Buy Palm Trees – Consider These Things First

Things to Know Before You Buy Palm Trees

Before you buy palm trees I hope you read my opening post “Palm Trees for Sale – Palm Buyers Guide” which should have given you an idea of where you’d like to plant the tree, if your soil is fertile enough, and where you’d like to purchase a palm tree from (local vs online). Now there’s one other thing to consider before you buy palm trees…who is going to plant it.

Depending on the size of the tree you may be able to get a shovel and dig the hole yourself. Some people who are educated in operating heavy equipment may choose to rent landscaping equipment or if they own their own they may use that to dig the hole and perform the tree planting.

This route definitely saves you some money on labor if this is an option for you, just make sure you know the dimensions and depth the hole should be before planting the tree. Since this depends on the tree size & type I really can’t give you a generic depth to even dig the hole to. You’ll need to verify the dimensions with the nursery before conducting the planting.

For the majority of people who buy palm trees though, planting it ourselves isn’t an option and we’ll need to hire someone to come remove the tree from the delivery truck and transplant it into the ground. My suggestion here is that before you even buy palm trees, you align the delivery date & time of the delivery truck with the labor you intend to hire.

This also is the case if you rent equipment for the planting process. The last thing you want is to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars when you buy a palm tree only to have it lay in the yard for a few days and damage or kill the tree while waiting for someone to come assist you with the planting process.

Proper planning of your landscaping project is essential to ensure everything flows properly and occurs when it should. Keep in mind that during the first few weeks after you plant the tree will be the most vital in terms of making sure it has the proper water and nutrient volumes. This is when it is most susceptible to disease or dehydration when it adapts to its new environment.

Now onto the best part…it’s time to buy palm trees.

Buy Palm Trees – Most Common Types of Palm Trees

Since there are hundreds of different species of palm trees this post is intended to give you an idea of the most common species people purchase when they buy a palm tree so that you have a basis to start when you begin your search for a tree that will add just the right feel to your property.

Keep in mind that not all of these palm trees may be suitable for the hardiness zone you live in so always be conscientious of your zone.

Commonly Seen Palm Trees

CALIFORNIA FAN PALM (Desert Fan Palm)

Washingtonia filifera

Buy Palm Trees - California palmThe only native palm tree to California (yes that’s right all other types have been brought there from other countries). This palm is very distinct and immediately brings the thought of Hollywood to mind since they are seen up and down Sunset Blvd.

The California fan palm does have as a few things going for it including cold hardiness, fast growth, and drought & salt resistant. This palm is usually less expensive than some others mentioned here. It also is one of the palm trees that are a bit easier to transplant or grow from seeds if you’ve got the time to wait for it to mature.

If you live in a more arid climate then this palm tree will do well on your property. Due to the height this palm tree can reach it doesn’t do well in areas where telephone wires may be close by. Additionally since it is a tall lanky looking tree my opinion is it’d look best when placed in a row of a few or more near water (pool, beach, etc.) or for running up along a driveway leading to you house or business.

The California fan palm has numerous evergreen leaves supported by 3′-5′ long stalks. These fan-shaped leaves can reach up to 6′ across and spread from around the top of the tree while older dead leaves hang down against the trunk which though unappealing, can provide shelter for various birds and smaller animals.

For those looking to buy palm trees as seeds and grow them yourselves, though it takes many years to mature, this tree is one recommended for beginners due to its ease of caring for. If you do decide to grow this from a seed make sure you keep it in a pot for the first couple years of its life before transplanting it outside.

A strong and robust palm that is considered very disease/pest resistant, and is quite resistant to lethal yellowing disease. The downside to the tree is that it does require pruning to remove the dead leaves to make the trunk look more appealing.

  • Maintenance: Moderate (depends on if you want to prune it)
  • Light: Full sun exposure
  • Mature Height: 30′-60′
  • Hydration: Grows better with frequent watering though can sustain temporary droughts
  • Cold Tolerance Zones: 8-11 (no colder than 15°F)
  • Other: Drought tolerant, easy to grow from seeds if you wish, tall height
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Florida Thatch Palm

Thrinax radiata

Buy Palm Trees - florida thatch

The Florida Thatch is as the name would refer, is native to Florida and currently is listed as an endangered species in the wild. It is a slow growing palm that doesn’t reach the heights some of the others mentioned here do.

