Certain Florida shrubs are plants that grow into trees when the gardeners trim and prune them the right way. Trim away any excess shoots that grow from the roots, leaving one central trunk. That way, the plant will concentrate on growing upward and tall instead of spreading out and staying short. Shrubs are one plant that the gardener has a good deal of control over.
Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) is a deciduous shrub that can be grown as a small tree. The plant will grow from about 15 to 20 feet tall and about the same in width. The palm-shaped leaves grow from 2 to 5 inches long and wide and turn scarlet, yellow or orange in the fall. Plant Japanese maple in partial to full shade and a soil that is fertile, moist and well drained. The plant is hardy in north Florida.
Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) is also known as arbutus and cane apples. The plant is an evergreen shrub that can be grown as a small tree up to 30 feet tall and the same in width. The plant produces oblong or oval, glossy-green leaves that measure 2 to 4 inches longs and small white or pink, urn-shaped flowers growing in 2-inch-long hanging clusters. The flowers give way to red fruit that takes up to a year to ripen. Plant strawberry tree in full sun or partial shade and a moist to dry soil. The plant is hardy in all of Florida except for the Florida Keys.
Mary Nell Holly
Mary Nell holly (Ilex Mary Nell) is an evergreen shrub or small tree with dark, olive-green leaves that measure 3 to 4 inches long. The plant will grow to a tree that is from 10 to 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide if it is not pruned to stay as a shrub. Holly plants are either male or female and this one is a female that produces red berries that encircle the stems from fall into winter. Plant Mary Nell holly in full sun or partial shade and a moist soil. The plant is hardy in north and central Florida.
Yellow anise (Illicium parviflorum) is also known as yellow anisetree and star anise. The plant is toxic. It is not the one the anise spice and flavoring is made from. The plant is a broadleaf evergreen that grows to be a large shrub or small tree that can grow to 20 feet tall if it is not permitted to spread out. Otherwise, it will stop at 10 to 15 feet tall. The elliptical-shaped leaves grow from 2 to 5 1/2 inches long and the green-yellow flowers are minuscule and appear in the spring. The flowers are followed by a star-shaped seed capsule about 1 inch in diameter. Plant yellow anise in full sun to full shade and a moist, well-drained soil. The plant is native to central Florida and is hardy in all of Florida except for the Florida Keys.