The Q&A Archives: Frost Damage on Palm Trees

Question: Our Mexican Fan Palms and Canary Island Palms all have brown fronds after the record cold we had here. Do we leave the damaged ones on until spring or remove the worst ones, say at the base of the trees, for now until new ones emerge? The Mexican Fans seem to have the worst damage. These trees have been in the ground for approx 2 1/2 yrs. Hope they survive! Thanks!!

Answer: At this point, I'd leave the damaged fronds alone. Although they look unattractive, they will provide some protection to the trunk if there's another freeze. And, as long as there's some green, they will be manufacturing carbohydrates for the roots. When you see new growth in the spring, prune off all the winter damaged fronds. It may take a year or two, but eventually the palms will recover. Best wishes with your palms!

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