly


Medium


A


C,N,ST


M


High


Medium


Low


Uses: Parks, perimeters, residences.

Notes: Red-berried. Suitable for wet sites.


Ilex opaca


American holly


Slow


A


C,N


M


Medium,High


Medium


Medium


Uses: Boulevards, residences, parks.

Notes: Showy red berries in winter.


Ilex vomitoria


Youpon holly


Medium


A


C,N,ST


H


Medium


High


Medium, High


Uses: Parking lots, parks, perimeters, residences

Notes: Showy red fruit on female trees. Often shrubby. Takes pruning well.


Juniperus silicicola


Southern juniper


Medium


W


C,N,ST


H


High


High


Low


Uses: Perimeters, parks, residences, buffers.

Notes: Well adapted to different site conditions.


Juniperus virginiana


Eastern red cedar


Slow


W


N


M


High


Medium


Low


Uses: Buffers, parks, perimeters, residences.

Notes: Many cultivars available, but most may not be adaptable to Florida.


Liquidambar styraciflua


Sweetgum


Fast


W


C,N


M


High


High


Low


Uses: Residences, parks, shade, buffers.

Notes: Attractive fall color. Spiny fruits.


Liriodendron tulipfera


Tulip tree


Fast


W


C,N


L


High


Low


Medium


Uses: Residences, parks, boulevards, shade.

Notes: Very columnar trunk.


Magnolia ashei


Ashe magnolia


Medium


A


N


L


Medium


Low


High


Uses: Parks, residences.

Notes: Threatened species. Good in woodland understory.


Magnolia fraseri var. pyramidata


Pyramid magnolia


Fast


A


N


L


Medium


Low


High


Uses: Parks, shade, residences.

Notes: Difficult in cultivation.


Magnolia grandiflora


Southern magnolia


Medium


A


C,N,ST


H


Medium,High


High


Medium


Uses: Residences, parks, shade, perimeters, buffers.

Notes: This tree has large, leathery leaves and showy flowers. Will take part shade. T-scale can be a problem.


Magnolia virginiana


Sweetbay


Medium


W


C,N,ST,T


L


High


Low


Medium


Uses: Residences, shade, parks, medians, boulevards.

Notes: Good for wet sites. Attractive silvery foliage.


Malus angustifolia


Crab apple


Medium


W


N


L


High


Low


Medium


Uses: Parks, residences.

Notes: Edible fruit. Short-lived. Susceptible to tent caterpillars and cedar-apple rust.


Myrica cerifera


Wax myrtle


Medium


W


C,N,ST


H


High


High


Low


Uses: Residences, parks, buffers.

Notes: Can be weedy. Root suckers. Stains masonry. Very low maintenance.


Nyssa aquatica


Water tupelo


Slow


A


C,N


L


High


Low


Medium


Uses: Parks, residences.

Notes: Excellent for very wet sites. Early fall color.


Nyssa slyvatica


Black tupelo


Medium


W


C,N


L


High


Low


Low


Uses: Shade, residences, boulevards, parks.

Notes: Best suited for wet sites. Good fall color.


Ostrya virginiana


Eastern hophornbeam


Medium


W


C,N


L


Medium


High


Low


Uses: Medians, parks, parking lots, residences.

Notes: Intolerant of wet soil. Grows well in poor, dry soil. Few pests.


Oxydendron arboreum


Sourwood


Medium


A


N


L


High


Medium


Medium


Uses: Parks, residences.

Notes: Good nectar source for honey.


Pinus clausa


Sand pine


Slow


W


C,N,ST


H


High


High


Low


Uses: Parks, shade, residences.

Notes: Very tolerant of dry, sandy soil.


Pinus glabra


Spruce pine


Medium


A


C,N


L


High


Low


Medium


Uses: Perimeters, parks, parking lots.

Notes: Susceptible to pine blister rust and borers. Attractive bark texture.


Pinus palustris


Longleaf pine


Medium


W


C,N


L


High


High


Low


Uses: Parks.

Notes: A common timber tree.


Pinus serotina


Pond pine


Medium


A


C,N


L


High


Medium


Medium


Uses: Parks.

Notes: Extermely tolerant of high and fluctuating water tables.


Pinus taeda


Loblolly pine


Medium


W


C,N


L


High


High


Low


Uses: Parks.

Notes: A tree used for lumber and pulpwood.


Planera aquatica


Water elm


Slow


A


N


L


High


Low


High


Uses: Parks.

Notes: Rare elm relative with excellent flood tolerance.


Plantanus occidentalis


Sycamore


Fast


W


C,N,ST


L


High


Low


Medium


Uses: Parks, residences, shade, boulevards.

Notes: Large, deciduous tree suited for moist sites. Exfoliating bark.


Prunus caroliniana


Cherry laurel


Medium


W


C,N


L


Medium,High


Medium


Medium


Uses: Residences, parks.

Notes: Will not tolerate hot, dry locations.


Prunus umbellata


Flatwoods plum


Fast


W


C,N


L


Medium


Low


Medium


Uses: Perimeters, parks, residences.

Notes: Edible fruit, but fruit quality variable. Early spring color. Tent caterpillars a problem.


Ptelea trifoliata


Hoptree


Slow


W


N


L


Medium


Medium


Medium


Uses: Parks, buffers, perimeters.

Notes: Flowers can be foul-smelling. Shrubby. Can be used as an informal hedge.


Quercus alba


White oak


Medium


A


N


H


High


Medium


Low


Uses: Parks, parking lots, perimeters, residences, shade.

Notes: Long-lived. Can be difficult to transplant.


Quercus austrina


Bluff oak


Medium


A


N


L


High


Low


High


Uses: Parking lots, shade.

Notes: A little-used native oak. Attractive bark.


