Palm Tree Freeze Recovery with Grant Stephenson

This week’s article is a departure from normal, in that I’m inviting you to listen to the podcast of my interview with Grant Stephenson of Horticultural Consultants Inc., a true expert in palm tree care.

For more than 30 years, Grant has been the Houston-area authority on all things palm, especially when it comes to freezing weather. He’s got advice on determining which palms made it through, which are likely dead, and which can handle a future freeze.

Eventually, I will post a list of palms that will meet our needs going forward. But today, if you didn’t get to hear from Grant on last weekend’s GardenLine show, hear him right now. Then you’ll know how to treat, what to prune, and how long you’ll need to wait to see what may or may not come back. This is solid information needed by everyone.

Grant is well-known for bringing the most cold-hardy palms, bamboos and cycads to Houston, and the podcast will probably help answer many of your questions related to freeze recovery. And to learn as much as you can about palms worldwide, go the website of the International Palm Society, where Grant is on the board of directors.

Meanwhile, when you get ready to prune any palm, please invest in either a copper-based or Banner-based fungicide and apply it to the palm's core. That will help insure its future viability.

Also, you will need a lot of patience. Even if your palm doesn’t appear have rot, it could be 2-3 months before it decides to show new growth.


PHOTOS: Randy Lemmon

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