Gardeners are concerned about their palms and rightly so. Many of the tropical types are brown and may not be showing new green growth. So how do you tell if they are alive or dead. After all your palm probably was not a cheap investment ?? Many cost at least a few hundred dollars.
Hopefully hidden and well-protected in the trunk is a live bud ready to produce new growth within a few months. But at this time it is hard to determine if the palm is dead or alive. If you want, you can remove the brown fronds but don?t be in a hurry to give up on your palms.
First check the new plume of foliage at the tip of the palm. If it shows any green this is a good sign. If it pulls out easily then this tells you there has been major damage to the growing point. When this occurs, palm specialists suggest you apply a copper fungicide to the palm following label instructions and then just wait.
Palms may need five or more months to begin new growth. Wait as long as you can to make a decision but if you see ooze, major browning or dehydration of the trunk tissue this normally means the palm is dead and probably should be removed.
After you have waited as long as possible, you can cut into the trunk from the top to check for signs of green or growth. If it is all brown and rotting the palms is likely dead ?? if green, continue to wait for growth to begin.
Regretfully some palms will be lost. If they are, maybe we had better think of planting the cold tolerant types.