Quercus chapmanii


Chapman oak


Slow


W


C,N


M


High


High


Low


Uses: Parks, residences, medians, boulevards.

Notes: A good, native oak for sandy sites.


Quercus incana


Bluejack oak


Slow


W


C,N


L


High


High


Low


Uses: Residences, parks, shade, boulevards.

Notes: A tough oak species suitable for poor soil.


Quercus laevis


Turkey oak


Slow


W


C,N


L


High


High


Low


Uses: Residences, parks, boulevards.

Notes: Excellent for dry, sandy sites.


Quercus laurifolia


Laurel oak


Fast


W


C,N,ST


L


High


High


Low


Uses: Shade, residences, parks, boulevards.

Notes: A fast-growing, but comparatively short-lived oak.


Quercus michauxii


Swamp chestnut oak


Medium


A


N


L


High


Low


High


Uses: Parks.

Notes: Iron and magnesium chlorosis on some soils. Handsome specimen where there is room for it.


Quercus myrtifolia


Myrtle oak


Slow


W


C,N


M


High


High


Low


Uses: Parks, residences, shade, boulevards.

Notes: A small, native oak good for dry, sandy sites.


Quercus nigra


Water oak


Fast


W


C,N


L


High


High


Low


Uses: Residences, shade, parks, boulevards.

Notes: Perfers moist, sandy sites. Relatively short-lived.


Quercus shumardii


Shumard oak


Slow


A


C,N


L


High


Medium


Medium


Uses: Medians, parking lots, parks, residences, shade.

Notes: Few pest of disease problems. Red fall color. Handsome street tree.


Quercus virginiana


Live oak


Medium


W


C,N,ST


H


High


High


Low


Uses: Shade, boulevards, parks, residences.

Notes: A wind-resistant, long-lived oak.


Sabal palmetto


Cabbage palmetto, sabal palm


Slow


W


C,N,ST,T


H


High


High


Low


Uses: Residences, parks, boulevards, parking lots, medians, perimeters.

Notes: Florida's state tree. Small plants are difficult to transplant.


Salix caroliniana


Coastal plain willow


Fast


W


C,N,ST


L


High


Low


Low


Uses: Parks.

Notes: Grows in wet areas around lakes and ponds.


Sassafras albidum


Sassafras


Fast


W


N


L


Medium


Low


Medium


Uses: Parks, perimeters.

Notes: Spreads by runners. Leaves have spicy odor when crushed.


Stewartia malacodendron


Virginia stewartia


Slow


A


N


L


Medium


Low


High


Uses: Parks, residences.

Notes: Attractive bark. Often shrubby. Best in part shade.


Styrax grandifolia


Snowbell


Medium


A


N


L


Medium


Low


High


Uses: Parks, residences, shade.

Notes: Shade-tolerant. Can be trained as a shrub.


Symplocos tinctoria


Sweetleaf


Medium


A


N


L


Medium


Low


High


Uses: Parks, residences.

Notes: A shade-tolerant native for moist sites. Sweet-tasting leaves.


Taxodium distichum


Bald cypress


Medium


W


C,N,ST


M


High


High


Low


Uses: Parks, shade, residences.

Notes: Pyramidal growth habit when young. Variety nutans common and more upright.


Tilia caroliniana


Carolina basswood


Medium


A


C,N


L


High


Low


High


Uses: Parks, residences.

Notes: Best on fertile, moist soil.


Tilia floridana


Florida basswood


Fast


A


C,N,ST


L


Medium


Low


High


Uses: Buffers, parks, residences, shade.

Notes: Sprouts vigorously from base. Good nectar source for bees.


Torreya taxifolia


Florida nutmeg


Fast


A


C,N,ST


L


Medium


Low


High


Uses: Parks, residences.

Notes: Rare and endangered native conifer.


Ulmus alata


Winged elm


Medium


W


C,N


L


High


High


Medium


Uses: Residences, parks, medians, boulevards.

Notes: Interesting corking, winged bark.


Ulmus americana


American elm


Fast


W


C,N


L


High


Medium


Medium


Uses: Parks, residences, shade, boulevards.

Notes: Susceptible to Dutch elm disease.


Vaccinium arboreum


Sparkleberry


Medium


W


C,N


L


High


Medium


Medium


Uses: Parks, perimeters.

Notes: A blueberry relative with wide soil tolerances. Often shrubby.


Viburnum rufidulum


Rusty blackhaw


Medium


W


C,N


L


Medium,High


Medium


Medium


Uses: Parks, residences.

Notes: Largely pest-free. Attractive fruit.


Zanthoxylum clava-herculis


Hercules' club, Toothache tree


Medium


W


C,N,ST


M


Medium


High


Medium


Uses: Buffers, perimeters, parks.

Notes: Thorny.


1Soil pH: W = Wide, A = Acid


2Hardiness Zone: C = Central, N = North, ST = Subtropical, T = Tropical


3Salt Tolerance, L = Low, M = Medium, H = High



Footnotes

1. This document is CIR833, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date September 1989. Reviewed October 2003. Visit the EDIS Web Site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2. Alan W. Meerow, associate professor, Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center; Jeffrey G. Norcini, associate professor, Monticello Agricultural Research and Education Center, both branch campuses of the University of Florida; Department of Environmental Horticulture; Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611..


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension service.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A. & M. University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Larry Arrington, Dean.



Copyright Information

This document is copyrighted by the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) for the people of the State of Florida. UF/IFAS retains all rights under all conventions, but permits free reproduction by all agents and offices of the Cooperative Extension Service and the people of the State of Florida. Permission is granted to others to use these materials in part or in full for educational purposes, provided that full credit is given to the UF/IFAS, citing the publication, its source, and date of publication.
 

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