Its smaller size and narrow trunk (4″-5″) do however make it great for growing in areas where space is limited (such as between houses in developments) therefore is desired by many looking to buy palm trees to act as privacy screens.

The Florida Thatch palm prefers sandy loose soil as opposed to hard compacted surroundings and is salt resistant making it good for beach properties. They will probably require 3 fertilization shots throughout the year just to be safe.

The tree will require some slight maintenance since it isn’t self cleaning, you will need to prune of the dead fronds a couple times throughout the year. The leaves can reach a span of 4′-5′ when fully grown and display a fan like formation that droops down. They yield a darker green on the upside of the leaf with a lighter, silvery tone on the underside.

Many horticulturalist recommend plant enthusiasts to plant these trees if they are planting them in Florida just to help with the re-population efforts of this diminishing beauty.

These trees are best used in the following settings: privacy plants when they are small, anchor points for smaller gardens, along shorter walkways, or mixed under some lager canopy trees to add ground foliage. They don’t stand up too well to cold and strong winds though.

  • Maintenance: Easy (occasional pruning)
  • Light: Moderate to high
  • Mature Height: 15′-20′
  • Hydration: Well drained soil, but is drought tolerant
  • Cold Tolerance Zones: 10-11 (no colder than 30°F)
  • Other: Endangered, slow growing

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Malayan Coconut Palm

Cocos nucifera

Buy Palm Trees - Malayan Palm Tree

Anyone looking to buy palm trees would agree that a palm that can supply you with fresh coconuts and look great is definitely a win win. The Malayan Coconut palm is perfect for those looking to plant in the backyard and throw a hammock up between them.

These palms are a very common sight in vacation spots, especially in Hawaii. It has a gray trunk topped by a crown of pinnately compound yellow-green leaves that can reach 18′ in length and 6′ in width. These leaves fall away from the tree as they die making it easy to care for.

Coconut palms can be susceptible to Lethal Yellowing (LY), a disease that starts with some yellowing of the foliage and works it’s way from the older leaves to the younger and up to the bud. Usually once it reaches one third of a coconut palm’s bud they tree will die.

This however has only really been seen in portions of southern Florida and in Coconut species palms. If it unfortunately does happen to your palm you can try to save it with an application of the antibiotic oxytetracycline HCl (often referred to as OTC), which is a liquid shot to the trunk of the tree.

On a better note the coconuts produced from these palm trees can be used for many things ranging from using them to cook with, add to mixed drinks (who doesn’t like a nice pina colada every now and then), or using the husks as door mats or brushes.

This palm is best placed near the beach where sea breezes give the leaves a nice lift for visual appeal. If you’re placing it in a high traffic area or kids are around make sure you remove the coconuts so that they do not fall on someone. Overall the Malayan Coconut palm is a beautiful addition to anyone’s property who wants to give it that feel of a Hawaiian vacation destination.

  • Maintenance: Easy
  • Light: High sun exposure
  • Mature Height: 20′-30′
  • Hydration: Once established low water maintenance
  • Cold Tolerance Zones: 9-11 (no colder than 20°F)
  • Other: Produces edible coconuts, drought tolerable, susceptible to LY, evergreen

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Florida royal Palm

Roystonea elata

Buy Palm Trees - Florida Royal PalmThe Florida Royal palm is easily identified by its distinctive two tone trunk. It almost looks as though the bottom half of the tree doesn’t belong with the top half. This unique looking smooth grey trunk can skyrocket the tree up to an impressive 70′ tall.

This tree is commonly found in the cypress swamps of Florida so a little light flooding from time to time shouldn’t damage it. Additionally it’s not a very particular tree when it comes to soil.

What’s neat about the leaf structure of this palm is that they almost look like the needle structure on a Balsam fir. The leaves a made up of leaflets (6″-8″ long) arranged in rows along 10′ long green pinnate leaves. There are usually 20 of these leaves sitting atop the crown shaft, making for a very lush and bushy looking top.

