The Q&A Archives: Recommended Shade Tree for Hot Southwest Florida

Question: Please recommend a good shade tree that doesn't drop leaves or pods to shade the front of our home. We have limited yard space for growing width and want something that doesn't grow too tall too fast. We would purchase something already 10 to 15 ft tall for shade now. Preferably something that does not require a lot of water, and that can withstand the hot summer temperatures of our Florida location.

Answer: Unfortunately, all trees including evergreens will drop leaves seasonally. Among the many trees which attain a medium size and offer summer shade I would consider 'Drake' Elm (Ulmus parvifolia 'Drake'), Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia), and Chinese Pistache (Pistacia chinensis).

No matter what you plant, plan on providing ample water during the first few growing seasons to encourage rapid establishment and good coverage of the alloted area. Check with a local nursery professional for additional suggestions and information on availability.

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