Florida Gardening forum: South florida

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Name: Valery Leonard
Palm beach county, florida (Zone 10a)
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Valery
Apr 4, 2015 11:19 AM CST
Ok, today my neighbor is cutting down all the plants on his side of the fence and his back fence. Now we have a view of the houses behind us and the public pool. We are not happy at all. There is also a 50' or higher huge ficus on the corner of his property and HOA property. He plans on hacking at that. Are there any pine trees we can plant on our side for screening and noise control. I'm originally from NJ and we planted pines, arborvities, around our yard. That type, shape would be great. I'm so unhappy.
Valery 😡
Valery
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Apr 5, 2015 3:44 AM CST
Well, Australian Pines will grow quickly and screen well. They are however an invasive species.
Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
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karmatree
Apr 5, 2015 7:09 PM CST
Noooo don't plant Australian pines...please......they have taken over the entire island here at Anna Maria. There are so many natives you can plant instead....I will return with a list!
"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
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karmatree
Apr 5, 2015 7:13 PM CST
Sea grapes will grow to enormous proportions without any care. Cabbage palms love it here and get huge! Live Oaks will get enormous. All natives. Please don't resort to invasive species...this is such a delicate ecosystem and invasive plants cause so much damage, so quickly. The Australian Pines resist the growth of native orchids and bromeliads and put out a natural herbicide (alleopathy) to prevent anything else from growing nearby.
"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Apr 6, 2015 12:26 PM CST
Sea grape was my first thought as well.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 6, 2015 12:59 PM CST
Valery, is there a fence you could grow vines on? That would be the quickest way to create a privacy screen. Passionvines, Coral Honeysuckle, Pipe vines, Queens Wreath, Rangoon Creeper - all would screen beautifully and quickly. If the fence isn't tall enough, you could add lattice to the top for the vines to climb higher on.

Podocarpus are a beautiful, thick tree that grows fairly fast. Here's one with lovely blue-ish foliage Podocarpus (Podocarpus elongatus Icee Blue®) They're sometimes used as hedges, but if you let them grow they make very nicely shaped trees. Another nice, large and very fast growing plant is Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) which grows very tall and wide in one season, and will also give you beautiful yellow flowers in the spring and fall.

You could start with that, and then plant some of the native trees like live oak, or Southern Red Cedar which may take a few years to really screen your view, but will be beautiful and long-lived for the longer term. They'll also replace the habitat for your birds and native animals.

By all means, go to a good nursery and ask for native trees that grow quickly, see what they have. Big box stores don't get the good stuff, they just sell whatever the head office sees fit to send them, and often they're types that aren't well suited to where you live. Look up a nursery that lists "Native plants and trees" as a specialty and you will have a great selection.

I wouldn't mourn the loss of the big Ficus tree, either, as they are also a non-native and a very weak tree that blows over in high winds.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Apr 6, 2015 1:05 PM (+)]
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Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
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karmatree
Apr 6, 2015 6:37 PM CST
Bravo, Elaine!!! Well said. Podocarpus is a fantastic suggestion!
"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Apr 8, 2015 12:39 PM CST
And, another really nice Podocarpus is the weeping variety:

Weeping Podocarpus (Afrocarpus gracilior)
Weeping Podocarpus (Afrocarpus falcatus)
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
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karmatree
Apr 9, 2015 5:39 AM CST
Lin, absolutely. The weeping podo is really something. It just got a mention by the American Horticultural Society as being one of the best weeping trees for the south.
"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
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orchidgal
Apr 9, 2015 9:51 PM CST
Be glad the ficus will go. They should never be planted in the ground as the root system is enormous and they will seek out water; usually damaging water or sewage pipes belonging to the owner or neighbors !
I think other members have chipped in with some very good suggestions for plants to check out.
“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen”
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Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Apr 10, 2015 7:40 AM CST

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This is a ficus tree that is at least 70 years old that we can trace by pictures. Its a great tree. I used to love playing in that tree. It has frozen almost all the way back a couple of times tho. I do agree that there are lots of things you can do to get a nice fence/hedge tree accent type thing you will enjoy.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Apr 10, 2015 12:18 PM CST
That looks like an oak, Pam. Shrug!
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Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Apr 10, 2015 12:27 PM CST
Nope, ficus. I was taking a picture of the birds, not tree, or I would have got the trunk/s. Ill get a picture when Im home for Mothers day.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Apr 10, 2015 1:53 PM CST
Which ficus is it, Pam? I have grown the three major varieties (houseplant varieties, that is), and still grow the Ficus lyrata and Ficus 'Alii'.
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Apr 10, 2015 2:11 PM CST
O Lord, I have no idea. It was there when we moved there 43 years ago, and it was already big. Its not a great tree, habit wise, but perfect for the spot its in.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Apr 10, 2015 3:49 PM CST
Take some good pictures and particularly close-ups of the leaf pattern. I might be able to identify it. As cold as Gainsville gets, I would think that many of the ficus varieties would not survive well.
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Apr 10, 2015 4:16 PM CST
There are many Ficus trees that grow in ground here in Florida:

Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig)
Ficus lyrata (Fiddleleaf Fig)
Ficus elastica (Rubber Fig)

These two are listed on the Florida EPPC's (Exotic Pest Plant Council) list:

Category I Non-native Invasive:

Ficus microcarpa (Laurel Fig):

Category II Non-native Invasive:

Ficus altissima (False Banyan)

edited to add: And they all get HUGE!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
[Last edited by plantladylin - Apr 10, 2015 4:17 PM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Apr 10, 2015 5:04 PM CST
I grow all of those on the first list plus the 'Alii'. None of these plants will take a heavy frost or much below 32 F. Gainsville gets a lot of cold weather now. There used to be huge citrus plantations near and well north of Gainsville back in the 50's, 60's and 70's, but I don't know that much citrus, other than cold-hardy citrus is still grown there.
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Apr 10, 2015 6:25 PM CST
O thats not gainesville...I wish. Thats on the intercoastal ( Indian River), in Indialantic, right off the Melbourne causeway. Thats where I grew up and my Mother still lives.
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Name: Sidney McCollum
Okeechobee, Fl (Zone 10a)
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Sugarweed
Apr 10, 2015 9:41 PM CST
Howdy! I tip my hat to you.
I am posting this in several places so all can see it

I am planning a Florida Round-up over here in Okeechobee on Saturday May 30th, 2015.
Will be held in the Rec Hall here in the 55 & older park I live by on Taylor Creek.
Hours are 10AM to 4PM.
I will confirm as soon as I get confirmation from the park.
Plant something to bring.
The Rec Hall has AC and we can put our plants out on the porch that goes about 60+feet across the front.
It will be wonderful to see everyone and swap some plants.
Sidney Welcome!
Life isn't about how you survived the storm, It's about how you danced in the rain!
[Last edited by Sugarweed - Apr 17, 2015 1:13 PM (+)]
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