Something that also makes this tree stand out from others is its symmetry. Many palms can kind of grow all over the place and look almost like an upside down mop. The Florida Royal palm is a clean looking, well aligned palm with nice color tones and a smooth trunk.

If you want BIG when looking to buy palm trees then this most likely is the tree to go with. Due to the size of the the Florida Royal palm it’s best used when either placed next a large house, or aligned along roadways or a driveway creating a very dramatic entry effect.

  • Maintenance: Easy
  • Light: High sun exposure
  • Mature Height: 60′-70′
  • Hydration: Looks best when given adequate amounts of water
  • Cold Tolerance Zones: 10-11 (no colder than 30°F)
  • Other: Fast growing, flood tolerant, salt tolerant, exceptionally tall

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Exotic Palm Trees

SENEGAL DATE PALM

Phoenix reclinata

Buy Palm Trees - Senegal Date PalmA truly beautiful palm native to Senegal that produces clusters and offshoots of other stems. This tree is perfect for someone looking to buy a palm tree to use as a focal point for your property. For example if you have a circular driveway or want to create a backyard patio that is centered around a single point then this tree would be perfect for that.

Date Palms tend to be a hardier palm tree that can withstand cooler climates (no colder than 30° though) and yield a nice feathery and lush leaf structure. Additionally they do produce edible fruits that turn yellow when ripe.

Senegal date palms also are one of the palm trees that are more drought tolerant though they do flourish more when watered regularly. Additionally they are salt-resistant (to a level) so if roads are salted in the winter or seawater finds it’s way up to the roots temporarily they should be fine.

The only downside to these trees is their cost, they are one of the most expensive types of palm trees you’ll buy since they are usually sold in cluster form so you are getting multiple trees as opposed to a single branch palm.

  • Maintenance: Easy (though they do require pruning still)
  • Light: Sunny locations
  • Mature Height: 20′-50′
  • Hydration: Grows better with frequent watering though can sustain temporary droughts
  • Cold Tolerance Zones: 9-11 (no colder than 20°F)
  • Other: Clustered formation, drought tolerant, fruits ARE edible, fast growth

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BISMARK PALM

Bismarckia nobilis

Buy Palm Trees - Bismark PalmThe Bismark Palm tree, native to Madagascar, is one of the most common and sought after palm trees for multiple reasons. The first of which is its massive size; Bismark palms can grow up to 60′ tall. This size makes it difficult for those with limited space and it will dwarf any other plants that may be surrounding it therefore it’s best used as a focal point or on commercial property. You’ll find these trees often at the entrances of fancy hotels.

The second reason many want to buy a palm tree of this species is the look of the tree. It’s leaves are massive fan like structures that yield a beautiful bluish color, something that definitely sets it apart from other palm trees. The palmate leaves are waxy and can span up to 10′ across when fully grown. The trunk starts off as grey and leafy looking but turns to a smooth texture as it matures.

Bismark Palms are pretty adaptable in terms of the soil type they can live in which combined with their ability to survive colder temperatures makes them a tree that is one of the easier ones to maintain for most individuals.

Bismark Palms really are a beautiful exotic tree that not only wows viewers but also is drought tolerant and not as subject to disease and nutritional deficiencies as many other palm trees.

Overall these palms are very hardy trees that require little maintenance, can take various weather elements, and look stunning.

  • Maintenance: Easy
  • Light: Full sun (but tolerant to some shade)
  • Mature Height: 50′-60′
  • Hydration: Moderate
  • Cold Tolerance Zones: 8-11 (when fully mature no colder than 15°F)
  • Other: Unique foliage, evergreen, exceptionally tall, waxy leaves

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FLAME THROWER PALM

Chambeyronia macrocarpa

Buy Palm Trees - Flame Thrower PalmThis palm tree will light up your yard, and not in the “Call the fire department” type of way. This tree originates from New Caledonia and dates back to the Mesozoic Era (225 million years ago) so it’s been around a while.

My favorite thing about this palm is the red flare leaves that are produces as they emerge. Unfortunately they don’t keep this red color permanently but will last 2 weeks or so as they form. However as each new leaf sprouts you’ll get to experience the flame all over again.

