Buying trees for your property in the Tampa Bay area

Trees add great value to any property for multiple reasons, such as privacy, shade, and, of course, curb appeal. If someone is lucky enough to have fully grown, well-tended trees on their newly-purchased property, they need only maintain them for safety and esthetics. Some new homeowners may wish to purchase trees that enhance, provide shade, as well as substantially increase the value of their property. 

In this article, we’ll talk about some of the best species for the Florida landscapes, as well as some planting and maintenance advice.

What do trees cost?

Here are some basic estimates for different sizes of trees to purchase for your landscaping needs. It’s a good idea to check with different nurseries as they may have competing prices.

Small: Four to six-foot potted trees:

Unit Cost:   $75.00

Labor cost:  $38.00 per hour  (transport, site preparation)

Medium: eight to ten foot potted trees

Unit Cost:      $194.00

Labor cost:      $38.00 per hour (transport, site preparation)

Large: fourteen to twenty-foot trees in 1 cubic yard box

Unit Cost:    $2,119.00

Labor Cost:      $38.00 per hour (transport, site preparation)

Things to know about planting new trees

There are other factors and unforeseen costs to consider when planting trees on a property, for example:

  • When planting trees on your property, be aware that permit fees and taxes are not included in the initial price.
  • It’s important to check with utility companies regarding overhead lines. They may prohibit planting in certain areas
  • Always request a written quote from any tree service provider, and be sure to shop around. All providers should have proof of a business license, professional arborist license, customer references, and a time commitment for work completion.

Keep in mind that when trees are transplanted their roots are chopped off when the nursery digs them up. This trauma may cause transplant shock, which often leads to vulnerability to infestations, diseases, and drought. The larger the tree, the more susceptible they are to transplant shock. During this delicate period, while the tree and root system find a new balance, extra care and watering are required. Newly transplanted trees will often need up to three years to settle into their environment.

Here are some examples of some small, medium, and large Florida-friendly trees that will flourish on your property with the proper care.

Small Trees (Average mature spread is less than 20 feet)

Firebush – One of the most beautiful trees native to Florida, and a popular choice for landscaping is the Firebush. Its orange-red blossoms are known to attract pollinators, are fast-growing, and can reach heights of 12 feet with a canopy of 15 feet.

Other small trees to consider are Japanese Privet, Fiddlewood, Silver Buttonwood, or even Spanish Stopper.

Mid-sized Trees (Spread less than 30 feet)

Satin Leaf Tree – Another beauty, native to Florida is the Satin Leaf tree. Its gorgeous leaves are dark and glossy green on top and a satiny bronze on the underside. They produce a purple, edible fruit about the size of an olive. Satin Leafs have poor salt tolerance, so are not suited for beachfront landscaping.

Sea Grape is native to Florida and a good option for beachfront properties as it is salt water tolerant.

Other medium-sized trees suited to a Florida landscape are Green Buttonwood, Autograph Tree, Pigeon Plum, and Orange Geiger

Big Trees (Average mature spread is greater than 30 feet)

Live Oak Tree – Live Oak trees are known for their generosity in providing shade, as well as a sanctuary for many species of wildlife. They can live for centuries if they’re left to grow without human interference. The Live Oak requires an extensive area to grow as its canopy is massive.

Some other large native trees that may be a good option for Florida properties are Mahogany, Gumbo Limbo, Royal Poinciana, Queen Crape Myrtle, or Wild Tamarind.


Palm Trees

Cabbage Palmetto Palm – One of the most impressive native-to-Florida species is the Cabbage Palmetto palm. It is known as a “street tree,” often planted between the sidewalk and curb on Florida roads. It can reach heights of 30-40 feet, and 1-2 feet in diameter. The leaves can grow 4-5 feet in length and 1-2 inches wide. It produces a small, black fleshy fruit that is enjoyed by many wildlife species. It’s also very salt-tolerant,

This Florida-friendly tree produces black, fleshy fruits, that attract squirrels and other forms of wildlife. Cabbage Palmetto palms are extremely salt-tolerant, which makes them an ideal tree for beachfront properties

Other native palm trees to consider –   Florida Royal palm, and clumping multi-trunk Paurotis Palm.


Citrus Trees

If planting citrus trees is part of a landscaping plan, it’s important to note a few essentials. All citrus trees need tons of sun exposure, properly drained soil, and plenty of irrigation. Before planting a citrus tree, it’s wise to choose a southern-facing direction and designate a fifteen-foot clearance area above and on the ground. Here are some citrus tree suggestions for classic Florida landscaping.

Orange Trees

The Florida climate is perfect for growing orange trees. Orange trees will delight with their fragrant blossoms, and in just a few years they will bear fruit. They require regular irrigation and good drainage but do not need mulching.

Tangelo Trees

This grapefruit tangerine hybrid offers a juicy, easy-to-peel, delicious fruit that is also kid-friendly. Tangelo trees flourish in the subtropical climate in Florida. Irrigation is important, and these trees need to receive a good weekly dousing in the first weeks after planting and during the growing season. These trees do best without competing plants and grasses in their vicinity. They don’t need a large area to grow and can do very well in containers.

Lemon Trees

The versatile, adaptable lemon tree can flourish indoors, on patios, and in the ground. The fragrant blossoms are aesthetically pleasing, and the fruit has many uses and benefits. Lemon trees require full sun exposure, regular fertilization, and well-drained soil.

Cocktail Trees

If someone has a problem deciding what citrus tree to plant, but can only afford one, the cocktail tree may be the solution. This tree is not naturally occurring. It is a creation grafted by talented arborists who combine several citrus varieties into one. These amazing trees produce lemons, grapefruits, oranges, limes, and tangerines. These generous beauties require lots of sun exposure in addition to good irrigation and drainage

Adding gorgeous trees to a property may seem like an expensive venture, however, a large tree can add an additional $1,000 to $3,000 to an asking price for any home. If a new homeowner plans to stay for more than 20 years, it’s probably wise to invest in smaller trees that take that long to mature. If the owner thinks they will be residing in their home for seven years or less, a larger tree might be the better investment if they’re looking to increase the value of their property in a timely manner.

Trees of all shapes and sizes are a magnificent and vital part of any landscape and provide years of multi-faceted beauty as well as untold delight for generations to come. There are so many options for your landscaping needs! 

Featured photo by Derek Thomson.

Treemasters, Inc. – Tree Removal Service for Pasco County, Spring Hill, and North Tampa Area

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