2018 freeze in central Florida

38 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Worried all night about my royals, foxtail, Alexander, and robellinii’s from last nights freeze, wasn’t overly concerned with my duo headed sago which pulled thru well. Have to say that I’m impressed of how the Alexander, the foxtail and robellinii’s pulled thru undamaged. The royals on the other hand has some burnt foliage which I sort of expected but the palms themselves survived. We’re expecting one more freeze tonight and I’ll have my fingers crossed. By the way, my t-stat here in Deltona was at 31° at 6:10 am. The weather Channel has us expected to be a low 29° tonight.

Edited by Ravensdog
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My royals are 16ft. juveniles which I think held remarkably well,....one more night to go.

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Good luck! Keep us updated.

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Well.....another low freeze temperature has passed with low of 31° again last night. It is now 10am with temp read of 37° here in Deltona, Florida. My palms have all survived the freeze, as stated in yesterday’s post the only damage occurred were that some foliage burn on my royals in which I’m very pleased that’s all that have occurred. The burn on the foliage isn’t a major problem as these royals will recover. So the plan was to add another royal to the collection of three and that plan isn’t changing I’m happy to say.

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:DMy wife now wants me to plant 4 coconut palms in the backyard now that she’s become a believer. A friend of ours has a few in her yard that are about 22ft. and are thriving. She has informed us that she haven’t experienced any damage from the freeze at all.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Ravensdog said:

:DMy wife now wants me to plant 4 coconut palms in the backyard now that she’s become a believer. A friend of ours has a few in her yard that are about 22ft. and are thriving. She has informed us that she haven’t experienced any damage from the freeze at all.

Damage on palms don't always show up right away. Those coconuts you mentioned, I am sure they were damaged and that will show up in the next few weeks, especially on the lower fronds. Glad to hear your palms faired well.

Edited by Palmaceae
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Cold damage many times will not show up till the heat arrives.   Then you know.  I have had several palms simply collapse as their is no longer a viable flow of nutrients up the trunk.

 

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1 hour ago, Ravensdog said:

:DMy wife now wants me to plant 4 coconut palms in the backyard now that she’s become a believer. A friend of ours has a few in her yard that are about 22ft. and are thriving. She has informed us that she haven’t experienced any damage from the freeze at all.

22ft coconuts in Deltona?

I wouldn't recommend trying them there. Deltona is low end 9b if memory serves so I don't think the climate is too condusive for coconuts. 

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Last night the temperature here in Kissimmee/St Cloud went down to 28F. I haven't a clue how it got that low when area's much further north of us reported far warmer conditions. While the front yard was good, the backyard was completely covered in frost by morning. Fortunately I managed to cover everything up before dark with bubble wrap, cardboard, and tarps. Most of my palms came out none the worse for wear. I did have some minor frost damage on the tips of my Fishtail (Caryota mitis) where it touched the tarp, but otherwise is fine. 

Unfortunately both of my Adonidia's in the back got damaged despite having them covered. Last I checked they've been turning a nasty lime yellow with brown dots all over them. :( I think they are going to make it since the smaller leaves near the stems still look decent, but I'll definitely have to nurse them back to health. Surprisingly a Bottle Palm in my yard looks a little droopy, but otherwise suffered no apparent damage. Here's hoping tonight doesn't get nearly as cold. 

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1 hour ago, RedRabbit said:

22ft coconuts in Deltona?

I wouldn't recommend trying them there. Deltona is low end 9b if memory serves so I don't think the climate is too condusive for coconuts. 

@Ravensdog I would echo RedRabbit's comments, unless you have some ungodly way of protecting them as they grow.  I have 4 here; 3 juveniles (1 Maypan, 2 Jamaican Tall), and 1 trunking Green Malayan Dwarf.  I protect them when the temperatures are due to go below 40F.  In our "9a/9b/10a-ish" climates, depending on the year, they can get wiped out in almost any year.  I'd recommend getting a dwarf variety seedling and starting it in a very easily protected spot personally.... but if you do it anyway, good luck :)

We might all have some damage we don't know about at this point.  It will be at least next week before we know for sure as @_Keith and @Palmaceae have advised.

