Local palm trees hit hard by winter may not be dead

Local palm trees hit hard by winter may not be dead
Updated: May. 23, 2018 at 11:21 PM EDT
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(Source: WECT)
(Source: WECT)
(Source: WECT)
(Source: WECT)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - While most trees and plants are showing signs of their annual rebirth, many local palm trees are not sprouting the seasonal green hue.

An unusually cold winter took its toll on the tropical plants.

Brad Wallace of P & L Palms appeared on WECT's News Now Wednesday and said the exceptionally cold months left many local palms in a puny state.

"Pindo palms of all the palms in our area probably suffered the worst damage," Wallace said. "The sable majors, which are the large, tall sable palms, did take a hit also. We also have the other common palms which are the windmill palms, that are actually the most cold-tolerant palms, but we have experienced a lot of windmill palms that have died due to this cold."

Wallace says not all palm trees that appear brown and wilted are dead. He said the plants may still come back.

"It's going to take a little bit of time, a little bit of patience to see if the weather once it gets warm consistently to see if we actually see any new green growth coming from the heart of these palms," Wallace said. "That's the hardest part is waiting because they are obviously unsightly on our property.

If you have an older tree that appears to be dead, Wallace said Epsom salt can help.

"It will help on a more established tree so for those that may be suffering some sort of cold stun from the past winter with a newer tree, I would recommend using a strictly palm tree fertilizer," he said. "That's actually a very slow release fertilizer. It feeds up to three months."

Wallace recommends using about three and a half cups per tree.

Pulling the dead branches off palm trees will also make room for new growth.

"We're thinking maybe by the end of June, the first of July," Wallace said. "If we do not see any rejuvenation of the fronds, then we may need to discuss replacement."

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