You’ll be surprised, but palm trees can be grown in state of Alaska. Many people believe that summer temperatures in Alaska are cool. In fact, like much of the United States, Alaska has four seasons. In the summer temperatures can reach into the 90°s and during winter fall below −60°F (-52°C).
With extreme temperatures like these, it is not surprising that Alaska’s climate ranges from USDA Zone 1a to 8b. Alaska can offer an extremely wide variety of weather conditions depending on the zone. Alaska can be divided into five major zones: Southeast, South, West, Interior, and North.
The climate in Juneau and the southeast panhandle is best described as a “cooler version of Seattle.” This is the warmest and the wettest part of Alaska. Winters are moist, long but only slightly cold with temperatures dropping to 20 °F (−6.7 °C) in January. Spring, summer, and fall are cool to mild, with highs peaking in July at 65 °F (18.3 °C).
The climate of Southcentral Alaska is mild. Temperatures range from an average high of 65°F in July to an average low of 10°F in December. It has short, cool summers and frequent strong southeast winds.
The temperature is somewhat moderate considering how far north the area is. This area has a tremendous amount of variety, especially when considering precipitation.
The climate of the interior of Alaska is best described as extreme and is the best example of a true subarctic climate. The summers can have temperatures reaching into the 90s°F (near 34°C), while in the winter, the temperature can fall below −60°F (-52°C).
It is an Arctic climate with long, very cold winters and short, cool summers. Even in July, the average low temperature is barely above freezing in Barrow, at 34 °F (1 °C).
Growing Palm Trees in Alaska
Since Alaska has a wide range of climates and ranges from USDA Zone 1a to 8b, there are some extremely hardy palms that can survive there. One of those palms is Needle Palm Tree, that can survive cold temperatures down to -10F when mature enough. It is possible to grow Needle Palm in Zone 5. Some other cold hardy palms that can be grown in Zone 7 are:
- European Fan Palm Tree – Zones 7b – 11 (5 to 10 F)
- Pindo Palm Tree – Zones 7b – 11 (5 to 10 F)
- Sago Palm Tree – Zones 7b – 11 (5 to 10 F)
- Saw Palmetto Palm Tree – Zones 7a – 11 (0 to 5 F)
- Windmill Palm Tree – Zones 7b – 11 (5 to 10 F)
When growing palms in cold zones, make sure to give them some cold protection. It can take only one bad winter to kill even cold hardiest palm.
Major Cities in Alaska
Anchorage – Hardiness Zone 4b
Fairbanks – Hardiness Zone 2a
Juneau – Hardiness Zone 7a
P.S. If you have any questions, leave me a comment below and I do my best to answer them as soon as I can.