Small trees - bottlebrush, crape myrtle, hibiscus; fig, lemon/lime, loquat…

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  #1  
Unread 07-20-2021, 09:09 AM
Michread Michread is offline
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Default Small trees - bottlebrush, crape myrtle, hibiscus; fig, lemon/lime, loquat…

Which small trees do you recommend for shade and low maintenance? We are in a new home south of 44.

This is for our backyard in full sun most of the day. The Villages has taken care to plant native plants and trees in our front.

I would like one or two fruit trees with the understanding that I would have to prune and harvest often.

Yes, I have done a forum search already.

Thank you.
  #2  
Unread 07-20-2021, 10:54 AM
DAVES DAVES is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michread View Post
Which small trees do you recommend for shade and low maintenance? We are in a new home south of 44.

This is for our backyard in full sun most of the day. The Villages has taken care to plant native plants and trees in our front.

I would like one or two fruit trees with the understanding that I would have to prune and harvest often.

Yes, I have done a forum search already.

Thank you.
Not sure I understand. Many fruit trees require a pollinator thus not one but two trees.
As far was what to grow decide what you like to eat. You can and people do buy trees that have more than one variety grafted to a stock tree. Over time typically one variety chokes out the other.

Be sure to have a soil test done. PH in most of the Villages is alkaline 7.5-8.

I've asked but never got a reply. For newer parts of the villages your lawn is watered with recycled water. Not sure if it is suitable to grow things you plan on eating.
I expect it is variable in terms of quality-insecticides, weed killers, dog droppings etc etc etc.
  #3  
Unread 07-20-2021, 11:55 AM
vintageogauge vintageogauge is offline
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Fruit trees will attack some really unwanted critters around your home and those of your neighbors. Also, they re-cycled water in your irrigation system is partially or all, depending on where you live, from sewage waste water that supposedly has been treated to within specific limits. Go with the crepe Myrtles for shade and fast growth.
  #4  
Unread 07-20-2021, 01:19 PM
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I'd personally rather have a pergola for the shade and avoid the tree maintenance.
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  #5  
Unread 07-20-2021, 02:34 PM
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Something not mentioned, is watch/check where you want to put it in your backyard. Some (many?) of our backyards don't drain that well and during the rainy season the water level can be just a few inches below ground. I put a fig tree in and it almost drowned. I moved it into a large pot and it is now thriving.
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  #6  
Unread 07-20-2021, 03:27 PM
DAVES DAVES is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michread View Post
Which small trees do you recommend for shade and low maintenance? We are in a new home south of 44.

This is for our backyard in full sun most of the day. The Villages has taken care to plant native plants and trees in our front.

I would like one or two fruit trees with the understanding that I would have to prune and harvest often.

Yes, I have done a forum search already.

Thank you.
Plants mentioned that I am growing. Bottle brush. There are many different varieties.
Not what I have but what is sold as bottle brush trees are actually created as a graft to a root stock. They tend to be blown over in stormed. Mine was multi stemmed, I pruned it into more of a tree. It is now at ten years roughly 12 feet high. I seems to be tough as nails. Only issue, it drops viable seeds. Easy enough to pull them out.

I have what I think is a nachez crape myrtle. It too was put in by the builder, no labels.
It has been in about 10 years and is now ????? about 20 feet high. Mine is bigger than most I see. For me a great tree. I prune mine to keep it open. The trunk sheds bark which is white and exposes reddish brown new bark below. I don't know why, weather?
This year it has far more of the white crape myrtle type blooms on it. Another tough as nails plant.

Native plants? They do plant plants suitable for our climate. They are not necessarily native. The bottle brush I think is native to India. Fruits, almost all are hybrids and grafts. Grapefruits. What we grow, what we buy are far sweeter and pretty colors than what used to be-really sour and loaded with seeds.

