Palm Tree cold tolerance climate and environmental information, zones and maps to enable the best care and growth of your Palms.

Palm Trees Care - Palm Tree cold tolerance, climate and environment information, and zones and maps to enable the best care and growth of your Palms.

    Palm Tree hardiness zone maps helping with caring for and growing palms in cold weather. Some cold hardy palms can withstand cold winter climates.

Palm Trees Care - Climate Zone Maps for Successfully Growing and Caring for Cold Hardy Palm Trees

Palm Trees, with proper care, planting, moisture and climate are grown all over the world even in locations with freezing cold winters. Canada serves a Northern reference point and many types of Palm Trees can grow there. The main factors affecting hardiness are the minimum winter temperature, the number of hours of cold every winter, the amount of heat every summer, and the relative wetness or dryness of the climate. In general, Palms are not particularly hardy. Many are actually injured by a single freezing night. Others Palms withstand zero degrees F for short periods without damage. Palm trees ability to grow in cold weather and planting and caring for instructions can be found at Basic Palm Requirements and Frequently Asked Questions and Answers on Care of Palms

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Palm Tree purchasing requires determining what climate zone you are in. Click on the climate numbers at the top of the climate zone map to get information on the weather, moisture and general growing conditions for plants and palm trees in that zone. We have additional in depth information for Palm Tree culture enthusiasts concerning the purpose of the USDA Cold Hardiness Zone Maps and many other more detailed maps broken down by states to determine if a particular Palm will grow in your area. For a comparison of the winter hardy tolerances, palm growth rates and other attributes of palm trees refer to the Palm Trees Comparitive Summary. To find out your Hardiness Zone by zip code click here.

Map Enabling Palm enthusiasts to help selelct a hardy Palm tree for their microenvironment

Palm Tree cold tolerance climate and environmental information, zones and maps to enable the best care and growth of your Palms.



Zones: Winter Hardiness Zone 1


Minimum temperatures:

Below -50 F

The coldest areas of the North American continent are found in Zone 1. Only the hardiest plants will survive in the extreme winter cold and short growing season of Zone 1. Palm Trees will not survive in this freeze zone.



Zones: Winter Hardiness Zone 2


Minimum temperatures:

Below -50 F

Zone 2 stretches primarily across most of Northern Canada to Alaska's interior and the Bering Sea; some of the highest mountain areas of Wyoming and Montana also fall into this zone. Although still an area of extremely cold winters, Zone 2 is modified by the warming influence of large bodies of water. As in Zone 1, the growing season is short.



Zones: Winter Hardiness Zone 3


Minimum temperatures:

-40 to -30°F

Zone 3 can be found in Alaska; southern Canada; along Hudson Bay and mainland Newfoundland; in the interior areas of Maine, Vermont, and upstate New York; across the northern Midwest; and into Montana. Some of the highest regions in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado also fall in this zone. The lower latitudes mean winter is not as cold as in Zones 1 and 2, but frosts can still occur any night of the year and the growing season is short.



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Zones: Winter Hardiness Zone 4


Minimum temperatures:

-30 to -20°F

Zone 4 generally falls at a more southerly latitude than Zones 1 through 3. Large bodies of water throughout much of this zone also help to create warmer winters and a longer growing season. Zone 4 gardens grow mostly in a belt across the north central United States from southern Montana to central Wisconsin and into Michigan, and down into the high Rocky Mountain regions of Colorado. It also includes southwest Maine and most of the northern regions of Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York.



Zones: Winter Hardiness Zone 5


Minimum temperatures:

-20 to -10°F

Although gardeners in Zone 5 still experience winter cold, this zone benefits from lower latitudes and an ocean influence. In the eastern United States, it stretches across Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and along the seacoast of Maine and New Hampshire. It continues through western Massachusetts and midstate New York, northern Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, much of Michigan, southern Iowa and Nebraska, northern Missouri and Kansas, and eastern Colorado. In the interior West, this zone forms a patchwork pattern that extends from New Mexico into British Columbia, the southern Alaskan coast and the Aleutians. Gardeners here can still grow some plants.



Zones: Winter Hardiness Zone 6


Minimum temperatures:

-10 to 0°F

Zone 6's southern latitude bestows a long growing season and milder climate than Zone 5. It begins along the coasts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and northern New Jersey, then extends southwest through the country's midsection to northern Texas. In the West, Zone 6 includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, then extends narrowly north along the coast of Alaska. Eastern gardens contend with humidity, while in the West dry heat and a lack of rainfall are the growing and caring challenges.



Zones: Winter Hardiness Zone 7


Minimum temperatures:

0 to 10°F

Zone 7 is the middle ground of gardening in the United States. With lower elevations and longer days, proper care and planting will enable the following Palm Trees to grow.

