Are Queen Palm Tree Nuts Poisonous to Dogs?

Tall, majestic and topped with lush, distinctive fronds that evoke the tropics, the queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) is understandably a favorite with commercial and home gardeners alike. The latter may wonder, however, if the tree is safe for dogs, who may be tempted to chew on the pulpy nuts. Fortunately, no evidence shows that any part of the palm is toxic to dogs or other pets.

Portrait of Golden Retriever
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Your canine friend should be safe around the queen palm.

Toxicity

No evidence exists to indicate that the queen palm is poisonous to dogs, according to the ASPCA. It's not exactly nutritious, however. The nuts may pose a choking hazard, and any pet that nibbles on any plant -- even nontoxic ones -- may get an upset stomach. If your dog tends to chew on plants, do what you can to discourage him from a supper of queen palm nuts and redirect him to more nutritious dog food instead.

Culture

Now that you know that the queen palm won't poison your dog, take good care of the tree. Queen palms thrive in full sun and will tolerate a wide range of soils, including clay and occasionally wet soil. The tree prefers acidic, well-draining sites and grows quickly when the soil is kept slightly moist.

Climate

Queen palms aren't for everyone. They can get huge -- up to 50 feet tall -- and the dead fronds, which require removal, aren't easy to reach. In addition, like many other palms, queen palms are warmth-loving plants. They are hardy outdoors only in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9b through 11. The palms also have the potential to become invasive, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension.

Caution

A similar palm, the foxtail palm (Wodyetia bifurcata) has seeds that are deadly to dogs, according to the Veterinary Center at Fishhawk. The seeds, which are the size of peaches, are very poisonous. Because this palm is close to the size and appearance of the queen palm, home gardeners should be careful to identify it correctly and not mistake it for the relatively harmless queen palm. Foxtail palms are hardy in UDSA zones 10 and 11.