How Old is My Palm Tree & How Fast Is It Growing?

After buying or receiving a palm tree, you probably still have some questions about it. Apart from information on the most appropriate care, it is also nice to know how old it can be. It is also interesting to know its growth rate to better choose its location. In this article we inform you about these two points that are inevitably linked.

How old is my palm tree?
The exact answer will always remain a great mystery because it is simply impossible to determine the exact age if you have not grown the palm tree yourself. Palms do not have growth rings either, so even a felled palm will not tell you its secret. Nevertheless you can estimate its age, if you base yourself on some criteria.

First of all you have to know the species. Not all species grow so fast. With a Brahea for example, one can already be happy with a few new leaves per season. The Trachycarpus on the other hand, can grow with 30 centimeters per year! So you can compare with your own experiences.

Origin & location
The location also plays a role. It is not for nothing that most nurseries are located in Southern Europe. In a warm climate the season (and therefore the growth) is a few months per year longer than in the North. In greenhouses it is even possible to simulate the good season during the whole year. Palms in the ground grow faster than palms in pots. This is also a factor to be taken into account.

A palm tree grown in the North only grows for a few months a year and will therefore not reach the same size as a palm tree grown in the South. On the other hand, palms grown in the cold are not only more resistant but often also more massive.

Some details can help you determine the origin of your palm tree. Many Italian nurseries, for example, still use the old name of Trachycarpus; “Chamaerops excelsa”. Palms grown in greenhouses often have thinner and longer petioles and have a more stretched out general appearance. Palms grown in the open often have a wider stipe and a more compact general appearance. Palms that have been pushed to grow as fast as possible, often have the stipe in an inverted triangle; thin at the foot and wider at the top.

Which is better?
That is a personal choice. Palms grown in the North are generally more resistant to our climate but due to their lower growth rate they are also more expensive. In the imported palms there are also beautiful examples. The most important thing is to take good care of your palm tree at the beginning, while it settles in its new location.

How fast does my palm tree grow?
It is interesting to know that palms first take time to root well, then to develop their stipe in width and only then they grow in height. That’s why even small palms can be expensive.

Only when the stipe reaches the final width, the palm tree starts to grow visibly. Then it will grow a little faster every year.

Smaller planted palms are generally more likely to take well and grow quickly afterwards. They may even outgrow the larger planted palms.