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How far north can seagrapes reliably grow?


NC_Palms

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While more stereotypically a South Florida plant, I have seen seagrapes (Coccoloba uvifera) grown as far north as Fernandina Beach. How far north can these plants grow reliably or is North Florida pushing their limits? 

Zone 8a/8b Greenville, NC 

Zone 9a/9b Bluffton, SC

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It is native to the east coast of Central and South Florida, but they do bounce back from weather in the 20s reliably.  I have a bunch of them as border plants and windbreaks here inland.  I guess it depends on who you ask:

This document states they are hardy to zone 10: http://hort.ufl.edu/database/documents/pdf/tree_fact_sheets/cocuvia.pdf

I would say this is more accurate to be honest (they do just fine in 9b): https://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/coccoloba-uvifera

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone (2012): 9b | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (1985, 1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a | 30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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1 minute ago, kinzyjr said:

It is native to the east coast of Central and South Florida, but they do bounce back from weather in the 20s reliably.  I have a bunch of them as border plants and windbreaks here inland.  I guess it depends on who you ask:

This document states they are hardy to zone 10: http://hort.ufl.edu/database/documents/pdf/tree_fact_sheets/cocuvia.pdf

I would say this is more accurate to be honest (they do just fine in 9b): https://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/coccoloba-uvifera

Agree w/ Kinzyjr, zone 9b would be about right regarding overall hardiness. Heck, they're even grown out in California ( primarily S. Cal. ) and supposedly here in / around Phoenix though i personally have yet to come across any..  pretty easily.

That said, frequent / yearly damage from repeated hard frost would be a big factor in determining how tall they would get.  Beautiful as a big tree but still attractive even at a smaller size / height,  which is not necessarily a bad thing. Recall spending close to an entire week cleaning up  numerous specimens which had  dropped 98% of their leaf canopy at the Yacht Club in Clearwater after the frost / freeze event in 2009-10. Amazed how much leaf litter they generated. 

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2 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Agree w/ Kinzyjr, zone 9b would be about right regarding overall hardiness. Heck, they're even grown out in California ( primarily S. Cal. ) and supposedly here in / around Phoenix though i personally have yet to come across any..  pretty easily.

That said, frequent / yearly damage from repeated hard frost would be a big factor in determining how tall they would get.  Beautiful as a big tree but still attractive even at a smaller size / height,  which is not necessarily a bad thing. Recall spending close to an entire week cleaning up  numerous specimens which had  dropped 98% of their leaf canopy at the Yacht Club in Clearwater after the frost / freeze event in 2009-10. Amazed how much leaf litter they generated. 

You make a very good point. Tampa (9b/10a) has a lot of sea grapes, but they mostly look like hedges here. If you go to Anna Maria (10b) the sea grapes be trees rather than hedges. They need that frost free environment to grow to their full potential, but can survive in some form in zone 9b.

Edited by RedRabbit
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Westchase | 9b 10a  ◆  Nokomis | 10a  ◆  St. Petersburg | 10a 10b 

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34 minutes ago, RedRabbit said:

You make a very good point. Tampa (9b/10a) has a lot of sea grapes, but they mostly look like hedges here. If you go to Anna Maria (10b) the sea grapes be trees rather than hedges. They need that frost free environment to grow to their full potential, but can survive in some form in zone 9b.

Agree, don't recall seeing many large Sea Grapes around Tampa either, outside close to the bay itself,  or close to the Gulf ( Honeymoon Island, Tarpon Springs ) There may have been some growing at the Park i visited briefly in the Bayport area on my way to the Tampa / Clearwater area during my initial trip to the state. iNat also has an area in the Big Bend / Fish Creek area, just east of St. Mark's Nat. Wildlife Refuge highlighted for the species as well. 

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Interesting experiences from @Silas_Sancona and @RedRabbit.  Mine have seen radiational freezes down into the 20s and not dropped a lot of leaves or had bark splitting.  The advective freeze in Jan. 2018 caused a lot of leaf drop and some bark splitting, but the plants were overall unaffected otherwise.  Cold wind seems to cause more issues than overall low temperatures from my observations.

