• Many Floridians enjoy gardening all year. If a homeowner has poisonous palm trees inside or outside their home, gardening can become a tragedy. Many palm trees in the Sunshine State are toxic to both pets and humans. Some palm trees can produce toxin-producing seeds, leaves, and cones, which can lead to serious medical problems, even death.

    Arborwise Tree Service, in recognition of National Poison Prevention Awareness Week has put together the essential information to help you prepare for a possible poisonous palm trees emergency. This could lead to a fatal outcome. We want you to:

    • Learn about Florida’s poisonous palms and how to protect your family.
    • Avoid a tragedy by being ready to respond to a situation of plant poison emergency.

    Poisonous Palm Trees In Florida

    One of the most common sources of poisoning tragedies is found in plants and trees. Children and pets who are curious can get into dangerous situations if they live in a home with toxic palm trees or palm plants. Be aware of the dangers and take precautions to ensure your family’s safety, inside and out.

    Talk to an certified arborist who is familiar with palm toxicities before you choose a palm tree for your property. Although the list above can be used to help identify poisonous palm trees and plants, it’s best to consult an expert to help you make informed decisions about whether to plant a particular palm tree or plant.

    We know that not all palm trees are the same size, or may have features that you find appealing. A certified arborist can help you choose the best location for your palm tree. This will ensure that it is safe from curious children and pets.

    Cardboard Palm

    Each cardboard palm leaf grows in a rosette-like pattern and can reach 3-4 feet in length. The cones contain bright red seeds, which are toxic. Cardboard Palm can cause severe poisoning in animals. It can cause bruising, liver damage, vomiting, and even death. It is easy to grow and drought-tolerant, making it a popular addition to landscaping.

    Formosa Palm

    Other Names: Taiwan Sugar Palm, dwarf sugar palm and Taiwan Arenga Palm

    The Formosa Palm tree is large and toxic. It can cause severe allergic reactions. Stamens are used to grow the red, orange, and green flowers. This shade-loving plant can be found in all parts of Florida, except the northernmost.

    Fishtail Palm

    The Fishtail Palm contains oxalic Acid, which can be toxic if ingested. It can also cause severe chemical burns to the skin when it comes into contact with the skin. Fishtail Palm trees can grow to over 25 feet in height and 12 feet in width. The stems have light green leaves and bear red fruits. The Fishtail Palm can be found in southern Florida.

    Queen Sago

    Other names: False Saga and Fern Palm.

    Ingestion of The King Sago can cause paralysis or death. The plant can grow to up to 20 feet in height and produce feather-like leaves up to 8 feet in length. Both the male tree and the female tree produce cones in autumn. The female cones also produce large orange seeds. Queen Sago can only be grown in the Florida Keys and southern Florida.

    Sago Palm

    The Sago palm is a small, favorite palm for both the garden and home. It is technically not a palm tree. Instead, it is a Cycad, an ancient plant that has been around since prehistoric times. Cycasin is found in all parts of the Sago Palm. Cycasin is concentrated in the leaves and seeds. Cycasin is a fast-acting chemical that causes symptoms in the body. Symptoms can appear as soon as 15 minutes after being consumed. In some cases, signs might not manifest for several hours. Small children, cats and dogs can become very sick if they ingest any part of the Sago Palm. poisoning caused by Sago Palm can cause vomiting, diarrhea, damage to the stomach lining, liver disease, and even death.

    There are many other poisonous plants that are not included here. Some plants, such as those mentioned here, can prove fatal. Some may be very irritating. For more information, visit the Botanical Dermatology Database.

    Tips to Protect Your Family & Pets From Palm Tree Toxins

    If you have a poisonous tree on your property, but are unable to remove the palm yourself, you will need to perform the following tasks. These tasks can be done by you, but it is best to contact a professional tree service company for help.

    Tip: When clearing out yard debris, wear gardening gloves, a long sleeve shirt, and long pants.

    • Avoid planting toxic palm trees in areas where pets and children can access them.
    • Take down any cones that have fallen to the ground and place them in a bag for garden debris.
    • Get rid of any fallen fruit, stems or leaves that have fallen to the ground.
    • Place all garden debris bags in a sealed container that pets and children cannot access.

    Response to a Poisoning Emergency

    Always call poison control before giving emergency first aid to poisoning victims

    DO NOT give your pet, or any member of your family, an over-the counter medication without consulting a doctor.

    Never Give holistic or home remedies for poisoning. These actions could make the poisoning worse and reduce the time it takes to treat.

    The following information should be kept in your bathroom, garage, or kitchen so that it is easily accessible for any immediate needs.

    • Call 1-800-222-1222 for Poisoning Emergencies
    • Poison Control/ Emergency Center, FL
    • Florida Poison Control Website
    • Florida Poison Information Center

    Prepare for a Pet Poisoning Emergency

    Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your pet has taken poisonous substances. Keep the following contact numbers and poison emergency contacts handy:

    • The Pet Poison Helpline 1-855-764-77661
    • 24-hour ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 888-426 4435
    • The number of your local emergency veterinarian
    • The phone number of your Primary Care Veterinarian
    • The following checklists should be kept in a folder along with your gardening tools. These sheets can be laminated to keep them from getting wet.
    • Poison Emergency Response Tips
    • Florida Poison Plants
    • Safety Tips for Pets and Poison
    • Make a poison kit and keep it handy. Keep one in your garage, on the lanai or in your medicine cabinet. Poisoning response items are a must in your hurricane/natural disaster emergency kit. These resources can be used to help you build an emergency kit.

    Trusted Palm Harbor Arborist and Tree Service Company

    Arborwise Tree Service is one the few family-owned tree businesses that are operated by a certified arborist. We are fully licensed and insured to provide residential and commercial tree and landscaping services. 

    Our team at Arborwise Tree Service is available to help you with tree care challenges of any kind.  Contact us today for your quote on your lawn services such as:

    Contact us to learn more about poisonous palm trees in Florida and check out our 5-star rating on Google and see why our clients choose Arborwise Tree Service!