How to remove those pesky palm trees from you landscape: The Dallas Method

32 posts in this topic

First step.... during winter have a week of low 70Fs temperatures.

Next, deposit and inch or two of ice and freeze solid for 4 days.

Temps must go no higher than 25F and low should be around 15F.

Polynesia20111481.jpg

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T.princeps and T. latisectus after ice

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Polynesia20111474.jpg

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Polynesia20111460.jpg

Jubea after ice

Then, snow 6 inches on top of frozen ice.

TonysGarden2011006-1.jpg

TonysGarden2011009-1.jpg

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Can't you just hear this Jubea screaming?

Make sure you are out of town during this event so you aren't tempted to protect anything.

Come spring all those rat nest, wasp producing, critter loving abominations of nature should be gone.

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If any of the larger trunks survive, they will develop necrotic lesions that will architecturally weaken the trunk and eventually collapse during a springtime severe wind outbreak.

Coldamage.jpg

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Sorry to see that Tony. Looks like y'all got it worse than us. Similar temperatures, but not quite as much ice and snow here.

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It looks wrong but palms are so beautiful when covered with snow.

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Do you really think they will all die? :unsure:

-Krishna

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Wow Tony. Wow. How many of the once in a lifetime freezes do you have to go through? Sorry to see that.

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Many will survive, with damage.

The damaged trunk in the image is a Sabal palmetto that survived the 1F back in 1989. The palm has a very luxuriant head of foliage.

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Keep us updated, Tony.

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Wow, that Brahea looks cool with snow.

Good luck with recovery,

:) Jonathan

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Best of luck with everything. I'd like to say even the worst cold weather event misses a few cool plants. I bet you come out better than anticipated. Remember, it is hard to use up all of one's hope.

Alan

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Well in the South of Europe along the coast they get sometimes similair low temperatures during extreme cold winters.

And a lot of palms survive it! The advantage of Dallas is that you get warm to hot weather for at least half the year. So those palms go in a much better condition into winter, and get much sooner regrowth then in our cold wet climate where I live.

Alexander

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Ouch!

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Tony,

Does that Brahea armata look damaged to you? Only the oldest fronds were damaged on mine last year, and it looks to be the same story this year with comparable temperatures to what you got.

I looked at my Jubaeas yesterday and thought they were going to be defoliated, but when I checked again today after it warmed up it looks like the fronds have recovered. I bet yours will be ok too.

The most surprising thing will be the two Trachys (princeps and latisectus) dying. I had several of each about the same size as yours killed by last year's freeze.

I think I have just about everything else you have, and it all did fine last year when we had our 3 day 12F freeze, so other than the small Trachys I bet everything else pulls through for you.

Good luck,

Martin

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It does look kind of peaceful looking with all the snow. Hopefully they will pull through with little permanent damage. What kind of green growth is that coming out of the really sad trunk in post #3?

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Thanks for the optimism. :)

Today was the first day we had temps above freezing from our recent cold snap.

Lots more damage will show itself over the next few weeks and months.

From what I observed today, Robusta foliage is toast, some butia foliage damage, B. armata foliage looks great, Jubea looks great, ButiaXJubea is great, filifera foliage still intact and green! Filibustas are in between the two. S.mexicana and palmetto, vary, some are untouched, some have partilly scorched leaves. Trachycarpus foliage undamaged: This includes princeps, wagnerianus and fortunei. S. minor untouched as is R.hystrix. Calypso oleander untouched... Cold hardy red also untouched. Damage to other types of oleander. Too early to tell how much St. augustine grass died or confederate jasmine. We usually don't get much frozen ground and I'm sure this penetrated quite a bit. As you all are well aware of, the part of a palm that is most sensitive to cold is the roots.

This is just what I've noticed in my immediate area. It doesn't mean that other parts of town fared differently or that, what I saw today wont further brown out, have spear pull, develop necrosis in their trunks or outright die.

Citrus leaves look green but I think they will defoliate, the trunk of my satsuma looks intact at this point. My agave collections all look great, no apparent damage so far. Gardenia looks great too. My cycads are all green and I know they are fixin to brown out.

Much of the snow and ice has melted in the city, but more is coming this Wednesday, they say.

That weed in image 3 is Dallis grass.

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Tony,

thanks for the report.

Looks like just one more week on cold and snow.

As for soil temps, I am more hopeful. My own soil thermometer is buried in snow but a state weather bureau nearby (mesonet.org) has real-time online soil temps at several depths. So, while air temps have gotten below zero farenheit, soil temp has stayed above freezing. For example, soil at 2" under bare soil (=worst case) has only gotten to 34 oF.

Hopefully that will give you some hope, as it does for me. --Erik

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Thanks for the optimism. :)

Today was the first day we had temps above freezing from our recent cold snap.

