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Windmill Palm Trees (Trachycarpus fortunei) - cold hardy, are cold hardy to 5 degrees F (lower depending on the age and growth of the cold hardy palm tree). Windmill Palms are one of the most cold hardy palm trees available. The Windmill Palm species is beautifully compact and grows to heights of 20 to 40 feet. The following is detailed information on the cold hardy Windmill Palm Tree species. View the Windmill Palm Picture Gallery.

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Windmill Palm Trees - Cold Hardy Palms


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Windmill Palms - Cold Hardy Palm Trees

(Trachycarpus fortunei)

Windmill Palms are one of the most cold hardy palms available. The following is detailed information on the cold hardy Windmill palm trees.

Windmill Palm Trees (Trachycarpus fortunei)

Windmill Palm Trees (Trachycarpus fortunei) are one of the most cold hardy Palms available. The Windmill Palm Tree has:

  • Leaves that are arranged into symmetrical crown that is about 8 to feet wide.
  • Trunks that are usually covered with a loose mat of coarse gray or brown fiber and can grow to heights of 20 to 40 feet.

Windmill Palm for Sale

Windmill Palm Overview

The erect, single trunk of Windmill Palm is covered with dense, brown, hairlike fibers, and the three-foot-wide, fan-shaped fronds extend from 1.5-foot-long, rough-edged petioles. The trunk appears to be wrapped in burlap. A very slow-growing palm, Windmill Palm can reach 40 feet in height but is often seen much smaller, 10 to 20 feet tall. Windmill Palm works well as a framing tree, accent, specimen, patio or urn subject. It is ideal for use as an accent in a shady shrub border or by a front entryway. It does well in confined areas and is hardy to 10-degrees F. or lower.

Windmill Palms have a rather slender single stem that is 8 to 10 inches in diameter and is typically a bit narrower at the base than at the top. Trunks are usually covered with a loose mat of coarse gray or brown fiber. In older individuals the fiber sloughs away to reveal a smooth ringed surface. Chusan Palm, as it is also commonly called, has light to dark green palmate leaves that are lighter, almost silvery (glaucous), on the underside. They are held on thin 3 foot flattened stems that are finely toothed along both edges. Leaves are circular, about 3 feet in diameter and segmented about halfway. They are flat with leaf segment tips held stiffly, but occasionally you will see individuals with droopy tips. Leaves are arranged into a symmetrical crown that is about 8 to 10 feet wide. Specimens grown in full sun and/or under poor conditions may have much smaller, more compact crowns.

Windmill Palm Tree Information

General Information

Scientific name: Trachycarpus fortunei
Pronunciation: tray-kee-KAR-pus FOR-too-nee-eye
Common name(s): Windmill Palm
Family: Arecaceae
USDA hardiness zones: 8A through 11 (Fig. 2)
Origin: not native to North America
Invasive potential: little invasive potential
Uses: indoors; deck or patio; specimen; container or planter
Availability: not native to North America

Windmill Palm Description

Height: 10 to 20 feet
Spread: 6 to 10 feet
Crown uniformity: symmetrical
Crown shape: palm, upright/erect
Crown density: open
Growth rate: slow
Texture: medium

Windmill Palm Tree Foliage

Leaf arrangement: alternate (Fig. 3)
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: entire
Leaf shape: star-shaped
Leaf venation: palmate
Leaf type and persistence: broadleaf evergreen, evergreen
Leaf blade length: 18 to 36 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: no color change
Fall characteristic: not showy

Windmill Palms Flowers

Flower color: yellow, white/cream/gray
Flower characteristics: not showy

Windmill Palm Fruit

Fruit shape: round
Fruit length: less than .5 inch, .5 to 1 inch
Fruit covering: fleshy
Fruit color: blue
Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; not showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem

Windmill Palm Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches don't droop; showy; typically one trunk; thorns
Pruning requirement: little required
Breakage: resistant
Current year twig color: not applicable
Current year twig thickness:
Wood specific gravity: unknown

Windmill Palm Trees Culture

Light requirement: partial sun or partial shade, shade tolerant
Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; alkaline; acidic; well-drained
Drought tolerance: moderate
Aerosol salt tolerance: moderate


Roots: not a problem
Winter interest: no
Outstanding tree: no
Ozone sensitivity: unknown
Verticillium wilt susceptibility: resistant
Pest resistance: resistant to pests/diseases

Windmill Palm Trees Usage and Management

Windmill Palm should be grown in shade or partial shade on fertile soil to look its best, but it is also tolerant of full sun on well-drained soils when given ample moisture in the northern part of its range. Plants should be watered faithfully. Protection from harsh winds will minimize leaf tearing, but plants can be used successfully close to the shore, being quite tolerant of salt and wind. There are fine examples of mass plantings where palms are spaced six to 10 feet apart around a patio or sitting area. They have also been used very successfully lining an entry walk to a large building. This adds a formal elegance to any structure, especially one with a glass facade.


Scales and palm aphids are pests of Windmill Palm.


Windmill Palm may be infected by root rot, moderately susceptible to lethal yellowing disease, and leaf spots.


Windmill Palm Pests

Scales and palm aphids are pests of Windmill Palm.


Windmill Palm Disease

Windmill Palm may be infected by root rot, moderately susceptible to lethal yellowing disease, and leaf spots.

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Buy a small Windmill Palm Tree
Windmill Palm - Small Palm Tree - $ 79.95

Retail Price: 95.94
You Save: $15.99

Windmill Palm - Medium Palm Tree - $ 329.95

Retail Price: 395.94
You Save: $65.99

Windmill Palm - Large Palm Tree - $ 619.95

Retail Price: 743.94
You Save: $123.99

Other Cold Hardy Palms you might be interested in:

Cold Hardy Palm Trees

True Date Palms (Phoenix dactylifera) 

Canary Island Date Palms (Phoenix canariensis) 

Texas Sabal Palms

(Sabal mexicana) 

Mediterranean Fan Palms (Chamaerops humilis)

California Fan Palms (Washingtonia filifera)

Windmill Palms
(Trachycarpus fortunei) 

Pindo Palms

(Butia capitata)  

Sago Palms

(Cycas revoluta) 

Mexican Fan Palms (Washingtonia robusta)

Medium Size Windmill Palm

Cluster of Windmill Palms

Windmill Palm Tree (Trachycarpus fortunei)

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