My personal plantings get large fast and have to be trimmed back for hurricanes so they don't beat the house to death.  There are a lot of sea grapes around here; some trained as shrubs and others look like their own forest.  I'm sure the home owners are surprised when they get large since the labels at Lowe's say 20ft x 20ft for the maximum size.

 

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone (2012): 9b | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (1985, 1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a | 30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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Do the grapes need to be ripe (purple) for the seeds to germinate?  I recently saw some plants down in Brownsville but the grapes were still green.  The only plant I have was grown from seed and it's still pretty small (around 10").  I haven't noticed very fast growth on it but it has only been in the ground since March.  I was surprised to find out how drought tolerant this plant is (I was hesitant planting it out in the yard) but I put it on the east side of my house.  I'm hoping it will provide some more shade for my Chamaedorea radicalis and microspadix which are getting sunburned with only morning sun.

Jon Sunder

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32 minutes ago, Fusca said:

Do the grapes need to be ripe (purple) for the seeds to germinate?  I recently saw some plants down in Brownsville but the grapes were still green.  The only plant I have was grown from seed and it's still pretty small (around 10").  I haven't noticed very fast growth on it but it has only been in the ground since March.  I was surprised to find out how drought tolerant this plant is (I was hesitant planting it out in the yard) but I put it on the east side of my house.  I'm hoping it will provide some more shade for my Chamaedorea radicalis and microspadix which are getting sunburned with only morning sun.

Yes, Ripe if purple.  Easy from cuttings also.  Fruit Suppoedly makes a good Jam / Jelly as well. 

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5 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

Interesting experiences from @Silas_Sancona and @RedRabbit.  Mine have seen radiational freezes down into the 20s and not dropped a lot of leaves or had bark splitting.  The advective freeze in Jan. 2018 caused a lot of leaf drop and some bark splitting, but the plants were overall unaffected otherwise.  Cold wind seems to cause more issues than overall low temperatures from my observations.

My personal plantings get large fast and have to be trimmed back for hurricanes so they don't beat the house to death.  There are a lot of sea grapes around here; some trained as shrubs and others look like their own forest.  I'm sure the home owners are surprised when they get large since the labels at Lowe's say 20ft x 20ft for the maximum size.

 

You might be on to something since it was those at the Yacht Club, and in around Clearwater / St. Pete  that were exposed directly into the wind that dropped their canopy the most. Others protected more, or placed where the wind wasn't as much of a factor retained more leaves at that time. Noticed a similar pattern on some that were planted at the old Green Iguana up on Anderson that year also.  

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2 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

You might be on to something since it was those at the Yacht Club, and in around Clearwater / St. Pete  that were exposed directly into the wind that dropped their canopy the most. Others protected more, or placed where the wind wasn't as much of a factor retained more leaves at that time. Noticed a similar pattern on some that were planted at the old Green Iguana up on Anderson that year also.  

I’m surprised the Green Iguana on Anderson had them in the first place. That area doesn’t have any coastal influence. 

Westchase | 9b 10a  ◆  Nokomis | 10a  ◆  St. Petersburg | 10a 10b 

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10 minutes ago, RedRabbit said:

I’m surprised the Green Iguana on Anderson had them in the first place. That area doesn’t have any coastal influence. 

I was as well. There is ( ..or was, might not be there any more ) a large Pandanus planted near the south east corner of the property, between part of the parking lot that faces Anderson and the main room / patio. Got beat up pretty bad back in 2010 but survived. There were..  might still be there, several Foxtails planted around the lake facing side of the patio also at that time.  They actually did better than some that had been planted around my Appartment complex in Largo during that event / others that we had to remove around Clearwater that spring. 

While Looking over an apparently more updated street map of the shopping center, trying to see if i could get a better look of stuff planted around G.I., it looks like someone planted a small Coconut next to the mexican resteraunt on the far back side of the property, by the movie theater.  

 

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10 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

Mine have seen radiational freezes down into the 20s and not dropped a lot of leaves or had bark splitting.  The advective freeze in Jan. 2018 caused a lot of leaf drop and some bark splitting, but the plants were overall unaffected otherwise.  Cold wind seems to cause more issues than overall low temperatures from my observations.

