Cold Winter is Killing Area Palm Trees

PANAMA CITY BEACH - Evan and Risa Knock enjoy doing their own landscaping. They say their palm trees were here when they bought the home. And they figured they'd still be here when they sold it.

"We've cut them back, we've fertilized them, we've put Epson salt on them, and we've watered them and now we are just crossing our fingers hoping they will come back," says Risa.

Very few palm species are native to north Florida. Those that aren't are now struggling to survive.

"The wind and the cold weather really take a toll on these plants that are from south Florida, or Cuba, or even South America," said landscape architect Alan Holt.

"We were lucky enough to buy it this way, and being in the military and thinking about moving soon, we are hoping keeping them will keep the beauty of this place and help with the resale," said Evan.

Local realtor Janet Roan said landscaping can make a dig difference when it comes time to sell, "Because when people are looking at a home, they don't only look at what their costs will be on the inside, they look at the outside. They look at the landscaping and the palm trees. People do look at those extra costs for themselves."

Cabbage palms are the best option for colder weather, but if you're set on larger, more tropical palms, plant them on the south side of buildings to avoid cold north winter winds.