If you had to start over....

natives_and_veggies(10b)September 1, 2012

What trees would you plant in Miami?

We lost two trees in Isaac - a 40-foot sapodilla and a gorgeous dwarf ponciana. A couple weeks ago we cut a plumeria that seemed to be diseased down. And we've just discovered the young live oak has up and died.

So my once lush and shady yard is a wasteland.

I'm thinking about an avocado where the sapodilla was. I don't want to do another oak because there's something killing them in my neighborhood. Fairchild's experts can't figure it out.

So, thoughts on natives and fruit trees?

Ugh. It's going to be ten years before my yard is shady again.

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brute(Florida 9B)

I wouldn't plant ANY trees in Miami, because I live in Sarasota County.
All kidding aside, if I were starting over from scratch, and wanted a fruit tree that would grow fast and produce fruit quickly, I'd go with a jujube.
I have two, and STILL can't believe how quickly they grow, and how little attention they require to thrive.
In fact, I'm going to have to prune my biggest one again because it's beginning to crowd its neighbor.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 2:35PM
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keiki(10 FL)

Why not plant another sopadilla? Something you didnt like about it? I ask because I have one in a large pot I debate putting in the ground?

Do you want fruit or flowers? Fragrance?

For fruit I would recommend a nice mango maybe a carambola, peach trees and of course bananas for the fruit you just cant get at the grocery store. One thing I have noticed is that avacados are in fruit when all the storms come threw and they dont seem to hold their fruit very well.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 3:06PM
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jujube - hmmm. Hadn't considered that one. I'll check it out. Do you like the fruit brute? And does it need a lot of water, fertilizer, or care? I worry a little bit about fast-growing, simply because so many fast-growing trees are bad in storms. If Isaac had been a real hurricane, it definitely would have taken down the dead oak. So I kind of want to plan this a little better - it's not like we'll never have another storm again.
And Keiki, sapodilla is on the list of possibilities, but we don't want it in the same spot. Really, we're not sure where we want it, because Pine Island Nursery tells me they're notoriously brittle and bad in storms.
We're looking for fruit, and in one spot, where the sapodilla was, for shade. Looks like that spot is going to an avocado.
And want to drool a little over the possibilities? Pine Island Nursery's website is awesome, with great info on lots of trees! I've already been emailing with them and they seem to be as great as all my South Florida grower friends claim.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pine Island Nursery's amazing list of trees

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 3:31PM
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And Keiki, my tree was doomed. We knew it was going to have to come down. It had been dropping limbs for about a year. Honestly, the storm saved us a much larger bill to have it taken out with a crew and a bucket truck. And when we had it chopped up Tuesday, we discovered that it had been planted next to a spigot that was subsequently capped. The tree guys managed to cut the water line and cause a gusher, but you really can't blame them. The tree had basically taken the spigot into its breast, growing around it.
Is yours fruiting yet? I will miss that fruit so much. The pup and I used to race each other to the back of the yard to grab the fruit whenever we heard one fall. (A sapodilla fruit that has been gnawed on by a Great Dane is no longer edible by people, which Atticus understands - he gets the fruit if he gets to it first.)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 3:43PM
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brute(Florida 9B)

To answer your questions, yes, I love jujube fruit. They remind me of sweet little apples. This tree requires almost no care. However, it would make a terrible shade tree. While it grows extremely fast, it sorta grows in the wrong direction. That is, mostly horizontal. The lowest branches are so low to the ground that there is no way a human can sit under it for shade. In fact, I can't even get my riding lawnmower under there! I must reach under it with my weedeater to mow under that tree.
The reason I recommend the jujube is because I'm assuming that you, like almost all the rest of us on this board, are at least middle-aged, or possibly retired.
You won't have to wait very long for a jujube to produce lots of fruit. I have a fine, healthy lychee tree that hasn't produced a fruit since June of 2009.
At my age, I'm not too keen about "starting over".

