The Best Trees to Plant in Tropical Zone 10

Beyond Palm Trees

Zone 10 is one of the warmest zones found in the United States. The plants that have adapted grow in this area offer many colorful choices that will brighten your garden. Since frost only rarely appears in this zone, many of these trees flower and fruit throughout the year.

  • 01 of 10

    Aleppo Pine ( Pinus halepensis)

    Aleppo Pine


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    One use for this pine species is as a living Christmas tree. Since the ground usually does not freeze much, you do not have to dig a hole ahead of time. Once the season is over, simply plant outside and water well to help the roots become established. In its early years, you could also choose to keep it in the container to use the following Christmas as long as you remember to keep it watered regularly.

    • Botanical Name: Pinus halepensis
    • Family: Pinaceae
    • Other Common Names: Jerusalem pine
    • Native Area: Mediterranean area
    • USDA Zones: 8 to 10
    • Height: 30 to 80 feet tall
    • Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil: Sandy and loamy soil that needn't be very rich
  • 02 of 10

    Banana Tree (Musa spp)

    banana Tree By Plants On Field
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    Even though it is not a tree (it is a herb), most people consider the banana to be one. It is one of the most familiar tropical plants, and since there are varieties as small as 1 foot tall, they can be included in most gardens. In addition to the standard sweet banana like you see in the grocery store, you could try growing plantains, which are starchier and usually fried when cooked or finger bananas, which are about the size of an adult thumb and are sweeter than the regular banana.

    • Botanical Name: Musa spp.
    • Family: Musaceae
    • Other Common Names: Plantain
    • USDA Zones: 9 to 10. There are also cold hardy banana trees available for sale.
    • Height: Depends on the variety chosen
    • Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil: Fertile, moist soil
  • 03 of 10

    Common Fig (Ficus carica)

    Child picking figs with grandfather


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    This is the common fig that we use in cooking. The fruit is produced through a mutualistic relationship where they are pollinated by wasps.

    • Botanical Name: Ficus carica
    • Family: Moraceae
    • Other Common Names: Fig, edible fig, fico, figue, higo, feige
    • Native Area: Western Asia
    • USDA Zones: 8 to 10, though some varieties can handle cooler zones
    • Height: 10 to 50 feet tall
    • Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil: Well-drained clay or loam
  • 04 of 10

    Canary Island Pine (Pinus canariensis)

    Canary pine tree


    Ana Maria Serrano / Getty Images

    The Canary Island pine features needles that are quite long and hang down towards the ground. It also has 6-inch long cones and red bark.

    • Botanical Name: Pinus canariensis
    • Family: Pinaceae
    • Other Common Names: Pino canario
    • Native Area: Canary Islands off the coast of Spain
    • USDA Zones: 9 to 11
    • Height: 50 to 80 feet tall
    • Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil: Acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained and clay soils
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Italian Stone Pine (Pinus pinea)

    Umbrella pine


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    This species is available in containers for use as a living Christmas tree. It is the tree that provides the pignoli (or pine) nuts used in Italian cooking.

    • Botanical Name: Pinus pinea
    • Family: Pinaceae
    • Other Common Names: Parasol pine, stone pine, umbrella pine
    • Native Area: Southern Europe, Turkey, and Lebanon
    • USDA Zones: 8 to 10
    • Height: 30 to 60 feet tall
    • Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil:  clay, loam, or sand; slightly alkaline; well-drained
  • 06 of 10

    Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia)

    Svetlana Zhukova / Getty Images

    The Jacaranda is a great tropical tree. It is commonly used as street trees, and the purple blossoms really stand out when in bloom. It can be a bit messy once the flowers fall, so you may not want to use them around a pool or anywhere else that you would like to avoid cleaning up often.

    • Botanical Name: Jacaranda mimosifolia
    • Family: Bignoniaceae
    • Other Common Names: Brazilian rose tree, fern tree, blue trumpet tree, blue jacaranda, black poui
    • Native Area: South America
    • USDA Zones: 9 to 11
    • Height: 5 to 50 feet tall
    • Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil: Sandy with good drainage
  • 07 of 10

    Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana)

    Palm tree lined street


    Natalia Macheda / 500px / Getty Images

    One of the most familiar palm trees in the tropical areas of the United States is the queen palm. It is often seen used to line streets and decorate commercial landscapes.

    • Botanical Name: Syagrus romanzoffiana
    • Family: Arecaceae
    • Other Common Names: Cocos plumosa, jeriva, Cocos palm
    • Native Area: South America
    • USDA Zones: 9 to 11
    • Height: 60 feet tall
    • Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil: Enriched sandy soil
  • 08 of 10

    Weeping Bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis)

    Weeping bottlebrush


    Dynamoland / Getty Images

    The weeping bottlebrush can be used as a specimen in your garden since it has both vibrant red flowers and a weeping habit. The common name of bottlebrush does accurately describe the appearance of the blossoms, which are made up of red stamens.

    • Botanical Name: Callistemon viminalis
    • Family: Myrtaceae
    • Native Area: Australia
    • USDA Zones: 9 to 11
    • Height: 15 to 20 feet tall
    • Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil: Moist, well-drained soil
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Windmill Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei)

    Chinese windmill palm


    pichaitun / Getty Images 

    The windmill palm is one type of palm tree that can tolerate part shade to full shade. It features fan-shaped fronds.

    • Botanical Name: Trachycarpus fortunei
    • Family: Arecaceae
    • Other Common Names: Chusan palm, hemp palm, Chinese windmill palm, Nepalese fan palm
    • Native Area: Burma, China, and India
    • Height: 10 to 40 feet tall
    • Exposure: Full sun to full shade
    • Soil: Well-drained fertile soil
  • 10 of 10

    Citrus Trees

    Orange orchard at sunset
    Flavia Morlachetti / Getty Images

    There are quite a few citrus trees (and shrubs) that are able to grow in a zone 10 garden. The height will vary depending on which species you choose. You can save space or simply have a novelty tree by grafting branches from several different types onto one rootstock. You can select the type of citrus you'd like to grow based on the plant's size, needs, and hardiness—and, of course, the type of fruit you prefer on you breakfast table.