North Florida Native Landscaping

Landscaping can add value to your home and aesthetically please the eye, but it always seems like a daunting task. Although, there is a way to simplify the process, forego those exotic eyecatchers for more durable and native species. In this first of a three-part blog, I will be informing you of an array of North Florida tree species. These trees can withstand our everyday Florida weather with minimal upkeep while sacrificing none of the beauty.



American Hornbeam:Untitled design

Light Range: Full – Minimal Sun

Growth Rate: Slow (12″ or less per year)

Mature Height: 20-30 ft.

Mature Spread: 20-30 ft.

Drought Tolerance: Medium

Notes: Orange/yellow flowers bloom during spring. Can withstand above average to high winds. Thrives in areas that receive large amounts of moisture.



NL-Green AshGreen Ash:

Light Range: Full – Minimal Sun

Growth Rate: Fast ( 25″ or more a year)

Mature Height: 50-100 ft.

Mature Spread: 30-70 ft.

Drought Tolerance: Medium

Notes: Can tolerate wet conditions and above average winds.


Laurel or Darlington Oak:NL-Laurel Oak

Light Range: Full – Partial Sun

Growth Rate: Fast ( 25″ or more a year)

Mature Height: 60-70 ft.

Mature Spread: 35-45 ft.

Drought Tolerance: Medium

Notes: Short-lived and will decay easily if main branches are removed. Can withstand average winds and does not do well in low drainage areas.

NL-Live OakLive Oak:

Light Range: Full – Partial Sun

Growth Rate: Medium ( 13″ t0 24″ per year)

Mature Height: 40-80 ft.

Mature Spread: 60-120 ft.

Drought Tolerance: High

Notes: Can resist high winds. Large root system and spread mean this tree should be avoided for small lots.

Shumard Oak:NL-Shumard Oak

Light Range: Full Sun

Growth Rate: Fast ( 25″ or more a year)

Mature Height: 55-80 ft.

Mature Spread: 40-50 ft.

Drought Tolerance: High

Notes: Can withstand above average to high winds. Being a red oak it will turn this beautiful color beginning in the fall.



Untitled design (2)Sweet Bay Magnolia:

Light Range: Full – Partial Sun

Growth Rate: Medium ( 13″ to 24″ per year)

Mature Height: 40-60 ft.

Mature Spread: 20-50 ft.

Drought Tolerance: None

Notes: Above average to high wind resistance. Plant this tree to attract Swallowtail butterflies in your area.


Sweetgum: NL-Sweetgum

Light Range: Full – Partial Sun

Growth Rate: Medium ( 13″ to 24″ per year)

Mature Height: 40-100 ft.

Mature Spread: 40-60 ft.

Drought Tolerance: High

Notes: Above average to high wind resistance. During the fall this tree leaves can turn to an array of colors (bright red, purple, yellow and orange). This tree does bear fruit called “Sweetgum balls” some owners find the sheer amount that falls to the ground to be a nuisance.

NL-Winged ElmWinged Elm:

Light Range: Full – Partial Sun

Growth Rate: Fast ( 25″ or more a year)

Mature Height: 45-70 ft.

Mature Spread: 30-40 ft.

Drought Tolerance: High

Notes: Can tolerate above average to high winds. Be on the lookout for signs of Dutch Elm Disease, if deciding to plant this species.


Live Local, Love Local: Fall






Live Local Heading ex.

Fall is in the air for North Central Florida. Football is in full swing, fire pits are filled with wood and pumpkin spice is everywhere you turn. Luckily, for residents in Columbia and her surrounding counties, there is an array of options to keep you and your family busy. This seasonal article will depict just a few of the services and scenes North Central Florida has to offer.

The Landing
The Landing Fall LL

The Landing is a locally owned and operated buffet-style eatery located on Highway 90 about 3 miles before Florida Gateway College. Serving southern-style cooking that would make your mama jealous they are open not only for lunch but breakfast as well. The atmosphere of the restaurant tends to mimic that of your own family table. So, next time your stomach is rumbling stop by for a plate of crispy fried chicken or biscuits smothered in sausage gravy.

