5 Trees to Plant by the Sea

Live oak
Photo: James Forte/Getty Images

What works (and what doesn't) when it comes to planting trees by the sea.

01 of 05

Sabal palmetto


Plant: Sabal palmetto
This official Florida state tree boasts a higher wind resistance than any other palm, according to a research study conducted by Mary Duryea, professor emeritus of reforestation and urban forestry at University of Florida.

Reconsider: Washington fan palm
It scored low marks on a wind-resistance study, and is susceptible to uprooting in storm-prone regions.

02 of 05

Yaupon Holly


Plant: Yaupon holly
These red berry–sprouting evergreen shrubs stand up to salt and moisture, and are even more wind resistant when cultivated in groups.

Reconsider: Carolina laurel cherry
These trees sport similar features to the Yaupon holly, but their low wind resistance and toxic berries make them less appealing.

03 of 05

Live Oak

Live oak
James Forte/Getty Images

Plant: Live oak
There's a reason these stereotypically Southern trees have a reputation for growing old: They can survive almost anything, from intense winds and salt spray to shallow, sandy coastal soil.

Reconsider: Water oak
It grows naturally in coastal regions, but its greater susceptibility to disease often means reduced life spans.

04 of 05

Canary Island Date Palm


Plant: Canary Island date palm
Taller, stockier members of the palm tree family, they're known for having long, stiff leaves and pineapple-like trunks. These palms thrive when fronds are only removed or trimmed when they are completely dead.

Reconsider: Queen palm
This tall, slender palm can be a risky bet in neighborhood landscapes due to its poor track record for hurricane survival.

05 of 05

Crape Myrtle

Amy Hudecheck/Getty Images

Plant: Crape myrtle
It loses fewer branches than most trees in high winds and rain, and grows best on the Gulf and southern Atlantic coasts, and from Maryland to Florida.

Reconsider: Sand pine
Aptly named for its natural growth in sandy soil, this often tall tree has a shallow root system, making it a vulnerable and potentially damaging wind target.

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