If you are fortunate enough to have large trees accenting and adorning your front landscape, gardens, or backyard outdoor living spaces, we’d like to shine a little light on the subject.
Uplighting Large Trees In Clearwater, Tampa, And St. Petersburg By The Outdoor Lighting Experts
Whether you have been enjoying the lush, dramatic beauty of your large trees for years, or are just about to plant some new ones, don’t forget to shine the best light possible on them to showcase their intrinsic beauty as the sun sets into the horizon for the day.
For new large trees, it is very wise to plant them in the coming weeks as
temperatures leading into winter will allow you the luxury of building a better root system and thus, a healthier and more beautiful tree.
Uplighting Large Palm Trees For Breathtaking Illumination Results
Bird of Paradise: Bird-of-paradise are hardy, drought-tolerant plants that are easy to grow, especially in warm climates, and they are used extensively as ornamental landscape plants. A giant Bird of Paradise, known as Strelitzia Nicolai, forms huge clumps of stems that can reach 30 feet in height in mature, well-established plants. Its flowers bloom from spring to late summer, and they produce copious amounts of nectar that is attractive to sunbirds in their native Africa and orioles in the U.S.
Large Royal Palm Trees: The Florida Royal Palm (Roystonea Regia) can grow to heights of 50 to 70 feet tall. This is the type of palm that is traditionally used in the Catholic traditions of Palm Sunday. The Royal Palm has a grey-white, smooth, rotund trunk and a green crown.
Large Queen Palm Trees: The Queen Palm, a native of southern Brazil and northern Argentina, tolerates acidic clay, loam, or sandy soils as long as they are well-drained. While the trees tolerate temperatures as low as 20 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit, they generally grow better in Florida due to the higher humidity. At up to 50 feet tall and 20 to 30 feet wide, Queen Palms are often used here in Clearwater, Tampa, and St. Petersburg as street or specimen trees in landscapes and parks.
Robellini Palms: Also known as Date Palms, they are popular ornamental large trees in gardens in tropical and subtropical climate areas. They need little pruning to develop a strong structure, are resistant to pests, tolerant to soil variation, and are moderately drought tolerant. They grow in partial shade to full sun, with the local Florida climate determining where to plant. It is interesting to note that Robellini Palms have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. When used in an enclosed outdoor room, the NASA Clean Air Study concluded that these large palm trees are effective at removing the common household air toxins formaldehyde and benzene.
Fishtail Palms: Perfect for use as an overhead landscape canopy, they are famous for growing incredibly fast among the uplighting large tree candidates. One fellow Floridian reports that in the second year after planting, the Fishtail Palm exploded. It grew aggressively for many years and got a trunk diameter of about 16 inches. Leaves are typically twelve feet long with huge crowns.
Cabbage Palms: One of the 15 species of Palmetto Palms, these large trees grow up to 65 feet tall. So when we classify it as an “uplighting large tree” candidate, we’re not kidding. Starting at half to two-thirds the height, the tree develops into a rounded, costapalmate fan of numerous leaflets. All Cabbage Palm leaves are 1⁄4 inch across, and produced in large compound panicles up to 8 feet in radius, extending out. This large tree is a treasure. It has been used by Native Americans for centuries to provide food, shelter and other useful items. As such, they are considered a “Tree of Life” in their cultures. Commonly referred to as “an ecosystem in a tree,” the large Cabbage Palms host other plants in their “boots,” including strangler fig, wild grape, Virginia creeper, and a variety of beautiful threatened and endangered ferns. The Sabal Palm also shelters and supplies nesting material to bats, caracaras, cardinals, crows, doves, flycatchers, gnatcatchers, hawks, hummingbirds, kinglets, mockingbirds, shrikes, wrens, possums, raccoons, squirrels, snakes, tree frogs, lizards, and a variety of insects.
Other Large Trees That We Take Great Pleasure In Uplighting With Stunning Dramatic Illumination Effects
Bald Cypress: A deciduous conifer large tree, the Bald Cypress is native to wet areas of the lower and middle Mississippi Valley drainage basin, the south Atlantic and Gulf Coastal states, and especially here in Florida. This large tree species is extensively planted in dry areas throughout the Eastern United States as an ornamental tree. Its pyramidal to spire-like growth is formal in youth, becoming more columnar and open with great age. This is the tree from which cypress mulch is made, and unfortunately the source trees – especially in Florida – are being rapidly depleted.
Green Buttonwood: The Green Buttonwood is a great tree for coastal planting. Its high salt and drought tolerance provides a great screen for privacy. Considered a front line tree, the Green Buttonwood is tolerant of extreme exposure to salt spray. It can be used for hedging, as a shade tree, and a specimen plant. It is said to also have been used for smoking meats and fish, as well as for cabinetry and charcoal making due to its strength. The Green Buttonwood large tree is a Florida native and is known for its tenacity. Full sun, high alkaline soil, and salty air, are all ideal conditions, making it the perfect tree for south Florida and coastal areas.
Red Cedar: Ever-present and evergreen, the Eastern Red Cedar tree is known for its hardiness, beauty, strength, and size. These luscious, dense conifers are fast growing and can be found from Canada to Florida. But interestingly enough, the cedar tree isn’t a real cedar; it’s actually a Juniper species. Despite that, these gorgeous trees have proven to be excellent sources of medicine and valuable tools in cultural practices.
Red Maple: Native to the eastern United States, Red Maple’s attractive shape, clean habit, and red fall color have made it one of the most commonly planted trees across Florida. Red Maples have attractive ornamental features in every season. Early in spring, before leafing out, clusters of tiny red flowers with long, showy stamens cover the branches. Emerging leaves and winged seeds are red. The leaf stems are red throughout the growing season. Fall foliage is striking and the bark, light gray when young and shaggy with age, is a nice winter feature. Red maple gets its name from the reddish color of its young twigs and the reddish buds that are visible in winter.
Seagrape Trees/Bushes: This tropical and perennial plant is vastly known to be grown on many beaches, thus making it an easy crop to harvest if you live near the ocean or sea. Seagrapes are known to be native to Mexico, South Florida, and the Caribbean, especially, to the Greater and the Lesser Antilles like Barbados and Bermuda. The Seagrape trees have broad leaves that can grow up to about 13 inches that are red in color when young but after maturity, change to green with red veins. The overall tree can grow to about 55 feet in height.
Slash Pine: Slash Pine grows well on a variety of acidic soils in full sun or partial shade. Once established, it is more tolerant of wet sites than most other Pines and is moderately salt-tolerant. Since shaded lower branches die and drop as the tree grows taller, be careful not to plant them too close to high traffic areas where branches could fall on people, unless there is a regular maintenance plan to remove them.
We Invite You To Experience A Professional Assessment Of How Best To Explore Uplighting Large Trees
It would be a pleasure for our team to meet with you for a complimentary design consultation. Just click here; and we’ll schedule a convenient time to meet.
Robert van der Putten, owner Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Clearwater & Tampa Bay.