Need to get trees!

marilyn_fl(zone 9 Florida)September 28, 2011

Our HOA has decided that we need to plant more trees in our yard. I would like to plant a flowering tree and am trying to decide between a bottlebrush or crepe myrtle. Are there any problems I should be aware of with these trees? My next concern is trying to locate a place selling the size I need in my area, as well as getting them planted. They have to be between 10-14 ft tall. I live in Port St Lucie.

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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

Crepe myrtle suckers & is nearly impossible to kill if you decide you don't like it. I removed one 2 years ago (and had the stump ground) and suckers are still coming up from greater than 2 feet below ground! But if you are willing to keep up with pruning them, they can be very pretty. Trees that are 10-14 feet tall are pretty short. Why so small? Powerlines or something? You can keep a crepe myrtle that short, but you'll have to prune it hard every year. What about a nice fruit tree - many nice dwarf tree varieties to choose from. Peach trees have pretty flowers in the spring, followed by yummy fruit=) Can't help you with the bottlebrush, I know nothing about those.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 2:46PM
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Depending on what variety of Crepe myrtle, yes you would have to be keeping them pruned. My Natches Crepe myrtles (white) are over 25 feet high. They do sucker at the bottom constantly and the seeds drop and make new trees. They are also a pain if you have them next to a sidewalk or drive when the blooms and then the seeds drop. I wouldn't have them next to a parked vehicle also. They are deciduous. I also have bottlebrush trees and I love them, mostly because they attract butterflies and hummingbirds when they are in bloom. They bloom throughout the year, but in intervals, in other words, there will be times when they aren't blooming, then they will be covered with them. The only problem I have with them is if the winter is very cold, they do get frostbit and sometimes the cold takes back some limbs completely. But they have never completely been killed off. As for pests and diseases, I've never seen anything bother them. They pretty much take care of themselves.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 5:22PM
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Try a peach or avocado or nectarine. You'll get a nice looking tree, no better or worse than a crepe myrtle or bottlebrush, and fruit that you can eat.

You can't go wrong with your own fruit to eat.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 6:38PM
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Something I really appreciate down in the South for its true form and hardiness but downright beauty in the landscape is the "Little Gem" Magnolia. It is slow growing, stays in a beautiful pyramidal form and really adds to the landscape. Add a few of these grouped together and soft night lighting to accentuate the fuzzy brown undersides of the leaves...its a show stopper. Then of course there are those flowers...ahhhhhhhh. Unlike its parent the Southern Magnolia, this stays rather small up to 20ft. after quite a few years, where its parent can get up to 60ft and be quite a messy tree.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 9:53PM
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marilyn_fl(zone 9 Florida)

Unfortunately there are no fruit trees on the allowed list of trees. As for the height of the tree they have to be at least 14ft when we plant them.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 8:32AM
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You HOA is very pushy aren't they? It's better to get a younger tree so that the root mass can more easily support the tree as it establishes but I guess they don't care. A younger tree is also better for your pocket and back.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 9:16AM
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crueltyfre(Tampa 9a heat 10 sunset 26)

I find crepe's messy. They're deciduous, so all the leaves will drop in fall and you have a stick for months on end. Then the flowers fall off in the rainy season and if they fall on driveways or sidewalks, the rain turns them into a slippery mush.
I'd go for something clean, evergreen and maybe that has something wildlife might enjoy like berries or nesting sites or nest materials. That would give you year round interest.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 9:46AM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

Ah, I misunderstood. You need a tree that is at least 14'. Not at most 14'. Is hong kong orchid on your list? I planted one last fall and like it a lot. They grow very fast (good because a tall tree to start with isn't expensive), have unusual shaped leaves and flowers that look like 5" orchids, and form a nice "avenue tree" over time. Just be sure to get a grafted variety that does not form seed pods - I got mine at Excalibur.

Here are some pics of mine:

Royal Poinciana are also so beautiful! It is too cold where I am (Orlando) for them, but look around and see if there are any in your neighborhood to know if they survive there. I know they do well in Miami.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 10:39AM
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What about a Jatropha integerrima, blooms year round, yes it drops flowers but they are small and if its planted in grass or a bed not a real problem or a Dwarf Poinciana unlike the Royal it will not get huge.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 11:02AM
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I misunderstood, too, thought the trees couldn't get above 14 feet. (I'm so glad I don't live in one of those places!) Since you can't have fruit trees and want flowers, just remember that flower drop does cause problems on sidewalks, driveways and will ruin the car's paint job. And usually the flowers are short-lived. But beyond that all the above suggestions are good ones. That Orchid tree looks lovely.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 3:18PM
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gardengimp(9B Seminole Cnty FL)

14' when planted trees? Sorry to say, but your HOA is full of a bunch of plant-nim-wits. Either that or somebody made a typo and they meant to say at least a 14" container size. I'm obviously not a good HOA member attitude, but I would plant an appropriate size starter tree - 15 gallon.

And then I would put up a clothes line.

Oh, and I like bottle brush trees. Nice trees.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 10:19PM
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Does it have to be 10-14' tall at planting, or is that it's full-grown height? I'm just thinking a 10-14' tree is going to be very expensive to buy and to plant. How do they get away with forcing this on you? This is why I refuse to ever live in a deed restricted community.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 10:53PM
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fighting8r(10 Fort Myers Florida)

ditto gardengimp and dirtygardener73!
I also thought about jatropha and dwarf poinciana. And the other that is wonderful and stays a nice shape and size is the white frangipani, I dont know the name though, but its the one frangipani/plumeria that keeps its foliage all year. I think of it as the ice-cream-cone because of the shape and the white flowers. Also the idea above of the little magnolia sounds perfect too.
Now that I go back and read I see they've given you a list you must choose from? It will be difficult and expensive to find such a large tree and plant it. Goodness!!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 10:34AM
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