This might be a silly question but what do you think the chances are of a sea grape surviving as a die back perennial in zone 8a? 

Zone 8a/8b Greenville, NC 

Zone 9a/9b Bluffton, SC

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5 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Yes, Ripe if purple.  Easy from cuttings also.  Fruit Suppoedly makes a good Jam / Jelly as well. 

I’ve even heard that they make wine out of the fruit too! 

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Zone 8a/8b Greenville, NC 

Zone 9a/9b Bluffton, SC

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2 hours ago, NC_Palms said:

This might be a silly question but what do you think the chances are of a sea grape surviving as a die back perennial in zone 8a? 

8a, probably not going to happen.  That's an average of 10-15F, which would be roughly a decapitation by cold per year even if the roots survive.  I'm not sure if they have any in Savannah or Brunswick in GA, Charleston, SC or out on the Outer Banks of NC, but that would be my expectation for where to find them surviving north of Florida.  If you try it, make sure you plant them as early as possible.  I can't say that I've ever heard of anyone trying this or that it won't work, but I am skeptical without some sort of protection scheme.  They survived the Jan. 2010 freeze here without a single fatality, but the absolute low for that freeze was 26F.  On a lighter note, the national champion is 62ft x 66ft and grown in Florida: https://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/woody/Pages/cocuvi/cocuvi.shtml

If you do try this, let us know how it works.

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone (2012): 9b | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (1985, 1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a | 30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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  • 2 months later...
On 9/8/2019 at 7:49 PM, Silas_Sancona said:

Agree w/ Kinzyjr, zone 9b would be about right regarding overall hardiness. Heck, they're even grown out in California ( primarily S. Cal. ) and supposedly here in / around Phoenix though i personally have yet to come across any..  pretty easily.

That said, frequent / yearly damage from repeated hard frost would be a big factor in determining how tall they would get.  Beautiful as a big tree but still attractive even at a smaller size / height,  which is not necessarily a bad thing. Recall spending close to an entire week cleaning up  numerous specimens which had  dropped 98% of their leaf canopy at the Yacht Club in Clearwater after the frost / freeze event in 2009-10. Amazed how much leaf litter they generated. 

Where in California have you seen seagrape? I'd love to check that out. There's a Coccoloba hondurensis in the San Francisco Botanical Garden that limps along slowly, but sometimes looks really good.

Jason Dewees

Inner Sunset District

San Francisco, California

Sunset zone 17

USDA zone 10a

21 inches / 530mm annual rainfall, mostly October to April

Humidity averages 60 to 85 percent year-round.

Summer: 67F/55F | 19C/12C

Winter: 56F/44F | 13C/6C

40-year extremes: 96F/26F | 35.5C/-3.8C

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7 hours ago, JasonD said:

Where in California have you seen seagrape? I'd love to check that out. There's a Coccoloba hondurensis in the San Francisco Botanical Garden that limps along slowly, but sometimes looks really good.

@JasonD  if I remember correctly, So. cal. grown Sea Grapes had been mentioned a few times here on the forum in at least a couple threads in the past..  dont remember how big they were but remember someone saying that they sort of regretted planting it since theirs got big, fast..  Also thought talk of a/ larger specimen(s) planted somewhere around Orange or San Diego county had been mentioned in passing before.. Maybe at the Zoo, Balboa Park..  Again,  not 100% certain on that though..  

 Planning on trying a couple myself, and the sister sp. Coccoloba goldmanii ( from Sonora ) once back in CA. 

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12 hours ago, JasonD said:

Where in California have you seen seagrape? I'd love to check that out. There's a Coccoloba hondurensis in the San Francisco Botanical Garden that limps along slowly, but sometimes looks really good.

@epicure3 had photos of one in San Diego, CA here: https://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/16408-sea-grapecocoloba-uvifera/

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone (2012): 9b | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (1985, 1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a | 30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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I had a sea grape that died and didn't come back from a low around 20. With that said, it wasn't well-established. I still don't think these stand a chance even as a dieback perennial in anything colder than zone 9a, and even that may be hit or miss.