The Flame Thrower palm does tend to be one of the more delicate palms in terms of what the elements can throw at it. It’ll do best if kept out of desert heat, windy areas, blazing hot sun, salty areas, or places where frost is frequent. Additionally they are one of the more slower growing trees when compared to other palms.

That being said these trees will do very well in moderate to high humidity places such as Florida. They’re best placed on the property not as a focal point but instead as a palm to add color or run along a walkway into the house or leading to a pool.

  • Maintenance: Easy
  • Light: Moderate sun exposure (some light shade)
  • Mature Height: 10′-20′
  • Hydration: Moderate watering. Grows best in moist well drained soil.
  • Cold Tolerance Zones: 9-11 (no colder than 20°F)
  • Other: Unique foliage, exotic

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Caranday Palm

Copernicia alba

Buy Palm Trees - Caranday Palm

A very rare palm tree originating from South America that is gaining popularity for those looking to buy palm trees for their property. The Caranday palm certainly has an unusually look with large palmate waxy leaf structures that droop down as new leaves are formed creating a waterfall type effect.

The leaves are rigid and spiny and can range in color from light green to silver to even a bluish tint. Interesting fact: the wax from these leaves actually can be found in car waxes and lipstick, not that that really has any influence in how it looks in your yard.

The trunk will achieve a diameter of 7″-10″ and when mature, is grey in color. While in the juvenile stages the trunk retains spiny old leaf bases that eventually fall off as it ages. In the summer, following the flowers, come small yellow berries that turn black when ripe. These are edible and have a sweet taste to them.

These trees are usually planted in groupings of three however that is completely up to the landscaper and the type of look they are trying to accomplish. It is a slow growing tree so when you when you look to buy palm trees, getting a larger one from the start will save you years of waiting for it to achieve the height you may want.

  • Maintenance: Easy
  • Light: Full sun
  • Mature Height: 30′-40′
  • Hydration: Does best in moist well drained soil
  • Cold Tolerance Zones: 9-11 (no colder than 25°F)

Buy palm trees - PricingTravelers Palm

Ravenala madagascariensis

Buy Palm Trees - Travelers Palm

I personally think the Travelers palm should be nicknamed the ‘peacock palm’ due to it’s beautiful fanned out look. It really almost looks like either a turkey or peacock’s tail feathers spread out while they strut.

This is another beauty with a unique look that originates from Madagascar. The leaf structure is what is most noticeable on this palm tree with enormous paddle-shaped leaves that are supported by long petioles and aligned in a single row. These long petioles and leaves can achieve 13′ in length which is looks astonishing.

As the tree ages the lower leafs die and fall off completely on their own, making it less maintenance than some others that require pruning. The trunk grows up to 1′ in diameter and leaves behind leaf scars as it gets older. Year round it produces brown fruits in between the petioles, however these fruits are not edible to humans.

Some say the tree gets its name “traveler palm” from the belief that the tree is capable of holding water which people travelling would stop and drink when they were in dire need of water. This of course could be completely a myth.

Of those looking to buy palm trees, this definitely is one to consider with it’s massive height and width. It is however susceptible to wind damage so be sure it is protect from windy regions as well as protected from frost. Lining a few of these up either by the pool or in a circular formation around an outdoor patio creates a great natural shade.

  • Maintenance: Easy
  • Light: Partial sun, when mature place in full sun
  • Mature Height: 30′-40′
  • Hydration: Moderate watering
  • Cold Tolerance Zones: 9-11 (no colder than 20°F)
  • Other: Attracts birds, fruits are NOT edible, unique foliage, evergreen

Buy palm trees - PricingConclusion

What I listed here is only a mere fraction of the types of palm trees out there. I do hope that this does providing you with a starting point though as you start your venture to buy palm trees to spruce up your property and really give it a feeling of uniqueness and relaxation.

The site I linked to for many of these trees has been around for a while and offers a great number of options for those looking to buy palm trees. This doesn’t mean you’re limited to sticking with them, keep your options open and if you really want to buy local see what’s around you. The online shopping is just my preference since I like doing everything from the comfort of my home.

Now if you’re looking for something that can withstand some cooler temperatures then my next post focusing on cold hardy palm trees would give you an idea of what to get when you need to buy palm trees that can handle a little frost and snow from time to time.