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Mexican Fan Palm Protection In Virginia

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So my Mexican Fan Palm finally got beat up when we hit 19 degrees F one night last week. So it is time to start protecting it. I put a heating cable around it today (Low is 25 degrees F tonight, a tempature it has been through before and stayed 100% green.) and will finish the protection tomorrow. I need to buy some burlap to keep the heat in. I will likely cut all of the fronds except the center spear off when I wrap it. No other palms of mine are being protected at the time and have no damage. 

20171225_164055.jpg

Edited by PalmTreeDude
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20171225_164108.jpg

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Here's what I'd do.  Tie up all the fronds.  Get some air conditioning/heating roll insulation and wrap everything.  Pile a lot of mulch around the base.  That's what I do for coconut palms here in South Texas when we have a freak cold wave.  In VA I'd suggest for the fan palms to keep in wrapped when the daytime temps. are below freezing - remove when they are in the 40's.

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1 minute ago, lahuasteca said:

Here's what I'd do.  Tie up all the fronds.  Get some air conditioning/heating roll insulation and wrap everything.  Pile a lot of mulch around the base.  That's what I do for coconut palms here in South Texas when we have a freak cold wave.  In VA I'd suggest for the fan palms to keep in wrapped when the daytime temps. are below freezing - remove when they are in the 40's.

Thank you for the advice, we have not had any day time tempatures below freezing yet, but what you said is probably what I will do. 

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What cable is that? Youre essentially doing there (minus the crown area) what i plan to do when mine trunk but I have rope lights. You could stake around it circus tent it like I did if you dont mind the trashy circus tent look lol. The way I did it last year on cold snaps I used binder clips to hold it together and made it easy to take up and down back when i was less aggressive on protection.

 

We are about to be hit by some EXTREMELY bellow average weather here soon and are already feeling the effects where I am at. So best of luck and hope it pulls through!

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The winter weather you are experiencing is and has been typical of the Mid-Atlantic region for much of the past 50+ years. The recent years of mild winters are anomalies. We had a disaster restoration business in the 1980s and knew that multiple nights in the single digits and days in the teens and 20s caused house pipes to freeze solid. Homeowners were oblivious until days went above freezing and their plumbing pipes burst and flooded their houses.

May I suggest that you find where you water enters your home from outdoors. In our house that was under the kitchen sink. We would leave the cabinet door open to the indoor heat. Then we turned the kitchen faucet to a very slow drip and it all night. In the Mt. Vernon area that was just enough heat and water movement to keep our pipes from freezing.

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Here's what I'd do:

Call yourself a realtor and sell your place, then call another and move to Florida, California or ?

You're the best palm daddy ever.

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I wish I could move, but I cant leave my family behind because I hate the cold!

 

As for this weather its more or less every 5-10 years we see these kinds of lows. I feel like we get less snow than in the 80s and 90s, but I surely dont feel the temps have gotten that much warmer since then. But we also have seen zones raise since the 1990 zoning was done. Essentially 2012 anchored us to 7a, without that year we would surely be classified at 7b or 8a. Seems every 5-10 we are reminded how cold the east coast can get in winter whether it be a record setting snow, or temps like these......

 

@PalmatierMeg I remember a while ago my grandpa telling me back when he was a kid most years there would be snow from dec-feb on the ground for nealry 80% + of those months. Ill admit we have surely warmed since then, and I hope we see more warming. I have read, hearsay of course, that Palmettos were seen off the Virginia coast in colonial times pre mini ice age and that moss was prevalent in the tidewater areas of Maryland and Virginia and less than 200 miles as the crow flies from the northern most native palm strand of today. Maybe a revival of our warmer weather is coming, or maybe not. We shall see.

Edited by mdsonofthesouth
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Im sorry but why did you link those?

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There's a glitch in the matrix...

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51 minutes ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

There's a glitch in the matrix...

 

51 minutes ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

There's a glitch in the matrix...

Glad to hear that. Those repetitions were creeping me out.

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Ill take the red pill Thank you very much!

