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Did the polar vortex kill all of the local Washingtonia palms, or will they recover?

Rachel Huber
StarNews
This Washingtonia palm tree is in the parking lot near Market and Second streets. StarNews photo by Si Cantwell.

This Washingtonia palm tree is in the parking lot near Market and Second streets. StarNews photo by Si Cantwell.

Q. Did the polar vortex kill all of the local Washingtonia palms, or will they recover? One notable old specimen (now completely brown) can be found in the parking lot at Market and Second streets.

A. Most of them will probably recover according to Aaron Reese, the arborist for the city of Wilmington.

“From what I’ve seen, a few have died, but not all of them,” said Reese.

Although many of the local palms have turned brown or lost their fronds, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are dead. Whether or not the tree will recover is determined by the fate of the terminal bud. The terminal bud, located on the top of the palm, is responsible for all of the growth of the tree. If it was coated too heavily by the recent ice, the tree is not likely to survive.

RELATED LINKS:

When was the palm tree behind Slice of Life in downtown Wilmington planted?

Are palm trees native to North Carolina?

Will two ice-damaged live oaks on South 17th Street need to be removed?

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