ZONE 8 AND 9 CANOPY TREES

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Ok, after the cold events of this year, I thought I would start a thread on canopy plants for zones 8 and 9. For those that are not familiar with zone temperatures, they are as follows:

8a −12.2 °C (10 °F) to −9.4 °C (15 °F)

8b −9.4 °C (15 °F) to −6.7 °C (20 °F)

9a −6.7 °C (20 °F) to −3.9 °C (25 °F)

9b −3.9 °C (25 °F) to −1.1 °C (30 °F)

I figured that to have an effective canopy, the tree would have to be evergreen to expected low temps of your particular area and be fast growing to outpace palms and other plants that you are trying to protect. It would also have to grow large enough to actually protect what is underneath.

I am currently planting avocado's, the mexican varieties, and also have one "Gainesville" variety that was taken from the tree at University of Florida. These were defoliated by the freezes that we had this year, but the plants are small and not established. Hopefully these will be more hardy as they get bigger.

Also, outside my yard, to the north, on the public right of way, I have planted 4 Magnolia grandiflora's to help block the wind. Will keep them trimmed back enough to not totally block out the sun over the yard as they get bigger.

Loquats are another tree that is being planted in several area's. Although it takes them a long time to get established, they have the added benefit of fruit.

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I love my live oaks for canopy with water and food they grow very fast with very few problems

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David, while not a complete list.. a few that come to mind:

< Japanese Blueberry (Elaeocarpus decipens)

< Podocarpus sp.

< Wax Myrtle

< Tabebuia chrysotricha and impetiginosa would be the hardiest of the Trumpet trees to try. Another would be T. umbellata which is supposed to be hardier than chrysotricha but is harder to find. While deciduous, hard to beat the spring flower display.

< Although more of a taller bush than a tree, Texas mtn. Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) is hardy to zone 7. Extra benefit of flowers that smell like grape soda. Not sure how much salt tolerance it has though.

As for Loquats, while hardy to around 12F, flowers and seeds can be killed at temps around 25F. Regardless, they are great trees. There is also Bronze loquat (Eriobotrya deflexa) which produces flushes of reddish or coppery colored new leaves. Fruit on it aren't edible though.


-Nathan-

Edited by Silas_Sancona
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Anyone have any experience with Montezuma Cypress?

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Unless oaks are pretty big they don't particularly look very tropical to me. Large old oaks are a different story, your fortunate if you have one.

Cool.....Japanese blueberry trees. ...never heard of it ....the first Google search looks promising.

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How about Carob Tree, Ceratonia siliqua? Unique look, tropical looking, evergreen, gets pretty good sized. I'm trying to remember what cold tolerance is like, I want to say about 20 degrees. I know live oak has already been discussed, but if your looking for something bullet proof to cold, large enough for canopy, evergreen but leafy (not a conifer). The list gets narrow really quick and live oak is one of the ones on top.

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Pretty easy to make a 20-25 foot live oak in 10 years

They grow very fast but need food and water

Plant them on about 15 foot centers and thin to

Groups or about 30 feet apart can almost set the palms in after a year

Or two start with 6 foot trees 2 inch caliper but

Make sure they are not root bound and in timed irrigation

Never laurel oaks they should be outlawed

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Carob trees look fantastic....a quick initial search list it as one of the top 10 stinkiest flowers....lol...is it really that bad?

Podocarpus is great but.......slooooow.

Your right about the choices ....not too many fast growing evergreen tropical looking trees for these zones.

Montezuma cypress is cool as well...trunk gets huge ...and I think they are deciduous? Was really wanting to put one at my old house by the freshwater canal.

Been thinking about Sweatbay Magnolia ....they are indigenous here so not too exciting...but they look pretty good. Not sure about growth rate.

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Flower-wise, can't recall how offensive Carob was but the pods have a strange scent to them. Large specimen that hung over the fence between my mom's place and a neighbor back in CA provided a very dense canopy and really good protection from frost in the winter. Curious how well they would handle the humidity here though. Brought a bunch of seed with me to trial.

SweetBay would be another good choice. Flowers are an added bonus, doesn't get too big.

