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Archontophoenix alexandrae severely damaged

28 posts in this topic

Hi everybody,

I am a portuguese friend of palms, since I got a new home and needed to buid a landscape.

I have some cocos plumosa, and archontophoenix alexandrae.

The weather here is not so good as in other places in wich you live, but we have temperatures, medium, betwen 5 and 25 degrees.

In Winter, sometimes we have -5 degrees, and this winter we got there, and my specimes became almost totaly burn. Two small have the center burn, and i thing they wont recover, but another bigger has few parte green, however the new part growing is burn at the top. I dont know what to do, must i have some special care? I will wait for the spring effects. I will upload some fotos later

Rafael, from Furadouro, Portugal

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Hi everybody, these as those palms i have talked about.

What do you think?

post-3292-1236887424_thumb.jpg

Edited by rafael
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Hi everybody, these as those palms i have talked about.

What do you think?

I don't know exactly how low a temperature you A. alexandrae saw and for what duration, but I will share this with you.

My A. alexandrae in below photo (with 2.3 meters of trunk) was exposed to a low of 4.6 C. In fact, it saw three back to back nights where the low temperature dropped below 0 C (2.75C, 4.6C, and 2.75C). I don't know what the duration of temperatures were. My low temperature of 4.6C was in the open yard, so my A. alexandrae could have seen a slightly higher temperature. In any event, I believe my palm is fine. Since the freezes of late January, it as shedded two of the lowest frond bases, the last one three days ago, and started opening a new frond yesterday. The new frond looks good.

If your newest spear is growing I believe your palm should be okay, albiet some of the new fronds might have some damage and/or be stunted.

I have many crown shaft palms that were freeze damaged and all seem to be okay. All are starting to shed the oldest frond bases (the bases are spliting from increased diameter growth of the crown shaft) and the new spears are growing and looking fatter.

2121786130042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

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Hi Rafael,

Your photo is not good enough to see the 2 small palm trees. Are they syagrus romanzofiana or archontophoenix?

Anyway, you have to use fungicide on your palms and wait for hot temperatures. Don't cut the leaves until summer.

Even the 2 small can regrow, if there is one inch of green...

Hope.

Gilles06.

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Hi Rafael,

Your photo is not good enough to see the 2 small palm trees. Are they syagrus romanzofiana or archontophoenix?

Anyway, you have to use fungicide on your palms and wait for hot temperatures. Don't cut the leaves until summer.

Even the 2 small can regrow, if there is one inch of green...

Hope.

Gilles06.

They are indeed Archotophoenix. Queen palms. and all Syagrus species, are non crown shafted palms. Good advice on the after freeze care.

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Hi, yes they are all archontophoenix alexandrae, and the smaller two have no inch of green on the new spear. I think they wont recover at all. And the new spear of the big one is parcialy damaged at the top. Will ir recover? And what kind of fungicide are you talking about? Thank u for your simpaty.

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Hi again, here there are some photos of the bigger alexandrae palm. What do you think? Will it recover? As you see the most recent spear is parcialy damaged. I do not know if there is any chance at all. Could that spear grow? And if not, could another spear appear?

post-3292-1237156089_thumb.jpg

post-3292-1237156239_thumb.jpg

post-3292-1237156827_thumb.jpg

Edited by rafael
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Hi everybody,

I am a portuguese friend of palms, since I got a new home and needed to buid a landscape.

I have some cocos plumosa, and archontophoenix alexandrae.

The weather here is not so good as in other places in wich you live, but we have temperatures, medium, betwen 5 and 25 degrees.