The Suwannee Roots Revival
Suwannee RR

Looking for fun in a family-friendly environment? Well, the Suwannee Roots Revival has exactly what you’ve been searching for. This 4-day (Oct. 12th-15th) Folk/Americana festival is held at the “Spirit of the Suwannee” music park. Kids under 12 are admitted free and single day passes can range from 50-85 dollars. Camping is included in the purchase price of 2 and 4 day passes. This years line-up is available at but just a few of the artist include Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, the Woods Brothers, and Mother’s Finest.

406 on DuvalThe 406 - Fall LL

This modest vintage architecture doubles as one of the highest quality experiences available in Live Oak. The 406 is an American-style fine dining restaurant, boasting fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico and hand cut steaks at reasonable prices. Spectacular customer service really encompasses the idea that you are more than a customer; you’re a guest.  If you’re looking for a perfect place for a first date or trying to up for that special occasion, look no further than the 406.

Suwannee Hulaween

Suwannee Hula

Mark your calendar for Oct. 27th-29th Hulaween is back for its 5th annual EDM/Jam/Indie/Hip-Hop festival located at the “Spirit of the Suwannee” music park. Hosted as always by String Cheese Incident, and set to surpass last years attendance of 25,000. With no restrictions on how you’re allowed to camp, you can live it up in an RV or rough it with your tent. Tickets for the entire weekend are currently at 259.00 dollars. With Hulaween’s expansive and star-studded lineup (, it would be worth every penny to any die-hard fan of the included genres.

Marion Street
Marion Street deli - Fall LL

This unique gastropub has done an outstanding job of integrating the classic feel of Lake City’s historic downtown with a crisp, modern look. The menu includes favorable classics as well as some delicious yet diverse choices. Also, Wednesday night is open mic night, so rest up your vocals and give it a try. Thursday – Saturday they provide a platform for local musicians of all genres to perform. With a great selection of higher quality spirits and a myriad of craft beers, there is no place better to relax with a cold one.

Hurricane Irma’s Impact on Local Real Estate Market

Real Estate Hurricane Impact






Prior to the arrival of Hurricane Irma, the North Central Florida real estate market was on a consistent rise. After Hurricane Irma?… surprisingly our North Florida market is still on the rise. While no one wishes to benefit from another’s misfortune, there might not be a better opportunity to be a buyer/seller in North Central Florida. This boom has brought about an influx of South and Central Floridians who previously were not looking to relocate, now preparing to head north. So, while fellow Florida markets are taking a hit ours is remaining as sturdy and strong as the oak trees that surround us.

Shaking up more than our shores…

Not quite all is well again in our local housing market despite its resilience. These are two factors you should keep in mind if you are planning to buy or sell.

  1. Any pending transactions that were not closed before the arrival of Irma now have to be re-assessed by an appraiser. This is to insure that the appraised property did not receive any storm damage that would have impacted the value. This has overloaded the appraisers and caused a delay in the appraisal process.
  1. A Presidential Edict has stated that any foreclosure properties located in a disaster area can now not be auctioned off and sold until December 12, 2017. This is to allow FEMA to assess these properties for damages as well. Most judges are signing motions to cancel these sales based on these reasons.

Real Estate Flood Impact















A good lesson that can be learned from Irma is that it is always important to ask your agent to check elevation and flood zones on any properties that you are interested in buying. This information also lets you know if you will be required to purchase flood insurance in addition to your homeowner’s policy. Even though storms like Irma don’t happen often, it is important to know if your property is at risk of flooding when they do.


Home staging is a great way to maximize the value of your home. The methods of staging range from using the furniture you already have to having a fully designer decorated home. Not only does it increase the amount you can sell your home for, but it decreases the length of time homes are on the market. For more information on staging visit


Ever Wonder What Your Home Is Currently Worth

Have you ever thought of selling your home, but were afraid you would not get what you needed from it in this market? Visit our Home Valuation page to request a free market analysis of your home. This analysis will determine what your home is worth based on sales from the last 6 months of sales of comparable properties in your area. Using this method we are able to come up with a more accurate price range for you.

We would also be happy to show you what current closing costs would be if you sold, and finally, what you would walk away from the closing table with. That way there are no surprises! Let us provide this free service to you.