As most people know, each state in the United States has a designated official state tree. Do you know the official Florida state tree? Living in Tampa Bay, you’ve seen the official Florida state tree often while driving around the area. Of course, the state tree has to be a palm tree in this warm and sunny tropical paradise.
Florida’s official state tree is the sabal palm or sabal palmetto. It is also the most widely distributed palm in Florida. Some other names for the sabal palm are sabal palmetto, palmetto, cabbage palmetto, blue palmetto, common palmetto, swamp cabbage, and millionaire’s cabbage. There are 15 species of the palmetto palm.
It is native to the southern United States, as well as Cuba, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahamas. This tree grows up to 60 feet tall and has long spreading leaves to 9 feet. It has yellow-white flowers on its branched clusters and is fragrant. It produces fruit 1/4″ wide. The ends of the fan fronds are folded in half vertically. It is considered an evergreen and produces fruits in summer to fall. The best environment is brackish marshes, seacoast, woodlands or hammocks, and sandy soils near the coast and inland.
The Florida state legislature determined that the sabal palmetto (or cabbage palm) be the Florida state tree in 1953. Then in 1970, the sabal palm replaced the cocoa palm on Florida’s state seal.
The benefits of a Sabal palm are:
Did you know that the state tree of Florida isn’t really a tree at all? It is a palm. A palm does not have true wood. If you were to cut a palm down, instead of growth rings that you typically see, you would see a bundle of ropelike tubes. A palm’s “trunk” does not have bark like trees. Instead, a palm has a mass of spongy, hardened material that expands as the palm grows taller.
Some people eat it as fruit. The fruit comes as dark amber honey made from the palm’s sweet edible flowers. It’s esteemed and pricey. Next is the bittersweet thin fruit coating on the seeds, which are about the size of a pea. The layer of fruit is extremely thin, a skin really, but it does have a prune-like flavor.
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Let us help you with your trees. Contact Warner Tree Service to consult with Rick Warner, who is an ISA Certified Arborist since 2008.
Warner Tree Service is a family-owned and operated business in Palm Harbor, Florida, since 2007 with an ISA Certified Arborist. We are fully licensed and insured. The services offered with a 100% satisfaction guarantee are tree trimming, pruning and shaping, hedge trimming and shaping, tree removal, crane service, stump grinding, canopy elevation, tree examination, and more. Call us at 727-946-7098 or email email@example.com to get a free written estimate in Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs, Safety Harbor, Clearwater, New Port Richey, Oldsmar, Belleair, and Largo.