Palm Tree for zone 5?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by drsogr, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    I have a great customer that has a knack for the unusual, and wallet to follow it. Anyway he called me up and wanted a palm tree. He had heard that there is a variety of palm tree that grows up here in zone 5. Anyone ever heard of that?
  2. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

  3. Travel'n Trees

    Travel'n Trees LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 631

    In they rent them for summer and store them for winter.
  4. paolaken

    paolaken LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 699

    it doesn't say how big a 1 year old tree is. could be 6" tall.
  5. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    this guy is the head of the cold hardy palm association. he has many links.

    the european fan is pretty hardy, so is the needlepoint.
  6. Sunscaper

    Sunscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    tell him to call me. My wife is a realtor here in Fl where there are a plethora of palms. I'll installl any palm he wants and give you a good commission.
  7. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    I noticed that too.
  8. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    Thats a great website...exactly what I am looking for.
  9. paolaken

    paolaken LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 699

    i would like to get one and try it.
  10. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    Nah, you'll never get a Sago Palm to grow in the ground in zone 5. I am in zone 6 and we've experimented with all sorts of palms and tropicals here at my house over the years. I have a nice big Sago Palm (and a big Sago is still small. They don't ever get tall). And it's not only taken me 5 years to get it to a decent size, but I also have to leave it in a pot all the time and bring it into my garage under a UV lamp all winter. If you put one in the ground, it will die after the first good frost or freeze.

    The Needle Palm (Rhapsdophyllum hystrix) would work. It's hardy to zone 2. But it's more of a shrub than a tree. It's not what most people think of when they ask for a palm.

    The main one we seem to have too success with is the Windmill Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei or Trachycarpus takil). Those are hardy to zone 4. And I've installed a whole bunch of them in zone 4 (my cousin's house in Washington) successfully as well. You do need to take some extra measures during snow storms. You should install a bunch of barkmulch around the base of the tree during winter storms. Then take the mulch back away in the spring.

    Very similar in look is the Mexican Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis). Those are also hardy to zone 4. They look and grow and you take care of them in just the same way as the Windmill Palms.

    One of those websites linked above seems to really like the Cabbage/Palmetto Palm (Sabal palmetto). And I suppose those are probably the next best thing to the two I just mentioned. It's hardy to zone 6. So having it in zone 5 would be a stretch. But there are disadvantages to this one too. First, it's hard to get established and slow growing. Second, it needs protection from winter winds. So maybe not the best choice.

    You can do all sorts of things with pots, as long as you are willing to bring them inside the garage or the house for the winter. I grow all sorts of stuff in pots that don't normally work here in Zone 6. We have some really nice big Dracaena palms (Cordyline australis) and Bauer's Red Dracaena (Cordyline baueri) and Ange's Trumpet (Brugmansia) and some others. But again, these are all in pots and have to be taken inside a warm garage or home during cold spells.

    There are other tropical-esque plants and trees you can use if a client really likes the tropical look. Things that do well in cooler zones but still look very tropical include; Japanese Aralia (Fatsia Japonica), Canna Lily, SOME varieties of hardy banana (e.g. Musa Basjoo), Eucalyptus tree, Silk Tree/Mimosa Tree (Albizia julibrissin), Some varieties of Yucca, Some varieties of Agapanthus, New Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax), Daylillies, etc.

    There are a handfull of properties around my area that have these "tropical-esque" landscapes with a mixture of the above plants and trees.

    Hope this all helps.

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