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Winter Care for Palm Trees

By Cynthia Myers ; Updated September 21, 2017
Palm trees can survive a winter freeze with proper care.
palm tree image by yann vautrin from Fotolia.com

Palm trees thrive in tropical climates, but even the most temperate of climes may occasionally experience cold winter weather. Most palm trees will survive an occasional dip into the 20s. Younger trees are more susceptible to damage from frost and freezing temperatures than are older, established trees. If a freeze threatens, you can protect your palm trees for brief dips in temperature. If a few fronds or the tips of fronds are damaged by frost, trim off the damaged areas in the spring.

Cover small palm trees with a large cardboard box or quilts, weighted down with rocks to prevent the cover from blowing away.

Wrap the trunks of larger palms with burlap or old blankets. Hold the covering in place by binding it with ropes.

Place a heavy layer of mulch around the base of the tree. You can pile mulch or straw around smaller palms, almost burying them.

Remove all wrappings and mulch when temperatures rise above freezing.


Things You Will Need

  • Cardboard box
  • Blankets
  • Burlap wrapping
  • Rope
  • Mulch


  • Don't leave the covering or wrapping in place for more than five days.
  • Don't wrap trees in plastic.
  • Don't water palm trees right before a hard freeze. Palms store water in their trunks and a fresh uptake of water could lead to freeze damage.

About the Author


Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.