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 5:37PM
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Ok, a dumb question Brute, why can't you prune off the lower branches so you can walk under it? :o)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 6:31PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Hey S,

Quick shade and hurricane resistant, nothing beats clumping bamboo. I'm not talking about the whole yard but perhaps 10-12 feet placed strategically to give you some cool afternoon shade...you can still have the other stuff placed all about ;-)


    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 7:16PM
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brute(Florida 9B)

Not a dumb question at all!
I suppose I could just take a picture of the tree. Maybe tomorrow. For now, I'll try to describe it. Try to imagine a deer's antlers. This tree's main trunk only comes a few inches out of the ground and then splits into two main "beams". These "beams" grow almost horizontally in opposite directions, then numerous "points" grow vertically from these. A rather sprawling, ground-hugging tree.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 7:18PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Gotta see it Brute, a picture is definitely worth a thousand words....

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 7:25PM
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i would have moved to costa rica......:)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 7:31PM
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Native mahogany, extremely fast growing when irrigated.

Sea Grape grow tall and provide shade quickly.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 7:34PM
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Does Chickasaw plum grow in 10? I love mine. Makes great jelly, but not good for eating. They don't grow tall enough to fall on your house, and they're covered in little white flowers in spring. Bees love them.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 12:35PM
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Tom, we may try some clumping bamboo.
And I've thought about mahogany too, though we already have two of them in the front yard.
UF says chicsaw plum is only hardy to zone 9, so that's probably not a good option for us.
Anyone grow cashew or atemoya? my husband would love to put in a chashew tree and I loved chirimoya when I lived in Chile.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 12:46PM
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A women I met in Jupiter or Jupiter Farms had a big chashew tree growing in her yard. I think GMastiff had atemoyas and/or chirimoyas growning in Jupiter.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 1:48PM
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How abt. Mango? they are a neat tree and sturdy, won't freeze in your area, and of course give you delicious fruit as well as good shade... I love my 3 Haden, only wish I had gotten differing varieties as I am inundated w/Hadens!! sally

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 4:24PM
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brute(Florida 9B)

I have an atemoya and I can't recommend it as a fast-growing shade tree. Like the jujube, it tends to grow more "out" than "up". It's another sprawler.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 8:00PM
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What about choosing a branch to be a leader pulling it straight up then tying it to a rebar dug in the ground for support. Soon branches would come off it where you wanted them, the rest could be cut off. You are training the tree to grow the shape you want. Sort of like bon sigh. :o)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 6:50AM
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It should read bonsai. :o)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 6:53AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm dangerously allergic to mango, so that's a no-go (last time I had to take steroids after two weeks of hives. Doc said the next time would put me in the hospital.)
We're going to use this as an excuse to plant an orchard.
So far our thoughts are: jujube, macadamia, sapodilla and wax jamba.
The new varieties of sapodilla aren't as brittle and there's one that's smaller that we can fit in. The wax jambu is the one we're hoping will provide some shade, but we need to research it further to see if it's shallow rooted. We've also considered tamarind.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 3:27PM
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Did the Gumbo Limbo make it?

Sorry, hi to Tom, Kat, and Natives. I love my Gumbo Limbo, it gives shade when you need it and sheds when you need mulch.

Sorry I've been gone awhile. I finally found out I have Lupus disease. The sun was making me sick.

Anyway, I like the gumbo limbo. It's hardy, virtually care free, interesting and a great tree to hang or tie orchids to. They aren't brittle.

Hope you are all doing well.

Tom, if you see this, the cactus vine you gave me gives me so much enjoyment. I was out there last night with salad plate sized blossoms, my camera, and a clip on flashlight.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 5:42PM
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jofus(9b/10a Englewood, Fl)

My only candidate would kill two birds with one stone,..er, tree. A Valencia Pride mango tree, - an amazingly fast grower. I bought mine in Rays nursery on Krome Ave in South Miami in March 2009. It was 6 ft tall when I planted it within days and is now about 13 ft tall and I swear, can almost see it growing day by day. It'll top out around 55 - 60 ft and is a noted shade tree, the luscious fruits are icing on the cake.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 8:11PM
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jofus(9b/10a Englewood, Fl)

Oops, missed the note about being allergic. Sorry.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 8:18PM
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In the meantime I realized it was Tony from Orlando not Tom that gave me that cactus vine. Another tree to consider is Ylang Ylang. My neighbor has one, there isn't edible fruit but the aroma is intoxicatingly beautiful, and it has survived some humdinger storms with finesse.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 12:23AM
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