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  • Writer's pictureRussell Fey

Best Shade Trees For Your Florida Landscape

Florida is home to abundant sunshine, beautiful beaches, and steamy summers. Living in Florida, while beautiful, can present a challenge if you are trying to keep cool during those hot summer months.

As a homeowner, it is vital to not only keep your home cool and comfortable, it is essential to provide shade for your landscape. Brutal rays from Florida’s summer sun can wreak havoc on your plants as well; consider planting some shade trees on your property to improve your landscape as well as to reduce energy costs for your home.

Why provide shade for your landscape plants?

Providing shade for your low-lying plants will be an essential part of their health and growth. Some benefits of this shade include:

  • Protecting plants from excessive heat during intense periods of sunlight

  • Helping to protect against loss of moisture and excess transpiration

  • Lowering “stress levels” for plants, allowing for optimal growth

Which shade trees are best?

Planting shade trees around your home will add value to your home and improve energy efficiency year-round. These trees will thrive and flourish in the hot Florida sun while providing shelter and shade for your more delicate plants. Read on and choose your favorites:

  1. Live Oak Trees--Live oaks are gorgeous, deep-rooted trees that are vigorous and strong. They are able to withstand hurricane-force winds and intense weather conditions with strength and durability, standing strong with minimal damage to their structure. The live oak canopy is a glory to behold, with huge, outstretched branches that sport lush leaves to keep your entire yard shaded and cool. A key benefit to adding live oaks to your yard is their ability to thrive with minimal care and maintenance.

  2. Southern Magnolias--Southern Magnolias are known for their lush greenery and fragrant, creamy-white flowers that bloom for a large portion of the year. These gentle giants can grow up to 90 feet tall in optimal conditions, with solid branches providing shade for most of your yard when fully mature.

  3. Bald Cypress--Also known as the Taxodium Distichum, the Bald Cypress adds an element of ethereal beauty to your Florida landscape. Light, feathery branches sport lush greenery that is surprisingly hardy and durable. This tree can survive the most extreme weather conditions; regardless of where you live, it’s likely to thrive and flourish, providing cool shade and shelter when you need it most.

  4. Slash Pine Trees--The long, soft needles of the Slash Pine are a welcome touch of green to add to your Florida landscape. In addition to lush beauty, this beautiful shade tree is a popular wildlife sanctuary; if you are prone to spontaneous bouts of bird watching, adding a few slash pines to your yard will bring in some beautiful wildlife.

  5. Sweet Bay Magnolia Trees--The Magnolia Virginiana is great for hot, swampy climates; Florida weather is a wonderful climate for them to flourish. Growing as tall as their Southern Magnolia cousins, they have small, fragrant flowers and lush greenery that lends itself quite well to all types of landscapes.

  6. Florida Elms--The Ulmus Americana does look a little sparse in winter months, but weeks of sparkling fall foliage and color are well worth periodic cleanup. Exceptional shade is provided by lush summer greenery, due to the fact that these giants grow nearly 80 feet high.

Need some advice?

Sarasota Tree Service professionals know all aspects of tree care. From planting and pruning, landscape design, disease treatment, and removal, we have all of your tree care needs covered. Thinking about adding some beautiful new trees to your landscape? Contact us now for a professional assessment of your home and landscape. Visit for more information.

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