 

@ThePalmNovice Wow, that is pretty cold considering the vast majority of Tampa/Lakeland/Orlando/Daytona/I-4 Corridor commenters are reporting lows in the 30s!  Hope everything recovers!  Are you outside of town?  Any canopy on the yard?

 

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4 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

We might all have some damage we don't know about at this point.  It will be at least next week before we know for sure as @_Keith and @Palmaceae have advised.

This. Give it a couple of weeks to know for sure. 

 

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Posted (edited)

On 1/5/2018 9:59:37, kinzyjr said:

Wow, that is pretty cold considering the vast majority of Tampa/Lakeland/Orlando/Daytona/I-4 Corridor commenters are reporting lows in the 30s!  Hope everything recovers!  Are you outside of town?  Any canopy on the yard?

 

I'm right on the edge of where Orlando's urban development stops. From here it's suburban all the way until downtown. Yet go 5 miles east and there's nothing but farmland and swamps for the next 45 miles. The front yard has lots of old trees everywhere and a covered patio which is why I think it faired better than the back. The back yard is completely fenced in with nothing taller than 7ft growing in it. The north east corner of the yard especially got frost, which is where the Adonidia's were located. 

They've definitely been getting worse as time has gone on. They look much browner today and the leaves on the Fishtail are starting to turn brown. I've been trying to water them a lot, but not sure what more I can do to help them along post freeze. 

downloadfile.thumb.jpeg.00897343a44b9529

downloadfile-1.thumb.jpeg.7bec0f760de136

 

 

Edited by ThePalmNovice
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@ThePalmNovice The overhead canopy definitely makes a big difference.  Your pictures show some bronzing and browning, but if we don't get another bad cold spell, they may recover.  A poster in Brandon reported lows in the 20s as well:

Check out buccaneers37's post.

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, ThePalmNovice said:

I'm right on the edge of where Orlando's urban development stops. From here it's suburban all the way until downtown. Yet go 5 miles east and there's nothing but farmland and swamps for the next 45 miles. The front yard has lots of old trees everywhere and a covered patio which is why I think it faired better than the back. The back yard is completely fenced in with nothing taller than 7ft growing in it. The north east corner of the yard especially got frost, which is where the Adonidia's were located. 

They've definitely been getting worse as time has gone on. They look much browner today and the leaves on the Fishtail are starting to turn brown. I've been trying to water them a lot, but not sure what more I can do to help them along post freeze. 

downloadfile.thumb.jpeg.00897343a44b9529

downloadfile-1.thumb.jpeg.7bec0f760de136

 

 

Sorry to see the damage. :(

1 hour ago, kinzyjr said:

@ThePalmNovice The overhead canopy definitely makes a big difference.  Your pictures show some bronzing and browning, but if we don't get another bad cold spell, they may recover.  A poster in Brandon reported lows in the 20s as well:

At around 5am on Thursday morning temperatures in the 20s were very common actually. I checked Wunderground and probably 60% of the stations in N. Tampa were below 30f. I suspect the ones that weren't had some measurement error to be honest. 

I'm a little surprised to see adonidias with that kind of damage there. The temps here weren't much warmer and all the adonidias I've seen still look fine. Perhaps the duration was less here or there was less frost. 

Edited by RedRabbit
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17 minutes ago, RedRabbit said:

Sorry to see the damage. :(

At around 5am on Thursday morning temperatures in the 20s were very common actually. I checked Wunderground and probably 60% of the stations in N. Tampa were below 30f. I suspect the ones that weren't had some measurement error to be honest. 

I'm a little surprised to see adonidias with that kind of damage there. The temps here weren't much warmer and all the adonidias I've seen still look fine. Perhaps the duration was less here or there was less frost. 

There were different reports from different sites in my case regarding our low during the cold spell:

Wunderground.com: 28F

Weather.com: 32F

My weather station: 31.1F

While my weather station could be off a little, I am wondering where weather.com measured their low as I had always assumed they would also get it from the airport.

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6 minutes ago, kinzyjr said:

There were different reports from different sites in my case regarding our low during the cold spell:

Wunderground.com: 28F

Weather.com: 32F

My weather station: 31.1F

While my weather station could be off a little, I am wondering where weather.com measured their low as I had always assumed they would also get it from the airport.