Interesting that Podocarpus are considered slow. Lots of experience with these back in CA, could swear they grew at a good pace.

Wonder how Mesquite would perform here.. and up there in the panhandle. Seedlings I brought with me seem happy so far, Got more seed germinating atm also. While more of a conversation piece, I'll take some thorns for a constant supply of wood for BBQs. Like the light shade they provide also.

Another one im trialing, Geoffroea decorticans, otherwise known as Chilean Palo Verde.. Little known species but interesting. One of the few, if not the only Legume type trees that produces a Cherry-like fruit that is edible. Somewhat thorny but the bark is awesome. Possibly hardy to 18F, maybe lower.


Agree with mike, Laurel Oaks are terrible trees. Live oaks or, even Cork Oaks would be a better choice, though, like Carob, not sure how Cork oak performs here.

-Nathan-

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I've been around carob trees in AZ, they were not super common but I maintained some landscapes that had them, they are beautiful, I never noticed them being stinky at all, I don't remember examining their blossoms clearly either, but If they were really that stinky, like Ginkgo biloba fruit stinky you'd think I would have noticed. their pods are cool, they are used to make a chocolate substitute.

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Flower-wise, can't recall how offensive Carob was but the pods have a strange scent to them. Large specimen that hung over the fence between my mom's place and a neighbor back in CA provided a very dense canopy and really good protection from frost in the winter. Curious how well they would handle the humidity here though. Brought a bunch of seed with me to trial.

SweetBay would be another good choice. Flowers are an added bonus, doesn't get too big.

Interesting that Podocarpus are considered slow. Lots of experience with these back in CA, could swear they grew at a good pace.

Wonder how Mesquite would perform here.. and up there in the panhandle. Seedlings I brought with me seem happy so far, Got more seed germinating atm also. While more of a conversation piece, I'll take some thorns for a constant supply of wood for BBQs. Like the light shade they provide also.

Another one im trialing, Geoffroea decorticans, otherwise known as Chilean Palo Verde.. Little known species but interesting. One of the few, if not the only Legume type trees that produces a Cherry-like fruit that is edible. Somewhat thorny but the bark is awesome. Possibly hardy to 18F, maybe lower.

Agree with mike, Laurel Oaks are terrible trees. Live oaks or, even Cork Oaks would be a better choice, though, like Carob, not sure how Cork oak performs here.

-Nathan-

Careful with the Geoffroea, they are really cool and unique looking trees but they are extremely prolific. You'll have them all over your yard in no time. At least that is what they do in the desert, I can't speak about your climate, but keep an eye out.

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How about Brachychiton populneus? Bottle tree, these are actually pretty tough, being hardy to about mid to upper teens, they are more pyramidal in shape though so not sure how much you can get them to spread. Dalbergia sissoo is a super fast grower and spreads out well, beautiful also. They are not as hardy though, I've seen them defoliated in low 20's but making a fast recovery in spring when mature.

Other options, are there any Eucalyptus that are well adapted to that part of Florida? they grow fast and are evergreen, there are hardy types also, I just don't know how they perform in Florida. Tipuana tipu is semi-deciduous, has a spreading canopy.

Edited by Xerarch
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Good heads up Xerarch,

Encountered Geoffroea specimens while in Phoenix last year. Have also read that they can spread, sucker badly if they receive a lot of water. Will be an interesting experimental. Really want to work with uses for the fruit.

Forgot about the use of Carob as a Chocolate substitute. growing up in CA i Noticed how some trees can bare tons of pods while others don't. Agree that nothing smells as bad as Ginkgo fruit, lol.

-Nathan-

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Carob trees look fantastic....a quick initial search list it as one of the top 10 stinkiest flowers....lol...is it really that bad?

Podocarpus is great but.......slooooow.

Your right about the choices ....not too many fast growing evergreen tropical looking trees for these zones.

Montezuma cypress is cool as well...trunk gets huge ...and I think they are deciduous? Was really wanting to put one at my old house by the freshwater canal.

Been thinking about Sweatbay Magnolia ....they are indigenous here so not too exciting...but they look pretty good. Not sure about growth rate.

There are so many! Cherry laurel is native to north Florida and is tropical looking.

