12 Native Florida Trees For Eco-friendly Landscaping

Written By Kenneth Wilson  |  0 Comments

Looking to transform your outdoor space into a haven of sustainable beauty? Then you’re in luck – as there are plenty of native Florida trees for your eco-friendly landscaping needs.

Known for their resilience to the local climate, resistance to pests, and ability to thrive with minimal care, these trees contribute to local biodiversity and add an undeniable charm to your landscape. From the majestic Live Oak to the unique Sabal Palm, each tree on our list brings unique charm and ecological benefits.

Let’s delve into a list of fantastic trees for eco-friendly landscaping in the Sunshine State.

Live Oak (Quercus Virginiana)

The Live Oak, or Quercus Virginiana, is a majestic tree species native to Florida, known for its expansive reach and longevity. This evergreen tree can span an impressive 60 to 80 feet in height and almost 100 feet in width.

Live Oaks are also incredibly resilient, withstanding Florida's diverse weather conditions, including heat, humidity, and hurricanes. They are drought-tolerant once established and require little maintenance.


People looking to make a bold statement in their landscape design. Its canopy is adorned with shiny, dark green leaves, providing dense shade throughout the year, providing an iconic Southern charm and a tranquil shade oasis.

sabal palm against blue sky

Sabal Palm (Sabal Palmetto)

The Sabal Palm is a standout in native Florida trees. It is the state tree of Florida and is deeply associated with its tropical landscape. This palm can grow up to 65 feet tall and is characterized by its fan-shaped leaves and grey, vertically ridged trunk.

Sabal Palms are extremely tolerant of Florida's coastal conditions, thriving in full sun and well-drained soils. They can withstand strong winds, drought, and even brief periods of flooding.

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If you want to enhance your landscaping with native trees, this is a good pick! Sabal Palm has the ability to thrive under different soil conditions, making it a great choice for urban landscaping and coastal homeowners.

Magnolia grandiflora

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia Grandiflora)

Next, the Southern Magnolia is another magnificent tree widely cherished for its large, glossy green leaves and enormous, fragrant white blossoms. These evergreen trees can reach 60 to 80 feet in height.

Southern Magnolias flourish in Florida's subtropical climate, displaying their striking flowers in the warm, humid summer months. This tree can also withstand heat and prefer moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soils.


Homeowners looking to add an element of grace and beauty to their landscapes. Its impressive stature, coupled with its beautiful flowers, makes the Southern Magnolia a captivating focal point in large gardens or yards.

red maple trees in a row along the driveway

Red Maple (Acer Rubrum)

The Red Maple is another excellent pick for natural Florida landscapes. Known for its striking autumn foliage that varies from fiery red to bright yellow, this tree can reach heights of up to 70 feet. This tree can adapt to a wide range of soil conditions, making them a good fit for Florida's varied environments.


Perfect for those who crave seasonal color in their eco-friendly landscaping. It's also ideal for homeowners seeking a fast-growing tree to provide shade and enhance the curb appeal of their property.

Closeup view of Bald Cypress tree in Cradle Creek Preserve in Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Bald Cypress (Taxodium Distichum)

The Bald Cypress is a distinctive tree with a broad base, slender trunk, and feathery foliage. This Florida tree species has the unique characteristic of looking like an evergreen most of the year, and they can reach impressive heights of up to 120 feet.

Bald Cypress trees are highly adaptable and thrive in Florida's wet, swampy conditions. They can tolerate flooding and can even grow in standing water.


If you have a water feature in your landscape or live in flood-prone areas, this is the best native Florida tree to consider. Its unique appearance also features a touch of elegance, making it a visually appealing addition.

Slash pine, Pinus elliottii, tree filled with grackle birds on cloudy day in FL

Slash Pine (Pinus Elliottii)

Next we have the Slash Pine, which is an emblematic tree of Florida. It towers over the landscape with heights ranging between 60 to 100 feet, bearing needles in bundles of two or three and large, spiny cones.

Additionally, these hardy trees are accustomed to the heat and humidity of Florida and are resistant to diseases and pests.


Homeowners are looking to quickly add height to their landscape, as these trees have a fast growth rate. They're also perfect for those looking to attract wildlife, with their seeds being a favorite among birds and squirrels.