Lots more damage will show itself over the next few weeks and months.

From what I observed today, Robusta foliage is toast, some butia foliage damage, B. armata foliage looks great, Jubea looks great, ButiaXJubea is great, filifera foliage still intact and green! Filibustas are in between the two. S.mexicana and palmetto, vary, some are untouched, some have partilly scorched leaves. Trachycarpus foliage undamaged: This includes princeps, wagnerianus and fortunei. S. minor untouched as is R.hystrix. Calypso oleander untouched... Cold hardy red also untouched. Damage to other types of oleander. Too early to tell how much St. augustine grass died or confederate jasmine. We usually don't get much frozen ground and I'm sure this penetrated quite a bit. As you all are well aware of, the part of a palm that is most sensitive to cold is the roots.

This is just what I've noticed in my immediate area. It doesn't mean that other parts of town fared differently or that, what I saw today wont further brown out, have spear pull, develop necrosis in their trunks or outright die.

Citrus leaves look green but I think they will defoliate, the trunk of my satsuma looks intact at this point. My agave collections all look great, no apparent damage so far. Gardenia looks great too. My cycads are all green and I know they are fixin to brown out.

Much of the snow and ice has melted in the city, but more is coming this Wednesday, they say.

That weed in image 3 is Dallis grass.

I don't believe the ground froze out here, or only froze to a very shallow depth (<1"). My 50 gallon water troughs that sit on top of the ground did not even freeze completely. They had maybe 4" thick ice on top, but the bottom that is in contact with the ground did not freeze. I give partial credit to the 80 degree temperatures we had for several days prior. The ground had to be much warmer than normal for this time of year going into this. I think that is also part of the reason they keep botching the lows here during radiational cooling events this winter.

The frond damage is about the same here. I'm kind of surprised by the Sabals. They did not do this last year (except S. bermudana which was defoliated both years). Keep an eye on the Trachys. My T. princeps didn't have frond damage either, but then the spears pulled and they died.

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I just checked a 50 gallon water tank sitting on the ground but exposed to the air for my mares way out back and the same thing--thick ice, but not frozen solid despite air temps below freezing for about a week.

To be honest, I do not know the effect of frozen soil on palms as I always mulch deeply enough to avoid it.

The only Sabal I've unwrapped to check on is a "Louisiana" which appears fine. Mt two S. mexicana are the ones I am most curious about. I'll check them in a week. While it is above freezing right now, there is still a good snow pack I want to preserve--with more coming plus cold back down close to zero this week. --Erik

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Lots of damage to Butia foliage, usually there is none during winter.

With exception of the grey variety, with recurved leaves. No damage to it.

No damage to Jubea, or ButiaXJubea hybrids, or even a newly planted blue jubea.

My large ardisia japonica beds are all crispy. The taller variety of ardisia no foliage damage. All trichocereus cacti are mush, as is prostrate rosemary.

Stellar agaves are whales tongue, squid, salmiana, and scabra no damage.

All of my variegated agaves, bit the dust. Dasylirons, yuccas untouched.

Young filifera plants still green.

Cycas rostrata, toasted, Winners.. Dion edule and C. panziuensis still green.

Brahea armata looks perfect as to all C. humilis, including several cerifera

Over time these above plants may yet exhibit damage or even death, this is just a quick impression.

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Lots of damage to Butia foliage, usually there is none during winter.

With exception of the grey variety, with recurved leaves. No damage to it.

No damage to Jubea, or ButiaXJubea hybrids, or even a newly planted blue jubea.

My large ardisia japonica beds are all crispy. The taller variety of ardisia no foliage damage. All trichocereus cacti are mush, as is prostrate rosemary.

Stellar agaves are whales tongue, squid, salmiana, and scabra no damage.

All of my variegated agaves, bit the dust. Dasylirons, yuccas untouched.

Young filifera plants still green.

Cycas rostrata, toasted, Winners.. Dion edule and C. panziuensis still green.

Brahea armata looks perfect as to all C. humilis, including several cerifera

Over time these above plants may yet exhibit damage or even death, this is just a quick impression.

I'm noticing damage on my butias now as well, even the Jubaea hybrids. Mostly on the newest fronds on the largest ones which are heavily damaged. Fronds more than 5' above the ground all damaged. The lower ones still look alright. Silver Butia still looking good. Small Butia archeri (2' OA) completely fried. Smaller Butias 3'-5' OA look good.

Give it another day on your Cycas panzihuaensis. Mine looks fried now, but it took a couple of days above freezing for them to turn. Cycas revoluta fried. My Dioone edules still look ok. Most of the Macrozamias are fried (their caudexes are all planted underground, so they should come back). Ceratozamias still look good (C. hildae, C. latifolia, and C. kuesteriana).

