How to Preserve Palm Trees in the Winter


Palm trees are a tropical species and consist of many different cultivars. In the U.S., most palm tree varieties grow in the southern states, plus California and Hawaii. However, they can be grown in pots in northern climates if proper winter protection is provided. In addition, trees in southern climates require protection during unseasonably cold weather. If protection is not provided, the tree will suffer frond die-back or even death.

Things You'll Need

  • Pitch fork or shovel
  • Hay or pine straw
  • Large cardboard box
  • Burlap or blankets
  • Tape measure
  • Twine
  • Scissors

Preserve Small Palm Trees

  • Spread clean hay or pine straw around the base of the palm tree in a circular pattern, using a shovel or pitchfork. Stack the material up as high as possible in a mound until you completely cover the top of the palm tree. Leave a lot of air in the material, and do not pack it down, since the air acts as an insulator.

  • Place an upside-down cardboard box on top of the palm to provide further protection. Stuff the straw or pine straw up under the box as much as possible.

  • Leave the box and the straw on until the temperatures rise above freezing. Do not leave it on for longer than five continuous days. Leaving it longer than this period of time will cause rotting.

Preserve Large Palm Trees

  • Place a roll of burlap against the palm tree trunk as close to the ground as possible. Wrap the burlap around the trunk tightly twice and then angle it upward to begin wrapping it around the remainder of the trunk. Continue until you reach the bottom of the canopy where the fronds start.

  • Use a tape measure to wrap around the trunk and determine the circumference. Cut four to five pieces of twine that are at least twice the circumference.

  • Wrap the pieces of twine around the palm tree trunk at equally spaced intervals to secure the burlap.

Tips & Warnings

  • Instead of using burlap, you can use blankets or a specially manufactured frost blanket available at a hardware store.
  • If only mild cold is expected, decrease the straw or pine straw to 6 inches deep instead of covering the tree.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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