Make a statement with palm-trees

Yes, using palm-trees in your landscaping can make a statement. It's up to you what that is though. If you place them in the wrong spot and don't take care of them with proper palm tree maintenance the statement will not be a positive one. On the flip side, properly placed palms that are well maintained, are an asset to the landscape and tell everyone that you are on it when it comes to design and proper care of your landscaping.

Palms really make a statement when they are lighted. The light that shines on the palm fronds will also bounce off and light the rest of the yard indirectly. This creates a subtle romantic atmosphere and adds tremendously to the curb appeal of your home.


Palm trees come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are dainty and slender, while others are more masculine. Tropical types will grow very quickly as does anything in the hot humid jungle. Other palm-trees can withstand the harsh hot dry summers and frigid windy winters of the Sahara or the Mojave Desert, and have very thick trunks.
The trunk is thick because the tree grows very slowly. And the tree grows slowly because it's growing season is shortened by the cold winters. The thickness insulates against the dry cold winter air, and is the reason these can live in cooler desert conditions.


The Mexican Blue Palm (right) and the California palm, can survive as cold as 9 degrees in my experience as long as they have had several years to climatize to the area.

There are other ways to help a palm variety survive cold weather. See the Palm Care and Maintenance for more info.
In your design, make sure you get the right plant in the right spot. You may think that a palm would look great in the middle of a lawn area, and you are right it does look good but the better spot is just outside the lawn area, because of the damage the sprinklers will do to the trees.

In the photo here these trees were transplanted at about 10 feet tall and have grown another 10 feet in the last 24 years. You can see the damage that has occured during that time. It is unsightly. And, if they has simply placed this specimine on the outer edge of the lawn it could have been in perfect condition. Remember, with palm-trees location is everything.

Some varieties like the California palm work great as a cornerstone plant, others like the windmill (left) are better as an ornamental tree near an entry, and yet others like the mediterranean,(below) which for most of its life is a large mass of fronds around 6 or 7 feet tall and as wide, can be placed between larger palms or trimmed to a spectacular multi-trunk centerpeice that can stand alone.


Talk to your local nursery and get their opinion about which varieties will work best for you and your specific situation. Don't forget that there is some specific care and maintenance that you will need to do for the palms. Each type of tree will require different types of care. Make sure you are up for it. A little research goes a long way here. Plant the wrong type of tree and you may have to spend the kids inheritance trimming them.

skinned palm tree

One of the things that can set your palm-trees apart from others is trimming the trunk, or cleaning up the trunk. This is done simply by cutting the old dead fronds off right at the trunk. What is left looks like tree bark. Nice and brown, it provides even more contrast for the landscaping. You will notice that the top 3 or 4 feet is not trimmed. This is the heart of the palm or in otherwords, it is where there is life. Cutting this area would kill the tree. So now you know.

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