While South Florida was spared a direct hit from Hurricane Irma, the massive storm still left us with considerable cleanup. In fact, many cities are still in the midst of what has turned out to be a lengthy process of debris removal. And with so much foliage underfoot, the frequently asked question is “what should we plant now.”
If you want to protect your business from flying branches and toppling trees, one of the best things you can do is go native. The Urban Forest Hurricane Recovery Program at the University of Florida studied tree damage following the last 10 hurricanes, and found native vegetation had the highest survival rates.
Here are a few tree and palm choices that will hopefully cause the least amount of damage and disruption to your commercial property.
- Gumbo Limbo Tree. Nicknamed “the tourist tree” for its peeling greenish-red bark resembling a sunburn, the gumbo limbo tree is wind resistant, offers versatile shade, and a fast growth rate.
- Sabal Palm. Florida’s state tree, the Sabal Palmetto is easy to maintain, adaptable, and highly tolerant of salt winds.
- Live Oak. This large shade tree is the most resistant to wind. But it’s important to be conscious of where you have it planted because it develops a huge canopy, up to 40-foot wide.
- Geiger Tree. This smaller accent tree with vibrant orange-red flowers is wind resistant and tolerates flooding.
Of course, even native trees can suffer if not properly maintained, which makes proper planting and care as important as your selection. Investing in professional landscaping services, like those offered by SFM Landscaping, will help you avoid damage down the road.