What Palm to Plant on a Fence

There is something about the shape of a palm tree along with its delicate, feathery fronds that invokes the tropics. If your landscape includes a fence, you might plant one or more palms along it to include a tropical touch. Deciding on the best variety for your individual type of fence and selecting one well-suited for your climate are important steps to help succeed.

Tall Fences

Massive hands with sole straight trunks and high, full canopies could be excellent choices planted near a tall fence, either separately or within a row. The American oil palm (Attalea cohune,) also referred to as the cohune palm, is a stunning tree that operates in this type of location. It reaches a full height of up to 50 feet, using a massive crown of dark-green, feather-shaped leaves, and is suitable for U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9 through 12. The Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis) is another attractive tall hand, reaching a height of up to 60 feet, using a thick trunk covered with diamond-shaped designs and a crown of 50 arching leaves. It does best in USDA zones 9 through 11.

Palms for Privacy

Planting short palms along a picket-type fence, especially one with large spaces between pickets or slats, can provide a feeling of safety and privacy. The European fan palm (Chamaerops humilis) rises well in USDA zones 8 through 11, creating clumps that could reach a height of 15 feet at maturity. Its relatively short trunk and dense layer of triangular, fan-shaped fronds make the tree an appealing and effective privacy screen. The pygmy date palm (Phoenix reclinata) also works well against a short, open-slatted fence. It has multiple, blunt stems that are covered with loose brown fiber and support crowns of green to yellow, feathery fronds up to 15 feet long. It’s best suited for USDA zones 9 through 11.

Border Fencing

A number of small hands do nicely planted in rows along a short fence, by way of example, from the rear area of a fenced edge. The metallic palm (Chamaedorea metallica), also referred to as the miniature fishtail palm, has blue-green, metallic-appearing foliage that is unusual because the leaves are not divided into leaflets. Naturally tolerant of low light, these palms are about 3 feet tall and suited for USDA zones 9 through 12. Yet another dwarf-sized plant, the blue-stem palm (Sabal minor) is also well-suited as an accent along a short border fence. Suitable for USDA zones 8 through 10, it creates bluish-green fans over a short trunk, reaches a height of 2 or 3 feet complete and prefers partial sun or light shade.

Hot Spots

Some fenced places are subject to unusually high heat, either because the fence includes heat-retaining metal or has a southern exposure. Even though most palms are humidity-loving plants that don’t tolerate extreme heat, several do well in landscape warm spots. For example, the Mexican blue hand (Brahea armata) is a desert tree using fan-shaped circular leaves topping a thick trunk. It may attain a mature height of 50 feet, tolerates rough, rocky soils and protracted periods of heat and drought, and is suited for USDA hardiness zones 8 through 11. The windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei), also referred to as Chusan palm, is a compact, extremely heat-tolerant tree with a slender stem along with a full crown of feathery fronds. It rises slowly to about 15 feet and does well in USDA zones 7 through 10.

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