How I "winterize" my palms

22 posts in this topic

Hey yall just wanted to show you what I do to protect my palms here in Maryland that seemed to work for my chamerops humilis. Should hopefully work on the trachycarpus and maybe even the livistona chinensis. :D Really hoping I can get all of them through the winter! Canopy coming in December hopefully to help keep all the cold rain we get out of the crown. Wish me luck lol.

 

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Edited by mdsonofthesouth
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All thats needed for z7a :D ...although Im still going to canopy these in december. 

 

 

20171110_100116.jpg

20171110_112500.jpg

Edited by mdsonofthesouth
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They really put out enough warmth to keep them from getting to cold or freezing?

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Wondered the same thing myself.

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14 hours ago, sashaeffer said:

They really put out enough warmth to keep them from getting to cold or freezing?

 

6 hours ago, Las Palmas Norte said:

Wondered the same thing myself.

 

The day I made the videos it was mid 30s and the night video was mid 20s and they were very much warm to the touch. Essentially these are to keep the mulch from freezing and the extra mulch is to help further. This setup is what I came up with last winter and it worked wonders on my chamerops humilis. Ill take temp readings one night and show yall the difference. 

 

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I remember trying these when I first got into

this because they are so easy to work with and look sharp,

I found that coiled up like that on the floor they warmed to slightly

over 100F right on top of them.

It wasn't enough here but probably could be with enough insulation...I was using

a clear PVC tent greenhouse,I tried a 100wt bulb next,then a 250wt floodlight

(+10F over outside temp)and also had to put a few covers on it to

get to +30F over outside temps,I now use mostly the old style C-9

Christmas lights...not as easy as the rope lights.:blush:

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6 hours ago, Jimhardy said:

I remember trying these when I first got into

this because they are so easy to work with and look sharp,

I found that coiled up like that on the floor they warmed to slightly

over 100F right on top of them.

It wasn't enough here but probably could be with enough insulation...I was using

a clear PVC tent greenhouse,I tried a 100wt bulb next,then a 250wt floodlight

(+10F over outside temp)and also had to put a few covers on it to

get to +30F over outside temps,I now use mostly the old style C-9

Christmas lights...not as easy as the rope lights.:blush:

5a0f8cd607d2a_tempgreenhouse.thumb.jpg.3

 

You may have seen this picture before but that's basically what I will do for arctic vortex type weather that sometimes comes here. The gauge says 25F but that night it dropped bellow 20F and with that having been planted in early September late August I wasn't taking any chances. The chamerops humilis under this temporary greenhouse was a sickly palm that was hidden in a corner neglected in the home depot garden center so I wanted to give it the best chance I could (and thankfully its thriving!). I will likely do this for ALL palms for the first 2-4+ years or until they get really established. Then I will likely only do rope or Christmas lights and mulch the root area to further prevent frost as we rarely have a frozen ground and when it happens its not for long and only a few inches deep so the mulch should help prevent the roots from getting frozen. I also may put an umbrella or something over the canopy like one user here and bungee it to the tree for rainy days as the temps here aren't what will kill palms, its the cold + rain. 

Edited by mdsonofthesouth
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Im taking some advice and walling up for the next 2 months. Not what I wanted to do, but my seedling trachycarpus seem to be quite tender their first year and I'm not taking anymore chances. Will likely just do this  fro the start the next 2 winters or until i have 3ft or more of trunk. 

 

The circus is in town....

20171222_151645.thumb.jpg.102c046f5fcd8b20171222_151657.thumb.jpg.beee336e111522

 

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Smart move to cover things.  No sense in taking unnecessary risks :)

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Yeah might as well give them the best start so they will fair better when they wont get circus tents lol. Still gets pretty cold inside them just not nearly as cold as before so they will still acclimate.

Edited by mdsonofthesouth
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I also like that you keep them covered with the heat, and don't risk messing them up. When I first got my Butias here in Virginia, they all defoliated the first winter 100% and now if they defoliate it is only the outer fronds. But what I think happened is the fronds that were used to the constant warm weather were shocked and killed off and now the true more "rugged" fronds are out. 

Edited by PalmTreeDude
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The only palm thats defoliated is my livistona chinensis. My trachycarpus dont even have tip burn and the chamerops humilis only tip burned last winter when it saw 15f for a night a few months after plantation. Oh and no real heat in the tents.

