Venice Florida Mast Trees
You may have heard about the rising popularity of Mast Trees around Venice, Florida, and you are probably wondering what they are, where they came from, and why they are suddenly so desirable. Let Palmco help answer those questions for you!
Palmco serves all of Florida and the contiguous U.S. from our 600-acre nursery located in Bokeelia on Pine Island, Florida. We offer a wide selection of FF-grade palms, top-quality clumping bamboos, and spectacular ornamental plants.
We assist landscape contractors, architects, and developers with everything they need to beautify resorts, golf courses, commercial properties, residential estates, and more, by providing large palms and specimen trees throughout the country and worldwide.
Mast Tree 101
Mast trees, or False Ashokas, are relatively new to Florida. They are part of the same family as the ylang-ylang tree. Historically, they were used for their straight trunks to build the masts on sailing ships, which gave them their name.
In the past, Italian Cypress trees were the go-to trees for designs that required a straight tree with drooping foliage. However, Florida humidity can cause the temperamental Italian Cypress to suffer with root rot, spider mites, fungus, and cypress canker disease.
The Mast Tree (Polyalthia longifolia) on the other hand, is native to India and Sri Lanka. The tree’s lush foliage ranges from coppery brown when new, to light lime green, to a glossy dark green as the trees age. Leaves remain on the tree in all seasons, almost completely covering the trunk, and the natural color contrast makes a spectacular show when the trees are planted in groups.
Once a year, in the spring, the tree blooms with fragrant star-like pale green flowers that typically last for two to three weeks. This is followed by clusters of fruit that start out green but ripen to purple or black. The False Ashoka is known for attracting butterflies and birds.
Tall, narrow Mast Trees can be used as hedges, privacy screens, noise screens, windbreaks, to line driveways, avenues and walkways, or as architectural accents to frame entryways, soften building corners and vertical edges, and cover vertical drain-pipes. They are also suitable for narrow spaces because they grow quite tall but stay slender.
You will find that these trees are best suited for warmer zones, like USDA Zone 10B and the warmer locales in the 10A areas. They are indeed evergreens and certainly prefer the sun but can grow in partial shade as well.
Mast Trees have very little leaf drop, no pest issues of note, and require little to no maintenance. They prefer well-drained rich clay, loam, or sandy soil, and are drought-tolerant and moderately salt tolerant when mature.
If you are considering Mast Trees for your next client installation, we suggest you contact the experts at Palmco to ensure that they are well suited for your area and what you need to do so that they grow successfully there.
If you’re interested in planting Mast Trees in Venice, Florida, you can count on the experts at Palmco for advice. Give us a call at 239.283.1329 so that we can answer all your remaining questions or help you place an order!