In Winter, sometimes we have -5 degrees, and this winter we got there, and my specimes became almost totaly burn. Two small have the center burn, and i thing they wont recover, but another bigger has few parte green, however the new part growing is burn at the top. I dont know what to do, must i have some special care? I will wait for the spring effects. I will upload some fotos later

Rafael, from Furadouro, Portugal

Hi Rafael....I live in Queensland Australia, where the archontophoenix palms come from and I saw your photos of the small burnt palms. Leave them alone, dead fronds and everything, and they should be back to normal in 6 months. Going by the photo of your garden and the local cimate there, alexandrae were not a good choice. They prefer a humid subtropical climate. Archontophoenix Cunninghamia look very similar to Alexandrae but would really thive in your climate. They would survive a frost of minus 5 with very little (if any at all) damage. They are also faster growing. Even big Alexandrae will get frost damaged so it could be an ongoing problem for you. When you are certain the frosts are finished for the year, feed the palms well and also give them good doses of seaweed mixture until at least one new leaf spear is formed.

Good Luck,

Peachy<

Qld Australia

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Peachy, hi and thanks about your advisements concerning archontophoenix alexandrae. The two small are already gone, replaced by two beautiful and big syagrus. The bigger one changed its place, with less wind exposure, and now, with copper and feed. But i am still thinking about hidrogen peroxid. What do u think? And what kind of seaweed mixture are you talking about? Anyway, the new leaf spear, damaged at its top, is trying to become green at its base. Concerning to the weather here, the temperatures change between -4 and 15, in winter, and 8 and 30 in the rest of the year. This winter was on of the worsts since people talk about it, and i think if i can protect the fronds, by closing them to the winds and freeze, i wont have those ongoing problems. What do you yhink? Anyway I will check those cunninghamia, thanks.

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All the palms that were damaged did die, unfortunately, in April.

In May i bought a bigger archontophoenix alexandrae (30 cm trunked/base and 4,5 m tall), wich i show on this photo. I am still looking for one archontophoenix cunnighamiana (not easily found here)

Well, here we have maybe 10/20 frost nights a year. Half of them the lower temperature raise -4 C.

I think this one will face frost strongly.

However i wonder if we can do anything to face the frost, concerning to a big palm like this.

Does anyone knows any method to face this problem.

SOS, frost is coming in about 15 days!!!

post-3292-1258658578_thumb.jpg

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Hi Rafael - In our worst freeze in 2007, I protected a number of palms similar in size to your A. alexandrae by wrapping the crownshaft area in multiple layers of burlap material, and tied with bungee cord. I lost a lot of foliage but all palms bounced back from seeing lows of 25-29F several nights in a row. I did not have a large Alex' at the time, but did see A. cunninghamiana, Royal, Caryota obtusa and urens, recover without any problem.

Another member here wrapped the growth area with rolls of leftover carpet. I wouldn't try to throw a sheet over an entire palm. Too hard to pull off and you might damage a new spear.

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Rafael: If you get frost then that indicates to me that your freezes aren't advective (windy). If that's the case, I would saturate the soil around your palm the morning before the night of the upcoming freeze so that the soil can absorb the sun's radiant heat (all day long, providing it's not a cloudy day) and re release it at night, keeping the air around your palm maybe a degree or two warmer. Wet soil can hold more heat than dry soil, so that is the physics here. Of course, if it's windy than wet soil isn't going to do you any good. In fact, it could actually hurt due to evaporative cooling effect.

In any event, I would advise you to either procure some heating cables (the type outdoor water pipes are wrapped with, plus pipe insulation) or some good outdoor string lights (that give off heat) and wrap the trunk and crown shaft with them, then wrap over the cables/lights with a blanket or equivalent, so as to hold in the heat. However, I would first wrap the crown shaft with a terry cloth towel, then wrap the cables/lights over the towel, as sometimes the lights/cables can sear the delicate crown shaft tissue.

I would only advise the above method when temperatures drop below 0C/32F, or close to it, as your palm most likely will be okay.

I executed the above method last January when my low temperature dropped to almost -5C. While the fronds got fried, the trunk, crown shaft and growth bud was not subjected to such a cold temperature, hence the palm recovered quite well, as the below photos atest.

2946617620042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

One of my Archontophoenix alexandrae palms near my house. Note the heating cables and insulation (flannel sheet) wrapped around the crown shaft. This photo was taken about two weeks after the freeze, in preparation of another cold night, and you can see all the dead frond leaves from the January freezes, plus a new spear that is opening.

