Greetings from Texas (and a question)

Lynn MarieNovember 27, 2012

Hello Florida gardeners!

I just returned from a wonderful vacation in your beautiful state and have a question for you. While in Key West and Miami, I was stunned at the number of different palms you have. But my question is about a pine tree... I think. What is the tall tree that towers above all the others in Key West? Someone said it is a pine, but I'm not sure. Anyway, I can't find any pictures of it on google to compare. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!
Lynn Marie

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Hi, Lynn Marie. It's a Norfolk Island Pine, most likely. You probably think of them as little potted plants, but that's what happens when they get out in the tropics.

This it?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 9:47PM
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More info about them at floridata:

Here is a link that might be useful: norfolk pine in FL

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 9:49PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Or an Australian pine, they are prevalent in salty beach sand here....


    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 7:24AM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

If, with a casual glance you weren't certain it was a pine at all, there's a good chance you're talking about the Australian Pine, which is classified as an invasive here in Florida.

As troublesome as the AP is purported to be, I think it's a beautiful specimen, and I've seen A LOT of hawks, eagles and other assorted birds of prey take refuge in its boughs.

Don't know the exact specifications for it, but they certainly tower over everything else. I've seen a few that must be at least 100' tall.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 3:31PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Not sure what happened to my link this morning, it was supposed to be images of Australian pine....

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 6:53PM
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Since some of the images in tomncath's link are actually Norfolk pines as well as Casurina (australian pine), the easy way to be sure which you saw is that the Norfolk usually has a traditional Christmas tree kind of shape with very geometrically arranged flat branches with short needles, while the casurina has long drooping soft needles.

In my experience, in southern Dade county and the Keys, the Norfolk grows much, much taller than the casurina. If you are talking about trees you can see from the turnpike, for instance, the really tall ones are Norfolks. Casurinas grow mostly along the beaches and canals.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 12:19AM
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Lynn Marie

Thanks! It was definitely the Norfolk Island Pine. I was confused because when I googled pictures of Norfolk Pine, I got some pictures that looked vastly different. And unlike the potted specimens, the big ones seemed to have all of their "leaves" pointing upward and not droopy at all.

I have to tell you, y'all have a beautiful paradise down there. I can't wait to go back!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 6:03PM
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