Windmill Palm Tree – Trachycarpus fortune

windmill palm tree2 Windmill Palm Tree   Trachycarpus fortune

The Windmill Palm Tree, scientific name Trachycarpus fortune, is one of the most popular palms because of its cold hardiness that makes is perfect for landscapes in USDA zones 7-11. This palm can be grown in states like Alaska, Alabama, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee and more. It is very easy to grow and maintain. Can also be grown indoors. 

Buy Large Windmill PalmOnly $769.95!
Buy Medium Windmill PalmOnly $269.95!
Buy Small Windmill PalmOnly $79.95!

Windmill Palm Tree Profile

windmill palm tree16 Windmill Palm Tree   Trachycarpus fortune

Scientific name: Trachycarpus fortune

Common names: The Windmill Palm is also known as Chusan Palm and Chinese Windmill Palm.

Family: Arecaceae

Origin: It is native to central and eastern China.

Appearance: Trachycarpus fortune has a slender single trunk that is around 8 to 10 inches in diameter. The trunk is covered with a loose mat of coarse gray or brown fiber and is a bit narrower at the base.

The Windmill Palm has palmate, sword-like leaves that are 4 ft in diameter. They range from dark green to yellow-green in color that seem almost silvery on the underside. Leaves grow upward more so than outward. The petiole is about 1 ½ feet long and armed with sharp thorns.

windmill palm tree7 Windmill Palm Tree   Trachycarpus fortune

Flowers/Fruits: The Windmill Palm is dioecious, male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. In the early summer Windmill Palm produces large plumes of yellow flowers on the male plants and greenish on the female plants. Flowers are held on 3ft long branched stalks. Later flowers of the female plants transform into bluish-black fruits that are about 1/2 in (1.3 cm) in diameter. The fruits get ripe in the mid fall. The Windmill Palm fruit is not edible.

Growth Rate: Slow. Windmill is slow growing palm that can reach 10 – 20 ft in height and 5-10 ft wide.

Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both.

Cold Tolerance: is extremely cold hardy and can tolerate cold down to 5F when mature. It is great for growing in USDA Zones 7b (5 to 10 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

 Windmill Palm Tree   Trachycarpus fortuneThere is a great book, written by David A. Francko that I really like, it’s called “Palms Won’t Grow Here and Other Myths: Warm-Climate Plants for Cooler Areas”. It goes into the details on how you can grow cold hardy palms in zones 7, 6 and even 5. This is the perfect foundation book for the gardener who would like to see a banana next to his cherry tree and a palm between his maples. It got great reviews and 5 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon.

Light Req: Partial shade.

Water Req: Moderate. The Windmill Palm likes moist and well drained soil. Enough moister in the soil speeds up plant growth and improves the appearance.  Although Windmill Palm is very drought tolerant, irregular watering and drought will slow its growth rate dramatically. For the best results, water it every other day, for the first three months, and weekly for the remainder of its first year.

windmill palm tree9 Windmill Palm Tree   Trachycarpus fortuneMaintenance: Easy. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continues release formula twice a year during growing season.

Insects and Diseases: Very few insect and disease problems exist to endanger growing Windmill Palm trees. Scales and palm aphids are pests that usually cause problems for Windmill Palm. Windmill Palm may be infected by root rot, moderately susceptible to lethal yellowing disease, and leaf spots. For more details on how to treat your Windmill Palm click here: Palm Tree Insects.

Propagation: Propagated by seeds. Windmill palm seeds will germinate in 8 to 12 weeks without a lot of fuss. Sow seed at 75°F in spring or fall.

Buy Windmill Palm Today

We don’t sell palm trees on this site, but you can buy it from one of my favorite palm nurseries – Real Palm Trees. It has beautiful palm trees at discounted prices and offers a Free Shipping. This is one of the few sites that I trust, because each palm tree comes with Certificate of Authenticity that guarantees highest quality of the tree. All of their palm trees are properly grown and acclimatized to the correct hardiness zone.

Most importantly, you will receive a tree in perfect health and wouldn’t have to worry about it dying few weeks later. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee or you money back. To purchase a Windmill Palm Tree, click on one of the links below:

Buy Large Windmill PalmOnly $769.95!
Buy Medium Windmill PalmOnly $269.95!
Buy Small Windmill PalmOnly $79.95!

For more photos click here Windmill Palm Pictures.

~Susan Brian

P.S. If you like this palm tree, please click “Like” button below.

26 Responses to “Windmill Palm Tree – Trachycarpus fortune”

  1. My roof was replaced last March and the roofer had to cut the top of the Windmill Palm Tree because it was touching the gutters and roof. As of this April the tree is not looking too good and only has about 6 palms on it. Is there any way for me to save my beautiful tree?

  2. Thanks for visiting my site. Your palm is in shock. It is important to keep green and half dead leaves because palms move nutrients from the older fronds to the new growth. Your palm shouldn’t die but it needs some time to recover. Don’t fertilize it, just keep watering. It will come back after few months. I hope this helps. Susan.