 

I cannot wait til i dont have to build these tents anymore, but for the next couple of winters its what I'll do til they are hardier and acclimated better. The canopy is great for keeping the cold rain off saplings and even seems to adjust the microclimate in a warmer direction without the walls. But now its a pretty big difference with the walls. Waiting on my temperature sensors where I'll monitor 2 spots in the big circus tent and 1 at the middle one.

Edited by mdsonofthesouth
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Posted (edited)

Ok after all this brutal weather I came back in town to find everything going well in my circus tents! The ground wasnt frozen inside and no more pulled spears! Put in my temperature sensors and still waiting for them to normalize but so far everythings working well for me and even the livistona chinensis still has green fronds haha!

 

Trachycarpus are breezing though which is a relief after the 2 that pulled. Chamerops humilis is perky as always and strong! Oh and my yucca gloriosa are looking the same as they did in fall/late summer, while my mystery yuccas are drooping a little (same as my gloriosa did their first winter) but looking strong!

 

20180101_164501.thumb.jpg.55ce4aaf4d5fb520180101_164443.thumb.jpg.1e8e4ceeb3d06c

Edited by mdsonofthesouth
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Heres the trachycarpus and chamerops sailing through ::crosses fingers::

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If we can get through the next week or so should be golden til spring. Learning alot and will be more aggressive next year on protection in hopes I get better growth towards being full hardy here. Granted I know there will be events where protection will be warranted in the future.

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Posted (edited)

Andrew great set up and posting.... you need to try some Chamaerops humilis var. cerifera. I bet they would sail through winter without any damage with your great protection method. Their much hardier than the green Chamaerops. Mine went through 12F with no protection for three nights once and no damage to leaves. That cold winter I had 5 days below 32F for highs. 

Looking good man, looking good. :D

Edited by Palm crazy
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Haha yeah the protection is just to get them acclimated and then ill go to spot protection for the green chamerops humilis. By the way that palm saw 15F its first winter when I was caught off guard by a bad forcast. I have 2 non palmate cerifera and a nice 7g cerifera from @TexasColdHardyPalms to plant here in march, although one of the non palmate palms might end up at my grandmas in leesburg florida. 

 

To give you an idea last winter we had normal temps and the chamerops only saw a mini circus tent for like 4 or 5 days and sailed through. Wont stop this method til the trachycarpus are hardy enough and the others get acclimated. Will likely end up spot protecting 2-3 years from now if all goes well. 

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I grew 2 out of zone Phoenix Sylvestris palms years ago. I wrapped the fronds together with wire and I then wrapped them with warming Christmas lights. The last step was wrapping them in frost cloth. It breathes and keeps out moisture, but allows sun to reach the fronds. I only burned the lights when temps were forecast to be below 20f. The fronds stayed beautiful and  green all winter. They grew so fast that by the 3rd year in ground they were too big to protect. Without protection they died as soon as they were exposed to temps in the teens. I no longer grow out of zone palms.

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Im going to limit myself to 1 maybe 2 true marginal palms. The rest will be trachycarpus or others that, when hardy and acclimated enough, should be easy here save for events like we just had. Im ok with protecting for a freak event like what we just had, but if I had to build the tent every year Id rip them out of the ground and never plant another palm that couldnt survive again. Time will tell what works and what doesnt but I am 100% sure I dont want to do this every year til I move...

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Smart move.  I'm growing 2 super mule palms in containers. Even though they're supposed to be more cold hardy than the original hybrid, I don't think they could survive our recent cold snap. In a 6 day period, we had two 12f nights and two 14f nights with highs only in the mid to upper 30's. Also, one day we got snow with highs in the mid 20's.

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Yeah this last event was quite the record setter it feels like. I cannot for the life of me remember any other time in my life having that many days of that level of cold. 17/18 winter is one for the books it seems and its just begun... Heres hoping the normal or milder winter forecast will be the story of the rest of winter. 

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Assuming it's not freezing raining, I use moving blankets wrapped at the base of my small stuff. I'll wrap with bungies to get it tight. The idea is to trap heat from the ground. Protect it from advective cooling. Works good for me.

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1 hour ago, buffy said:

Assuming it's not freezing raining, I use moving blankets wrapped at the base of my small stuff. I'll wrap with bungies to get it tight. The idea is to trap heat from the ground. Protect it from advective cooling. Works good for me.

 

I basically do this with rope lights and mulch to prevent the root area getting frozen during events like what we just had. 

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