Well that's weird, I would have figured Weather.com would go off of the airport too. I checked with weather.gov and it verified Wunderground's reading of 28f was correct... I saw there's a Wunderground station in downtown that had a low of 31.6f. Weather.com owns Wunderground so it is plausible they're using some of their data. That could be where their 32f came from.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

All the banana trees with the exception of mine from my house to Dale Mabry look totally fried, but mine have very minimal damage. My adonia has shown no damage so far.

Edited by Chatta
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2 hours ago, Chatta said:

All the banana trees with the exception of mine from my house to Dale Mabry look totally fried, but mine have very minimal damage. My adonia has shown no damage so far.

I have next to no damage on any bananas, or anything else other than coconuts for that matter.  This freeze wasn't much of a challenge for my garden.

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PalmNovice, I am surprised that your adonidia were so damaged like that.  I drove past various adonidia this week in central Orlando and nothing looked cold-amaged at all.

My garden/landscape/yard is located up in northern Florida (Gainesville), so we get a lot colder up here.  The ultimate low at my place was 27 F over the entire cold/storm event last week, but the number of hours below freezing was really concerning and has caused me a lot of damage ---- much more than I usually get from a quick dip down to 27 F or even lower.

DAMAGED:

- archontophoenix cunninghamiana (my South Florida ones are much more damaged than my California-origin ones)

- alocasias

- iresine

- crotons

-cordylines (except australis)

- shell ginger

- Royal palms

- cereus Peruvianus (cactus)

- hibiscus

- much more.......

 

NOT DAMAGED:

- all livistona (nitida, chinensis, mariae x decipiens, rigida, decora)

- Butia x parajubaea

- mule palm

- queen palms

- washingtonia

- dypsis decipiens

- pseudophoenix Sargentii (except for one that might be damaged)

-cordyline australis

- all bromeliads

- much more.......

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....and the list continues (remember, this is not central Florida. It's up in much colder north Florida): Some of the things in my "damaged" list were only a bit damaged; others were toasted:

DAMAGED:

- Arenga Micrantha

- dypsis mahajanga (too slow anyway)

- clusia guttifera

- seagrape (except under canopy)

- pstychosperma elegans (only slightly - because very sheltered location)

- streilizia Nicolai

- copperleaf

- pandanus furcatus

- ponytail palm (except the ones in very protected locations with overhead canopy)

-  all bananas

- Brazilian red cloak (new purchase; hope it comes back)

-  Crinum Queen Emma

- ficus elastica

- majesty palm (ravenea rivularis), but the very protected ones were not harmed

- calathea lancelotta

- amaryllus

- Schleffera Actynophylla

- shampoo ginger

- rattlesnake plant (the asexual reproduction one - can't remember the botanical name)

.......and more

 

NOT DAMAGED:

- kentopsis oliviformis (but both are planted in very protected locations under deep canopy)

- Dypsis Saintlucei (but don't run out and by this one if you're in Florida; too slow in our climate)

- all agaves

- bismarckia nobilis

- clivia

- Cyperus Papyrus Alternifolius

- chamaedorea radicalis

- Schleffera arboricola

- all opuntia-type cacti

- phoenix sylvestris

- phoenix reclinata hybrid

- phoenix theorphrasti hybrid

- unknown phoenix

- phoenix canariensis

- sago palms (cycas revoluta)

- yucca elephantipes

- philodendrom selloum

- aloe hercules

- aloe lizard liips

- chamaedorea microspadix

- dracaena draco

- golden shrimp plant

- pentas

- all bamboo (both bambusa and phyllostachys)

- cereus peruvianus cacti in back yard (but front yard one was damaged)

....... and more

 

And I must say that there is huge variation in how many damage my King Palms took.  Some of my may not be Archontophoenix Cunninghamiana.  The most damaged came from a vendor in South Florida who didn't know what they reallly were and was just calling them "picabeen" (might have been Archonophoenix Alexandrae because those are more common down in South Florida).  They are toast.  Yet a couple of very sheltered King Palms from a different Florida vendor (supposedly A. Cunninghamiana) were not damaged at all, but they were very sheltered underneath other larger plants because they were just small.  The big ones that originated from San Diego County, CA are not very damaged (if under canopy) but are pretty bronzed if they had no overhead canopy -- although not as bad as the "picabeens" mentioned above from South Florida.  The California-origin ones will likely recover unless the forthcoming freeze this coming week kills them first.   

