If you live in a state like Maine, Michigan, or Montana, you too can have a taste of the tropics if you choose the right kind of palm tree that can survive cold weather. Plant an appropriate cold hardy palm tree in a container, leave it outdoors in the summer, then overwinter it indoors. For super cold states, experiment with indoor/outdoor palms like lady palm and Chinese fan palm.
The Canary Island date palm is not a self-cleaning palm, so it will need pruning whether it's in the ground or potted. There are other self-cleaning palms that don't need pruning and instead drop their dead fronds to the ground. You'll only need to pick up the debris from your yard as the tree self-cleans.
If you have palm trees or are planning to purchase a palm tree, you may have asked yourself, can palm trees survive the snow? Palm trees are hardy plants, but many people ask us if they are cold-hardy. In this article, we will discuss whether or not palm trees can survive the snow and what is the lowest temperature a palm tree can survive.
You might be surprised to learn that palm trees can survive the snow. Depending on the type of palm tree, it can exist in snow-covered conditions for a short time or can be winterized.
While cold-hardy palm trees exist, cold climates can only be endured for a limited amount of time. Read below to learn how to ensure your palm can adequately withstand those cold and snowy winter months.
There are many cold-hardy palm trees available. Some species of palm trees even originate from cold climates such as Southern Asia. The Trachycarpus species of trees, which are fan palms, are often regarded as the most cold-hardy palm tree.
Out of this species, the most common is the Trachycarpus fortunei, also known as Windmill or Chusan Palm, and the Trachycarpus takil, also known as the Kumaon palm. The Windmill palm can grow up to 12-20 meters high. It is native to Southern Asia and grown successfully across the globe. The Kumaon palm can grow up to 10-15 meters tall and is indigenous to the Himalaya.
The Windmill Palm can tolerate the lowest temperature at 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 degrees Celsius). The Kumaon palm can handle temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit; however, exposure to extreme cold will likely result in foliage damage. Palm cannot withstand temperatures that are too low as the plants are primarily composed of water. When their trunks freeze, their cells, and possibly the entire plant, can die.
Depending on how low the temperature drops, palm trees can survive the winter outside. If you have palm trees planted outside on your property and are unable to move them inside for the winter, there are a few things you can do to ensure your palm tree survives the winter outside.
Not all palm trees are cold-hardy, some are better suited for warm climates. If you're still in the planning stages, it might serve you well to do a bit of research before you purchase your palm. By buying and planting a cold-hardy palm tree, you will save yourself, and your plant, a lot of stress.
We recommend reviewing the Arbor Day Foundations U.S. Hardiness Zone Map to determine which plants are best suited for your location, depending on your zone. For example, Zone 3 can experience a low of -30 to -40 degree Fahrenheit; therefore, it's best to grow or move a palm indoors during winter months. If you reside in zones 3 through 6, where low temperatures can range from -5 to -35, we recommend growing your palm indoors or in an area that is large enough for a temporary enclosure.
If your plant must remain outdoors during cold months, we recommend winterizing your palm tree. By winterizing your tree, you are taking steps to ensure the soil stays moist and doesn't wholly freeze and also guaranteeing the leaves remain warm.
You can wrap your palm in burlap, which will help to retain heat and keep snow and moisture out. Cedar Rim Nursery recommends wrapping your palm in heat tape, then wrapping your palm in burlap, to ensure moisture stays away from the trunk, and it remains warm.
You could utilize Christmas lights or heat lamps to ensure your palm tree is heated appropriately. By wrapping your tree in Christmas lights, the bulbs will generate heat, as long as they aren't LED lights (they will not produce heat).
An enclosure will allow your palm to stay warm and dry while protecting your tree from the harsh winter weather. If you plant your tree in a pot, you could move it to an enclosed area. A suitable space would be a shed or garage that has access to light. Click here to read our post on how to improve drainage in potted plants.
If your palm tree didn't escape the winter cold unscathed and exhibits signs of freezing, don't panic. You can treat and save your palm. As soon as you notice, your palm tree was exposed to damaging weather, thoroughly look over your tree to assess the damage. You may see that any damaged leaves may look worse over the coming weeks as the cells will slowly die.
The Cocos nucifera or as it's widely known, coconut palm tree, is not a cold-hardy palm tree. To survive, the palm requires a temperature range of 54-55 degrees Fahrenheit, and it needs as much direct sunlight as possible every day. If the coconut palm tree is exposed to winter weather such as frost, it will likely not survive.
There are many variations and species of palm trees available. We hope this article helped guide you in choosing the best one if you happen to live in a cold climate. If you have a palm tree, let us know in the comments below!
I unwrapped mine a week or so ago. Mine didn't need wrapping this year but I was gone for a while and can't take the chance. You should be ok now but always keep a lookout especially on small palms for spear rot well into the next month or 2. The last 2 winters have been unusually warm for me here according to my chart as well.
Frost and freezing temperatures damage the tissue of plants, in general weakening them and leaving them susceptible to diseases. Cold snaps, in particular, are of concern. Winterizing your palm tree to protect it from cold damage may be of paramount importance, especially depending on your region.
All of that is too much work for me. I am lazy. I use the Christmas lights and keep my fingers crossed. I am sure there are many other winter protection methods for palms. Use your imagination and be sure not to wrap the tree too far ahead of the cold and to unwrap it just as the weather warms. 781b155fdc