Enhancing Your St. Augustine Landscape: Top Tree Species for Coastal Gardens

In St. Augustine, Florida, our unique coastal climate presents both opportunities and challenges for creating beautiful, thriving landscapes. Choosing the right tree species for your St. Augustine property not only ensures a stunning garden, but it also helps maintain a more sustainable and eco-friendly landscape that supports local biodiversity. Selecting trees native to the area or those that are better adapted to the region’s climate and soil conditions will promote their health, beauty, and vigor, ultimately making them easier to maintain and care for.

While there are numerous subtropical and tropical trees that can thrive in St. Augustine, it’s essential to consider the specific landscape and environmental conditions of your property when making selections. Understanding the unique characteristics, growing requirements, and care considerations of different tree species will allow you to design a landscape that showcases the beauty of St. Augustine’s botanical diversity.

In this blog post, we will explore the top tree species for coastal gardens in St. Augustine, highlighting their unique attributes, ideal planting conditions, and tree care tips. We will also offer insights into their ecological benefits as well as ways to successfully incorporate them into your landscape design.

As St. Augustine residents, we have a unique opportunity to celebrate and support our region’s native tree species, creating stunning landscapes that contribute to the charm and beauty of our city. By choosing the right trees for our coastal gardens and investing in proper tree care and maintenance, we can foster a more sustainable, vibrant, and healthy environment for both people and wildlife to enjoy.

Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)

Eastern Red Cedar is a versatile, native evergreen tree well-adapted to St. Augustine’s coastal conditions. This hardy tree is resistant to salt spray, making it an excellent choice for seaside landscapes. With its dense foliage and attractive blue-green needles, Eastern Red Cedar provides visual interest year-round and serves as an excellent windbreak and privacy screen.

Plant Eastern Red Cedar in well-draining soil and full sun to partial shade. Providing plenty of space for its mature size, this tree requires minimal maintenance, with occasional pruning to maintain its shape and density.

Wax Myrtle (Morella cerifera)

Wax Myrtle is a fast-growing, evergreen shrub or small tree native to the southeastern United States. With its fragrant, olive-green foliage and clusters of small, blue-gray berries that attract various bird species, Wax Myrtle adds both visual and ecological interest to any St. Augustine landscape.

Wax Myrtle thrives in full sun and can tolerate a wide range of soil types, including sandy soils common to coastal areas. Regular pruning will help maintain a compact form and promote healthy, bushy growth.

Bottlebrush (Callistemon spp.)

Although not native to St. Augustine, Bottlebrush is a popular tree for coastal landscapes due to its striking red flower spikes that resemble a bottlebrush and attract hummingbirds and butterflies. This evergreen tree is both drought and salt-tolerant, making it well-suited for the coastal climate.

Plant Bottlebrush trees in full sun and well-draining soil, and provide them with some protection from strong winds. Regular pruning can maintain their shape and encourage more prolific flowering.

Florida Gumbo Limbo (Bursera simaruba)

Florida Gumbo Limbo is a fast-growing, deciduous tree native to South Florida and the Caribbean but also thrives in St. Augustine’s coastal environments. Known for its distinctive, peeling red bark that resembles sunburnt skin, the Florida Gumbo Limbo adds visual interest to landscapes. It is also drought and salt-tolerant, and its small, fragrant flowers attract pollinators, making it an attractive addition to any seaside garden.

Plant Florida Gumbo Limbo in a sunny location with well-draining soil. This tree is low-maintenance; however, occasional pruning will help maintain an attractive shape and reduce potential hazards from falling branches.


Creating a vibrant and sustainable landscape in St. Augustine begins with selecting the right trees that are well-suited to our coastal environment. Eastern Red Cedar, Wax Myrtle, Bottlebrush, and Florida Gumbo Limbo are all excellent choices for St. Augustine gardens, offering unique characteristics and exciting visual appeal.

The key to a thriving landscape is understanding each species’ specific requirements and adhering to proper tree care and maintenance practices. By planting these resilient tree species, you can enjoy a beautiful coastal garden that contributes to the local ecosystem and flourishes in St. Augustine’s unique conditions. Investing in professional tree care services in St. Augustine can further ensure the ongoing health and beauty of your landscape, allowing your coastal garden to thrive for generations to come. Get in touch with Ancient City Arbor today!

Ancient City Arbor LLC
Ancient City Arbor LLC provides tree trimming in St. Augustine, FL. We use scientifically designed methods to ensure our customers a neat and precise result for a reasonable price tag. Call us now for appointments!

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2891 Race Track Rd
St. Augustine, FL 32084

Phone : (904) 669-8460
Email : dougbradley904@gmail.com


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