Dwarf Palmetto Palms 7+
Mediterranean Fan Palm Trees 7+
Sabal Palms 7+

It covers a Southern belt from Delaware into northern Georgia, then continues west into southern Oklahoma and northern Texas. In the East, ocean influences allow Zone 7 to continue north along the New Jersey coast, Long Island and Cape Cod. Westerly, it snakes through southern New Mexico, bits of Arizona, Nevada and southern Utah, up the eastern border of California into the central mountainous regions of Oregon and Washington, and into Alaska's Inland Passage. With lower elevations and longer days, among the many plants that thrive in Zone 7 are Acer macrophyllum (bigleaf maple), Rhododendron Kurume hybrids (Kurume azalea), Cedrus atlantica (Atlas cedar), Cotoneaster microphylla (small-leaf cotoneaster) Ilex aquifolium (English holly) and Taxus baccata (English yew).



Zones: Winter Hardiness Zone 8


Minimum temperatures:

10 to 20°F

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Zone 8 skirts near the western and southern borders of the United States, from the rainforests of Washington's coast to the coast of North Carolina. Winters here are relatively warm, growing seasons are long., and rhododendrons flourish. In the East, you'll encounter hot, humid summers; in the Northwest you'll enjoy mild summers with some of the best American gardening climate; and in the Southwest you'll have the definite winters and hot, dry summers of the desert. Some of the palms that that you can plant, grow and care for are:

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California Fan Palm Trees 8+
Canary Island Date Palm Trees 8+
Chinese Windmill Palm Trees 8+
Date Palms 8+
European Fan Palm Trees 8+
Mexican Fan Palm Trees 8+
Needle Palms 8+
Pindo Palms 8+
Queen Palms 8+
Saw Palmetto Palms 8+
Sago Palm 8+



Zones: Winter Hardiness Zone 9


Minimum temperatures:

20 to 30°F

One of the smallest regions in the plant hardiness zone map, Zone 9 includes central Florida, the Gulf coast of Louisiana and Texas, much of California and the southern Oregon coast. This mild-winter region is characterized by a long growing season and almost no winter freeze. Summers are either hot and dry or hot and humid. Some of the palms that that you can plant, grow and care for are:

Chinese Fan Palms 9+
Pygmy Date Palm Trees 9+



Zones: Winter Hardiness Zone 10


Minimum temperatures:

30 to 40°F

Zone 10 is virtually free of winter chill and is dominated by balmy ocean influences. It stretches along parts of the California coast and covers the tip of Florida into the Florida Keys. Zone 10 can also be found in northern Kauai and the central part of the island of Hawaii. This is the home of subtropical and tropical plants, with a yearlong growing season and heat modified by the ocean. Some of the palms that that you can plant, grow and care for are:

Florida Royal Palm Tree 10+



Zones: Winter Hardiness Zone 11


Minimum temperatures:

40°F and above

Tropical Zone 11 is found in Hawaii and the lowermost Florida Keys, where oceanic breezes and influences dominate. This is the true tropical paradise zone, with a mild year-round temperature and a growing season that extends year-round, where gardening dangers exist far more from tropical storms or the occasional volcano than from freezing weather.

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    - Koppen Geiger Map
     - USDA Drill Down Map
     - USDA B/W U.S. Map
     - United States Color Chart
     - Texas & Surrounding Area
     - Texas
     - Alabama
     - Arkansas
     - Arizona
     - California
     - Florida
     - Georgia
     - Hawaii
     - Louisiana
     - Mississippi
     - Nevada
     - New Mexico
     - South Carolina

Quick Facts about growing and caring for different palm tree varieties

How do I care for my Palm Tree?


Homeowners are presented with unique challenges when caring for Palm Trees.  To maintain healthy and prosperous Palms, it is essential to understand these challenges and to obtain the tools necessary to overcome them.

Common Problems With Palm Trees

The most important factor for a healthy Palm Tree is good soil.  The type of soil determines how much nutrients and water the plant receives.  As a homeowner, the best contribution you can make to your Palm Tree's soil is the addition of beneficial mycorrhizal fungi.

Another vital component of Palm Tree care is proper fertilization.  Palm Trees require specially formulated fertilizers that answer to very specific conditions.

What Palm should I choose?

In general, four factors should be considered when choosing a Palm Tree for your property. The first factor is the size of the tree at maturity. Remember that little Palm for sale at a local nursery might reach a height of 50 feet or more as an adult tree overpowering the rest of your property, interfering with overhead lines and underground conduits and perhaps, threatening buildings if the tree is planted too nearby. Make sure that the size of your Palm at maturity is in keeping with your needs and overall landscape design.

The second factor is temperature . Most types of Palm Tree will not tolerate freezing weather and even a short bout of frost may weaken a tree and leave it vulnerable to insects and disease. In some areas of Arizona or California, for example, the climate is simply too severe for successful Palm growth. Check with your local nursery or tree expert for advice if you're unsure about growing conditions in your area.

The fourth factor is sunlight . Not all varieties of Palm Tree are equally sun tolerant. Some varieties, in fact, prefer shady conditions to full exposure. Keep this in mind when thinking of the kind of Palm Tree that would be best for you.

