Tree Centric Landscaped Yard
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Tips for Tree-Centric Landscaping in Florida

Trees are beneficial in any type of landscape. They are suitable for shade and privacy, improve air quality, and make the surroundings beautiful. However, if you’re not careful, having many trees in your yard can also be overwhelming, can cast too much shade on other plants, and might hog all the attention. Thus, you need to know how to choose tree-centric landscaping.

Tree-centric landscaping is all about designing your landscape around your trees. It’s about using trees as the focal point of your design and creating a space that complements their natural beauty. This article will discuss correctly using and incorporating trees into your landscaping.

Tips For Creating a Stunning Tree-Centric Landscape

You can create a stunning tree-centric landscape with some planning and effort. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

Choose The Right Trees 

The tree you choose will be the focal point of your landscape, so it’s crucial to select one with the right size, shape, and color for your space. Consider how big the tree can get when it matures, and ensure it won’t overwhelm the yard and your house. You’ll also want to choose a tree that thrives in your climate and soil conditions. Maples, oaks, dogwoods, and cherry trees are some of the most popular choices for tree-centric landscapes.

But not all trees are created equal. When deciding on what trees to use for your landscape, consider the following factors:

  • Size: Make sure the tree is the right size for your space. You don’t want a giant oak tree towering over a tiny bungalow.
  • Maturity: How tall will the tree be at maturity? Will it block your windows or power lines?
  • Sun and shade: How much sun and shade does the tree need? Check how much sunlight your yard gets and choose trees accordingly.
  • Climate: Make sure the tree is hardy enough for your climate.

If you live in Florida, you must remember that its hot, humid climate is unsuitable for all trees. Some of the best trees for Florida include:

  • Live oak: This classic Florida tree is known for its size and shade.
  • Sabal palm: This iconic palm tree is tolerant of salt, wind, and drought.
  • Southern magnolia: This beautiful tree produces fragrant white flowers in the spring. 
  • Red maple: This tree provides brilliant fall foliage color.
  • Cypress: This tree tolerates wet conditions and makes a great privacy screen.

Plant Your Trees in The Right Places

Once you’ve chosen your trees, it’s planting time. Be sure to plant them in the right spot, where they have plenty of room to grow. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Overhead clearance: Ensure the tree won’t grow into power lines or buildings.
  • Underground utilities: Call your local utility company before you plant to ensure you’re not digging up any wires or pipes.
  • Drainage: Trees need good drainage, so avoid planting them in low-lying areas.
  • When planting trees in Florida, it is essential to consider the following:
  • Sun and shade: Many Florida trees need full sun, but some, like shade-loving palms, prefer partial shade.
  • Salt tolerance: If you live near the coast, choose trees that are tolerant of salt spray.
  • Wind resistance: Choose trees that can withstand strong winds, especially during hurricane season.
  • Soil drainage: Florida’s sandy soil can drain quickly, so choose drought-tolerant trees.

Create A Layered Landscape

Tree-centric landscaping doesn’t mean just planting trees. Adding shrubs, perennials, and groundcovers can also create a layered landscape look. This will help fill the spaces around your trees and create a more exciting landscape.

  • Plant shrubs under your trees to provide shade and color. Choose shrubs that are tolerant of shade if your trees cast a lot of shade. Florida viburnum, butterfly bush, fire bush, and lantana are good choices for Florida landscapes.
  • Perennials are a great way to add color and interest to your tree-centric landscape. Choose perennials that bloom at different times of the year so you have something to enjoy all season long. Pentas, Mexican honeysuckle, blue sage, and yellow elder are all popular perennials in Florida. 
  • Groundcovers can help to suppress weeds and keep the soil moist. They are also a great way to add color and texture to your landscape. Florida betony, liriope, and monkey grass are all good choices for groundcovers in Florida.

Highlight Your Trees with Lighting

Lighting is integral to any landscape design, but it is essential in a tree-centric landscape. Tree lighting can add drama and interest to your landscape. Uplighting your trees from below can create a stunning silhouette effect. You can also add string lights for some whimsical touch.

You want to ensure your tree is well-lit, so consider installing outdoor spotlights or string lights. You can also use lighting to create a dramatic effect, such as uplighting the tree from below.

Don’t Forget to Care For Your Trees

Even the most beautiful trees need some TLC. Be sure to water your trees regularly, especially during the first few years after they are planted. Fertilize your trees according to the package instructions. And prune your trees as needed to maintain their shape and health.

Once your tree-centric landscape is complete, you must ensure it’s properly maintained. This means watering your tree regularly, especially during the first few years after it’s planted. You’ll also need to prune your tree occasionally to remove dead or diseased branches.

Additional Tips

With excellent planning and creativity, you can transform your landscape into an oasis centered around the natural wonder of a tree. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Use natural materials. Use natural materials like stone and wood when choosing hardscaping materials like pavers and walkways. This will help to create a more cohesive look with your trees.
  • Create a focal point. Every landscape needs a focal point. In a tree-centric landscape, your tree can be the focal point. Or you can create a focal point with a water feature, a statue, or a fire pit.
  • Use complementary plants. Once you have your focal point, you can plant other plants around the tree. Choose plants that complement the tree’s color, shape, and texture. For example, if you have a tall, slender tree, you might want to plant some low-growing shrubs or flowers around its base. If you have a tree with a lot of colorful leaves, you might want to plant some evergreen shrubs or trees nearby to provide contrast.
  • Think about the future. When designing your landscape, think about how it will look in the future. Choose trees that will mature gracefully, and don’t outgrow your space.

Creating a tree-centric landscape is a rewarding experience. By following these tips, you can create a beautiful and functional space. So get out there and start planting! Need help with landscaping? Lawns & Palms has a team of professionals who can help with your tree-centric landscaping in Florida. Send us a message or call us to discuss successfully creating a beautiful yard for your outdoor space.

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