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At Texas Tree Surgeons, we love trees and we love our community. While we don’t want to sound negative or cause unnecessary concern, the recent freezing weather has likely damaged most palm trees in North Texas beyond hope of survival. 
  • If your palm fronds are totally brown and drooping, with no green visible, the palm is almost certainly dead and needs to be removed quickly before decay causes it to become a falling hazard. 
  • If your palm still has some green fronds, it may be salvageable, but will require long-term fertilization and care. Fronds that are already brown will, unfortunately, not recover, but new fronds can grow to replace them over time.

Contact us today to have an ISA Certified Arborist evaluate your palms.

Palms with completely brown or drooping fronds are most likely dead and need to be removed.

Palms that were sheltered by buildings may not have been completely frozen and could be salvageable.

Can Palm Trees Survive Being Frozen?

  • Unfortunately, once the center, or “heart,” of a palm tree has been frozen, nothing can be done to salvage it.
    • Unlike most trees, palms are not able to easily handle disease and damage or repair wounds.
  • If a freeze is only partial, some palm material may survive and be able to grow, but the damaged areas will never recover.
    • Brown, drooping fronds can be removed or left to fall on their own.
    • If a palm survives, new fronds will grow, but it will take time for them to grow to the size of the mature fronds.
  • If all of the fronds on a palm are brown, yellow, drooping, or fallen, the palm is not salvageable.

What Should I Do If My Palm Is Dead?

  • When dealing with frost-damaged palm trees, it is best to act quickly.
    • As the weather warms up, the dead tissue can quickly decay, causing structural instability.
    • If a palm has begun to lean from the middle of the trunk, or the top is bent, the decay has already started.
  • Removing dead palms quickly is essential to preventing damage that could be caused when they fall.
    • As a palm rots from the inside, it can become impossible to safely remove it.

Fluid leaking from areas of the main palm trunk is a sure sign of internal decay necessitating swift removal.

Do Any Palm Trees Grow Well in North Texas?

  • Palm “trees” (they are actually more closely-related to grass than trees) are not adapted to cold weather. 
    • Areas where palms are native have mild winters and few, if any, freezes.
  • When palms are imported to other environments, like North Texas, they rarely thrive.
    • There are some varieties of palms that are more cold-hardy, but even those types of palm trees will suffer great losses after a hard freeze.
    • The soil type over much of DFW is not suitable for most palms.
      • To keep palms healthy, regular fertilization with specially-formulated palm food is essential.
    • Even when the environment is adapted to properly-nourish palms, the weather patterns are not palm-friendly.
      • While the summer heat in North Texas is no great threat to palms, problems arise during the colder, wetter periods.
      • Many palms can weather shorter periods of freezing temperatures, long, hard freezes, like we had in February 2021, can devastate palms large and small.
At Texas Tree Surgeons, we love trees and we love our community! Plants and trees all over North Texas were damaged in the recent freeze, and we hope to save as many as we can. Unfortunately for many, their palms will have to be removed because of the extent of the frost damage. Contact us today to have one of our ISA Certified Arborists evaluate your palms and arrange for their removal, before they decay and safe removal is impossible.