California Fan Palms for Sale

The California Fan Palm: Native to Coachella Valley

The California Fan Palm is the only palm native to the western United States and is the country’s largest native palm. The California Fan Palm is one of only eleven palms native to North America. California Fan Palms can be found naturally in the Central Coachella Valley at the Indio Hills Palms State Reserve, the Coachella Valley Preserve, as well as other Coachella Valley Locations.

Called by many names, California Fan Palms are also called Washingtonia Filifera (scientific name), Desert Fan Palm, Petticoat Palm, Cotton Palm, or California Palm. These palms are known for their hardiness, ease of growth, and life span of up to 80-250 years or more.

California Fan Palms are one of our favorite choices for palm tree landscape design in Coachella Valley. Our team at Desert Empire Palms grows a variety of sizes of California Fan Palms and we are happy to help you choose the perfect fit for your landscape design.

Beautiful palm trees against blue sky

Call Desert Empire Palms today to speak with a member of our sales team and choose the California Fan Palm you need.

California Fan Palm Growth and Appearance

Height and Trunk

The California Fan Palm grows to heights of 49-66 feet (15-20 meters). These palms can potentially grow up to a foot and a half per year but are more likely to grow about half of that height in normal gardening conditions. Once mature, the frond spread is between 20-30 ft (6-9 meters), with each frond measuring 11-13 feet (3.5-4 Meters) long forming a crown at the top of the palm.

The trunk of the California Fan Palm is thick and sturdy, solitary, and grows in an unbending column-shaped, starting brown, but weather to a grey over time. This feature is unlike the Mexican Fan Palm, which has a great degree of bend in the trunk once grown to heights of 40 feet. The California Fan Palm trunk tapers from a thick base to a diameter of approximately 2-4 feet.

Tropical palm trees being measured for height

Fronds and Leaflets

The California Fan Palm is an evergreen monocot, meaning that it is green all year round that bears a single seed leaf. The evergreen fan leaflets measure about 5-7 feet (1.5-2 meters) long and feature white threadlike filifera fibers on the ends of their bright green to sea green tips.

These fan palms are known for their large draping skirts, which is how they received the common name, Petticoat Palm. The palm also produces a white or creamy flora in late spring and small, round, black fruit of about ½ inch in diameter that sticks out beyond the limit of the crown.

Hardiness and Ideal Growth Environment of the California Fan Palm

The California Fan Palm does well in many climates, going as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit to 125 degrees Fahrenheit, but it is important to note that the mature palms are much more temperature tolerant than the juvenile palms. They are sensitive to high humidity and struggle when grown next to the coast. Like Mexican Fan Palms, they have a high wind tolerance.

California Fan Palms are salt resistant, drought resistant, resists pests very easily, and can live in several soil types including sand, clay, and loam. They are not as tolerant of dry weather as some assume, needing water but with monitoring, the soil must drain for the tree to do well. We cannot stress enough that these palms do need water, however, too much water can lead to root rot.

When planting, remember that placement is critical. Light is extremely important to the health of these palms. This palms shade tolerance is as low as it gets. The California Fan Palm is tolerant to a wide range of PH, making soil PH rarely an issue with these palms.

Maintenance and Trimming

The most important aspect of California Palm maintenance is your attention to trimming. Once a tree gets taller than around 25 feet a professional tree pruner is needed to remove the old fronds. We suggest trimming the California Fan Palm in late spring or early summer just after the tree has produced its fruit and flora, so all can be removed at once.

It is common practice to over prune the California Fan Palm, leaving just a few fronds in the crown. Palms that are repeatedly pruned this way will lose their vigor, and they may not be able to sustain themselves through photosynthesis. Therefore, we suggest leaving at least 50% of the green fronds intact.

Like the Mexican Fan Palm, potassium deficiency is a reoccurring issue in this species, indicated by leaf discoloration and premature death of the old leaves. Avoid removing discolored leaves as the palm can drain potassium out of them when sources of potassium in the soil are insufficient.

Call Desert Empire Palms for Sales and Delivery of California Fan Palms

The Coachella Valley palm experts at Desert Empire Palms believe the California Fan Palm is undeniably the best palm tree for the Southwestern United States. This Palm Tree is ideal for lining streets and is perfect for drought-tolerant desert landscapes. Beautiful for home, business, and roadway landscape, we recommend highlighting their grand, statuesque appearance with palm tree landscape lighting. Suitable for various landscape design projects, the California Fan Palm does not grow as tall as the Mexican Fan Palm, making it better for smaller homes in the Coachella Valley.

Call Desert Empire Palms, your source for beautiful, thriving California Fan Palms. We grow small to large California Fan Palms on our farms. Let us know how we can transform your landscape.

An arborist in a bucket truck works at thinning out palm tree fronds.
Replanting high palm trees

Contact our palm tree team now. We have gorgeous California Fan Palms for sale! Let’s get started!

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