Silver buttonwood tree (Conocarpus erectus var. sericeus) - Hollywood, Florida, USA

Silver Buttonwood (Conocarpus Erectus)

The Silver Buttonwood is a unique tree that adds a silver sheen to any landscape. They can grow 10 to 20 feet tall and are characterized by their silvery-gray leaves and button-like fruits.

Fortunately, Silver Buttonwoods are well-adapted to Florida's coastal environments. They are salt-tolerant and can withstand wind, making them ideal for seaside plantings.


These are an excellent choice for people looking for a durable tree that adds a touch of elegance to their landscape. The silver leaves offer a striking contrast to green foliage, making them ideal as decorative trees.

Huge Christmas Tree Ornaments Displayed on a Wax Myrtle Tree

Southern Wax Myrtle (Myrica Cerifera)

The Southern Wax Myrtle is an attractive evergreen shrub or small tree, reaching heights of 10 to 20 feet. It has aromatic, olive-green leaves and clusters of small, waxy, bluish-gray berries.

This drought-tolerant tree is highly tolerant of Florida's diverse soil types and weather conditions. Meaning, it can grow in both sun and shade and can also tolerate occasional flooding.


This is a great pick if you’re seeking versatile, low-maintenance greenery that provides year-round interest!  Southern Wax Myrtles are also popular among those who wish to attract wildlife, as birds are particularly fond of their berries.

Close-up shot of orange holly berries on a bush in a forest covered by dense fog

Dahoon Holly (Ilex Cassine)

The Dahoon Holly is another native Florida tree admired for its glossy, evergreen leaves and bright red berries. It typically grows to heights of 20 to 30 feet. These trees are accustomed to wet conditions, making them a great fit for Florida's rainy climate.


The Dahoon Holly is an excellent choice for homeowners looking to bring a splash of color to their landscapes during winter. Its berries not only provide visual interest but also attract a variety of birds.

Florida Elm (Ulmus Americana)

Known for its large, majestic structure and unique vase-shaped canopy, the Florida Elm is a highly resistant tree tolerant of drought and flood conditions.


It's a good fit for those wanting a hardy shade tree that adds a timeless appeal to their yard.

Raining weather with rain drops falling in Seaside, Florida with view from house home building terrace patio or balcony with Quercus geminata Sand Live Oak

Sand Live Oak (Quercus Geminata)

This tree is a great addition to any Florida landscape because it can withstand coastal conditions. Its dark, evergreen foliage and spreading branches make it perfect for those wanting a shade-providing tree that adds year-round beauty to their yard.

Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia Virginiana)

Lastly, the Sweetbay Magnolia is a charming tree adorned with fragrant, creamy-white flowers and lustrous green leaves. This tree typically reaches heights of 10 to 20 feet but can grow taller in optimal conditions.

This Magnolia species prefers moist, acidic soils and can tolerate both sun and shade. It can withstand the humidity and occasional wet conditions of Florida's climate, making it a resilient choice for landscapes.


Perfect for homeowners looking to add a tree with multi-seasonal interest to their landscape. Its aromatic flowers, attractive leaves, and colorful fruits provide beauty throughout the year!

Final Thoughts

Opting for native Florida trees in your landscape is a decision you and Mother Nature will appreciate. These trees add beauty and value to your property and promote local biodiversity, reducing the need for excessive watering, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides!

So, whether you're a homeowner wanting to add shade, a birdwatcher hoping to attract local species, or someone passionate about eco-friendly practices, there's a Florida native tree just waiting to find a home in your landscape. Embark on your eco-friendly landscaping journey today – your slice of Floridian paradise is just a planting season away! (Related article: 9 Best Privacy Hedges for Florida Homes)

About the Author

I can build it, and I can help you get the patio enclosure you want! I got my start in the Florida patio industry back in the 70s as a young general laborer looking for something to make a few bucks. At the time I never thought it would end up as my career. Over the years I grew beyond the laborer position, becoming a foreman, superintendent, and then into executive management for some of the largest patio contractors, and material vendors. Now into retirement and slightly bored, I offer consulting services to new and existing contractors, and publish this website to help the people who love their patio's and screen enclosures the most - YOU!

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