I should add that I don't protect or cover anything when we have cold snaps. 

Edited by Sandy Loam
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And, of course, all of the usual, reliably cold-hardy palms were not damaged at all, such as Rhapis Elcelsa, etc,  I am just afraid of what this week will bring because the forecast for Wednesday night keeps fluctuating between 23 and 24 Fahrenheit.  Wow - extremely cold.  I don't think I have had such a cold temperature in my yard since 2010.  

Now back to you Central Florida people....

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@Sandy Loam Thank you for sharing your observations!  It's interesting that you had damage on sea grapes during the last cold spell.  It's rare for them to be bothered by anything down here, even 2010.  Good luck on the next cold spell!

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2 hours ago, Sandy Loam said:

....and the list continues (remember, this is not central Florida. It's up in much colder north Florida): Some of the things in my "damaged" list were only a bit damaged; others were toasted:

DAMAGED:

- Arenga Micrantha

- dypsis mahajanga (too slow anyway)

- clusia guttifera

- seagrape (except under canopy)

- pstychosperma elegans (only slightly - because very sheltered location)

- streilizia Nicolai

- copperleaf

- pandanus furcatus

- ponytail palm (except the ones in very protected locations with overhead canopy)

-  all bananas

- Brazilian red cloak (new purchase; hope it comes back)

-  Crinum Queen Emma

- ficus elastica

- majesty palm (ravenea rivularis), but the very protected ones were not harmed

- calathea lancelotta

- amaryllus

- Schleffera Actynophylla

- shampoo ginger

- rattlesnake plant (the asexual reproduction one - can't remember the botanical name)

.......and more

 

NOT DAMAGED:

- kentopsis oliviformis (but both are planted in very protected locations under deep canopy)

- Dypsis Saintlucei (but don't run out and by this one if you're in Florida; too slow in our climate)

- all agaves

- bismarckia nobilis

- clivia

- Cyperus Papyrus Alternifolius

- chamaedorea radicalis

- Schleffera arboricola

- all opuntia-type cacti

- phoenix sylvestris

- phoenix reclinata hybrid

- phoenix theorphrasti hybrid

- unknown phoenix

- phoenix canariensis

- sago palms (cycas revoluta)

- yucca elephantipes

- philodendrom selloum

- aloe hercules

- aloe lizard liips

- chamaedorea microspadix

- dracaena draco

- golden shrimp plant

- pentas

- all bamboo (both bambusa and phyllostachys)

- cereus peruvianus cacti in back yard (but front yard one was damaged)

....... and more

 

And I must say that there is huge variation in how many damage my King Palms took.  Some of my may not be Archontophoenix Cunninghamiana.  The most damaged came from a vendor in South Florida who didn't know what they reallly were and was just calling them "picabeen" (might have been Archonophoenix Alexandrae because those are more common down in South Florida).  They are toast.  Yet a couple of very sheltered King Palms from a different Florida vendor (supposedly A. Cunninghamiana) were not damaged at all, but they were very sheltered underneath other larger plants because they were just small.  The big ones that originated from San Diego County, CA are not very damaged (if under canopy) but are pretty bronzed if they had no overhead canopy -- although not as bad as the "picabeens" mentioned above from South Florida.  The California-origin ones will likely recover unless the forthcoming freeze this coming week kills them first.   

I should add that I don't protect or cover anything when we have cold snaps. 

Sorry to hear of all the damage. :( 

 

 

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2 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

@Sandy Loam Thank you for sharing your observations!  It's interesting that you had damage on sea grapes during the last cold spell.  It's rare for them to be bothered by anything down here, even 2010.  Good luck on the next cold spell!

My seagrapes were not very damaged, actually, but the exposed portions (zero canopy) did have some bleached out looking leaves.  They each might have a few dead leaves, but those seagrapes will be fine.  The main problem with seagrape here is that they are growing in shade, so are very slow.  I would not want to attempt growing them out in full-sun, completely exposed locations this far north.

