Louisiana palm trees suffer from cold weather - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Louisiana palm trees suffer from cold weather

Posted: Updated:
© MGN Online © MGN Online

HAMMOND, La. (KNOE 8 News) – Palm trees have become increasingly popular in Louisiana home landscapes recently, and this resurgence mainly can be attributed to the lack of severely cold weather over the past 30 years.

Some of us remember the winters of the early 1980s and late 1980s that resulted in considerable damage to palms around the state. More recently, the winter of 2010 damaged palms with several nights in the upper teens in south Louisiana. And now, this year's significant cold weather has done it again around the state.

With temperatures in the lower teens on several occasions in north Louisiana and even the upper and mid-teens in some locations in south Louisiana, palms have been damaged, and a good numbered have been killed.

The species of palms you have in the landscape, the locations where they are planted and their condition before cold weather set it will determine how much your palms may have been damaged. Queen, sabal, Canary Island, Sylvester, Mediterranean fan and cabbage palms, along with some other species, are showing cold damage. Even more cold-hardy palms, such as windmills, have damage. Also, you can see considerable brown foliage on sago palms, which is not a palm but a member of the cycad family.

Palms have a central growing point (bud or heart) at the top of the plant where the fronds emerge. This growing area is exposed to weather conditions. People typically wrap a palm trunk in burlap or frost-protection blanket to prevent cold damage, but this does no good. The growing point where fronds originate is the area that must be protected from cold weather.

Fronds on even some of the more cold-tolerant palms have been damaged by this winter's cold weather. So, what should you do?

If a portion of a frond is still green, leave it on the plant. Be sure to keep the fronds on the plant as long as possible. It takes palms a considerable amount of time to produce new foliage after old foliage is damaged.

We need to be extremely patient with damaged palms. Palms usually start their season's growth long after other shrubs and trees start their spring growth flushes. A sign that a palm is dead is when the spear leaf in the center of a palm canopy can be pulled out of the bud or heart. If palms do start regrowth by early summer, it is possible that the new, emerging fronds will be misshapen.

Even though they suffered some damage, one of the most cold-hardy palms you can plant in Louisiana is the windmill palm. This species can be grown across the state and is one that can be planted in more northern locations.

Windmill palms are cold-hardy to 15 to 20 degrees and can tolerate lower temperatures for short times. Windmill palms are not considered as "sexy" as some of the newer species being used, but their durability should be given high consideration when selecting landscape palms for Louisiana.

Windmill palms have average heights of 15 to 25 feet but can be as tall as 40 feet. Trunks are slender, and mats of dark brown, hair-like fibers coat the trunk on younger palms. Windmill palms like ample water but don't do well in extremely moist soils or standing water. Low, poorly drained areas will significantly slow growth of windmill palms. They have high drought tolerance and moderate salt tolerance.

If you want to replace cold-damaged palms this year, plan to plant in early summer. Ideally, palms should be planted at the hotter times of the year. Root growth on palms is different than other landscape plants. Root growth in Louisiana is best in June, July and August – times of the year when many other plants are not growing new roots. Palms also benefit from annual fertilization in early summer.

You can see more about work being done in landscape horticulture by visiting the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station website at www.lsuagcenter.com/hammond. Also, like us on Facebook by going to www.facebook.com and typing Hammond Research Station in the search box. You can find an abundance of landscape information for both home gardeners and industry professionals at both sites.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • A shortage of indigent defenders may mean problems for the court system in the future

    A shortage of indigent defenders may mean problems for the court system in the future

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:40 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:40:03 GMT
    OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News)- Everyone has a right to an attorney, if you can't afford one, one will be appointed to you.
    ?OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News)- Everyone has a right to an attorney, if you can't afford one, one will be appointed to you.
  • Teens arrested for busting windshields with water bottles on highway

    Teens arrested for busting windshields with water bottles on highway

    Friday, July 25 2014 3:19 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:19:40 GMT
    WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) -Four teens have been arrested by Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Deputies for throwing water bottles at cars on the highway.
    WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) -Four teens have been arrested by Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Deputies for throwing water bottles at cars on the highway.
  • Couple stranded in West Monroe after husband suffers a heart attack

    Couple stranded in West Monroe after husband suffers a heart attack

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:50 PM EDT2014-07-24 02:50:10 GMT
    WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - It was supposed to be a fun stop in the Twin Cities, to see the Duck Commander headquarters. But for a Kentucky couple, their visit took a dramatic turn when one of them suffered a heart-attack shortly after leaving the warehouse. Now the couple is stuck in the West Monroe and needs the community's help to get back home. 
    WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - It was supposed to be a fun stop in the Twin Cities, to see the Duck Commander headquarters. But for a Kentucky couple, their visit took a dramatic turn when one of them suffered a heart-attack shortly after leaving the warehouse. Now the couple is stuck in the West Monroe and needs the community's help to get back home. 
  • Couple claiming gunmen in house arrested, Sheriff says house was empty

    Couple claiming gunmen in house arrested, Sheriff says house was empty

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:55 PM EDT2014-07-24 22:55:14 GMT
    UNION PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News UPSO) - A Union Parish man armed with a .22-caliber rifle ran out of his house when a deputy arrived on a complaint that people with guns were located throughout the residence and yard.
    UNION PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News UPSO) - A Union Parish man armed with a .22-caliber rifle ran out of his house when a deputy arrived on a complaint that people with guns were located throughout the residence and yard.
  • Rev. Al Sharpton to visit Birmingham next week

    Rev. Al Sharpton to visit Birmingham next week

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:41 AM EDT2014-07-23 14:41:57 GMT
    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Birmingham city officials say the Rev. Al Sharpton is planning a trip to Birmingham to help open a local chapter of the organization he heads.
    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Birmingham city officials say the Rev. Al Sharpton is planning a trip to Birmingham to help open a local chapter of the organization he heads.
  • Fmr. Rayville employee pleads guilty to malfeasance

    Fmr. Rayville employee pleads guilty to malfeasance

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:22 PM EDT2014-07-25 21:22:16 GMT
    RAYVILLE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Former Rayville Public Works Director Lorenzo Brown has pleaded guilty to five counts of malfeasance in office Friday.
    RAYVILLE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Former Rayville Public Works Director Lorenzo Brown has pleaded guilty to five counts of malfeasance in office Friday.
  • Why crape myrtles aren’t flowering well

    Why crape myrtles aren’t flowering well

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:43 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:43:11 GMT
    HAMMOND, La. – (KNOE 8 News LSUAgCenter) - What’s the most popular summer-blooming tree in Louisiana? Crape myrtles. Pretty easy question. Louisianians plant many crape myrtles in their landscapes every year. The lovely, long-lasting blooms make them attractive.
    HAMMOND, La. – (KNOE 8 News LSUAgCenter) - What’s the most popular summer-blooming tree in Louisiana? Crape myrtles. Pretty easy question. Louisianians plant many crape myrtles in their landscapes every year. The lovely, long-lasting blooms make them attractive.
  • UPDATE: Missing teens found safe

    UPDATE: Missing teens found safe

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:02 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:02:53 GMT
    OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News OPSO) - Ouachita Sheriff’s Deputies are asking your help in locating two reported runaway juveniles from the Calhoun Area.
    OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News & OPSO) - The Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office reports missing teens Chyanne Taylor and William Taylor have been found and are safe. No other details were provided regarding their whereabouts or how they were located.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KNOE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.