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Suggestions for a "different" palm tree for my front yard

18 posts in this topic

Guys, I am looking for suggestions for a palm tree that I can put in my front yard that will be "different" from what my neighbors have.

My conditions:

I live in Enterprise, Alabama, United States, Zone 8b USDA 2012. I have lived at this location since February of 2007. It gets pretty humid here during the winter, and the soil remains wet each year until the Spring comes. Over the past 5 winters, the coldest recorded temps in my yard were (°F) 15.1, 17.3, 19.8, 19.5, 19.2. The two coldest temps occurred on consecutive mornings in the coldest year.

My neighbors:

To be honest, there are not many palm trees around here. I see quite a few Sabal palmetto, Sabal minors, Pindo, Windmill, and Washingtonia. There are some very rare occurrences of Canary Island Date Palms, though we appear to be living on the extreme Northernmost fringes of where they can survive.

My yard:

I have two very nice Sylvester/Medjool hybrids that are about 14 feet tall. I also have many CIDPs, including a couple of larger ones. My experience with CIDPs is - mileage varies. I have managed to find an incredibly strong one that is very lush green and growing like crazy. This particular one is unusually cold-hardy and, with no protection, gets zero damage to at least 19.2 degrees (it was only slightly damaged during the 15-17 degree freeze). On the other hand, most get damaged at around 20 degrees and defoliated at around 18 degrees. I also have a very nice larger Cuban Royal (major protection going on). I have a couple of Washingtonia Robusta that get defoliated, but not until the very coldest night(s) each year. I have a medium-sized European fan palm, and a couple of smaller Silver European fan palms. I have a few Windmill palms. I have a smaller Mule palm that is doing well, with protection. I have a larger Sabal Palmetto. Also have several small Needle palms and Sabal minors.

So, what I am looking for is a larger palm that is different and that will survive at my location without protection, and with exposure to Northern winds during the winter. And I would prefer at least a medium growth rate.

Suggestions?

Edited by Kostas
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One of the hybrids maybe? Jubaea x Syagrus or Butia x Parajubaea?

-Krishna

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What about a Bismarkia? Could that make it there? Now that is a cool palm tree!!!

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Maybe a mule?

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Butiagrus

....also, although not an especially "large" palm, Trachyarpus wagnerianus is a beautiful cold hardy palm.

Just my humble opinion but if I was starting a cold hardy garden with "tropical" looking palms...I would start it by planting Butiagrus, T. wagnerianus, Rhapidophylum hystrix and Brahea mooreii in large numbers.

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Would buying and planting a trunking Jubaea be an option?

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Would buying and planting a trunking Jubaea be an option?

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Would also consider Brahea clara and armata.

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XButiagrus for sure (and I am not saying this because i grow alot of them). Jubaea second only because a trunking one will set you back thousands of dollars. I wish i could grow a Jubaea. You probably can!

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Maybe a Rhopalostylis sapid? Except maybe for the wind. It's from NZ where it gets pretty chilly. Maybe some of the kiwi bro's on the site may know if it's suitable. Sweet as!

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B. armata

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Dypsis Decipiens

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I think many of the suggestions would die in your conditions, and you already have a mule. I like the idea of Jubaea or Jubaea hybrids, also the Brahea might work. Jubaea does seems to do well enough in Dallas, colder and drier than you, it does not do well in Florida however, where it is wet and warmer than you.

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I'm in a similar situation, temperature and climate-wise and I am trying to grow a few species that you didn't mention, like Livistona nitida, L. decora/decipiens (not in the ground yet), Brahea "Super Silver" (also still in a pot), R. hystrix, Serenoa repens. I have a Rhapis under an oak tree that has been undamaged the last 5 years or so. An Arenga engleri and Sabal maratima went in the ground this year. Chamaedorea microspadix does well here. Sabal bermudana has done well too.

I have very sandy soil and I think that is why bananas and Trachycarpus slowly die here. My W. filifera is suffering nutrient deficiency and will probably go as well.

Edit: I was just looking through some old photos, and the Rhapis was defoliated in 2010, but has come back as if nothing happened. It's still a pretty small plant.

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Redbeard, the filifera is dying most likely from the heat/humidity combo. We got a few large ones in Panama City that survive but don't look that great. "Filibusta' hybrids on the other hand do great. Phoenix and their hybrids, various Butia hybrids, Chamerops varieties, Sabal species, various Trachys.....possibly a few of the Livistonia's....these are pretty much your palate to work with. I would definately get into banana's, bamboo's, bromiliad fruit trees such as loquats and magnolias if the tropical look is what your going for. As far a palms for southeast 8b...just not that many....oops almost forgot Rhapis excelsa, C. microspadix, and radaclis and needle palms.

To push the envelope....Allegoptera, Nannorohps, Brahea, J. caffera are a few to try.

You get a lot of heat and humidity in the summer that's what limits the Brahea possibly.

Oh....and create microclimates with the use of hardscape...walls, courtyards etc.....5 degrees can make a huge difference living on the edge.

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Sabal uresana

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Sabal causarium or S. domingensis?

Massive!!! Impressive! Gives a very southern, almost tropical look, and even though they are not the cold hardiest in the genus, they may work in a good spot in USDA zone 8?

Sabal bermudensis? Butia yatay? Jubæa chilensis

Mules, as mentioned above, are great too...

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Sabal causarium or S. domingensis? Massive!!! Impressive! Gives a very southern, almost tropical look, and even though they are not the cold hardiest in the genus, they may work in a good spot in USDA zone 8? Sabal bermudensis? Butia yatay? Jubæa chilensis Mules, as mentioned above, are great too...

As for the trunking Sabals, the hardiness should go something like this (most to least hardy) S. birmingham, S. palmetto, S. bermudana, s. causarium. Dont think domingensis will make it there.

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S. Riverside is supposed to be very hardy as well.

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