What varieties of palm trees are less messy?

Asked September 25, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

I am considering planting palm trees around our pool area but have heard there are very messy varieties. I have been unsuccessful in locating & viewing images of the fruits & flowers they produce & would appreciate any advice you can offer. Any varieties you can suggest or maybe we should stay away from them all together? Thanks & I look forward to your reply. T. Johnson

trees and shrubs texas palm trees horticulture

1 Response

You'll definitely want to stay away from Queen palms (Syagrus romanzoffiana). Queen palms fruit abundantly and can create a mess when the fruits fall on sidewalks or driveways. They also have shallow root systems and are susceptible to disease. They grow fast, however, so they're plentiful and affordable -- don't be surprised if you're recommended a Queen palm at a retail store. Pindo palms also have abundant fruit.

According to Dr. Doug Caldwell, commercial landscape horticulture extension agent and landscape entomologist with the UF Collier County Extension, alternative palms that should be considered include cabbage palm and foxtail, teddy bear, Alexandra, piccabeen and smaller palms such as spindle and Cocothrinax species, which should be used with our small Florida lots.

Much depends on in what part of the state you reside. Palms that thrive in South Florida may not survive the freezes that North Florida sometimes sees in winter. Because of this, I highly recommend that you contact your local Extension office for palm recommendations unique to your area: http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/map/

The website "Identifying Commonly Cultivated Palms" is quite helpful:
http://idtools.org/id/palms/palmid/index.php

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Extension Service. ) In these situations, you can remove the fruits or even the flowering stalks on an as-needed basis. It won't harm the tree and will prevent future issues. Never remove any green leaves, since doing so can damage the tree. If you're not able to do the job yourself, remember that you can always hire a certified arborist.