The New Orleans Advocate Interviews John Benton about Palm Trees

palmtrees

R. STEPHANIE BRUNO | SPECIAL TO THE ADVOCATE

If you always thought it was folly to plant anything in the heat of the summer, you may need to adjust your outlook. Experts say summer is the ideal time to plant one of the most dramatic contributors to local landscapes — a palm.

“Palms are natives of warm environments around the globe, and so they like to be put in the ground when the soil is warm,” said John Benton, of Bayou Tree Service. “Their roots will flourish.”

Not every home or public environment is right for a palm, nor is every palm right for the home or public landscape.

“Cold hardiness is one of the most important factors to consider,” Benton said. “Many palms, like the popular Queen palm, are barely cold hardy at all and will suffer even in some of our milder freezes. Others have acclimated and adapted a bit and can do better than others when the temperature declines.”

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