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Anyways back on topic, @PalmTreeDude what did you decide to do? Im curious as to how this tree fairs seeing as this winter is proving to be quite terrible so far.

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Do a search on PT or even Google and you will see how people and even municipalities provide heated protection in some very hostile winters. Jim Hardy in Iowa has some great posts on how he protects his Washies. On the internet a guy in Toronto has posted detailed videos of the 2-3 story structures he builds over his palms.

Washies grow fast and recover quickly when spring returns. But speedy growth means they outgrow protection. Sooner or later winter there will claim them.

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Personally I only want 1 maybe 2 tender palms for now. If the livistona doesnt make it maybe ill consider one of these, honestly Ill likely stick with chamerops as my truly marginal palm.

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On 12/29/2017, 9:00:14, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

There's a glitch in the matrix...

:floor:      Hopefully the malfunctioning code won’t notice, snark is unbecoming here anyway. 

Edited by topwater
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You would like to think IPS directors have better things to do.  

Edited by topwater
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Personally, W. filifera / California Fan Palm is more stately in appearance than W. robusta. Especially away from an urban canyon environment, they are more like telephone poles. In Tucson, W. robusta actually look good, but only in a good context - their form and scale completely fails in Sonoran Desert.

No need to sweat that one! But then again, I generally like Sabal palmetto better than Washingtonia.

Edited by Desert DAC
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I agree, but filifera doesn’t tolerant the wet, humid east coast climate well.

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I would have planted a Washingtonia filifera but like PalmatierMeg said, it would basically just rot away here in the winter, which sucks because I heard of them surviving some really cold tempatures. If i lived in the Carolinas (8a +) or South I would of tried one, because I would not have to protect it. Then for Sabal palmetto, i would never see it get tall! 

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Sabal palmetto is by far my favorite palm, wish we could grow them in the DMV outside microclimates in VA beach..

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1 hour ago, mdsonofthesouth said:

Sabal palmetto is by far my favorite palm, wish we could grow them in the DMV outside microclimates in VA beach..

I have a ton of scattered seedlings of Sabal palmetto here through out my planter, so I am watching those.

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I might build a microclimate and see if I can get one to grow. Wife and i are doing an addition and I'll see if something can be done. Figure a nook with protection might work. One day when I have less to worry about my current palms I'll try.

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Here is an update of the Washingtonia robusta, I cut all of the lower fronds off and draped it in burlap with the heating cable under it, the center spear is still green. It went down to 10 degrees F a few nights ago. The picture is from today. Also, the scattered Sabal palmetto seedlings are doing fine. 

20180101_164941.jpg

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Sorry for the nasty wrap job, I was in a rush when I was doing it, I had to go somewhere. 

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Id rather it work than look pretty. My protection looks bad but works and thats what matters as we are in the business of makong palms live and not pretty cloth and tarp displays. :P

 

Glad you got it covered and awesome about the palmettos! Would love to see a shot of them when you get a chance as you're slowly motivating me to plant one here!

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Posted (edited)

21 hours ago, mdsonofthesouth said:

Id rather it work than look pretty. My protection looks bad but works and thats what matters as we are in the business of makong palms live and not pretty cloth and tarp displays. :P

 

Glad you got it covered and awesome about the palmettos! Would love to see a shot of them when you get a chance as you're slowly motivating me to plant one here!

I did find some today that curled up, this happened before to ones I had in pots out in the cold, but they recovered, so I am hoping the same for these ones. But there are still ones that are still fine, but most are under leaves that the trees dropped. These pictures are from today. Keep in mind we have been below freezing for about a week now which does not happen that often here, but so far we have not had any abnormal low tempatures. 

20180102_142221.jpg

20180102_142244.jpg

Edited by PalmTreeDude
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Typically we are at or slightly bellow freezing at night and above freezing during the day. The ground rarely freezes and if it does its shallow and thaws soon. but this has had us bellow freezing for even longer than you and have only gone above freezing in the day a handful of times. Its sad that I now miss our 35-45F typical winter highs....

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