A lot of the Cinnamomoms are very hardy, C. camphora is a weed all over central/north Florida and gets huge. C. chekiangensis is another, and there are more. www.camforest.com has three species that could work.

Osmanthus is smaller but has the added benefit of super fragrant flowers and will form canopy over time.

The ultimate fast growing/hardy/tropical tree is Eucalyptus, there are plenty of species hardy to zone 9, there are even a few that make it here in Zone 7! Not sure of the species but maybe someone with more experience with these can chime in

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I read that Montezuma Cypress was evergreen, shedding its leaves in the spring. Mexican White Oak, Quercis polymorpha, is also supposed to be evergreen. What about the evergreen east asian oaks? Quercus acuta?

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Just a memory dump of some other genera to look into, heat tolerance and soil may be issues but these are all zone 8 hardy at least:

Lithocarpus (foliage resembles avocado)

Evergreen Castanopsis

Evergreen Prunus species (cherry laurel is one but there are a lot)

Ligustrum

Laurus

Citrus (hardy species like Ichang lemon, mandarins, etc)

Camellia

Photinia

Michelia (M. figo leaves look like Ficus microcarpa)

Persea

Indian Hawthorne tree form

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Tried to limit to reliably evergreen, med-faster growing, humid, s.e. climate choices.

I'll list additional west coast selections later.

Nice smaller trees:

Acca sellowiana 8b

Arbutus unedo 8a

Callistemon citrinus 8b/9a

C. viminalis 8b

Citrus ichanghangensis 8a/b

Cornus capitata 8a

C. C. 'Mountain Moon' 8a

C. omeiense 8a

C. hongkongensis 8b

Dendropanax trifidus 7b/8a

Drimys winteri 8a

Eriobotrya deflexa 8b/9a

E. japonica 8a/b

E. 'Coppertone' 8b

Ilex cassine 7a slower?

I. pendunculosa 7a maybe colder. China, Jpn, Taiwan. fast for holly

I. purpurea 8a

Magnolia fulva var. calcicola 8b

M. grandiflora 'Little Gem' 7a/b

Michelia crassipes 8a

M. c. 'Nanjing Red' 8a red flw

M. figo var. skinneriana 7b tree form of M. figo

M. ingrata 8b/9a

M. maudiae 8b

Myrica cerifera 7b

Neolitsea sericea 8b/9a

Nerium oleander 9a

Osmanthus fragrans 8a

Persea borbonia 7b

Photinia serratifolia 7a/b

Pittosporum eugeniodes 8b/9a

P. napaulense 8b/9a

P. tobira 8b

Prunus caroliniana 8a

P. lusitanica 8a

Quercus phillyreoides 7a

Rhapiolepis 'Majestic Beauty' 8b

Schima wallichii 8b slower?

Sophora secundiflora 8a/b

Trochodendron aralioides 8a slower?

Viburnum awabuki 8a/b

V. cylindricum 8a/b

Bigger Canopy Sized:

