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5 Options If You Want to Plant a Palm Tree in Oregon

When you think of planting and growing palm trees, you likely think of doing so in a tropical island environment. You probably don’t think of growing palm trees in Oregon, but you should start associating the two because it is possible to plant a palm tree in Oregon.

There are more than 2,500 different species of palm trees, so there are definitely some species that can withstand the cooler winters of areas such as the Oregon coast and other inland areas.

It’s important to choose these more-hardy palm species to plant if you are looking to plant in your Oregon yard, as you need a palm tree that can survive the chilly, wet winters. 

Here are five great options to consider if you want to plant a palm tree in Oregon.

1. Windmill Palm Trees

The windmill palm, scientific name Trachycarpus fortunei, is a popular choice of a palm tree for colder conditions. As the name suggests, it is windmill-shaped, with a thick trunk that’s covered with brown fibers and long, fan-like fronds that are densely packed. Windmill palm trees can grow in Hardiness Zones 7 to 11 and are extremely hardy trees. They can withstand temperatures as cold as 10 degrees Fahrenheit and don’t need much protection during the winter months.

Windmill palm trees should be planted in areas that have partial shade but can tolerate some direct sun. These trees can reach heights of 10 to 40 feet tall and are highly adaptable to the soil they’re planted in, but they prefer soil that’s porous, fertile, moist, and well-drained.

2. European Fan Palm

Sometimes called the Mediterranean fan palm or the Mediterranean dwarf palm and scientifically known as Chamaerops humilis, the European fan palm is another palm tree that can withstand colder conditions. These trees can also tolerate temperatures as cold as 10 degrees Fahrenheit and can grow in Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. They also make good houseplants, as they can grow either as a shrub that has multiple trunks or as a small tree with only one trunk.

European fan palm trees are 6 to 15 feet tall and 6 to 20 feet wide at maturity. They should be planted in areas that get full and partial sun. These trees will thrive in soil that is loamy with a pH from slightly acidic to neutral but can tolerate sandy or clay soil, as long as the drainage is good.

3. Mexican Fan Palm

The Mexican fan palm is also called the Washington Palm and is scientifically known as Washingtonia robusta. This is the fastest-growing variety out of all the palm trees, adding three feet in height each year once it’s established. These trees originated in Mexico but have spread throughout the West Coast and through the United States and can survive in Hardiness Zones 8b to 11. There is a chance of leaf damage if the temperature drops below 15 degrees Fahrenheit, but as these are rapidly growing trees, they are quick to recover from any cold damage.

Mexican fan palm trees can reach heights of 70 to 100 feet at maturity and widths of 10 to 15 feet. They should be planted in areas that receive full sun and in soil that is moist and well-drained. These trees can tolerate drought but do grow much faster when they get plenty of water.

4. Queen Palm Tree

Scientifically known as Syagrus romanzoffiana, the queen palm tree is not only beautiful but low maintenance. They are cold-hardy and can withstand temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit and can grow in Hardiness Zones 8b to 11. The leaves on these trees grow upward rather than outward like other palm trees. The roots on these trees are shallow, which means that they can fall during times of high winds or hurricanes.

Queen palm trees can reach heights of 30 to 40 feet tall and widths of 5 to 10 feet. They can grow well in an area that receives full sun, but they do prefer partial shade. The soil should have ample moisture and be acidic.

5. Saw Palmetto Palm Tree

The saw palmetto palm tree (or silver saw palmetto palm or scrub palm) is scientifically known as Serenoa repens. It may be the most cold-hardy of all the palms we’ve mentioned here, as this species can tolerate cold temperatures as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit. It is native to Florida but has spread across the US and grows well in Hardiness Zones 7a to 11. The most common saw palmetto palm trees have green leaves, but some have silvery-green leaves too.

Saw palmetto palm trees are on the smaller side, growing only 5 to 10 feet tall and 1 to 5 feet wide at maturity. They should be planted in areas that receive full sun, but they are tolerant of some shade. These trees prefer sandy soil, but the trees will grow well in any well-draining soil.

Plant a Palm Tree in Your Oregon Yard

As you can see, there are several options for hardy palm trees that can tolerate winter’s cool temperatures. As with planting any tree, palm trees must be planted correctly so they can grow at their strongest and healthiest. Be sure to check the conditions of your yard to make sure you are in the proper Hardiness Zone and have the proper soil for the palm tree you wish to plant.

If you would like a hand planting your palm trees, the team at Mr. Tree will be happy to assist you. We have over 30 years of residential tree service here in the Pacific Northwest, so we know a thing or two about which trees thrive in Oregon, even palm trees. 

Contact us today, and we’ll help you choose a species of palm tree, look at what your yard conditions are, and help find the best spot for your palm. We can help you with every step of the tree’s life cycle to help ensure you have a beautiful palm tree in Oregon.