  3. Hi Jody. Sorry to hear about your palm. You palm tree is probably in shock. There is nothing you can do. Just keep watering it. It should come back. Susan.

  4. Considering these palm are cold hardy, can I possibly plant one in my yard? I’m in Salt Lake City and since it does snow I’m afraid that the poor palm might die of freezing temps but will this one die?
    It does get in the 20′s when in Dec-Jan but can I ‘cover’ it with Christmas lights so keep it just a little warm?


  5. i have always loved palm trees. i live in western nassau county on long island, new york. i just purchased a windmill palm and a saw palmetto because they are cold tolerant and can survive here. the winters are not so bad except for the past winter when we got an unusual amount of snow. how do i winterize both plants and what to do in the upcoming fall and winter months. the windmill palm is 3 ft. tall and the saw palmetto is about 12 inches. i would love to get more for my back yard, but i want to see how these turn out. we are in zone 7 according to the map.

  6. My windmill is 8 years of age. Started sping and summer with healthy frond growth. Just recently all fronds browned and up coming are brown as well with slow growth. Can you help.

  7. My windmill palm is doing the same thing as Gary Giles palm. I need HELP!

  8. Palm tree check list.Drainage plant palm in raised bedding for the win.Water plant routinly first two years after planting every 2 days or so when no rain for best growth rate.Spray water round 3-4 feet around trunk to promote root growth out.After first two years of promoting root growth you can cut back watering to every 4-7 days depending how dry it gets.But always for best growth rate more water is better in good drainage.Fertilize early spring and late fall so twice a year is fine.Miracle gro 1008991 works great.check top frond after winter to see if any rot is taking root.Cut rotted material out.I use copper fungicide to kill fungas if any.There are a few homemade versions if you do some searches.You almost have to be a surgeon at this point with your palm if you see any rott.Bugs smell decaying matter and start feasting so every day or two you need inspect the top fronds for bugs wanting to feed and kill what you see .Least until new growth is out and no fungas and bugs anymore. I live in seattle wa every 4-7 years there is a very cold winter which can really wreck havoc in some of the varities of palms I grow.Takil/windmill usually no problems when established mediterranean,brahea armat,sabal,jubeas need babying in these 0-15 degree winters.You can use christmas lights around trunk and on fronds for heat source.Or good burlap wrapping or bag over top fronds during severe times.Some go to the extremes and hook up fround heaters.Or if some iffy varities they have in pots and move in garage or greenhouse.Just depends how crazy you wanna get into the summer look.I like low maintenance as far yard work so I stick with the hardiest varities windmill/takil/palmetto.I hope this helps PALM TREES are awesome! Plant Other cold hardy tropical looking plants in you’re yard aswell.I seem to get alot of people who slow down and do a double take.While I drink a cold one and feel like im in california.

  9. My dog recently pulled a bunch of the brown fibers off of the bottom of my palm, exposing the trunk. Should I wrap something around the exposed area to protect the tree? She did not damage the trunk…just thought the fibers were fun to play with. Thank you!

  10. Hi, my husband and I received a palm tree (small) from relatives in Pensacola FL. We do not know what type it is. How do we care for it? We live in Mississippi. Thanks.

  11. Hi Crystel. Your palm is fine. No need to do anything. The most important part of the palm is its bud. ~Susan Brian

  12. Hi Reann. All palm trees like warm and humid weather. You should grow this palm indoors. Provide it with plenty of sunlight and make sure the soil is moist but well drained. Apply slow release fertilizer during growing season. ~Susan Brian

  13. Hi
    I have several 5 gal. windmill palm trees taht I’m planing to plant in few weeks.
    How often should I water tham and how much water should be used on 5 gal pots.
    Thank you !

  14. Hello, i live in Massachusetts, Chelmsford. It is considered a zone 6, and i was wondering if i could plant a palm tree? i have looked in the internet, and they said the needle palm, and windmill palm can survive the temperature in MA.
    but ill like to get a second opinion
    Thank you

  15. hey Christopher my name is devin, im a palm nut, love them to death i have 17 palms of six different kinds and i live in zone 7a usda, i have 3 full grown windmill palms in my yard and they do just fine in clay sand and rock. seedlingscome up all the time on there own but die if not protected for the first two years, after that your fine, in short plant them where ever you want just protect them for the first two years from the cold (15F or less) and fertilize with Miracle-Gro, Shake’N Feed Palm Food, Continuous Release once every 4 months and water twice a week up to the point it gets less then 40F

  16. Hi,

    I have a 10 year old Windmill palm I relocated to the garden from in front of the house in August 2010. It has new growth (5 new fronds) but the new as well as old fronds are not opening up. Good soil,lots of drainage,lots of sun and fertilizer. What’s wrong.

