Many palm trees may have survived freezing weather

Richard Bogren, Gill, Daniel J.

News Release Distributed 03/03/10

After extended periods of low temperatures this year, many Louisianians are concerned freezes may have killed the palm trees in their landscapes. But they’ll have to wait a while to know for sure, according to an LSU AgCenter horticulturist.

Homeowners are seeing brown fronds on palms that usually stay green throughout the winter, and they’re concerned their trees may be dead or dying.

“People are correct to attribute the brown fronds to cold weather,” said LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill. “What they are seeing is freeze damage.”

At this point, Gill said, the damage is done, and there is nothing people can do that will change that.

If the palms survived the freezes – and in the areas south of I-10 and I-12, most have survived – they will send out new growth sometime this summer, he said.

“Palms can be slow to recover, so we give them as long as July or even August to send up new growth,” Gill said. “If a new frond has not been produced by then, the trees can be considered dead and removed.”

In the meantime, Gill said, homeowners should feel free to trim off dead or damaged fronds anytime from now through April.

“I’m most concerned about the queen palm wherever it went below 20 degrees,” he said. “The other palms look like they made it here in Baton Rouge, and I imagine they survived in Lafayette and other southern areas as well.”

Rick Bogren

1/4/2011 1:07:20 AM
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