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2 minutes ago, necturus said:

I had a sea grape that died and didn't come back from a low around 20. With that said, it wasn't well-established. I still don't think these stand a chance even as a dieback perennial in anything colder than zone 9a, and even that may be hit or miss.

I’ve seen them in Kemah, but I’m not sure if they were there for the 2018 freeze. 

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I agree with what has been stated recently on here regarding hardiness of Coccoloba uvifera.  Tree-size specimens in 10a+(even moreso in 10b where freezes are a rarity).  Freeze back perennial in hot summer 9b areas like the Southeast US.  Though in places like Ocala and Gaineville,FL that are verging on zone 9b status now, they are unlikely to be found sold or planted. 

I have personally seen seagrapes get killed back to the ground from the mid 20s in my area and I highly doubt one could reliably expect this species to bounce back from temperatures lower than this (even from the roots).  This species is commonly seen as a shrub to taller bush size plants in residential sections throughout the Orlando area now.  Many specimens in the zone 10a potion(s) of the Orlando area are getting larger than this and I have seen a few here and there especially adjacent to lakes reaching tree-sized proportions.

 

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Just to throw my Great Plains weirdness into this mix:  I "accidentally" collected seeds from Ft Lauderdale 7 or 8 years ago. (I thought they were the palm I found them under, but that's just were the birds were pulling fruit off.)  I've got a small one in my office, and a small Bush of one in my house.  Granted, container ranching a Sea Grape is not precisely the topic of conversation here.  But I would not be surprised if I have the only ones in the state!

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"Ph'nglui mglw'napalma Funkthulhu R'Lincolnea wgah'palm fhtagn"
"In his house at Lincoln, dread Funkthulhu plants palm trees."

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On ‎9‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 7:33 PM, kinzyjr said:

8a, probably not going to happen.  That's an average of 10-15F, which would be roughly a decapitation by cold per year even if the roots survive.  I'm not sure if they have any in Savannah or Brunswick in GA, Charleston, SC or out on the Outer Banks of NC, but that would be my expectation for where to find them surviving north of Florida.  If you try it, make sure you plant them as early as possible.  I can't say that I've ever heard of anyone trying this or that it won't work, but I am skeptical without some sort of protection scheme.  They survived the Jan. 2010 freeze here without a single fatality, but the absolute low for that freeze was 26F.  On a lighter note, the national champion is 62ft x 66ft and grown in Florida: https://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/woody/Pages/cocuvi/cocuvi.shtml

If you do try this, let us know how it works.

yes, Kinzyjr. We have sea Grapes that grow here in SE Georgia. I'll try to take a picture of them when I see them next time. I believe they're even found in Savannah and Tybee (8b/9a border).

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On 11/28/2019 at 9:52 AM, Silas_Sancona said:

@JasonD  if I remember correctly, So. cal. grown Sea Grapes had been mentioned a few times here on the forum in at least a couple threads in the past..  dont remember how big they were but remember someone saying that they sort of regretted planting it since theirs got big, fast..  Also thought talk of a/ larger specimen(s) planted somewhere around Orange or San Diego county had been mentioned in passing before.. Maybe at the Zoo, Balboa Park..  Again,  not 100% certain on that though..  

 Planning on trying a couple myself, and the sister sp. Coccoloba goldmanii ( from Sonora ) once back in CA. 

Is C. golmanii hardier than C. uvifera?  Also,  there is a lot of C. uvifera on South Padre Island now.  But that has been a zone 10/11 area for almost a decade now. It is naturalizing after several previous years of ornamental planting in the area.  

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Clay

South Padre Island, Zone 10b until the next vortex.

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1 hour ago, Austinpalm said:

Is C. golmanii hardier than C. uvifera?  Also,  there is a lot of C. uvifera on South Padre Island now.  But that has been a zone 10/11 area for almost a decade now. It is naturalizing after several previous years of ornamental planting in the area.  