    Thanks in advance


  17. Hi Carl,
    Sounds like transplant shock. The fact that it has been almost a year since you relocated your palm and it shows new growth is good. It’s still concentrating mostly on reestablishing it roots. The leaves on your older fronds will probably stay folded tightly until they naturally die off. It would be helpful to treat with micorrizial fungi around the perimeter of the crown to promote healthy root growth. Don’t know what zone your in but definitely protect during cold weather this next winter. It takes a year or two for a Windmill to really recover from a transplant like that.
    Good luck,

  18. I bought two windmill palms, 6ft and 8ft, this summer planted about 2 months ago. It’s been over 100 degrees here in TX with no rain for the last 30 days. The fronds have a burned brown appearance, they are yellowing and the ends of the fronds are falling over (looks like bent fingers) instead of standing out straight? Watering with sprinkler system 3-4 times a week. Not a enough water? Too much water? Bugs? Help I don’t want to loose the investment I made!

  19. Stacie–We also live in Texas and professionally planted an 8 ft windmill palm in late MAY. Our palm looked great for a couple of weeks–but–has gradually declined over the last 6 weeks. Our palm has the same exact issues that you described—and we are worried that either the palm is in shock, overwatered, or underwatered. Does anyone have any ideas ?? Our pretty green palm fronds are almost all brown–new growth included !!

  20. I successfully grew a few Trachycarpus fortunei’s in my front yard in Portland, Oregon. When these tree’s are young in cold locations where it definitely freezes for long periods, they MUST be well protected. I used to get a couple bales of straw and pack about 3 ft. of straw all around the trunk & over the crown. When the tree’s reach about 3-4 feet high, the winter protection can be safely stopped. (at least, by my own experience in Portland.) Trachy’s have become more & more popular in the Portland area over the years. I moved to Tampa in 2006 (upon retirement) and have planted several Washingtonia robusta’s…..and a couple other more common varieties of palms (Queen palms & Sabal palms.) I purchased some small, young Trachy’s by mail since they were not often generally available locally. These young tree’s have been in 2 gal containers about 1-2 years and will also go into the ground in 1-2 more years when they’re a bit larger. I tried growing Washingtonia’s in Portland, but with the usual severe freezing there (especially in Jan & Feb) the 2 I had planted froze.

  21. Hi Larry. Thanks for sharing. Do you have any photos of palm trees with cold protection or under snow? I would love to post those pictures on my web site. ~Susan Brian

  22. I have 3 windmill’s in my yard in virginia. The first I bought from a local nursery about 8 years ago. It had a trunk height at the time of about 3-4 feet. I planted it as the center piece of a landcsape bed away from the house. It did fine for the first year or two. However it has a trunk height now of only 4-5 feet. A few years after the first purchase, I purchased 2 1 foot plants from Home depot. I planted these two on the corners of my house. They have flourished. They now have trunk heights of about 6 feet. From reading up on the issue it would seem as though the lack of shade is a large part of the issue. However, there is more to the story that I can not find examples of on line. The older palm away from the house started exposing its roots and eventually breaking them off. At this point there are root nubs up out of the ground at least 8 inches up the trunk. Also over the last few years, the tree produces less and less fronds, and hasn’t bore fruit in a few years. It would seem it is suffering from the root rot i have seen mentioned, but I could not find any specifics. The first tree is still alive and has new fronds coming out, but it is starting to lean from the poor root system. I am most concerned, because my strong healty, and valuable other two trees are beginning to expose their roots. What am I doing wrong? Is the fix as easy as miracle grow?

  23. We are in the Dallas area and I have three palms in the backyard. One is 8-9 feet tall. one a bit over 5 feet and the last is only 3 feet tall. They are growing fruit stalks for the first year. Should we just leave the stalks alone, or should we cut the fruit stalks off?

  24. Hi…bought a Chusan palm from a local garden centre several years back, planted it in the front garden and it has gone giant…it is spectacular now standing at over 12 feet tall…I do nothing to it except occasionally cutting off the lower branches as it grows…it is in a south facing plot protected by our three storey house from northerly winds…think this may be the secret of its success.

    In the same area have many giant New Zealand Cabbage Palms which now reach the top of our house!

    Looks more like the West Indies than the South Coast of England.


  25. I live in Seattle and have quite a few varieties of palms growing in my yard. However, a lot of the others are correct that in colder climates you have to baby the less hardy varieties. In my experience, the Windmill palms are the easiest to start with for this area. I’m not sure about the people trying to grow them in Texas, as they come from China at high elevations and are accustomed to snow and freezing temps in their natural habitat. In Texas, I would grow Sabals, Med. Fan Palms, and Washingtonias vs. Windmills. In the Pacific NW, Windmills (Trachycarpus Fortunei variety) are becoming so popular I actually prefer the Waggie (Trachycarpus Wagnerianus) versions with stiffer leaves and supposedly even hardier than Fortunei. They also have thicker trunks which look better, in my opinion, although they are harder to find. I am also curious about people having success growing Braheas, Jubea, and Needle Palms in the NW.

  26. The species is Trachycarpus fortunei, not Trachycarpus fortune (spell checker was not turned off I suspect). These do very well in full sun by the way (at least here in California).

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