CIDP's still green, not counting on that to continue. Phoenix species were very slow to show damage last year. I think it took at least 3 weeks last year though most are already fried now. Appears older fronds on P. theophrasti will die, but spears look ok. Same for P.sylvestris and P. dactylifera. Hopeful the CIDP spears will also remain green. Still see green way down inside P. humilis.

Brahea armatas look great. Largest Brahea moorei undamaged but it is planted in the most protected spot in the yard. Other Brahea moorei in exposed location showing damage on newest fronds. All other Braheas completely defoliated except B. decumbens which was protected.

Sabal causiarum, S. domingensis, S. etonia, and S. bermudana defoliated; S. guatamalensis, S. Riverside, S. rosei, and S. uresana showing partial damage to some fronds while others are undamaged on the same tree; S. minor, S. x texensis, and S. palmetto undamaged; S. mexicana all over the map from undamaged to completely defoliated. S. pumos and S. yapa brought in.

Chamaerhops humilis all appear to be damaged on the oldest fronds. Many of these were getting a little too bushy looking for my taste, so now I have a good excuse to clean them up a little. C. humilis "cerifera" undamaged.

Jubaeas (blue and green) all look good so far.

Chamaedorea radicalis and Chamaedorea microspadix have leaves that look ok, but many petioles are broken near the trunk. Possibly from the weight of snow/ice.

Trachycarpus takil and T. fortunei look ok. T. wagnerianus some damaged and some not. Trithrinax acanthicoma defoliated.

Livistona decora and L. boninensis defoliated.

Rhapidophyllum hystrix undamaged, but at the size mine are the spears will probably pull. They did last year too.

Washingtonias show varying results from undamaged to defoliated no doubt depending on how much filifera they have in them.

Nannorhops ritchiana very puzzling. I have two from the same source. One is heavily damaged every year (in fact was already damaged before this freeze), and the other seems not to care in the least how cold it gets.

Allagoptera campestris going to need more protection than a heavy frost blanket in the future if it will be this cold this long. It is defoliated. All Allagopteras will get Christmas lights and frost cloth wrappings in the future. They are pretty easy to protect, so just stupid not to do it.

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Hey Martin

I didn't know you had such a great cycad collection too.

Many of your cold damage descriptions are what I am seeing around the suburbs here in Dallas.

My theophrasti, looks that same as yours. It is a fast grower and hopefully will outgrow the cold damage. Mine is multiple suckering too.

My Brahea mooreii is untouched.

I noticed that most of your garden is in full sun and exposed to the wind.

My yards are protected from the wind by large live oak trees. The trees act as a tent, and the wind tends to blow above the tree top shield.

My C. radicalis and microspadix, are also green. Last year with the 12 inches of snow I had damaged petioles like you. Eventually all leaves fell off, but new growth occurred.

I do notice bronzing on some older leaves of C. humilis around town. I don't see any loss of trunks yet.

I remember back in 1983 when we had 12 consecutive days below freezing. The absolute minimum during that period was 5F. Many large palms survived though badly damaged. It was the second severe cold event in 1985 that took out all those recovering, and damaged survivors. Even after that year there were some survivors.

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Hey Martin

I didn't know you had such a great cycad collection too.

Many of your cold damage descriptions are what I am seeing around the suburbs here in Dallas.

My theophrasti, looks that same as yours. It is a fast grower and hopefully will outgrow the cold damage. Mine is multiple suckering too.

My Brahea mooreii is untouched.

I noticed that most of your garden is in full sun and exposed to the wind.

My yards are protected from the wind by large live oak trees. The trees act as a tent, and the wind tends to blow above the tree top shield.

My C. radicalis and microspadix, are also green. Last year with the 12 inches of snow I had damaged petioles like you. Eventually all leaves fell off, but new growth occurred.

I do notice bronzing on some older leaves of C. humilis around town. I don't see any loss of trunks yet.

I remember back in 1983 when we had 12 consecutive days below freezing. The absolute minimum during that period was 5F. Many large palms survived though badly damaged. It was the second severe cold event in 1985 that took out all those recovering, and damaged survivors. Even after that year there were some survivors.

I added the cycads last summer. They were all doing great until last week, but I planted most with their caudexes underground surrounded by perlite than covered with landscape fabric and gravel. Extremely doubtful the caudexes saw even freezing temperatures let alone 20's. I did the same with my Phoenix acaulis, so although it's fronds were fried months ago I expect to see it grow back again. One of my P. theophrastis is already growing a second trunk and it's trunk is only about 4" across at the ground. I have another one in the nursery doing the same at the same size. It is in a 30 gallon bag so I hope it's roots didn't freeze. I had planned to put those in the greenhouse, but it isn't done yet. Let me know what kind of cycads survive this for you. I've got more room for some if I could find more species that can handle the cold.