     My "damaged" category isn't very fine-tune.  Some things in that list were only a little bit damages, others more.  Yet, if winter stopped tomorrow, everything would pull through and survive just fine.  It's this coming week that could make things worse. 

    People may be talking about January 2018 (as a bad time for Florida weather) for a while unless it is to become the new normal with the weather yo-yoing up and down so dramatically.

 

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Sorry for all your loss. You have lost a lot. Keep smiling and happy growing in the upcoming months.:rolleyes:

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Here is another one to remember for zero damage after this past freeze (for the north Florida PalmTalkers):  Thrinax Radiata/Morissii (sold to me as Leucothtrinax Morrissi but I think it's really Thrinax Radiata, the more tropical looking one of the two with drooping tips and a more glossy/shiny leaf appearance).   It is showing zero damage after so many hours below freezing during the big freeze the week before last.   However, it is in a very protected location where it is mostly covered by other palms.  This is actually this Florida-native palm has not grown well for me.  It is too shaded out tto grow well, but too late to transplant at this point.  I am sure that I have never seen any cold-damage on this palm and I must have had it for about seven years.

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For all of you in Central FL, be thankful you're not dealing with this...

Snapshot from the past: Severely burned mass plantings of queen palms sometime in the 1980's at Epcot Center.

Also, just visible in this shot behind the fountain is a Phoenix reclinata hybrid clump severely damaged as well.

5a5ba039a9954_Screenshot(2).thumb.png.c5

Source of picture: YouTube music video "The Themes of Epcot Center (1982-1993)"

Edited by Opal92
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Did they ever recover???

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17 hours ago, Opal92 said:

For all of you in Central FL, be thankful you're not dealing with this...

Snapshot from the past: Severely burned mass plantings of queen palms sometime in the 1980's at Epcot Center.

Also, just visible in this shot behind the fountain is a Phoenix reclinata hybrid clump severely damaged as well.

5a5ba039a9954_Screenshot(2).thumb.png.c5

Source of picture: YouTube music video "The Themes of Epcot Center (1982-1993)"

I am pretty sure this is the time period where my parents recored 17F at our property in Odessa.

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I lost 4, 1g renda's out of 20 and 30 2 y/o seedlings out of 40 when we dipped below 48 early December. learned my lesson and brought everything for this cold snap, no losses thankfully.

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Sea Grapes with partial burn, first 2 probably due to partial canopy removal after Hurricane Irma, second 2 probably due to being new plantings this year, lack of wind breaks, and minimal canopy protection from roof overhang:

 

20180124_175555_SeaGrape_01_1024.jpg

20180124_175603_SeaGrape_02_1024.jpg

20180124_175833_SeaGrape_03_1024.jpg

20180124_175833_SeaGrape_04_1024.jpg

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Bananas burned up after the 28F day + partial canopy removal after Hurricane Irma:

 

20180124_175539_DwarfCavendish_01_1024.jpg

20180124_175539_DwarfCavendish_02_1024.jpg

20180124_175643_IceCreamBanana_1024.jpg

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Archontophoenix Alexandrae and Philodendron (slightly damaged):

20180124_175402_Philodendron_1024.jpg

20180124_175713_ArchontophoenixAlexandrae_1024.jpg

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On January 4th I had a radiational freeze with a low of 29-32f . I officially recorded 31.6f as the low, but temperature with radiational freezes tends to fluctuate some at different parts of the yard so the 29-32f range reasonably encompasses the whole yard. Total time below freezing was 2h 44m.

On January 18th there was a second freeze, but this time it was advective  with a low of 28f. Total time below freezing was 5h 35m. 

 

My Palms

Archontophoenix cunninghamiana- No apparent damage

Beccariophoenix alfredii- ~3% total burn

Dypsis leptocheilos- 60% burn (doesn't look too bad despite the damage)

Dypsis pembana- 70% burn (looks bad but should recover)

Kentiopsis oliviformis- 30% damage (small in ground specimen, one frond almost fully burned while the other two didn't)

Phoenix roebelenii- No damage

Ptychosperma elegans- 50% burn, possibly more damage to come later

Ptychosperma macarthurii- 20% burn

Roystonea regia- 95% burn (small in ground specimen, no spear pull yet but recovery uncertain)

 

Other Nearby Palms

Adonidia merrillii- Severe damage to exposed specimens, recovery uncertain.

