First, the faster growing trees often have the weakest limb attachments which is the reason so many people choose live oaks. I am going to provide you with a list of trees for this area which start with the highest wind resistance going down to lowest. I would choose those in the high to medium category and totally avoid the low resistance.
I would not recommend a water or laurel oak as replacements. It is also significant to provide sufficient root areas for these trees – some prefer as much as 200 square feet of root space (live oaks). Often, we make the mistake of not providing tree roots enough non-competing room.
In addition, just a few more best management practices:
- It is a poor practice to plant lawn grass on top of tree roots, keep grass as far away from trees as possible. A significant number of uprooted trees during Matthew and Irma, (aside from those in a tornado) had grass planted up to the trunk.
- Never allow mulch to touch the trunk of any tree or shrub.
- Keep woody ornamental plants a significant distance from the trunk, consider the mature width of the shrub and tree.
- The older the tree the less it likes areas around the roots to be disturbed.
- Over pruning to “raise the canopy” for lawn grass (really?!), topping, lion’s tailing, leaving stubs after pruning are all terrible practices. These practices make the tree susceptible to limb breakage.
Highest wind resistance for North Florida:
Carya floridana, Florida scrub hickory; Conocarpus erectus, buttonwood; Ilex cassine, dahoon holly; Lagerstroemia indica, crape myrtle; Magnolia grandiflora, southern magnolia; Podocarpus spp, podocarpus; Quercus virginiana, live oak; Quercus geminata, sand live oak; Taxodium ascendens, pondcypress; Taxodium distichum, baldcypress; Butia capitata, pindo or jelly; Livistona chinensis, Chinese fan; Phoenix canariensis, Canary Island date; Phoenix dactylifera, date; and Sabal palmetto, cabbage, sabal.
Medium to high:
Acer palmatum, Japanese maple; Betula nigra, river birch; Carpinus caroliniana, ironwood; Carya glabra, pignut hickory; Carya tomentosa, mockemut hickory; Cercis canadensis, red bud; Chionanthus virginicus, fringe tree; Diospyros virginiana, common persimmon; Fraxinus americana, white ash; Liquidambar styraciflua, sweetgum; Magnolia virginiana, sweetbay magnolia; Magnolia x soulangiana, saucer magnolia; Ostrya virginiana, American hophombeam; Prunus angustifolia, chickasaw plum; Quercus michauxii, swamp chestnut; Quercus shumardii, Shumard oak; Quercus stellata, post oak; Ulmus alata, winged elm.