I am very exposed on this windswept hillside, so I'm sure that didn't help. If I recall correctly the winds were much lighter last year when we had the bad freeze. I'd kill for some big trees to block the wind, but the area around my house isn't really conducive. Out here a 15' tall Mesquite is a huge tree except along the river, and I mean right next to the river. Go 50 yards away and you're into shrubbery. The area around my yard (which is 3'-10' of fill dirt relocated from a nearby draw) is mostly a couple of inches of top soil covering a 6" thick layer of very hard rock, over several feet of very alkaline caliche, over 25' thick Angelo Conglomerate (think concrete).

The 1983 freeze here was "only" 5 days below freezing, but it was so cold that Lake Nasworthy froze solid enough that people ice skated on it. The cumulative cold that year was about twice as much as this year. Our record for consecutive hours below freezing is 144 hours in 1951. The cumulative cold that year was on a par with 1983. This year's freeze had about the same cumulative cold as the 1989 freeze which was more extreme, but much briefer here. I don't see how any palm could survive a 1951 or 1983 type freeze. Hopefully, we won't have another during my lifetime. We followed up 1983 with -1F in 1985. Ridiculous.

I'm noticing some minor damage on the spear and newest frond on the Brahea moorei I thought wasn't damaged earlier. Those fronds seem a little dessicated at the tips, and the newest frond's leafs are curling in some.

My C. humilis older fronds aren't merely bronzed. They look like properly cured alfalfa hay.

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Pic #2 in post #2 = horrible and beautiful at the same time.

Much more horrible of course.

I am so sorry that you have to go thru this,

Linda

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Almost predictably over here in Sydney we are getting palm damage (and fern and bamboo) from a weeklong heat wave of around and over 40deg C , and 35 all night!

Such is life. :(

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Martin,

re: " I don't see how any palm could survive a 1951 or 1983 type freeze.": the native Sabal minor made it. McCurtain county, OK, got to -22 oC in 1951. They "only" got to -16 oC last week.

Liz and Steve, I feel your pain. We get weather like that every year around here and I don't much like it. I swear I lose more plants to summer heat than winter cold despite sunshade, misting systems and watering. --Erik

Edited by Erik
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Does anyone have any photos of Cycas revoluta covered in snow, ice, or frost?

Jody

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Y'all are aware of our Arctic weather last week while we hosted the Super bowl.

We recently had a few days above freezing with themps in the 50Fs.

Tomorrow we are having another severe weather event. No.... not tornados.

Most of y'all may equate North Texas severe weather with Tornados... but we also have bitter cold and frozen precipitation.

THey are predicting frozen rain, sleet, and snow with accumulations of 4inches in the city, more in the Northern suburbs. Get this... the low temperature is supposed to reach 12F.

This weekend it is going to be near 70F...

Great example of a continental climate...

Here are some images of how things look after this recent cold blast.

DallasPalms2011003.jpg

The Jubeas in downtown are looking good.

DallasPalms2011009.jpg

Robustas burned. They did this last year, but came back. Will they this year after the prolonged cold?

DallasPalms2011012.jpg

Young filifera 3 years old.

DallasPalms2011015.jpg

Young robusta blasted.

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DallasPalms2011013.jpg

filifera

DallasPalms2011011.jpg

DallasPalms2011002.jpg

Jubea downtown

DallasPalms2011007.jpg

Phoenix reclinata downtown in same Jubea microclimate.

Blasted.

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DallasPalms2011016.jpg

Phoenix theophrasti.

Overall in Dallas palms look like they were blasted by 15F temps. ( that was the minimum temp in the city) The only difference at this point in time after the freeze that reflects the prolong duration of below freezing temperatures is damage to Butia. Which you don't normall see at at a brief dip to 15F.

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Y'all are aware of our Arctic weather last week while we hosted the Super bowl.

We recently had a few days above freezing with themps in the 50Fs.

Tomorrow we are having another severe weather event. No.... not tornados.

Most of y'all may equate North Texas severe weather with Tornados... but we also have bitter cold and frozen precipitation.

THey are predicting frozen rain, sleet, and snow with accumulations of 4inches in the city, more in the Northern suburbs. Get this... the low temperature is supposed to reach 12F.

This weekend it is going to be near 70F...

Great example of a continental climate...

Are y'all being punished by God? All of a sudden Dallas has the same weather as San Angelo only with more precipitation. Actually San Angelo has been in the 60's 4 days straight, DFW could only manage 50's? If it wasn't damaged last week I don't guess it is going to get damaged this time either, but this is still BS.

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