Last edited by DAVES; 07-20-2021 at 03:43 PM. Reason: typo
  #7  
Unread 07-20-2021, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrumpyOldMan View Post
Something not mentioned, is watch/check where you want to put it in your backyard. Some (many?) of our backyards don't drain that well and during the rainy season the water level can be just a few inches below ground. I put a fig tree in and it almost drowned. I moved it into a large pot and it is now thriving.
Drainage can be improved. Why is it bad is the first question. I would take a long drill and see what you have. In places there is a layer of clay below the soil you see. Gypsum does help. I added 200 pounds to my 5,000 sq foot lawn. Unlike lime stone, it does not raise our already too high ph. It also helps to add organic matter. It takes a lot and you need to get it into the soil. Laying it on top as many do does nothing. Organic matter which is lighter than soil ok clay will not stir itself in. My 5,000 sq foot lawn
I using a drill, installed 70, 50 pound bags of manure 3500 pounds.
  #8  
Unread 07-21-2021, 12:43 AM
Calisport Calisport is offline
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My new house has 3 young crepe myrtles which will probably be colorful and offer shade, privacy in the front yard. I've seen bottlebrushes at an open house and would have chopped it down it was so huge and heavy looking. I've never had much luck with fruit trees and some don't look very pretty like lemon trees.
  #9  
Unread 07-21-2021, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVES View Post
Drainage can be improved. Why is it bad is the first question. I would take a long drill and see what you have. In places there is a layer of clay below the soil you see. Gypsum does help. I added 200 pounds to my 5,000 sq foot lawn. Unlike lime stone, it does not raise our already too high ph. It also helps to add organic matter. It takes a lot and you need to get it into the soil. Laying it on top as many do does nothing. Organic matter which is lighter than soil ok clay will not stir itself in. My 5,000 sq foot lawn
I using a drill, installed 70, 50 pound bags of manure 3500 pounds.
Thanks, I will try that, it may well be a layer of clay just below the grass.
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  #10  
Unread 07-21-2021, 06:07 AM
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Better get the info from the horse's mouth. Visit the IFAS extension office either in Bushnell or in The Villages, on 466, in the same complex as the Sheriffs office. Don't trust the big box stores, and stay away from citrus (greening problem still going on).
Sumter County - UF/IFAS Extension
  #11  
Unread 07-21-2021, 06:07 AM
aldeana aldeana is offline
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Better get the info from the horse's mouth. Visit the IFAS extension office either in Bushnell or in The Villages, on 466, in the same complex as the Sheriffs office. Don't trust the big box stores, and stay away from citrus (greening problem still going on).
Sumter County - UF/IFAS Extension
  #12  
Unread 07-21-2021, 06:54 AM
sallyg sallyg is offline
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Posts #3 and #5 = good advice.
We also live south of 44 and have found the smelly irrigation water repugnant, and lots of standing water after rain.
  #13  
Unread 07-21-2021, 07:04 AM
Redwood8300 Redwood8300 is offline
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Default Fruit trees

One thing to think about - Fruit on the ground = rats. Rats = snakes.
  #14  
Unread 07-21-2021, 07:04 AM
shannondwd shannondwd is offline
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Default I have many fruit trees

We brought in a truck load of real dirt. I have 2 Florida peach trees, they taste wonderful and I share with my neighbors. 3 avocado trees, that produce, 3 mangoes 🥭 that are all producing this year, sharing with neighbors. 1 lychee tree, very beautiful and produced this year. 1 loquat products for 3 years. I have absolutely no problem with rodents….but one rabbit and a some birds, I don’t mind sharing. Mangoes are great for shade and privacy. I love to garden but suggest good dirt and plant on raised soil…our yard will be 5 years old next spring. I am a good pruner and my trees are all lovely for shade.
  #15  
Unread 07-21-2021, 07:05 AM
coconutmama coconutmama is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michread View Post
Which small trees do you recommend for shade and low maintenance? We are in a new home south of 44.

This is for our backyard in full sun most of the day. The Villages has taken care to plant native plants and trees in our front.

I would like one or two fruit trees with the understanding that I would have to prune and harvest often.

Yes, I have done a forum search already.

Thank you.
We had a lime tree that we planted in our yard. It did not do well. Pulled it out.

Bought another & planted it in a pot inside our birdcage, on wheels. Bring it inside our glassed in lanai for hurricanes & cold winters, when we get those 20-30 degree nights. Have had it for several years now. Fun to grow, but it is much less expensive to just buy our limes in the store! Don’t need a second tree to cross pollinate. Good luck & have fun

As a side note, bottlebrush & other trees/bushes grow very large. Please plant away from the house or you will be sorry, between squirrels & the leaves/ plant droppings damaging your roof.

I like the pergola idea for shade
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