Brachychiton populneus 8b/9a some leaf drop below 18º

Castanopsis cuspidata 7a Japanese Chinkapin se-China, Jpn

Ceratonia siliqua 8b/9a

Cinnamomum camphora 8b/9a

C. japonicum 7a

C. chekiangensis 7b

C. porrectum 7b

Daphniphyllum macropodum 7a Korea, Jpn, China. Fast 3'/yr

Elaeocarpus decipiens 8b

Eucalyptus aggregata

E. alaticaulis

E. blakelyi 8b

E. bridgesiana

E. camaldulensis 8b

E. camphora

E. cephalocarpa

E. cinerea

E. dives

E. goniocalyx

E. mannifera

E. microtheca 8b

E. morrisbyi

E. nandewarica 8b

E. neglecta 7b

E. nicholii

E. nortonii

E. nova-anglicab

E. polyanthemos 8

E. rodwayi

E. stellulata

E. tenuiramis

Grevillea robusta 9a

Ligustrum lucidum 7b/8a

Lithocarpus edulis 7b

L. henryi 8a China fast 3'/yr

L. variolosus 7a

Magnolia delavayi 8b/9a

M. grandiflora 7b

M. grandia (Syn. Manglietia grandis) 8b

M. insignis (Syn. Manglietia insignis) 7a

M. lotungensis 8a

M. megaphylla (Syn. Manglietia megaphylla) 8b

M. moto (Syn. Manglietia moto) 7b

M. ovoidea 8a

M. nitida 8a

M. tamaulipana 8a/b

M. virginiana 7a-8a

M. yunnanensis 8a/b

Michelia compressa 8a se-china, vigorous, fragrant

M. doltsopa 8b

M. ernestii (syn. M. wilsonii) 8a

M. floribunda 8a

Persea thunbergii 8a

P. yunnanensis 7b/8a

Quercus acuta 8a

Q. glauca 8a slower

Q. ilex 7a

Q. laurifolia 8a

Q. myrsinifolia 7a

Q. rysophylla 8b

Q. virginiana 8a

Suggested eucalyptus are from Hardy Eucalyptus Board and with the site's caveat that further tested is needed in the southeast.

Tipuana tipu won't be evergreen below 26ºF so not good for winter frost sheltering.

The michelias, manglietias, and parakmerias merged into magnolia are especially interesting as they flower winter into late spring before the grandifloras and virginianas, greatly extending the flowering show. They are faster growing than I anticipated. Some species have stronger scented flowers than others.

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Forget about most Mediterranean spp. (Ceratonia siliqua, Quercus ilex, Q.suber etc) in FL. Just won't make it with high humidity and rainfall.

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Interesting feedback Ken, read a article from Purdue about a Carob specimen they had documented at the University of Miami while looking for additional research on how it might perform here. Also have observed trees which seemed to perform better when provided lots of water, much more than id assume they would be able to tolerate. Quercus suber was listed in some of the trees for Florida articles id reviewed in the past. Will be interesting to see how my specimens do come summer.

As for stuff like Camphor or Ligustrum.. Wasn't camphor listed as an invasive here? Not sure why, have never come across escapees.. Don't get me started about Privet, absolutely hate them. Has been banned in some countries due to a connection between the pollen it produces and an Asthma like condition. I know whenever it blooms, I get really bad headaches that can last a couple days. Birds spread seed everywhere. Should be banned, imo.



-Nathan-

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4 natives will give you the absolute best evergreen canopy for cold protection;

Quercus virginiana- Southern Live Oak

Quercus geminata- Sand Live Oak

The pines are best planted in groups;

Pinus palustris- Longleaf Pine

Pinus elliottii- Slash Pine

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Camphor Trees have good and bad;

BAD- very invasive seedlings, the trees have very greedy roots, the trees are allelopathic and it can be hard to get some plants established under older trees, they may get some cold damage in your area

GOOD- evergreen, very strong and wind resistant, drought tolerant, few pests, very fast growing, perfect spreading canopy

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Wow! ... better print these out and start exploring the pro's and cons one by one. Will try and narrow it down to the best choices IMO....specific to my location.

Eric...I understand what you are saying....but pines are pretty much out of the question for me personally. Don't care for them much except for really big, really old unusual specimen pines. Have to admit, not many trees get as tall as pines...they pretty much dominate the skyline up here.

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Camphor Trees have good and bad;

BAD- very invasive seedlings, the trees have very greedy roots, the trees are allelopathic and it can be hard to get some plants established under older trees, they may get some cold damage in your area

GOOD- evergreen, very strong and wind resistant, drought tolerant, few pests, very fast growing, perfect spreading canopy

Do you have any experience with any of the other hardy Cinnamomum species? I don't care too much for camphora due to it's invasive potential, but some of the others look beautiful. Tropical foliage, red new leaves, etc. Maybe there is a better substitute for C. camphora in FL?

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Wow! ... better print these out and start exploring the pro's and cons one by one. Will try and narrow it down to the best choices IMO....specific to my location.

Eric...I understand what you are saying....but pines are pretty much out of the question for me personally. Don't care for them much except for really big, really old unusual specimen pines. Have to admit, not many trees get as tall as pines...they pretty much dominate the skyline up here.

Yeah you should have no problem finding a few you like, and many are regularly available in the nursery trade. A lot of species commonly sold as evergreen "shrubs" will grow into trees if left unpruned.

