The trees are wrapped in layers of plastic at Waterfront Park, beside Tugboat Bay. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)

The trees are wrapped in layers of plastic at Waterfront Park, beside Tugboat Bay. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)

Will Kelowna’s palm trees survive the winter?

The trees are hardy and should survive

Kelowna might get warm enough in the summer to allow palm trees to grow, but what happens to them in the winter when the mercury plunges and the snow flies?

Reports indicate the City of Kelowna usually brings the trees into a greenhouse in the winter, but in recent years they’ve become too tall and too heavy to move so crews have wrapped them up in several layers of plastic and insulated the bases with soil.

Fortunately, the trees are windmill palm trees, which are one of the hardiest types of palm trees and can withstand cold winters.

While that might help, Kelowna experienced a cold snap two weeks ago with the average temperature hovering around -18 C and even dipping to -21 C last Wednesday. While it’s starting to warm up again, it’s unknown if the palm trees will survive.

The windmill palm tree is native to parts of China, Japan, Myanmar, and India. It grows on mountains in southern China, which is why it can tolerate colder temperatures.

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Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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City of Kelowna