The Q&A Archives: Queen Palm Dead After Termite Tenting?

Question: I have 5 Queen palms in two large planters on a roof top deck. The palms grew great for several years. Last year our condo building was tented for termites. The palms were too large to move, so we hoped they would live through the tenting. Many of the other plants on the deck have come back since the tenting. The Queen palms however have not sent out any new fronds, and appear to be dead. Is there any way to tell if I should give them more time to heal, or give up and start with new trees?

Answer: Some plants are more sensitive than others to chemical fumes. It sounds as though your Queen palms fall in this category. If you do not see any new growth, you can unpot one of them and check the roots for signs of life. If the roots are shriveled or brown and dead, the plant is a goner. If you see plump roots that are creamy white inside, the roots are alive but the tops are dead. Cut back the tops and the roots may develop new shoots. If not, the palms should be replaced. Best wishes with your rooftop garden!

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