If you do find a Eucalyptus species you like, don't worry about trying to find a potted specimen, it's my understanding that Eucs will actually grow to maturity faster when you start from seed (which you can easily order online). Prolonged pot culture can permanently stunt them, or so I've heard.

Edited by stevethegator
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David, definitely check out the C. camphor online before you possibly buy one. Our backyard neighbor was sold a small one from Home Depot. I'm sure there was no discussion of pros and cons just "nice tree that will go fairly fast". Well his yard is probably as deep in the back as yours, ours just a little deeper maybe. The tree which was planted maybe 7 years ago is now above our two-story homes. This variety of tree wants to be a park tree. Sunset Magazine places it at 60 feet high and wide I believe. The neighbor has tried to trim some of the lower branches but I don't think he hired a professional tree service and was never able to reach the upper portion of the tree. Right now it's more top heavy IMO. So far it hasn't come into our yard but is nearly halfway into his other neighbor's yard, who told us they don't particularly want it and don't really want the responsibility of trimming what has invaded their yard. These are all shallow backyards (typical for many Californians) and honestly I don't know how this tree will be maintained as it continues to grow higher. Figure it is only 30 feet right now.

It's known for its widely spreading root structure and getting into drainage lines in search of water. It's considered a high allergy tree producing copious amounts of tiny flowers that generally fall a short distance from the tree without wind. Many seedlings try to take root. Some people BTW also react to the camphor scent. I've read that even when people try to remove the tree, they struggle to get the roots out and continue to combat new growth from parts that aren't removed. Check out Dave's Garden and other sites for reviews by those growing it.

If allergies are a concern be aware that the male podocarpus are a step higher on an allergy scale than the C. camphor tree.

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David, definitely check out the C. camphor online before you possibly buy one. Our backyard neighbor was sold a small one from Home Depot. I'm sure there was no discussion of pros and cons just "nice tree that will go fairly fast". Well his yard is probably as deep in the back as yours, ours just a little deeper maybe. The tree which was planted maybe 7 years ago is now above our two-story homes. This variety of tree wants to be a park tree. Sunset Magazine places it at 60 feet high and wide I believe. The neighbor has tried to trim some of the lower branches but I don't think he hired a professional tree service and was never able to reach the upper portion of the tree. Right now it's more top heavy IMO. So far it hasn't come into our yard but is nearly halfway into his other neighbor's yard, who told us they don't particularly want it and don't really want the responsibility of trimming what has invaded their yard. These are all shallow backyards (typical for many Californians) and honestly I don't know how this tree will be maintained as it continues to grow higher. Figure it is only 30 feet right now.

It's known for its widely spreading root structure and getting into drainage lines in search of water. It's considered a high allergy tree producing copious amounts of tiny flowers that generally fall a short distance from the tree without wind. Many seedlings try to take root. Some people BTW also react to the camphor scent. I've read that even when people try to remove the tree, they struggle to get the roots out and continue to combat new growth from parts that aren't removed. Check out Dave's Garden and other sites for reviews by those growing it.

If allergies are a concern be aware that the male podocarpus are a step higher on an allergy scale than the C. camphor tree.

We had a huge camphor next to the house I lived in in college at UF and you re right it was a nuisance. Fortunately it was more out of the way than what you describe but it dropped seed everywhere (some are still germinating in pots I've kept since then). There was also a 300+ year old live oak that was an even bigger pain; it dropped a ton of leaves that never decayed and were always being tracked into the house/cars, and it would blanket everything under it with pollen in the spring.

Always good to keep an eye out for eventual size when planting, although the good thing with dicots as opposed to palms is they can be pruned!

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Thanks, WCG...we have camphor trees here as well. Didn't know about the allergy concerns esp. about the podocarpus. I got a lot of allergies...good thing to know, cause I like podocarpus. I've pretty much ruled out oaks and pine trees...looking for something more exotic and tropical looking.

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Forget about most Mediterranean spp. (Ceratonia siliqua, Quercus ilex, Q.suber etc) in FL. Just won't make it with high humidity and rainfall.

