The 6 Best Shade Trees For Your Florida Landscape

The 6 Best Shade Trees For Your Florida Landscape

Shade? In the sunshine state? Yeah, you read that right.

Florida shade trees—what a concept, right? Just because we live in the state that’s known for its beating-down-your-back heat and glorious-but-sometimes-overwhelming sunshine-y weather doesn’t mean that your landscape has to be a shade-less ode to the sunshine state. We’d argue that because we’re dealing with almost non-stop sunshine, Floridians deserve more shade than anyone else.

That’s why we’ve hooked you up with a few examples of the best shade trees for your Florida landscape. These trees will thrive in the wild Florida climate, stand up to our weird weather, and of course, give you the shade haven you’ve been seeking out since you moved to Florida.

And to answer your question before you even ask it—no, we’re not just talkin’ about palm trees (spoiler alert, we love palm trees and have an entire article about them right here).

So, if you’re lookin’ to up your shade game on your Florida residential or commercial landscape, we encourage you to keep reading—trust us, by the time summer rolls around, you’ll be thanking us for this input.

Live Oak Tree

Also Known As: Quercus Virginiana

Why We Love It: Live Oaks are gorgeous, deep-rooted trees that are durable and strong. They’ve even been known to withstand hurricane-force winds (which, you know, we kind of need down here in Florida). A southern shade tree, the Live Oak is famous for its ability to grow massive, shaded canopies that are dramatic and beautiful. The best part? It doesn’t need a whole lot of your attention to thrive!


Southern Magnolia

Also Known As: Magnolia Grandiflora

Why We Love It: The Southern Magnolia is a gorgeous tree that’s recognized for it’s creamy white flowers that are ever-so-fragrant. These trees bloom in spring, can grow up to 90-feet tall (so you’ll have to do a little trimming), but they make some seriously great shade trees. Don’t worry—if you don’t want something super huge, you can find shorter-growing cultivars, too!


Bald Cypress

Also Known As: Taxodium Distichum

Why We Love It: Well, first of all, we love this tree because it’s beautiful—feather, majestic, branches with soft needles add a gorgeous element to any Florida landscape. But it’s not just an aesthetic thing. We love Bald Cypress trees for their durability, hardiness, and versatility, too. This tree survives better than almost any other tree species in Florida. No matter where you live—near a lank, on a river, by the ocean—this tree is going to thrive. Bald cypress hardly need any attention, making them one of the best trees out there for someone who wants a shaded yard without all the pressure of coddling a gorgeous, but needy tree.


Slash Pine Tree

Also Known As: Pinus Elliottii

Why We Love It: The long, soft needles of the Slash Pine Tree are an absolute perk of this Florida-friendly option. Additionally, it’s a tree that’s known for creating natural bird sanctuaries—so, if you love wildlife in your yard, there’s truly no better choice than the slash pine for shade and getting in touch with nature. These trees look woodsy and rustic, giving Florida homes a little dash of wilderness, but they’re also incredibly easy to care for and a common choice for home landscapes!


Sweetbay Magnolia

Also Known As: Magnolia Virginiana

Why We Love It:  You might be thinking, wait, didn’t you just list a magnolia tree right before this one? We did—but trust us, this is different. This tree has smaller flowers and leaves than a traditional magnolia, but it’s a great option for swampy areas with wet soils (ahem, Florida, cough cough). They can grow up to 90-feet tall, but will most likely settle in the 50-foot area.


Florida Elm

Also Known As: Ulmus Americana

Why We Love It: This shaded tree has dazzling rich autumn foliage, which is reason enough to want to plant these all over your yard. But if that’s not enough to sell you, they also provide exceptional shade because they can grow between 60-80 feet tall with an elegant vase-shaped crown.


See? Creating shade in your Florida space isn’t so hard after all—and trust us, it’s totally necessary for that sweet Florida sunshine. If you’re looking for a landscaping company that’s reliable, has plenty of experience, and can be by your side every step of the way (no matter what your landscaping visions might be), reach out to us at Landcrafters. With over 20 years of experience in the Florida sunshine, we know a thing or two about keeping your Florida landscape lush, healthy, and shady. Give us a call at (727)-201-3947 or reach out to us directly via our website right here!