Sabal Palm Tree
Sabal palmetto

The Sabal palm tree (also spelled Sable palm) is one of the most cold hardy, easy-to-care-for palms you can buy. Pictures, care information and prices. Pruning and transplanting Sabal palmetto.



Sabal palm crown viewed from beneath the tree.

The name of this palm is somewhat puzzling.

Palmetto means small palm.

S. palmetto typically grows to a height of 30-50 feet. Its fill, rounded crown can easily measure 15 (or more) feet across.

This, to me, is not a small tree.

The Sabal (also called the Cabbage palm) is native to the Southeastern United States, Cuba and the Bahamas. In the U.S. its range is from the North Carolina barrier islands down through South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Another variety is common to Texas. Sabal mexicana is the Texas Sabal palm.

Sabal palms in historic Charleston, South Carolina.

Tourists in Horse Drawn Vehicle, East Battery, Charleston, South Carolina, USA
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Sabal palmetto is the Florida Sabal palm and our state tree. It is depicted on the state seal along with a Seminole Indian woman.

Sable palms were once so plentiful in Florida that the Seminole harvested the tender buds for food. This is how the tree came to be known as the Cabbage palm.

Cabbage palms still grow wild in Florida and a few restaurants serve hearts of palm as a novelty. But this practice is falling out of favor.

As the Sunshine state becomes more built up, the palm's habitat is being reduced. As harvesting the growing bud kills the tree, this further reduces the Sabal's numbers.


Cabbage Palm - 8' Size - $259.95

Low maintenance. Mostly for outdoor landscapes. Fast growing. Resistant to cold weather. Also known as Sabal palmetto, Sabal Palm, Carolina Palmetto, Florida Palm. -Real Palm Trees


Sabal palms of the same variety can look quite different from one another depending on their age and trunk style.

Young trees first form a crown of costapalmate leaves. This means that the fans have a distinct midrib like a feather palm frond. This midrib causes the frond to curve downward. You can see this curve in the picture at the top of this page.

Young Sabal palm tree with basketweave trunk. The young Sabal palm tree in this picture has the pretty basketweave trunk. This is done by leaving the boots on when you prune the old fronds off.

A group of Sabal palms.

This palm tree picture shows young and mature Cabbage palms in bloom. Some have the basketweave trunk. The more mature trees have smooth trunks as the boots have fallen or been removed.

Sabal palm tree bark is tan to gray in color.

Sabal Palm Care

Sable palm trees around a Charleston home.

Sabal palm trees landscaping a Charleston, SC home.

The Florida and South Carolina state tree is the lowest maintenance palm tree you can grow.

It can be planted right on the beach or as far inland as you desire. It will adapt to any free-draining soil you plant it on. Air pollution does not affect it.

These palms are planted along stretches of highway in Florida.

Florida weather cycles between deluge and drought. An established Sabal palmetto palm tree will take this in its stride.

Dense stands of Cabbage palms can be found all over Central Florida. These trees are never fed, pruned or cared for in any way. They are just as beautiful as they are when planted in a cultivated landscape.

Transplanting and Pruning Sabal palms

Nearly all the leaves should be pruned off when a Sable palm is moved or installed.

Keep the soil moist until the tree roots in and spray the trunk occasionally as well. New leaves will soon sprout.

Another thing you should do when installing new Cabbage palms is stake them.

Sabal palms are reliably hardy to 10 degrees F. but I have heard reports of them surviving 7 degree weather.

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More Palm Tree Info:

More Sabal Palm Pictures

Cold Hardy Types of Palms

Date Palm Tree Pictures

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