You don't see a lot of these in South Florida, that's for sure. I have seen a handful of the Carob trees though. A pretty little tree with a round head. 20' is as big as I've seen it. If it grows here it might do well in North Florida or there abouts.

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Still don't know how ultimately cold hardy it is but Magnolia velutina has extremely tropical looking leaves and has grown very quickly since planting it this past spring. It's suppository a fall blooming magnolia which is another plus.

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Forget about most Mediterranean spp. (Ceratonia siliqua, Quercus ilex, Q.suber etc) in FL. Just won't make it with high humidity and rainfall.

You don't see a lot of these in South Florida, that's for sure. I have seen a handful of the Carob trees though. A pretty little tree with a round head. 20' is as big as I've seen it. If it grows here it might do well in North Florida or there abouts.

i have tried Ceratonia siliqua, Quercus ilex, and Q.suber here without good results. They survive but look very shabby and sparse. They just don't like the summer rainfall and humidity.

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Well I've managed to make the first cull to the above Monkeyranch list..... still have to get to the smaller trees and to some of the suggestions by others.

Bigger Canopy Sized:

Brachychiton populneus 8b/9a some leaf drop below 18º

Castanopsis cuspidata 7a Japanese Chinkapin se-China, Jpn

C. chekiangensis 7b

Elaeocarpus decipiens 8b

E. cephalocarpa

E. cinerea

E. goniocalyx

E. microtheca 8b

E. neglecta 7b

E. nicholii

E. polyanthemos 8

E. rodwayi

E. stellulata

E. tenuiramis

L. henryi 8a China fast 3'/yr

Magnolia delavayi 8b/9a

M. grandia (Syn. Manglietia grandis) 8b

M. insignis (Syn. Manglietia insignis) 7a

M. nitida 8a

Persea thunbergii 8a

P. yunnanensis 7b/8a

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David, don't know how curious you are about the allergen component, but I used Thomas Ogren's books to help guide me on planning for low-allergen plants when we re-landscaped.

Here's a link to an article on him and how he came to write the books: https://www.garden.org/subchannels/health/health?q=show&id=1904

And here's the primary book I used: http://www.allergyfree-gardening.com/ Haven't read the intro chapters in a while but I believe it was male podocaprus pollen right outside his kids' bedrooms that were making them sick that got him really started on this. Heavy amounts of pollen blowing in through their bedroom windows.

Obviously you can't create a totally pollen-free zone, but then again if you are bothered by allergies, you don't want to be dining underneath or right next to plants that will cause you trouble or sleep with their pollen being blown in through your window screens. If you like a plant sometimes you can plant a female version of it and get the best of both worlds. I found it an interesting read apart from using the book for his OPALS scale rating system (scale low to high, 1 to 10).

Our last home was surrounded by male podocarpus (9) and three California pepper trees (Schinus molle, male 10, female 7) and I was so miserable living there.

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Well I've managed to make the first cull to the above Monkeyranch list..... still have to get to the smaller trees and to some of the suggestions by others.

Bigger Canopy Sized:

Brachychiton populneus 8b/9a some leaf drop below 18º --- not very good in humid/wet climes. 18F for mature trees on dry sites only. Softer/pulpy growth damaged mid 20sF.

Castanopsis cuspidata 7a Japanese Chinkapin se-China, Jpn

C. chekiangensis 7b

Elaeocarpus decipiens 8b -- maybe. Never seen north of Largo on Gulf side tho. Expect damage when young by temps in mid 20s.

E. cephalocarpa

E. cinerea -- maybe. Can't recall if I've seen in FL.

E. goniocalyx

E. microtheca 8b -- doubtful in high heat/humidity.

E. neglecta 7b

E. nicholii -- no. Warm-temperate tree for cooler areas like SF Bay area. Won't do in heat/humidity.

E. polyanthemos 8 -- no. Another tree from drier areas that won't like heat/humidity.

E. rodwayi

E. stellulata

E. tenuiramis

L. henryi 8a China fast 3'/yr

Magnolia delavayi 8b/9a

M. grandia (Syn. Manglietia grandis) 8b

M. insignis (Syn. Manglietia insignis) 7a

M. nitida 8a

Persea thunbergii 8a - attractive but slow. May work well in FL. Be careful with redbay pathogen; this tree may be susceptible.

