Palm trees gather various myths around them. You might think they are only seen in tropical regions or that there are only a couple of species of them. Well, these exotic trees hide obscure statistics, and today, we are going to delve deeper into how fast do palm trees grow.
How Fast Do Palm Trees Grow?
Even though there are about 2,600 species of palms, they all share a common characteristic regarding how quickly they grow: Palm trees grow fast. A few inches a year, to be precise. Why so? They must grow as quick as possible for two main reasons.
The first reason encompasses rainforest species of palms. Meanwhile, the most famous species — the ones we see on the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean — have a totally different reason to grow at fast rates.
Two-thirds of palm trees worldwide fall into this category. They can grow from 8 inches to one whole foot annually. They must rise quickly because otherwise other trees in the forest would blockout all the sunlight from them.
Palms are more abundant in South American rainforests such as the Amazonian jungle than in Asian and African forests combined.
Some well-known palm rainforest species include:
It grows up to 6 feet annually. One of the fastest growers among the +260 species.
EUROPEAN FAN PALM
Its stem grows around 10 inches per year. Gardeners use it often as it can endure low temperatures.
It is the most common palm in Amazonia. It grows between 8 to 10 inches per year.
Similar to rainforest species, Caribbean palm trees must grow with urgency, or they might fall victim to nature. However, it’s not a lack of sunlight that threatens these palms but hurricanes. Palm trees that can’t grow large stems and deep roots quick enough are more likely to be uprooted by the powerful winds of a tornado.
As these species usually receive sunlight from an early age, they reach their final height sooner. Most palm trees in Mexico or Florida are between 30 and 50 feet tall, and they grow a minimum of 8 inches per year.
Some abundant palm trees in warm climates include:
MEXICAN FAN PALM
They grow up to 4 feet per year. You can find Mexican palms in nature and many artificial landscapes as gardeners frequently choose them to embellish parks and streets.
They grow slower than Mexican palm trees — one foot a year on average. Foxtail palms reach up to 32 feet high when living outdoors and receiving enough sunlight.
CALIFORNIA FAN PALM
It grows around 3 feet per year. Thanks to their fast growth rate, these trees can reach 82 feet tall after 40 or 50 years.
They grow on average 8 inches per year. You can see them more often on home landscapes than on the streets as they are vulnerable to extreme heat.
It grows around 2 feet annually. They need excellent nutrition and plenty of water, which makes them more suitable for regions like Florida or Hawaii.
How Fast Do Palm Trees Grow?: Final thoughts
The average palm tree reaches between 35 and 48 feet tall with an average annual growth of 3 to 10 inches. The Wax Palm is the highest palm tree of all the species, growing about 200 feet throughout their life.
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