south florida shade trees

Adding a Mango Tree to your South Florida Yard

If you love mangos and want to grow your own, you’re not alone. South Florida residents are adding the trees to their landscape and as part of home orchards and gardens. Mangos typically grow in tropical locales and South Florida’s climate provides an environment in which the trees can flourish.

The mango is actually a member of the cashew family. It’s one of the most widely cultivated and highly desired trees by home gardeners. Through a U.S. Department of Agriculture initiative of the past, a mango seedling program was created in South Florida. It was spearheaded by David Fairchild, founder of the USDA’s Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction program. Several mango varieties were developed as a result.

Height

The average mango tree grows to about 100 feet in height with a canopy of approximately 35 feet wide. With proper trimming, trees can be kept to a smaller, more manageable height of about 15 feet. You can also choose dwarf mango varieties, along with those that can even be grown in containers, though fruit production may be less than a tree planted in the ground.

Disease Control

Mango trees have dense canopies. Pruning them to achieve an open canopy reduces the risk of insect pests, bacterial and fungal diseases, and provides easier access should disease control measures need to be applied. After they’re established, the trees require little if any irrigation. Watering them can actually promote disease and insect infestations. Fertilize lightly and mulch.

Production and Harvest

Keeping mangos small in stature ensures a greater yield and easier harvesting. More of the tree’s energy will be channeled into bloom production rather than upward growth. Pruning also aids in larger fruits. If your mango tree sets a lot of blooms, you could easily find yourself with fruits that are too heavy and break branches.

Thinning the unripened fruit will preserve branch health and improve fruit production. You’ll have higher quality fruit to give away to friends or family – or sell at a local farm market for extra cash. Mango trees are self-pollinating and one tree is sufficient to produce fruit.

However, it’s advantageous to have other flowering plants nearby to entice honey bees and beneficial pollinating insects. There are a number of mango varieties developed that grow well in South Florida and are ready for harvest at different times of the year. The only problem will be deciding which one to grow.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Messy Florida Trees

Florida residents have an exceptional variety of trees that will grow in the environment. Unfortunately, many people may view the blooms or fruit of a particular tree specimen and plant in their own landscape without fully understanding its habits.

Messy Florida trees are a common problem due to leaf drop and drippy sap, along with fruits that can fall causing injury to people, pets, and property. Planting evergreens won’t alleviate the problem. Conifers also shed their needles and produce pine cones that will need to be removed.

Mulberry

They produce an unbelievable amount of pollen that attracts insects. The fruits are tasty and attract wildlife, but are sticky when they fall to the ground and stain paint jobs and driveways.

Northern Catalpa

An interesting tree with heart-shaped flowers, they produce fluffy blooms and that fluff blows around easily in the wind. It sheds leaves and pieces of bark all year and the long seed pods require considerable time to rake. The tree is frequently infested with catalpa worms, though the caterpillars make good fish bait.

Pawpaw

The trees produce a lot of litter ranging from leaf fall to sweet and succulent fruit that’s extremely sticky. Pawpaw blooms also have a disadvantage before they fall and make a mess on the ground. Many people have likened their smell to that of rotting flesh.

Pecan

They provide a great supply of pecans for people and wildlife that’s encased in an inner and outer shell. They shed leaves that can clog drains, ooze sap, and shed twigs on a regular basis. A stiff wind can bring down large branches.

Southern Magnolia

Beautiful in bloom and fragrance, petals will carpet the ground when they fall. The tree also sheds leaves year-round. It produces hard fruit called cones that can be a dangerous projectile if hit with a mower.

Sweet Gum

They drop their leaves in the autumn, but the biggest disadvantage is seeds/fruits that are hard, round, spiky balls. They’re painful to people and pets if stepped on and the trees tend to ooze sap.

Oak

A stately oak is a beauty to behold – until it begins dropping leaves, branches and acorns. Some oak species are less likely to drop twigs and experience breaking branches. Acorn production provides food for wildlife, but they also turn into dangerous projectiles when caught by a mower.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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The Best Shade Trees for South Florida Yards

Shade trees beautify properties, help keep environments cool, and clean the air while providing oxygen. Their limbs and branches also provide shelter and nesting spaces for a variety of wild bird species and help save on cooling costs. Each tree species has its own growth and space requirements of which individuals should be aware before planting. The following are some of the best shade trees for South Florida yards, in no particular order.

Bald Cypress

This is a good tree for low spots as it likes a lot of water, though it will tolerate a mild drought. It’s a unique conifer with needles that turn a rusty red color and fall in the autumn. It grows about 50 ft. high, with a canopy diameter of about half that size. It has far reaching roots and should be planted at least 15 feet away from buildings and walkways.

Florida Maple

The Florida Maple grows to 40 ft. in height and leaves turn a bright reddish-bronze in the fall. They’re fairly fast growing and good for medium sized yards. The tree will tolerate some flooding and will grow in full sun or partial shade. As it matures, the roots tend to breach the ground surface. Mulching around the tree will minimize mowing problems.

Live Oak

This is a tree that can live for centuries. It’s very resilient and can act as a windbreak against winds. It’s deeply rooted and can tolerate some flooding. The trees can grow 65 ft. high have large canopies and far reaching branches making them a good choice for large landscapes. The disadvantage to the tree is that the blooms can be messy in the spring. It does produce acorns that squirrels like and will require trimming when young.

Mahogany

Known primarily for the value of its wood, the leaf texture can add interest to the landscape. It’s an evergreen, but will drop its leaves for a short time each year. It’s on Florida’s endangered species list and planting one will aid in maintaining the species. They’re drought and salt tolerant, but do have aggressive roots. The tree shouldn’t be planted closer than a minimum of 20 feet from structures and no closer than 6 ft. from walkways and curbs. Mahogany can live up to 350 years, grow up to 60 ft. tall, and have a 50-ft. canopy spread.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

Read more