What do you think happened to this palm tree?

dln949April 2, 2011

Today I uncovered our Trachy, it has been covered all winter here in SE Minnesota. As you can see from the embedded photos, the outer third of most of the fronds are brown and all curled up. I don't understand what would have caused this. Also, should I just cut this dead stuff off? (There didn't seem to be any noticeable humidity in the enclosure. Also, I had lights going in the enclosure that kept the temps between 35 and about 70 all winter.)

Thanks in advance.

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The lack of humidity is probably what caused the dead tips. Definitely keep it well watered as long as temperatures dont go too much below 32F at night, if at all. I would cut the dead tips off because it doesnt hurt and it does make the palm look much nicer. Your palm looks very healthy though! You should post a comparison pic with the dead tips cut off to show how green it really is because it looks very green!
Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 10:50PM
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Where is your thermometer located?

It looks like the damage is mostly on the outside(?)
portion of the leaves close to the edge of the enclosure.

Could be lethal freeze to the outside of the palm where as
the core stayed warm enough.

I had similar damage on my Washys last year.....
the closer the palm was to the enclosure the more damage,
the center leaves where all fine.

In the past I put my thermocube(device that turns on the
heat/X-mas lights at 35F)right on the spear but now I put it
on the outside(north side)portion inside of the protection.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 11:35AM
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Jim, you are correct, I had the thermometer located right at the base of the spear. And, Yes, the damaged portions would be those that were closest to the wall of the enclosure. And - There was a 2 - 3 day period when the thermometer failed in the OFF (!!) position - when we were gone! - so the temps inside (at the base of the spear, anyway) got down to about 10 as I recall.

So - let's say the damage is from the cold. What would you recommend? Simply cut the dead stuff off? Is there anything more I ought to be doing? What should I expect to happen long term as a result of this?

Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 8:44AM
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It will grow out of it,whether this is "right" or not
I don't really know but I would just trim all the dead tissue off.

You won't believe how much better it will look!

Did you use a thermocube???

As I think I mentioned,I now put my thermocube right on the edge
of the protection(coldest spot)as there does seem to be a lag in when it heats up after it's turned on....
putting it right on my Washy spears did keep them green/happy last year but it's amazing how much cold
can be lurking right next to the edge of the enclosure!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 10:13AM
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Thanks Jim.

Yes, I was using a thermocube. For some odd reason it just stopped working. Not good.

I'm not sure what you meant when you wrote, "It will grow out of it". I thought that palm fronds do *not* regenerate themselves - thus, if I cut off the dead ends, I thought that those fronds will forever remain trimmed. Am I wrong? Or, did you mean something else by what you wrote?


    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 5:57PM
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I just meant it will grow and look fine by the middle of summer(-:

Trimming it will really clean it up nicely though!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 10:44AM
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I don't mean trimming the new leaves are anything o:

Just the dead and dried tissue.(:

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 10:47AM
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