Tough to say for certain but there is at least 1 long term, in- ground specimen located in the U of A's Campus Arboretum collection in Tucson.  ASDM, on the far west side of Tucson, also has at least one large potted specimen in their collection as well. Tohono Chul Park ( in Tucson ) may also have one.. or had one  in the "Nacapule Canyon"  section of their garden but haven't seen it personally on any past visits there. 

I would imagine hardiness would be similar to.. if not slightly better than standard Sea Grape since the climate where it grows in Sonora is generally drier/ hotter.. Unfortunately, not even the most forward thinking specialty nurseries down there have offered it for sale and i've had a hard time trying to access cuttings or seed to trial myself. 

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@Austinpalm @JasonD Did a little more searching and it seems there may be a good sized specimen of Coccoloba goldmanii  located in the Huntington Botanical collection, per pics shared in 2014 by Geoff Stein, aka Palmbob over on Dave's Garden. It also seems, from some  more recent pics  from the specimens located at the U of A's collection in Tucson that at least  one of their specimens may produce fruit, or, so it appears when looking closely at one picture where the tree has flower / fruiting stalks on it. Interesting and thought id share.

Additionally,  While looking around, came across an article describing a new species of Coccoloba, C. gigantifolia was published on Nov. 11th of this year.  This appears to be the species that produces man-sized leaves. Think at least one of those pictures ( of someone standing next to one of the giant leaves ) was shared here on the forum some time ago..  Full article is available on Blogger, under the " Species new to Science" title. Thought this might be interesting to a number of members here, if you haven't already been informed.

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On 12/3/2019 at 8:49 PM, Jcalvin said:

yes, Kinzyjr. We have sea Grapes that grow here in SE Georgia. I'll try to take a picture of them when I see them next time. I believe they're even found in Savannah and Tybee (8b/9a border).

Please do post photos of the Georgia seagrapes.  That is remarkable.

If I lived in coastal Georgia, I might try a hedge in a protected spot and mound mulch, leaves and pine needles around the bases and see if it grows back from the roots.  They probably wouldn't even freeze back completely in mild years.

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9 hours ago, palmsOrl said:

Please do post photos of the Georgia seagrapes.  That is remarkable.

If I lived in coastal Georgia, I might try a hedge in a protected spot and mound mulch, leaves and pine needles around the bases and see if it grows back from the roots.  They probably wouldn't even freeze back completely in mild years.

Sure will. The ones I’ve seen are in the islands. I rarely get over there. If I do in the future, I’ll try to remember to take some pictures. 

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I'm in a borderline 9b/9a spot in the NW Orlando area, and I'm trying to come up with some additional noise blocking plants for reducing noise from the nearby highways.  It wasn't a big deal when I bought my house ~20 years ago, but there used to be some pretty dense forests between our neighborhood and the highways.  In the past 5 years developers came through and clearcut them to build apartment complexes and parking lots.  Now the noise is pretty irritating, especially at night. 

I have a hedge of Viburnum growing up, but it'll be at least a year before it becomes dense enough to block any significant amount of sound.  I was thinking of planting a few Magnolias for reduction at height, but I was thinking of sea grapes as a "second layer" inside the Viburnum hedge.  They'd be in lots of sun in the summer, part shade in the winter, and semi-protected from cold by Viburnum.  Any thoughts on sea grapes as a sound barrier, or are they going to stay too short and not dense enough to really help?  Philodendron Selloum (now Bipifneisdifiaitlsllum or something like that) works fairly well but doesn't get much over 6 feet tall.

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@Merlyn2220  You'll have a relatively large sound barrier within a few years of planting them.  If I didn't trim my oldest sea grapes before hurricanes, they'd be well over 20 feet.

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone (2012): 9b | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (1985, 1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a | 30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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  • 3 weeks later...

I drove past an impressive sea grape a few days ago in St. Pete and thought you all might be interested in seeing it:

https://www.google.com/maps/@27.7656862,-82.6367734,3a,75y,37.48h,97.58t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sGHoOv_2S0XlKXv0PkfHpMg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

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Westchase | 9b 10a  ◆  Nokomis | 10a  ◆  St. Petersburg | 10a 10b 

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On 12/16/2019 at 2:34 PM, kinzyjr said:

@Merlyn2220  You'll have a relatively large sound barrier within a few years of planting them.  If I didn't trim my oldest sea grapes before hurricanes, they'd be well over 20 feet.

