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Windmill Palm Trees are one of the most cold hardy palms available. They grow about 1 foot each year and the slow growth of the windmill palms contributes to their cold hardiness. Another characteristic that makes the windmill palm cold hardy is the fibers that cover the trunk that insulates the tree. The brown-gray color of the burlap-like fibers covers the trunk like a wool covering in winter, and the dark color attracts the warmth of the sunlight.
Most types of soils are acceptable for growing windmill palms as long as the soil has the capability to drain well. Adding approximately 20% of sand to 80% of dirt will help to accomplish better drainage for the home gardener.
Besides their striking beauty, windmill palms also have high frost and salt tolerance and have very few insect and disease problems. The Windmill Palm Tree grows best in partial sunlight. It can grow in direct sunlight but this tree needs adequate moisture because irregular watering and drought slows growth rate dramatically.
For the best results, water it every other day for the first three months, and weekly for the remainder of its first year. Even though Windmill Palms can survive very cold temperatures, you must take steps to protect them during the winter. Cold winds can damage the windmill palm tree tissue and slow down root growth which makes them susceptible to diseases.
To avoid this problem, take a burlap bag and wrap the truck of the tree to make a blanket and cover the rooted areas with 2-4 inches of mulch, straw or hay. When the warm weather returns simply remove the burlap and the root covering and enjoy your tree.
How to Plant a Windmill Palm: Dig a hole at least wide enough for the roots of your tree so that none of them are bent. Make it deep enough for the tree's roots to be completely covered. A wider hole is better, if possible, since that will make it easier for the tree to grow. Chip away at the sides of your hole to break any compacted soil - this will make it easier for your tree's roots to grow beyond the initial hole. Carefully place your tree in to the hole, and spread its roots. Start filling in the hole with soil carefully covering over just the roots.
Gently pat down the soil a little and then water to help the soil settle around the roots. Continue adding another layer of soil, repeating the process of patting it down slightly and watering to help the soil settle and fill in any air holes. Fill in up to the original ground level.