Queen Palm Tree

A Few Facts About The Queen Palm Tree

Attaining a height of up to 50 feet and a spread of around 20 feet, the Queen Palm tree (Syagrus romanzoffiana) is a magnificent tree indeed. Often referred to as a cold hardy palm tree, the Queen Palm is hardy to temperatures below freezing, approximating 18 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, it can only be grown in the southernmost areas of the United States, USDA zones 9 through 11.

Best Grown In Southern Latitudes - A native of South America, the Queen Palm tree can be found in many locales in Florida, Texas, Arizona and southern California. It enjoys widespread usage in the Phoenix, Arizona area as a boulevard and landscaping tree. Occasionally you will find the palm planted in a cluster or several trees. It is not a desert palm however and requires different care than do the desert palms. Being a tropical plant, the Queen palm is far less drought tolerant (moderate drought tolerance) than other palm-like trees and shrubs you may find in the dry areas of the country.

Although the tree adds much to a landscape when lining a street or walkway, it does have a disadvantage in that it is somewhat of a litterbug, occasionally dropping its 2 to 3 foot leaves and rotten fruit.  Not all the dead leaves are dropped however and periodically have to be pruned off. The tree is of course and evergreen, with the leaves remaining green year-round. It produces a showy display of flowers, bursting in clusters from large pods, followed by bright orange spherical dates, hanging in clusters several feet in length. Both the flowers and fruit make the palm a highly ornamental addition to the street or garden.

Pests And Disease - The tree does not often require pruning, in fact extensive pruning can seriously retard the tree's growth pattern. Once the tree has attained a height of 20 feet or more, pruning becomes somewhat academic in any event. While the Queen Palm tree is fairly disease and pest resistant, the trunk is somewhat tender, and subject to decay if the surface is in any way damaged. Insofar as insect problems are concerned, an occasional tree will be damaged by the palm leaf skeletonizer, and butt rot is a disease which sometimes strikes the species. In general though, a well cared for tree is not likely to encounter these problems.

Planting Tips - If you live in an area here a Queen Palm tree will grow, and wish to plant one or more of the trees, select a location where the tree will get full sun. The palm prefers a slightly acidic soil; in fact it will not do well in alkaline soil. It is a fast growing tree, but to survive at all, requires frequent watering and fertilizing, particularly in its first year.

These trees are usually planted from saplings, in a hole slightly larger than the root ball. It's important when planting, to leave a few inches of the root ball, usually 2 or 3, above the surface. Adding some sand to the soil mix will help ensure the young tree gets adequate drainage, as its requirements for water during the first few months is rather high. It will need to be watered daily for several weeks, but if water is allowed to collect and stand, the plant will not survive.  Bone meal or super phosphate added to the soil at planting time will help the plant get off to a rapid start. If you are planting more than one tree, plant them about 30 feet apart if in a row, and 20 feet or so if planting in a cluster.

With proper care and attention, your little sapling will rapidly grow into a stately palm, and one which will give you an annual display or ornamental flowers and fruit. One tip: plan ahead as to how you will go about removing dead leaves once the tree begins climbing to stratospheric heights.