2234765380042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

My Archontophoenix alexandrae about 75% recovered. It still needs to regrow several more fronds for a full canopy.

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Most of my Alex palms are too big to cover, and none of the thousands of them planted around my suburb are covered either. Big ones come back from a frost. They look awful for a while but eventually pick up again. However if you get frost every winter, then you will never have them looking their best. Cold doesnt seem to worry them. We get 20 or more below 0c down to -2 or -3, no frost though, and they are fine. Only other way to protect them is to grow something taller on side of them that the frost affects. (here it is the east that the shelter must come from.) If they are on the western side of a house, large tree etc, they will be fine. Siting is an important factor. I think for you also the north side of the house offers shelter too. I love Verschafelltia splendida. I have bought so many of them, watched them grow strong and happy, then die in a few days once winter sets in. A part of growing palms is accepting that something will not do well for you. Right now we are having terrible heat (40+) and many of my high altitude tropical palms are quite sick, so there is always something happening.

Peachy

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As you can see here: http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=20979, this new palm seems to be a cunninghamiana.

However, do your advisements remain valid to this palm?

May i cover the crown shaft Walt?

Peachy, its so curious, i was looking for a cunninghamiana, and i just had one in my yard!

Here are some photos of my palm.

post-3292-1258839764_thumb.jpg

Edited by rafael
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Another one

post-3292-1258840344_thumb.jpg

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And the last one

post-3292-1258840631_thumb.jpg

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Besides all that i wonder the following: my palm is located east, protected by my house, as shelter, from west sea winds.

How far is that protection important. Concerning to its size do u think it would be ok if located facing west winds? Thats because i am thinking "giving her a sister", the next spring.

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I saw that the flowers on the tree are a pink colour. That is definately a cunninghamia. I dont think frost will bother it at all. Or maybe just burn the very ends of the leaflets at most. Always put frost sensitive plants to the west side of shelter. The sun comes up in the east and that on the frost is what they say does the most damage. I get a strong easterly wind from the sea late almost every afternoon, and mine are in its direct path, but they look good. It needs to be a very very strong wind to make them tear. One point to note however. Alex palms usually relocate without a problem Cunninghamias on the other hand do not like to be moved once they are planted and the loss rate I am told is about 80%. I have never successfully transplanted a cunninghamia.

Peachy

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As you can see here: http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=20979, this new palm seems to be a cunninghamiana.

However, do your advisements remain valid to this palm?

May i cover the crown shaft Walt?

Peachy, its so curious, i was looking for a cunninghamiana, and i just had one in my yard!

Here are some photos of my palm.

Rafael: I only wrap (using heating cables or string lights and blankets) to the crownshaft (to protect the growth bud) and trunk when the temperature would drop low enough to actually kill the palm and/or damage the growth bud severely. My theory is that the palm will incur less physical trauma and regrow its fronds better if the growth bud never sees temperaturs below 0C.

I found that it's not wise to directly contact the crown shaft with heating cables or string lights, as they can scorch the crownshaft tissue. However, direct contact to A. cunninghamina seems to be okay as the crown shaft tissue is much more dense and tougher and layered, whereas A. alexandrae is not. Same goes for adonidia (I scorched one of these badly many years ago). Now I first wrap the crown shaft with a terry cloth towel or some other type of fabric so the cables/lights don't make direct contact. Then I wrap a blanket over the cables/lights to hold in the heat.

Below is an old photo of a triangle palm that I spirally wrapped over the growth bud area with a heating cable prior to wrapping over that with a blanket

1060956345042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

The heating cables (Easyheat brand) are like soft, supple and very flexible electric extension cords. Mine are rated at 7 watts per lineal feet (or 22 BTU/LF).

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Peachy: as i told, my a. cunninghamiana is east side planted, and must remain there. Next spring i will bring another and put it at west side.

Walt: but the new spear must not be covered, as i understood, right?

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Peachy: as i told, my a. cunninghamiana is east side planted, and must remain there. Next spring i will bring another and put it at west side.

Walt: but the new spear must not be covered, as i understood, right?

