Tropical trees are those native to the earth’s tropical zone, between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn (23.5° N and S latitudes). The Tropic of Cancer passes just north of Cuba. Average monthly temperatures in the tropical lowlands are 64°F or more. Because tropical trees have no natural frost tolerance, short or prolonged cold spells can cause leaf damage and even plant death. Most tropical trees are evergreen or briefly deciduous. Tropical trees are commonly used for landscaping in subtropical areas like Florida, with a minor risk of frost damage; frost frequency and severity decrease from north to south. It is wise to select tropical trees in relation to local climate, attempting to match the native and exotic environments to the extent possible and to choose trees known to thrive over several hardiness zones.
For example, in the northern half of Florida, tropical trees suitable for hardiness zones 8 and 9 are best.
These include Sweet Acacia (Acacia farnesiana); the colorful Flame Tree (Brachychiton acerifolius); Powder Puff (Calliandra surinamensis): the bright blooms of Christa-galli (Erythrina crista-galli) and the charming Mickey Mouse Tree (Ochna serrulata).
In the southern half of Florida, tropical trees known to grow well in zones 10 and 11 are advised.
A few recommendations include the lovely White Orchid Tree with its wing like leaves (Bauhinia variegata); Bridal Veil (Caesalpinia granadillo) having delicate evergreen leaves; the Ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata), which bears highly aromatic yellow flowers; Pink Kopsia (Kopsia fruticosa) with its star-shaped pink flowers and Willow Bustic (Sideroxylon salicifolium) with its handsome foliage and showy creamy yellow flowers.
Planting sites are important, to provide tropical species as much protection as possible from winter outbursts of cold northern air, by locating them on the south side of buildings, walls and windbreaks, also in an enclosed courtyard or patio. Some tropical trees are suitable for growth in containers and moved indoors during the cooler months.
Treeworld has a wide choice of tropical trees, including those mentioned above, from which to select the best plants for landscaping any residential, commercial or public location.
|Scientific Name||Common Name||Color||Size||Form||Leader||Height||Spread||Trunk Diameter||Salt Tolerance||Drought Tolerance|
|Sideroxylon salicifolium (syn. Dipholis salicifolia) 50 Gal||Willow Bustic, White Bully||50 Gal||STANDARD||SINGLE||12'||6'||2'||HIGH||HIGH|