- Associated Press - Monday, April 7, 2014

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - A cold snap in January has left hundreds of damaged and dead palm trees in the Florida Panhandle.

The Pensacola News Journal (http://on.pnj.com/PQDb0N ) reports the freeze that sent temperatures into the teens took a heavy toll on plant life and especially on palm trees.

“A lot of the palm trees that you see in the area are not recommended for the zone that we’re in,” said Carol Lord, a horticulture technician at Escambia County Extension. “So they may not come back.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture uses a Hardiness Zone Map to provide gardeners and landscapers with information on plants that will grow in their area.


Certain types of palm trees are not able to withstand temperatures lower than 30 degrees.

Pensacola is located in Zone 9, which means that plants planted in that area should be able to withstand a minimum of 20 degrees.20

Experts say indications of cold damage include wilting, crown flopping because of internal trunk rot and lesions on the outside of the trunk. They add that it could take up to a year for a cold-damaged palm to recover.

Byron Calderon of Bryan’s Lawn Maintenance said whether a palm can survive a cold snap depends on the type of palm.

“Some palm trees, like sables, are hardy and can recuperate on their own,” he said. “Root stimulator can help. If the crown or the growth inside is dead, then the tree should be replaced.

He recommends planting palms near other plants and even covering them during extreme cold weather. He says that’s especially true if there is a freeze warning issued for multiple days.

The hardiness zone map can be found at www.florida-palm-trees.com .

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Information from: Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, http://www.pensacolanewsjournal.com