Rafael: The more you can cover the better. What I'm saying is if you can't protect the fronds and spear (because the palm is too big to cover) at least protect the trunk and crownshaft. And again, I would only do this if the temperature was going to drop much below 0C.

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PEACHY

My west side sheltered receives sea wind too, 2/3 times a year a strong wind. If i buy another adult cunninghamiana, what is the best side?

I have a Howea fosteriana (http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=20663), and i will plant it in the ground, maybe next spring. What of these two sides would you choose?

Edited by rafael
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Rafael, wait and see how your cunninghamia is after this winter. I think it should be alright on the east side. If it is, then plant the new one there too. Howeas dont live after a bad frost. However, the sea wind probably will not hurt it as they come from a small and windy island, where it can get very cool. Howea dont mind cold, just not a heavy frost. I would plant it on the west side where there is no frost risk to it. Trachycarpus should be good for your east side too. They are attractive and frost never hurts them. I have seen photos of them covered in snow and still unharmed.

Peachy

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Walt, please, should i protect on rainy nights too ?

And should the protection be put only at night, and removed on the begginning of the day?

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Walt, please, should i protect on rainy nights too ?

And should the protection be put only at night, and removed on the begginning of the day?

Rafael: No protection should be needed, rain or no rain, as long as the low temperature doesn't go below, say, -2C.

When I wrap a palm, I generally leave the wrappings on for two nights, as that is usually how long the worst of the cold spell is where I live.

Below is a series of photos showing how I wrapped a small majesty palm. No frost can get to the fronds to burn them, wrapped this way. You can see a heating cable wrapped over the flannel bed sheets I used to wrap the palm. I then wrapped a PVC tarp over the sheet, as the sheet would have gotten wet with dew prior to freezing. The dew condenses on the tarp rather than on the sheet (wet sheets provide no insulation value).

Further, you never directly wrap a plastic (PVC) tarp over foliage, as the tarp is a good heat conductor and will conduct heat from the foliage (leaves) and the leaves will burn.

1060954120042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

Step 1: Bundle (tie up) the fronds with rope so as to reduce the girth of the palm canopy. Tied up fronds help better protect the foliage on the inside from cold. Note that I installed a 1" PVC pipe and tied it to the palm. The pipe extends to the top of the palm. The pipe is used to support most of the static weight of the sheets and PVC tarp. If one sheet isn't enough to cover the palm, start a second sheet and clip it to the top sheet with spring loaded clothes pins.

1060954636042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

Step 2: Cover tied up fronds with a flannel sheet (of some other insulative material), then spirally wind a heating cable around the palm

1060955184042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

Step 3: Wrap a PVC tarp around the palm, covering the sheet so that dew will form on tarp and not sheet, as the dew will wet the sheet and render it usless as insulation

After the frost and freezes, I unwrapped my majesty palm and it was flawless, while some unwrapped palms were frost damaged.

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Thanks a lot Walt, you are really very kind!

What an exaustive procedure! What a lesson!

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I cannot add anything to the advice you have already received, but post freeze fungicide cannot be stressed too much! Brands like Subdue Maxx & Aliette WDG are the broadest spectrum fungicides and are the most effective for me in saving palms from cold damage.

They are systemic which is helpful (especially on larger specimen trees.) They should be available where growers' chemicals are sold in your area.

Best wishes for a good Christmas Holiday, Rafael!

Paul

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I cannot add anything to the advice you have already received, but post freeze fungicide cannot be stressed too much! Brands like Subdue Maxx & Aliette WDG are the broadest spectrum fungicides and are the most effective for me in saving palms from cold damage.

They are systemic which is helpful (especially on larger specimen trees.) They should be available where growers' chemicals are sold in your area.

Best wishes for a good Christmas Holiday, Rafael!

Paul

Thanks Paul,

I am wishing winter freeze and frost (light here) wont hurt so much any of my outdoors palms.

My only fear is about my howea, wich i talked about at http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?sh...mp;#entry353456, that was indoors and now is outdoors in the ground.

But anyway, i will consider your advisements.

Best Christmas wishes to you too, Paul.

Rafael

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