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The Best Palm Trees for North Texas

grove of sago palms image by Joann Cooper from

North Texas, which includes the Dallas/Fort Worth area, is usually defined as the region of Texas that is south of Oklahoma, east of Abilene, north of Waco and west of Louisiana. This region has hot, humid summers, but in the winter (between November and March), overnight lows can dip into the 30s. When selecting palm trees for this area, select a cold-hardy variety to stand up to the winters. Some palm trees are native to Texas.

California Fan Palm

The California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) is a fast-growing, cold-hardy palm that is native to California, Arizona and northern Mexico but grows well in north Texas. Hardy to 18 degrees F, this palm can grow to 60 feet and has large leaves that grow from a crown at the top of the trunk. The leaves, which can grow to 6 feet across, droop and turn brown as they age. Cut dead leaves close to the trunk, and the stalks that remain leave a criss-cross pattern on the trunk. These trees are hardy in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 8 and above, require full sun and are very drought tolerant.

Sago Palm

Sago palms (Cycas revoluta) are notoriously slow growers and may continue to grow for 100 years. The sago palm is a cycad that has a round trunk and a crown of stiff, feather-like leaves. When mature, the leaves will unfurl at the top of the crown and the existing layer of leaves will be begin to droop. Remove drooping leaves by cutting as close to the trunk as possible. Sago palms can grow to 10 feet, prefer partial shade and require regular water.

Texas Sabal Palm

The Texas Sabal Palm (Sabal mexicana or Sabal texana) is native to Texas and is also known as the Oaxaca Palmetto. Similar to the California Fan Palm, the Texas Sabal Palm has a crown of fan-shaped leaves at the top of a thick trunk. This tree, which can grow to 50 feet, may have a criss-cross pattern on the trunk if dead leaves have been clipped. A slow-growing tree, the Texas Sabal Palm prefers full sun to partial shade and moderate water.

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