Mast Trees Polk County, Florida
Mast Trees are becoming a prime choice of knowledgeable Polk County, Florida landscape designers who plant the tall, columnar, evergreen trees as a tropical substitute for the Italian Cypress.
About the Mast Tree
The Mast Tree, or Polyalthia longifolia “Pendula” originated in the lowland rainforests of India and Sri Lanka and is also called the False Ashoka, Buddha Tree, Weeping Mast Tree and Indian Fir Tree.
It belongs to the Annonaceae family, one of the largest families of flowering tropical plants and trees. Its more well-known relatives include the Custard Apple or Wild Sweetsop (Annona reticulata), Soursop (Annona muricata), Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata), and Cherimoya (Annona cherimola).
The attention-getting Mast Tree is fairly new to Florida grower production. It’s covered from top to bottom with dense wavy-edged leaves that start out a coppery brown color, turn a light lime green as they age, and eventually become a shiny dark green.
Leaves remain on the tree in all seasons, almost completely covering the trunk and the natural color contrast of the leaves creates an eye-catching focal point.
Once a year in the spring, Mast Trees bloom with fragrant star-like pale green flowers that last for two to three weeks and attract bees, birds and butterflies. The flowers are followed by clusters of inedible fruit that start out green but ripen to purple or black.
One of the tree’s best attributes is its ability to form a solid wall of green while using just a small amount of ground space.
The trees can grow to 30 to 45 feet tall by 4 to 5 feet wide at maturity and provide an excellent vertical accent in any landscape.
Mast Trees have become popular with landscape architects and designers for framing entryways, covering vertical drain-pipes, softening corners and vertical edges, and as elegant property dividers. They are also ideal for: