About Queen Palm Trees

Overview

Queen palm trees (Syagrus romanzoffiana) are tropical palms that come from South America. They predominantly appear in countries such as Brazil and Argentina. The trees are common ornamental trees and often used in landscapes. Queen palms closely resemble coconut palms and are part of the Syagrus genus.

Appearance

Queen palm trees can grow to a maximum of 50 feet tall. They have gray, smooth trunks, deep green fronds and two rows of leaflets. The trunk has leaf scars, all evenly spaced. Queen palm trees have vibrant fruits and flowers. During the summer months, they have creamy-colored flowers that in the wintertime transform into spherical green fruits (approximately 1 inch in length). The fruits all consist of one seed and have three spots. With some time, the fruits turn into a radiant orange color and are highly fragrant though inedible.

Cultivation

Queen palm trees are rapid growing plants. In ideal conditions, these trees can grow approximately 6 feet every year. When the trees become completely grown, they can reach about 50 feet in height and 20 feet in width. They thrive on direct sunlight and are relatively cold tolerant. They prefer well-drained and acidic soil types. Alkaline soil is problematic; it could lead to mineral deficiencies, which could stunt growth and eventually kill the tree.

Fertilization

Queen palm trees must be fertilized between two and three times annually, during the spring and summer months (ideally March and July). It is crucial that the fertilizer consist of copper, magnesium, nitrogen and manganese. Fertilizer should not be applied anywhere near the tree's trunk (it should be applied from about 2 feet away).

Pruning

Pruning is also important for queen palms and can be performed from September to November's onset. Pruning aims to encourage a powerful structure. Excessive pruning is unnecessary and sometimes even harmful. Only yellow and brown fronds can be pruned with the use of a saw.

Disease

One sole disease can affect queen palm trees: ganoderma butt rot. This affliction gains entry into the queen palm tree via its wounds and cuts down the roots and the lower trunk. Other potential problems for these trees are pests such as scale and palm leaf skeletonizer.

Keywords: queen palm trees, Syagrus romanzoffiana, coconut palms

About this Author

Isabel Prontes is a freelance writer and traveler residing in Manhattan, NY. She has traveled to five continents and counting. Her work has appeared on a number of websites, such as Travels, eHow.com and "Happy Living Magazine." Prontes has a professional background in public relations; she received a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Pace University.