Some Palm Trees Can Survive Freezing Winters

May 5, 2010 at 12:13 am 6 comments

Palm trees usually symbolize warm and tropical climates. From Hollywood, we know the streets of Los Angeles and Miami are lined with beautiful palm trees. Hollywood portrays New York and Chicago as cold and windy, which they are for part of the year. But, there are real palm trees in both New York and Chicago.

New York has had palm trees in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden since the 1980s. Chicago has palms at the beach on Lake Michigan.

Although we closely associate palms trees with warm climates, there are a some palm species that can survive freezing winters.

Any variety of palm that can survive colder geographies that are not usually considered palm regions, are called “hardy palms.” Many of them are native to higher elevations in Asia and survive freezing weather with little or no damage.

The hardiest of the hardy palms is the Chusan Palm, which can been found in areas of England, Canada and Japan. It can survive winters as cold as -18 °F (-27.5 °C). There is also the Mediterranean Fan Palm, which is the only palm native to southern Europe. It’s hardy to 10.4 °F (-12 °C).

Another popular cold climate palm is the Needle Palm, it’s found in places such as New York, New England, the Ohio Valley and Midwest areas with hot summers. It will tolerate winters as cold as -9.3 °F (-23 °C).

If you’ve always dreamed of having a plam tree in your garden but thought your winters were too cold, may your dreams now come true.

Broken Secrets | By: Chad Upton

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Sources: Wikipedia, WGN, Sun Palm Trees

Photo: c. hall (cc)

Entry filed under: Around The House, Be Green. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. AnnieJ  |  May 8, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Wow, I did not know this!

    Btw, I think you meant “with little or NO damage.” ;)

    • 2. Chad Upton  |  May 8, 2010 at 9:57 am

      I know right… I lived in California during College and I was always thinking about how I could winterize a palm tree so that I could have one in a colder climate.

      Good catch, I did mean “no damage”… thank you!

  • 3. Suebe  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:37 am

    If you go to Stavanger, Norway, there is an island nearby with a garden that includes palm trees, lemon trees and other varieties that you would not expect to survive that far north. I toured it several years ago and it was spectacular.

  • 4. Freezing palm | Imagetree  |  August 4, 2012 at 3:21 am

    […] Some Palm Trees Can Survive Freezing Winters « Broken SecretsMay 5, 2010 … Although we closely associate palms trees with warm climates, there are a some palm species that can survive freezing winters. Any variety of … […]

  • 5. David  |  October 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    The palm trees in Chicago are planted for seasonal use only and die/ are removed during the cold season.

  • 6. Natural Ice Melt  |  March 7, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    During the winter months, it’s common to see shopping centers and business owners out and about clearing snow and ice from pathways, parking spaces and entrances. 


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