Did you awaken to see freeze damaged palm trees in your yard? Palms snowed in overnight - without warning!
Don't panic, because help is at hand! We'll uncover hidden & visible effects of freeze damage on palms. And provide you with tips on what to do.
Reviving freeze damaged palm trees can be a daunting task. But now you'll be armed with some good & helpful knowledge to assist your palms. In getting through this distress.
We live in the Arizona desert - well known for heat. But we have our own sorts of seasons. In the winter there are times, especially overnight, that temps get scary low! We've learned a few things about the effects of cold weather on palms So let's dive in and discover these secrets!
People are tickled to see pictures of Palm Trees in the Snow. Some species can endure that. But always remember palms truly are tropical trees. They really don't like frosty weather!
Freeze damage in palm trees shows itself in various ways. Immediate, obvious signs are browning and/or discoloration of the leaves. Some signs aren't immediate or they're subtle.
In severe cases, the trunk is attacked, which may or may not be noticed. But eventually the palm fronds wilt. Down the road, the palm can even die.
From proper pruning actions to nourishing to providing adequate insulation, we've got you covered!
Assessing & determining freeze damage in palm trees is something you'd want to do when the temps suddenly drop. That helps to figure out the action to take.
Is There Hope for this poor Mexican Fan Palm? Keep reading on & you'll discover how to determine that.
With lengthy temperature drop, the trunk may also show effects.
These dangers can allow fungal or bacterial attack. If that happens, organisms get inside the stem, rotting the fluid transport system. Or attack lignum. Eventually leads to leaf wilt, then lastly: death.
EXTREME COLD DIFFERENCES
There's a difference in how your palm reacts to Frost, Versus Hard Freezes.
Palm frond "frosting" happens when lower temps come in on still nights with clear skies. Leaves can easily lose heat. Temps on fronds lower to around 32oF/0oC. Even if air temperature is a bit higher.
Hard freezes are when temps dip below 32oF/0oC, with windy conditions. Subjecting palms to surface temps dipping <32/0. Breezes cool the entire plant, but not all Palm Parts will suffer the same.
With freeze damaged palm trees, assess areas. Cold frost or freezing temperatures can bring similar noticeable symptoms. But dependent on Palm Species, freeze damaged palm trees are effected at varying temps.
Images Credit: Pam S of Tucson AZ
MOST FREEZE ENDANGED PALM PARTS
The base of the newly sprouting palm leaf is vulnerable to cold. Below freezing temps can kill that area.
WATCH HIM EASILY PULLING OUT A SPEAR...
Palm flowers cannot take freezes. Same for when they've produced fruits. These are the most sensitive areas. Experiments show roots (especially tips), flowers & a new frond spear's sheath are most sensitive.
Roots are also not very hardy to extreme cold. Neither are seedlings.
LEAST FREEZE ENDANGERED PALM PARTS
The younger the frond, the more hardy to freezing temps. Older fronds will suffer freeze damage most easily.
ASK THIS QUESTION
Are you worried about the freeze damaged palm trees in your care? So much so, that you're still not sure about the situation.
Should you consult with a professional certified arborist or horticulturist? Those familiar with palms can help accurately diagnose the extent of the freeze damage. They'll present a treatment plan for you to consider.
Once freeze damage has been identified, there are several techniques to treat and repair the affected palm trees. Please do this soon after freezing/frosting has ceased.
With frost injury to your palm, you'll note damage to older fronds. They're lower in the palm's crown. While younger leaves near the top, seem okay.
These damaged leaves shouldn't be immediately removed, as long as normal areas exist. Their surface still protects the palm heart from searing winds & exposure. It gives the palm insulation. Leave them as long as possible, through colder weather.
Even leaves appearing fully necrotic/dead because they're totally discolored should probably be left. At least until the danger of frost is gone. They'll still provide bud protective insulation.
If the newly sprouting spear pulled out easily for you, the sheath was damaged. Now...
FOR HEALTHY FRONDS
Examine the entire crown. Hopefully there are still fully or mostly healthy older leaves. It's time to get them enrolled in helping the entire palm.
STILL AT A LOSS?
We're providing advice using our own knowledge, along with palm experts input. But we're not doing one-on-one with you and your palm!
So we'd advise using professional services for help. With treatment of freeze damaged palm trees. Be sure they're a certified arborist or horticulturist. Particularly with palm experience.
These experts have the knowledge & experience to assess the extent of the damage. They'll develop a tailored palm treatment plan to restore tropics-like health & beauty.
Tropical palms can be damaged when temps are above freezing. Sometimes even up to 50oF/10oC. What's important to note is: Has the palm gotten gradual cold acclimation? Or was there a drastic drop in temperature overnight? That's when your palm is more in danger.
Just like people get accustomed to normal climactic changes where we live - Palms do the same. We'll be more chilled in colder climates than we're used to. Much moreso than people who live there all the time.
The same way with palms, who will suffer with a sudden, large drop into colder degrees.
LATER EFFECTS TO FREEZE DAMAGED PALM TREES
The effects of freeze damage on palm tree health go beyond initially visible signs. When a palm tree is exposed to freezing temperatures, its immunity is weakened. Making it more susceptible to Palm Problems.
Back to Normal?
When new leaves resume normally growing - they may not look normal! While developing during freezes they lacked resources to fully form. They'll often have cropped leaf blades. Sometimes with necrotic areas.
Happily, with time, growing frond spears will be normal again.
When a hard freeze strikes, are you prepared to shelter your palm? Certain Types of Palms need protection.
Know the temperature toleration for your Species of Palm Tree. Continue watching your weather forecasts during cold winters.
FIRST: PLAN AHEAD WHEN PURCHASING
As the saying goes, "Prevention is Better Than Cure." Also the principle of planting the right palm in the right place. Thinking ahead when you first plan to Purchase Your Palm is a good method. Your tips for palm injury prevention planning:
SECOND: PREPARE PALMS FOR A FREEZE
Weather forecast calling for major dip in temps? Be prepared to help your palm tree at frosty times. By preventing frost/freeze damage. Tips for that:
THESE ARE ACCEPTABLE
Freeze damage can have significant effects on the health and beauty of palm trees.
From browning leaves to weakened immunity, to eventual stunted growth. The impact can be far-reaching.
Regular maintenance & proper care help make strong palms that resist cold temperature dips. Preventive measures, such as choosing cold-hardy species & getting them cold insulation are important. All keys to preserving beauty & health of palms in freezing
We hope we've armed you with helpful knowledge & tips. To protect your palm trees from freeze damage. And effectively assess & treat your freeze damaged palm trees.
Have you considered needing professional services for treating & restoring freeze-damaged palm trees? When in doubt, don't hesitate to consult with pros.
Remember, with the right care & proactive attention, you'll be good to go. Your palms can thrive & bring tropical beauty to surprisingly chilly climates. So take action and give your freeze-damaged palm trees the treatment they deserve!