Florida’s verdant landscape is a given, due to the bountiful rainfalls and year-round humidity prevalent in the Sunshine State. From the numerous wetlands and swamps to the charming residential areas, the fauna is lush and the shades of green, seemingly endless.
However, perpetual greenery requires plenty of moisture and this lushness comes with a hefty price. Florida’s heavy precipitation in combination with the inevitable hurricane season causes property-destroying, disastrous flooding events.
Coastal areas are even more susceptible to flooding, and trees are highly vulnerable to salty storm surges. Residents living in the interior of the state may also be subjected to flooding due to torrential rain causing rivers and lakes to breach their banks.
It’s always a good idea to consult with an arborist when planting trees on your property. Some trees are more likely to offer protection from storms and ultimately survive the ravages of flooding than others.
For Florida residents living close to the ocean, having flood-resistant trees is an absolute must! There are two, extremely hardy trees that thrive in these coastal regions and can survive in or near saltwater.
Marvelous mangrove trees grow abundantly in coastal regions around the world. They thrive in warm tropical and subtropical climates. This amazing, attractive tree can flourish with its hardy root system fully submerged in saltwater for significant amounts of time – including twice-daily flooding by tides! Its innate infrastructure is capable of absorbing the relentless impact of destructive storm surges during hurricane season. Their tenacious root system prevents erosion by slowing water flows with their above-ground roots thus encouraging sediment deposits. The mangrove has a well-earned reputation for being one of the hardiest species on the planet! There are at least 80 varieties of mangrove trees in the world. Here are three types that are commonly found in parts of Florida:
- Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle)
- Black mangrove (Avicennia germinans)
- White mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa)
Sea Grape Trees
These lovely-looking trees are an attractive addition to both coastal and inland landscapes. Medium-sized, they boast adorable bright-green leaves that resemble giant mouse ears. Aside from being visually pleasing, these beauties are comprised of flexible, durable wood that can tolerate powerful tropical storms as well as brief flooding and salt-water surges. This hardy tree is also drought-resistant! The sea-grape is perfect for coastal properties as they naturally stabilize dunes while effectively reducing erosion. Their elegant branches extend almost to the high-tide line, due to their extreme salt-water tolerance.
Flood-resistant Trees for Inland Florida Properties
Not everyone in Florida lives in coastal regions. Inland properties in proximity to rivers and lakes may benefit from including these three hardy, flood-resistant trees in their landscape designs.
Black Willow and White Alder
Both of these beauteous, medium-sized species are highly flood-tolerant and can easily survive in constantly wet soil. These qualities make them ideal additions to properties bordering on rivers and lakes. Their extensive root systems are capable of soaking up water, thereby preventing both erosion and flooding. Black willows can reach heights of 30-65 feet, white alders can grow anywhere from 50 to 75 feet.
The name of this tree says it all: it flourishes and naturally proliferates on riverbanks, although it can thrive almost anywhere in the U.S. A perfect choice for most landscaping needs, it’s a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree with a tremendous tolerance for wet soil. The River birch can withstand and survive most flooding events, while simultaneously discouraging soil erosion. This unique beauty was named Urban Tree of the Year by the Society of Municipal Arborists in 2002.