5 Trees to Plant by the Sea
What works (and what doesn't) when it comes to planting trees by the sea.
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, University of Florida associate dean of research.
Reconsider: Washington fan palm
It scored low marks on a wind-resistance study, and is susceptible to uprooting in storm-prone regions.
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 laurelcherry
These trees sport similar features to the Yaupon holly, but their low wind resistance and toxic berries make them less appealing.
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.
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 best when old or low-hanging fronds are trimmed regularly.
Reconsider: Queen palm
This tall, slender palm can be a risky bet in neighborhood landscapes due to its poor track record for hurricane survival.
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.