Best Shade Trees for South Florida Yards

Shade trees provide a much more welcoming environment for your yard while keeping things cool. Whether it’s to enjoy time in the shade during cookouts, or you want to lower your utility bills by casting shade on your home, you need to have the right trees in place for your South Florida yard.

Here are 7 ideal trees to plant in your South Florida yard for shade.

Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)

If you enjoy the look of big branches and the character they add to your yard, you can’t go wrong with the southern live oak. These branches swoop down before growing upward, casting shade while giving your yard a unique look.

They reach maturity faster than many other types of oak trees, and can still thrive in a shaded area. If you’re planting this in a yard that already has a fair amount of shade, a southern live oak is the perfect addition and remains low-maintenance.

Read more in our article about live oaks >>

A mahogany tree that provides shade on a residential backyard in South Florida.

Mahogany (Swietenia var.)

You won’t see too many mahogany trees in South Florida since it’s normally grown for its stunning hardwood, but they thrive in south Florida conditions. Mahogany trees provide excellent shade with a canopy that can extend up to 50 feet wide.

They grow tall and take around 25 years to reach full maturity. Mahogany trees add a fantastic splash of color to your yard and are very sought-after, meaning they’re also great for increasing property value.

Florida Maple (Acer floridanum)

Florida maple trees are a little smaller than your standard maple tree, and that’s exactly why they’re great for small to medium-sized yards. They grow quickly, so you can expect a constantly expanding canopy to provide ample shade in your yard.

These trees have a high heat tolerance to handle our South Florida heat waves. They won’t steal the show like northern maple trees but still provide great color and vibrance to any South Florida yard.

A cluster of Bald Cypress growing on a swampy area in South Florida.

Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)

The bald cypress is an iconic tree in South Florida, primarily throughout the Everglades. If you’re curious about the name, it isn’t for nothing—these trees drop needles in the winter and grow back nice and thick when you need them for shade in the warmer months.

Bald cypress trees grow to be upwards of 120 feet tall, so you’ll want to make sure there’s plenty of space for them to thrive in your yard. If you’re looking to plant as few trees as possible with the most amount of shade potential, a bald cypress is exactly where you should start.

Mahoe (Melicytus ramiflorus)

Mahoe trees grow large leaves that help cast plenty of shade in your yard. They grow in a unique way, sprouting branches from near the base of the trunk. While these can require a bit more pruning than other trees in their early years, they’re worth the maintenance.

You can let lower branches grow down towards the ground for added privacy, or keep them trim to keep a nice clean look in your yard. Mahoe trees can be used in small or medium-sized yards to cover areas where you’d like a bit more shade.

Japanese Fern Tree (Filicium decipiens)

Japanese fern trees offer plenty of lush greenery, which is great for shade. These trees grow well in south Florida and provide dense shade with minimal light poking through the top.

At peak maturity, these trees grow to around 30 feet tall, so they work well for small or medium-sized yards. With thick canopies that can span out around 10 feet wide, you can strategically plant Japanese ferns to cover almost anywhere in your yard.

A photo of Royal Poinciana in bloom on a clear spring day in South Florida.

Royal Poinciana (Delonix regia)

If you have plenty of space and want lots of shade, a royal poinciana could be the perfect addition to your yard. These lush trees grow tall and provide beautiful red blossoms to brighten up your yard.

Keep in mind that these trees are sensitive to the wind, so planting them near a windbreak of some sort (such as a wall or a fence) will be helpful. A Certified Arborist can help you plan the best place in your yard to plant your royal poinciana.

Time for Tree Installation

Contact us today to install new trees on your South Florida property. We’ll survey your yard, find the right trees for your home, install them, and maintain them from here on out. It’s time to add some much-needed shade to your yard.

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Call Sherlock for quality tree services

Whether you're looking for specific tree care services, such as palm trimming, tree removal, or disease treatments, or would like one of our Arborists to examine your trees to identify any issues and recommend options, we're always here for you! Just give us a call at 954-788-4000 to set up an appointment.


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