Palm Trees for Sale in the UK
Many people do not realise that there are many types of palm tree that are quite suited to growing in the UK. Tropical looking palms have become more popular in Britain as people realise they are quite hardy, easy to look after but most of all give an instant exotic appearance to any garden.
Can you Grow a Palm Tree in the UK?
There are many types of palm bearing palmate leaves and palm like trunks that happily grow across most of the UK and many will easily survive temperatures well below what we experience in Britain.
Are Palms Hardy in Britain?
Trachycarpus 'Bulgaria' and Trachycarpus 'Plovdiv' are Bulgarian Palms. These palms from Bulgaria famously survived temperatures that plummeted to -27°C1 one winter in Bulgaria. Most palms that you can buy in the UK can survive to at least -7°C with many hardy to -15°C.
The forms selected from these palms in Bulgaria are believed to be a cross between a hardy form of Trachycarpus fortunei and a hardy form of Trachycarpus wagnerianus making what is known (not officially) as Trachycarpus fortunei 'Bulgaria'.
Trachycarpus fortunei is the commonly grown (for a palm that is) garden palm tree in the UK which easily handles our climate. In fact it grows better in the cooler weather and does well in clay soil.
Large Palm Trees For Sale
If you are looking to buy mature palm trees you need to ideally buy from a supplier where they are UK grown. British grown palms are going to be better adapted to our climate compared to Italian imported palms that have been grown in a warmer and drier environment and have not experienced our sometimes very cold wet climate.
Tall palm trees are usually delivered by a specialist courier and usually arrive in a large pot from which the palm has been grown rather than dug up from the ground and potted for delivery.
You can buy 20ft palm trees if you are looking to create an instant established tropical look of real palm trees. These large specimens are however going to be expensive compared to small palm trees due to the fact that it has taken many years, sometimes decades for these Windmill palm trees to reach these mature sizes.
Smaller 6ft palm trees are more easily handled if you are going to plant them out yourself and will be considerably cheaper. Although they will not be towering above you they will still give you that instant impact.
Miniature palm trees
There are dwarf varieties and mini palm trees that do not grow as tall are ideal for pots or gardens where tall palms would not be ideal. A dwarf version of Trachycarpus fortunei is Trachycarpus nanus which keeps to around 3 foot tall. The trunks of the shorter palms are going to be very short so are not going to be for you if you are looking for that characteristic beach palm trunk.
How Much Do Palm Trees Cost?
The larger the palm the more expensive it will be so as a guide I have provided some prices for various sized Windmill palms to give you an idea of cost if you are buying in the UK. Height includes pot base to the top of the foliage.
‣ Seedling cost £3-5
‣ 50-70 cm cost £25 to £40
‣ 1 metre cost £80 to £120
‣ 2 metres cost £200 to £250
‣ 3 metres cost £360 to £450
‣ 4 metres cost £550 to £700
These prices are only indicative as different forms and species will differ in price. Also note that for larger fully grown palms you will need a specialist delivery that can cost £50 to £200 depending on the distance from the seller.
What Palm Trees can you Grow in the UK?
For a small palm tree the most easily available is Chamaerops humilis the European fan palm or Mediterranean fan palm. Another dwarf palm is Sabal Minor or Dwarf Palmetto Palm which is also very hardy taking temperatures down to -18°C.
Both produce a very small trunk above ground over time but nothing significant. They are clumping so several new stems will grow from the base. Chamaerops do have some thorns along the leaf stalk whereas S. minor does not.
For taller palm trees Trachycarpus the Chasun or Windmill palm is the ideal tall palm suited to our UK climate. The most commonly available is T. fortunei and T. wagnerianus which can be purchased in a range of heights. For windier locations wagnerianus is better due to its stiffer but smaller fan palm like foliage whereas fortunei has larger leaves they can be damaged and will not look as good if your location is exposed to persistent strong winds.
Growing palms from seedlings can be enjoyable and cheap palm tree seedlings usually with 1 or 2 leaves can be bought for around a fiver. Many of the newer more exotic forms and hybrids are only available as smaller palms with some being greatly coveted.