How are they for invasive roots?  I read that they are supposed to help stabilize dunes, but I don't know about their root structure.  I don't want to plant them anywhere near my well if they grow aggressive roots, especially if they grow horizontally.  I have a Magnolia Bracken Brown about 20-25 feet from the well, and they are known for really competitive surface roots.  So are bamboos, apparently. 

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1 minute ago, Merlyn2220 said:

How are they for invasive roots?  I read that they are supposed to help stabilize dunes, but I don't know about their root structure.  I don't want to plant them anywhere near my well if they grow aggressive roots, especially if they grow horizontally.  I have a Magnolia Bracken Brown about 20-25 feet from the well, and they are known for really competitive surface roots.  So are bamboos, apparently. 

That much I'm not sure about.  Please take the rest of this post as purely anecdotal experience.  The only thing I have near them that I could see them trying to attach themselves to is irrigation lines.  When I did an irrigation repair recently, I didn't see any roots from them near the pipes, so I can only guess they aren't that bad.  I haven't had issues with sidewalks cracking near them either, but those sea grapes are only at ~10-15ft. of overall height vs. the 20ft. + for the ones at the opposite ends of the house. 

I have a clump of Bambusa oldhamii in the yard with a max stalk height of over 60ft.  The clump roots pretty densely, but I have a papaya right next to it and it sets fruit, so I can only guess that it is OK with the bamboo next to it and not starved for resources.

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone (2012): 9b | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (1985, 1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a | 30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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1 hour ago, Merlyn2220 said:

How are they for invasive roots?  I read that they are supposed to help stabilize dunes, but I don't know about their root structure.  I don't want to plant them anywhere near my well if they grow aggressive roots, especially if they grow horizontally.  I have a Magnolia Bracken Brown about 20-25 feet from the well, and they are known for really competitive surface roots.  So are bamboos, apparently. 

In the same boat as @kinzyjr regarding just how invasive the roots may be on Sea Grape..  big Magnolia, like grandiflora on the other hand.. Awful trees anywhere near sidewalks/ house foundations.

Here is a pic of some of the many i used to help maintain when i lived in Largo. All were about half the size they are now. ( Actually look better, imo. ) As you can see, they're all planted fairly close to the buildings. What you can't see in this pic is they are planted on the opposite side of the building also, just about as close to the buildings themselves.. Would figure ..if they were extremely invasive, the Yacht Club would have yanked them They tended to be fairly particular about how things looked on the property. 
1564613685_seagrape.jpg.ccc887de374fda26f230900b8f94cd33.jpg


Only thing i disliked about them ( the Sea Grapes ) was cleaning up after the cold spell in 2010 knocked every leaf off of all of them.. Lost count of how many bags worth of leaves we hauled outta there at that time.. That was before a co-worker got speared while trimming one of the CIDP's  on the property.

As far as bamboo.. potential degree of invasive-ness  can depend on if the 'Boo is a runner or a clumper.. Clumpers tend to be tamer, though that can be relative. There in FL, they'd likely be better behaved compared to planting them here where they'd likely have to search out adequate water, esp. during the summer. On the other hand, our thirsty soils keep running types slightly less of a nightmare to control.

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6 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

In the same boat as @kinzyjr regarding just how invasive the roots may be on Sea Grape..  big Magnolia, like grandiflora on the other hand.. Awful trees anywhere near sidewalks/ house foundations.

Here is a pic of some of the many i used to help maintain when i lived in Largo. All were about half the size they are now. ( Actually look better, imo. ) As you can see, they're all planted fairly close to the buildings. What you can't see in this pic is they are planted on the opposite side of the building also, just about as close to the buildings themselves.. Would figure ..if they were extremely invasive, the Yacht Club would have yanked them They tended to be fairly particular about how things looked on the property.

The two Magnolia I planted are at least 20' from the driveway, so hopefully they'll be okay.  Water oaks do the same thing, and have destroyed probably half of my driveway with roots, and especially when the hurricanes started tilting a few of them over...