The final factor is water . While Palm Trees have long been associated with desert conditions, in the wild, they are only found near abundant and continuous supplies of water. If you are thinking about planting a Palm Tree on your property, make sure that the tree will receive adequate water and be prepared to water a newly transplanted tree frequently while it acclimatizes.
How do I Plant my Palm Tree?


Planting a Palm Tree

Planting Palm Trees is similar, in most ways, to planting other kinds of trees. Nursery-grown Palms are generally sold either potted or balled and burlapped. Try to plant your tree shortly after purchase. If there is going to be any time lag between purchase and planting, make sure that the tree's root ball is kept moist but not soaking. When transporting and handling Palm Trees, use care. The bark is easily damaged and damaged areas leave the tree vulnerable to insects and fungus. The best time of year to plant is during the warmer months when the soil temperature is at least 65 degrees F.

Dig a hole wide enough to fit the root ball with plenty of room to spare. Twice as wide might be a good rule of thumb in many cases. The hole should be just deep enough so that the tree is planted at the depth at which it was grown. Do not plant the tree any deeper as this may deprive the roots of nutrients and water. When the tree has been situated in the hole, backfill with the freshly dug soil.

When the Palm Tree has been planted, build a soil barrier around the circumference of the hole to form a dam that will hold water. Then lay down a layer of organic mulch around the tree. About three inches deep should do.

Frequent watering is crucial for newly-planted Palm Trees. Daily for about the first two weeks and then tapering off over several months as the tree establishes itself. Use a bubbler or arrange a hose to slow soak the area around the tree. It is important not to allow the soil to dry out as this will severely weaken your new Palm.

Palm Trees also require periodic fertilizer applications. There are commercial mixes available especially for Palms.

What other values do Palm Trees have other than Aesthetic?

Coconuts are the fruit of the coconut palm tree, which originated in Southeast Asia, probably Malaysia, and was transported throughout the Pacific either by migrating Indonesians and Polynesians or on the drifting ocean currents.  The tree is considered the most useful tree in the tropics because it provides everything needed to sustain life.   

Can I really grow Palms where I live?

Palms are grown all over the world. Canada serves a Northern reference point and many types of Palm Trees can grow there. The main factors affecting hardiness are the minimum winter temperature, the number of hours of cold every winter, the amount of heat every summer, and the relative wetness or dryness of the climate. In general, Palms are not particularly hardy. Many are actually injured by a single freezing night. Others can withstand zero degrees F for short periods without damage.

What do the USDA zone numbers mean?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed a system of cold hardiness zones based on the average annual minimum temperature. The zones that we are most concerned with are these:

-10 to -5° F = Zone 6a
   -5 to  0° F = Zone 6b
   0 to +5° F = Zone 7a
 +5 to 10° F = Zone 7b
 10 to 15° F = Zone 8a
 15 to 20° F = Zone 8b
 20 to 25° F = Zone 9a
 25 to 30° F = Zone 9b

How do I get a Palm established in a "borderline" area?

Most hardy Palm growers recommend protecting the palm from the climate for at least the first two years that it is in the ground. The Palm should be mulched with a deep layer of fall leaves or other material. The Palm can then be wrapped in burlap, bubble plastic, a spun landscape material such as "remay" or "garden blanket," or even an old sheet or blanket. If you use a non-porous material such as plastic, it is best if air space is left between the Palm and the material. This air space may not be needed if you only protect the Palm during cold spells.

What are some other hardy palms?

The hardiest arborescent (trunking) palm is the Windmill Palm -  Trachycarpus fortunei. These are grown as far north as parts of British Columbia in Canada. They have a fuzzy trunk which can grow twenty feet tall. They do not need a hot climate, and seem to thrive in cool, moist weather.

Sabal palmetto (Sabal palm, Cabbage palm) is the state tree of Florida and South Carolina. It has been known to survive between zero and +5° F when well-established. It cannot survive these temperatures on a regular basis, and is probably best rated as zone 8a. It is a large Fan Palm which takes many years to form a trunk. It can be found in the wild as far north as Bald Head Island, North Carolina, near Wilmington.

Chamaerops humilis (European fan palm/Mediterranean fan palm) is quite hardy in areas which have a dry climate. It is usually rated as a "zone 8" palm. In areas with wet winter soil (like the eastern U.S. and the Pacific Northwest) it seems to be less hardy. Planting this Palm in a well-drained bed (such as a bed prepared for a cactus garden) may help it survive in these areas.

Washingtonia robusta, Washingtonia filifera, and Brahea armata are western desert Palms which are fairly hardy in their native environment (zone 8, zone 9a)

Phoenix canariensis is a large Date Palm which can grow in zone 8b areas.

We hope the Sun Palm Trees Website helps you find vital facts and information about palm tree care, lists of palm trees, and where you should plant them.

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