Cocos nucifera- Small specimen appears to be dead, larger specimens have severe damage but with recovery uncertain.

Dypsis lutescens- Severe damage. My neighbor's look very bad, stems likely to die.

Roystonea regia- Large specimens took moderate to severe damage. Recovery very likely for all.

Wodyetia bifurcata- Mixed results. One might die, most have some damage (less than R. regia), and a few don't appear to have any damage at all.

 

Noteworthy Observations

K. oliviformis under performed A. cunninghamiana. Rumor had it that K.O. may be the hardier of the two, but that doesn't appear to be the case based on my experience. B. alfredii is also hardier which I didn't expect.

P. elegans didn't do as well as I had hoped. It is in a semi-protected spot and still took a good amount of damage. It just isn't hardy here. Others in the area are looking about the same if not worse, interestingly though the foliage did outperform R. regia.

P. macarthurii did much better than expected. It easily outperformed D. pembana and D. lutescens. This may be a good palm for Central Florida.

B. alfredii did great, as expected though. This just confirms to me it is a fantastic palm for Central Florida. Mine was almost completely undamaged while nearby coconuts will likely die. 

 

 

Edited by RedRabbit
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Posted (edited)

Just got home from a trip to Central FL (Orlando). Interesting seeing the cold damage throughout the area. Here are some pictures I got- a lot of these I attempted to get whizzing down the highway (don't worry I wasn't driving) and many didn't come out great.

More tender variety of bamboo severely damaged

IMG_1228.thumb.JPG.d48065bb87a7f34b5502d

A lot of broadleaf tropical trees in people's yards near Orlando completely browned- I think most of them were mango trees.

IMG_1235.thumb.JPG.18b6d41ea38f95392317a

Shefflera actinopylla had taken considerable damage, but most were already sprouting back from the stem.

IMG_1238.thumb.JPG.e4ba601bcad7487fac232

IMG_1240.thumb.JPG.bd62fbe7f80d8514f8cc0

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Dypsis lutescens. Most in the area I saw had 85% burn or more with some completely brown.

IMG_1242.thumb.JPG.50b87259ccba5afb893c2

Avenue of royal palms browned

 

IMG_1249.JPG

Edited by Opal92
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Posted (edited)

More central FL cold damage photos from trip I just got back from.

Most Strelitzia nicolae in the area had at least moderate leaf damage. Disney landscapers had evidently already removed damaged leaves off this one.

IMG_1256.thumb.JPG.50a0709259c3c8126573c

Ficus tree near the Luau area at the Polynesian resort had some foliage dieback.

IMG_1265.thumb.JPG.a638713c831e9affaa090

Bigger one up against the building had no visible effects from the freeze. It is a Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla). I think the other one near the luau area is the same species.

IMG_1271.thumb.JPG.e35f67a82b98a868b002b

I was delighted to find a Howea forsteriana. However, I was surprised to see it had cold damage considering the area only saw a freeze into the upper 20's and this one is in quite a protected area. I thought these had a little bit more hardiness to them.

IMG_1285.thumb.JPG.a4002c0d43a11068a11ac

Trunk detail of the Howea. Beautiful palm. The little palm just to the left of the trunk is another Howea- I wonder if it seeded itself there- would be really neat if that was the case.

IMG_1288.thumb.JPG.ebf3ebf7cbfae96714e5c

Foxtails at Epcot damaged.

IMG_1376.thumb.JPG.e324a4126d9a0018774da

Large foxtail at Polynesian did well.

IMG_1281.thumb.JPG.6082c561ce29f3805fa49

 

Edited by Opal92
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Here is some drone footage of my coconut and Adonidia merrillii in Orlando. A. merrillii is doing well. Coconut is trying. Some dead tissue still pushing through and lots of wilting. 

https://youtu.be/IiMcXVpZzd4

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