That's good to hear about the seagrapes, if they can live in the middle of sidewalks then the roots are either not too invasive or they are relatively soft/small diameter like palm roots.  I hear you about the leaves...with 42 water oaks in my yard it was quite literally 50-75 bags every spring cleaning them up.  I sure don't want to create a new disaster, but one wee tree can't make that much mess...right?  :D

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1 minute ago, Merlyn2220 said:

The two Magnolia I planted are at least 20' from the driveway, so hopefully they'll be okay.  Water oaks do the same thing, and have destroyed probably half of my driveway with roots, and especially when the hurricanes started tilting a few of them over...

That's good to hear about the seagrapes, if they can live in the middle of sidewalks then the roots are either not too invasive or they are relatively soft/small diameter like palm roots.  I hear you about the leaves...with 42 water oaks in my yard it was quite literally 50-75 bags every spring cleaning them up.  I sure don't want to create a new disaster, but one wee tree can't make that much mess...right?  :D

Oh boy ..lol.. don't get me started about both Water and Laurel oaks.. As if the root issue w/ these was enough potential trouble..  Property the nursery i worked for at that time had several huge specimens of both. Quickly developed a "basically detest" relationship with them. Never stopped dropping leaves, though the worst "drop", if you want to call it as such, seemed to occur toward spring.. if i remember right..
  On top of that, Once that was done and the trees were pushing new foliage, came seemingly millions of tiny Caterpillars that would hang like Tinsel from the trees for a couple weeks. I'd be sitting at home after work having the "somethings crawling on me" sensation almost daily that time of year.  Can't imagine having to deal w/ something like that around my home.

Do imagine they'd make a great mulch/ compost if you had the space to deal w/ them though. At least the leaves aren't prickly like leaf litter from CA. Native Coast Live Oak.. Those hurt when trying to round 'em up..

As far as Sea Grape, nah, doubt one ..or two well kept specimens would make too much litter.  As you can see in the pic, the Yacht Club has lots of them. Unlike the Oaks, at least Sea Grape Leaves are pretty big, making them easier to collect. Was surprised how tough the leaves are though, even well after they'd fallen off the trees.

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Yep, around here the big water oak leaf drop was in February, but they did tend to drop all the time.  Magnolia drop all the time too, but generally small quantities.  I haven't had the caterpillar problem around here, but I know the ones you are talking about!  

I'll be planting them in an area that's mulched with cypress anyway, so as long as they eventually degrade into mulch, it'll probably be fine.  The bamboo leaves do pretty much the same thing, so they'll probably coexist in the same area without too much trouble.  Thanks for all the info! :D 

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  • 2 years later...

I saw sea grapes in Galveston (9b) and Houston (9a/b) this past year. It seems they have come back from the 2021 winter. There are several I know of in New Orleans (9b) and Lafayette (9a) as well. 

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This was at the Houston Botanic Gardens in May 2021. I recall seeing a lot coming back there. 

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  • 7 months later...

I am in central east coast in the zone 9A And my entire one and a half acres is closed in with Sea grapes. They grow fast and full summer reaching  30 feet high. However in the last hurricane in the fall which is mostly high winds it did some wind damage to them with the leaves coming off we just mow right over them and they make good mulch putting  nutrients and minerals into the ground. We did have some very cold temperatures this winter with just a day or two dropping to I think 20 to 25 degrees and almost all the leaves came off most my sea grapes however here it is only March and all new growth is starting to fill in really quick I did not lose even one Seagrape.

But now I have to wait probably Next year at this time for them to be full and big enough to do what I planted them for as privacy  around my property.   im in Florida zone 9A 

Edited by ddbythec
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When my sea grape leaves fall I just mow over them mulching them,  it’s good for the ground does anybody else do that? Everybody’s talking about having a rake them up and pile them in bags I stopped doing that the first year when somebody else asked me What I’m doing why don’t I just mulch them it’s good for the soil in the grass and it has been 12 years of doing it and it’s perfect solution versus heavy labor of raking and loading them in bags

Edited by ddbythec
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