Steven L. Abrams
Mary Lou Berger
"An equal opportunity
Avoid Structural Damage – Choose Non-aggressive Rooted Trees
Fast growing, aggressive roots of large trees planted on property lines and along foundations create a real concern for homeowners. Tripping hazards from pavement buckling or cracking and roots sticking up above grade require regular maintenance. To minimize the maintenance requirements from large tree roots, consider trees with non-aggressive root systems.
Trees with root systems that do not spread quickly include lignum-vitae, mimusops (manilkara) allspice (pimenta dioc) and queen crape myrtle (lagerstroemia speciosa)
Lignum-vitae can grow to an average of 15 feet tall. It is an extremely slow growing native evergreen tree with stunning blue flowers clustered at its branch tips in the spring.
Mimusops is a symmetrical tree that grows to an average height of 20 feet and is suitable for salt spray locations.
Allspice averages 20 feet in height with a loose appearance. Allspice tolerates windy locations and is a good addition to a narrow landscape area. The tree makes an excellent container plant for indoor or greenhouse culture. Frilly flowers are produced in large clusters, followed by the small fruits, which ripen to a purple-black color. It has aromatic leaves which are used in flavoring bay rum.
Queens crape myrtle is the tallest of the group, averaging 35 feet in height. This round-canopy tree flowers in June and July. The flowers are pink to lavender with fringed crape-like fringed petals. It has leaves that turn red then drop each winter. This tree requires a planting site with no overhead wires.
For more information on trees recommended for the South Florida climate, please call the Master Gardener volunteer hotline at 233-1750.
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