Sounding something like an incantation or spell from Harry Potter, the types of trees found in the landscape are typically coniferous, deciduous, or evergreens. Deciduous trees, with their classification being derived from the Latin word deciduae – meaning “falling; dropping; hanging down”, are what one typically appreciates as a demonstration of Mother Natures’ transition from spring to fall. Trees in this category experience a seasonal color change that ends in the tree canopy remaining bare through the colder months. The Quercus shumardii – or Shumard Oak, is one such tree that can be found in Florida.
Named for a physician turned geologist – Benjamin Franklin Shumard (1820 – 1869), the Shumard Oak is an exceptional addition to the landscape. Serving as an ideal wind break tree, the Shumard Oak can reach heights up to 80 feet with a canopy spread between 40 to 50 feet. Its leaves, generally growing 4 to 8 inches, are dark green throughout most of the year, but turn a stunning red to reddish-orange during the months of fall. During the winter months, when all of its leaves have been laid bare, the Shumard Oak continues to provide visual interest through the structure of its branches.
Belonging to the Fagaceae (Beech) family, the Shumard Oak prefers full sun to allow it to achieve its annual growth rate of 12 to 24 inches. It is a highly drought tolerant species, and can tolerate soil conditions including loam, clay, sand, alkaline, and acidic. A stunning coniferous, or cone bearing tree, is the Araucaria araucana – Monkey Puzzle tree. Although not all coniferous trees are evergreens, the Monkey Puzzle is a species which meets the criteria for both categories.
Growing to heights between 60 to 70 feet with a spread between 30 to 35 feet, the Monkey Puzzle tree is thought to have received its moniker as a result of only a monkey being agile enough to try to climb it. Native to Chile and Argentina, the Monkey Puzzle tree is a member of the Araucariaceae family, and prefers full sun exposure and well drained soils. The “discovery” of the Monkey Puzzle tree is often credited to Archibald Menzies (1754 – 1842), a Scottish surgeon and botanist who participated in a great number of expeditions while serving in the Royal Navy.
The Shumard Oak and Monkey Puzzle tree are only a few species that can be grown in Florida to provide visual and conversational interest to a stunning landscape. To learn what types of trees can be used to achieve the goals for your landscape contact LMP at (877) LMP-PRO1.
Gilman, E. F., & Watson, D. G. (1993; 2006; 2014). Araucaria araucana: Monkey Puzzle Tree1. Retrieved from: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st081
Gilman, E. F., Watson, D. G., Klein, R. W., Koeser, A. K., Hilbert, D. R., & McLean, D. C. (1993; 2006; 2018). Quercus shumardii: Shumard Oak1. Retrieved from: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st561