Cold Hardy Palm Trees For Landscapes In Southern States Zones 8 11
By Pat Malcolm
In Southern States, the Northern type palm trees that withstand cold temperatures of -20* F will also thrive in the South. The Northern type palm trees, such as Windmill Palm trees, Trachycarpus fortunei, Needle Palm trees, Rhapidophyllum hystrix, Dwarf palmetto palm tree, Sabal minor, and Dwarf Saw Palmetto palm trees, Serenoa repens, are discussed in another article by the same author called ‘Cold Hardy Palm Trees for Landscape Design and Planting in the United States.’ Other palm trees that are abundantly planted and grown in the Southern States are the Washingtonia (Washington) Fan Palm Tree, Washingtonia robusa, the Pindo (Jelly) Palm Tree, Butia capitata ‘Pindo,’ the Sago Palm Tree, Cycas revoluta, the Chinese Fan Palm Tree, Livistonia chinensis, and the European Fan Palm Tree (Mediterranean Fan Palm Tree), Chamaerops humilis. This latter list of Southern States, adapted palm trees can be found planted and growing extensively throughout the South, principally because their growth rate is faster than the Northern States’ list of cold hardy palm trees, and the cost is considerably less for large established specimens that offer a fast fix for the tropical look.
Washingtonia (Washington) Fan Palm, Washingtonia robusta, also known as the Mexican Fan Palm Tree, the Washingtonia (Washington) Fan Palm tree has been planted to grow in landscapes throughout the Southern United States. The Washingtonia Fan palm tree is a favorite tree for planting near motels, because it grows fast. Washington Fan palm trees also are lined along interstate highways and at metropolitan boulevard parks. The imposing height of this palm tree can grow 100 feet tall in Mexico where it is native. The Washingtonia (Washington) Fan Palm tree is the fastest growing of the cold hardy palm trees in America. TyTy Nursery offers various sizes of Washingtonia palm trees for the gardener to buy.
Pindo (Jelly) Palm Tree – Butia capitata ‘Pindo’
The distinctive look of the Pindo palm tree, Butia capitata ‘Pindo’ is unforgettable. Pindo palm trees are tolerant of salt water spray and can be found growing up and down coastal areas from Virginia to South Florida, Zones 8-10. The leaf color of the Pindo palm tree is blue-green, growing up to 6 ft. long, but the actual palm tree rarely grows taller than fifteen feet tall. The large orange fruit is tasty and in the South is used to make jelly, tasting like banana-pineapple. The Pindo palm tree survived the severe zero degree temperatures in the historical 1983 deep freeze in the South.
Sago Palm Tree – Cycas revoluta
In Sicily, Italy, Sago palm trees grow to fifteen feet tall, but only after decades of growth. This palm tree, known as the Sago palm and is perhaps the most widely marketed palm tree, because of its easy maintenance requirements and livability. The Sago palm is commonly used as a container tree at restaurants and cafes. Sago palm trees are moderately cold hardy and this palm survived the zero temperatures in the winter of 1983. The Sago palm tree is a popular container palm tree to be placed in pairs at door entrances, Zones 8-11.
Chinese Fan Palm Tree – Livistonia chinensis
Even though the growth rate of the Chinese Fan palm tree is slow it can grow 25 ft. tall. The huge leaves are beautiful and arch upwards on the Chinese Fan Palm tree. The Chinese Fan palm tree is widely grown and adaptable in Zones 9-11. The Chinese Fan Palm tree, Livistonia chinensis, is commonly planted and grown as a landscape specimen.
European Fan Palm Tree (Mediterranean Fan Palm Tree) – Chamaerops humilis
A native palm tree to the Mediterranean region, the European Fan Palm, Chamaerops humilis can be seen growing extensively in Europe growing as clumps of outside specimen trees or potted in large containers useful as decorative trees outside restaurants and cafes at such cities as Paris, Rome and Athens. When stripped of offset palms the European Fan palm forms a very graceful plant solitary in landscapes, looking similar to the Windmill Palm tree, Trachycarpus fortunei, both with tall slender trunks and small fan shaped leaves. European Fan palm tree clumps are extensively used at the Cloister Hotel at Sea Island, GA as specimen clusters in the landscape design. They are cold hardy in Zones 8-11.
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