P. yunnanensis 7b/8a

David--

Sorry to be a downer, but thought I'd save you a little work. If I didn't comment on others, it's because I don't know the tree and/or its performance in your climate.

Might consider Eucalyptus robusta. One of the hardier (to upper teens, with some size) Eucs that does well in central FL's heat, humidity, and rainfall. Fast from seed, attractive bark. Could probably grow E. camaldulensis from wetter provenances too. Maybe E. grandis, but probably freeze to ground every few years.

If I can think of others over the weekend, I'll post.

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Debbie thanks so much...I suffer greatly from allergies...I will take a look at the info prior to purchasing. Thanks again.

Ken...and thank you....researching this stuff takes a long time...your info. narrows it down further. Feel free to be a downer..lol

You know...I've just noticed that no one has mentioned any Acacia species?

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Debbie thanks so much...I suffer greatly from allergies...I will take a look at the info prior to purchasing. Thanks again.Ken...and thank you....researching this stuff takes a long time...your info. narrows it down further. Feel free to be a downer..lolYou know...I've just noticed that no one has mentioned any Acacia species?

Acacia...hmmm...see first Ogren link, second paragraph...shrubs (8), trees (10).

Loquats were mentioned above and since I thought maybe you had a dog thought I would mention that on Ogren's book website under Dog Allergies, the large, somewhat soft seeds from it are poisonous to dogs. Otherwise not a high allergen tree.

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David,

Regarding Acacias, A. farnesiana would be worth researching. Some people love it, some don't. I will say that it often will drop its leaves under cold conditions, and is thorny. Specimens id observed in Phoenix last March suffered varying degrees of damage during the freeze they endured. Same specimens shown no evidence of such damage when I re-visited them in August. Sent of the Flowers is awesome. It is also more scrubby than some of the other species in the Genera. Since you have Allergies, be wary, a lot of people are allergic to them also.

While of a different genus, check out Caesalpinia mexicana. Cold hardy to at least 20F, have heard that it can take lower temps as well. Nice foliage and no thorns. Clear yellow flowers have no scent and are generally produced during the Winter/early Spring, though my own specimens have flowered on and off all year.

Since you are so close to the coast, salt tolerance, both in the soil and air, will be factors in what will thrive there.

-Nathan-

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Second cull with additions from others:

Tabebuia umbellata

Mesquite varieties

Geoffroea decorticans

Tipuana tipu is semi-deciduous (not cold hardy but love it)

C. chekiangensis

Lithocarpus henryi

Castanopsis cuspidata

Big Citrus...not sure which is largest tree?

Castanopsis cuspidata 7a Japanese Chinkapin se-China, Jpn

C. chekiangensis 7b

Elaeocarpus decipiens 8b

E. cephalocarpa

E. cinerea

E. goniocalyx

E. neglecta 7b

E. rodwayi

E. stellulata

E. tenuiramis

L. henryi 8a China fast 3'/yr

Magnolia delavayi 8b/9a

M. grandia (Syn. Manglietia grandis) 8b

M. insignis (Syn. Manglietia insignis) 7a

M. nitida 8a

P. yunnanensis 7b/8a

Arbutus unedo 8a

Dendropanax trifidus 7b/8a

M. maudiae 8b

Neolitsea sericea 8b/9a

Osmanthus fragrans 8a

Pittosporum eugeniodes 8b/9a

Schima wallichii 8b slower?

Caesalpinia mexicana

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Please feel free to chime in about the good and bad of the revised list. Thanks

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Many citrus trees will get very large over time if left to their own devices

Citrus maxima, aka Pomelo or Pummelo has the largest fruit and leaves. Grapefruit also grows huge (it's a pomelo hybrid) and is easy to find at the box stores everywhere in the Southeast. While a hard freeze may damage the fruit, the trees themselves are hardy to Zone 8.

Citrus ichangensis and hyrids like Ichang and Taichang lemons also grow large and are even hardier, surviving single digits and fruiting reliably through hard freezes. Several Asian tangerine/mandarin varieties such as 'Changsha' are also extremely hardy and will bear fruit through hard freezes as well.

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