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ruskinPalms

9A versus 9B

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ruskinPalms

Hi all,

I think that I live a 9B area. I used to live in a 9A area in Tampa Palms/New Tampa area. Pretty much looks the same in 9B as in 9A. Queens, Dates, washingtonia, Butia etc. What grows in 9B that won't grow in 9A? It seems to me that if you can grow it in 9B then you can probably grow it in 9A and even 8B...Things don't start to seem too different to me until one is in a true 10A area. Maybe I am missing out on some wonderful 9B and up palms? I suppose that the issue is that palms for 9B must be just as frost and freeze hardy as palms that live in 9A/8B. Any thoughts?

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SoLando

When I go up to Gainesville (9A or 8B), there's DEFINITELY less palms - I didn't see any CIDPs, queens, washies, pigmies, etc. I mostly saw sagos, saw, and plenty of sabals.. Here in Orlando, you find a wide variety - queens, foxtails, dates, washies, some coconuts that have the perfect microclimate - same with royals. ...Don't know what that tells ya, but that's what I notice when I got up to  Gainesville for UF games (tomorrow vs. Kentucky!).

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spockvr6

Bill - I tend to agree with you.

There is not a terribly drastic change in what one can grow in 9A versus 9B.  The same palms seem to apply.  

IMO, the landscape drastically starts to change in 10B, or fringe 10A/10B areas.  Even 10a means 30F and the possibility of lots of frost, which can do as much (or more) damage than temperature.

Speaking about my area specifically (as I am most familiar with it) there are many parts of Pinellas that are a very long term solid 10A and they still dont look that much different than the long term borderline 9B/10A areas.  However, the long term 10B areas (like downtown St. Pete) look WAY different.  There is no comparison.

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spockvr6

(ruskinPalms @ Sep. 22 2006,21:22)

QUOTE
Hi all,

I think that I live a 9B area. I used to live in a 9A area in Tampa Palms/New Tampa area.

The other thing Id mention is that, most areas seem to be running about half a zone higher than the old maps suggest.

So, the 9A areas in New Tampa are really more like 9B.  I work in Temple Terrace (just next door to New Tampa) and have driven there daily for over 7 years.  Although it is far colder out there than areas further west near the Gulf, in this 7 years time I have not seen one instance of a really solid 9A temp during a morning commute.  January 2001's radiational freeze was dang close though (25F and I saw ice skimming the water in the roadside drainage ditches in the tech park where I work).

I suspect your area, much like mine, is 10A most of the time but 9B just often enough to really mess up your psyche.  As each year passes, youll learn more and more how your exact plot fits into the scheme of things.

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SubTropicRay

Coconuts and Royals can live for years in 9B before being wiped out by a hard freeze.  In 9A, that hard freeze is almost a yearly occurence.

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JeffreyApolloBeach

How about Foxtails?  As these become more common in the Home Depot and Lowes of the area, more people will be buying them.  In 5 to 10 years we should start noticing a line of where these will live longer.

Jeffrey

Apollo Beach  zone 9b

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spockvr6

(Ray, Tampa @ Sep. 23 2006,13:35)

QUOTE
Coconuts and Royals can live for years in 9B before being wiped out by a hard freeze.  In 9A, that hard freeze is almost a yearly occurence.

In the end, they are still dead...they just get a little bigger before getting turned into mulch!

Boy....I thought you were supposed to be the pessimist Ray :D

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SubTropicRay

Hi Larry,

They may not all be dead in 9b.  The larger the palm gets the better chance it has of surviving the harsh freezes.  If you brought in a big Royal and planted it in 9a, the frequency of the freezes would eventually (sooner than later) takes it toll.  As you stated however, even in 9b most will be soft and mushy in the end.  There's the pessimism you were looking for LOL.

Ray

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ruskinPalms

Ray, I would be happy if my coconuts and royals make it a few years at at time as they are beautiful even small and actually grow pretty quick. Furthermore, queens etc. may look better on average in a 9B area compared to a 9A area as there will be less yearly damage. Not sure if this is an advantage, but queens have seemed to have naturalized to wetter, protected 9B areas and up, among other palm species.

Jeffrey, we are in the midst of an experiment on a massive, corporate scale with Foxtail palms...Some of these suckers are certainly hardier than others. It may take a couple of decades, but cold and frost hardy foxtails may be selected for if the big box stores keep pumping them out. I personally have a total of 8 foxtails in my landscape in group plantings. They were not all bought at the same time and place, so I expect there to be some variability with them. I am sure some will survive 20 years at a time and will withstand 9B freezes. When the next big '89 feeze hits, my queen palm will likely be dead along with everything else in my yard. I am not sure if what I am typing makes sense, but didn't Bismarckia used to be quite frost and freeze sensitive and now the stonger ones prevail?

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cfkingfish

You will find that the 9a/9b barrier is more noticed when growing less common palms. There are many species of Dypsis, notably the Chrysidlocarpus subgenus (lutescens, lanceolata, fake ambositrae, madagascariensis, cabadae, pembana, decipiens, onilahensis, baronii) that can live in long term 9b climates but will eventually die out in 9a areas. These palms grow back from their roots, but in a 9a, where Ray mentioned these hard freezes occur yearly, the palm will croak as it cannot recover year after year.

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spockvr6

(Ray, Tampa @ Sep. 23 2006,17:36)

QUOTE
Hi Larry,

They may not all be dead in 9b.  The larger the palm gets the better chance it has of surviving the harsh freezes.  If you brought in a big Royal and planted it in 9a, the frequency of the freezes would eventually (sooner than later) takes it toll.  As you stated however, even in 9b most will be soft and mushy in the end.  There's the pessimism you were looking for LOL.

Ray

Ray-

Good to see the old Ray back :D

Thats the thing.  In a 9b area, one MUST start with a large sized Royal or Coconut to even have a chance.  I think that is also pretty much the case in a low 10a area.   Its not semi-easy street until 10b IMO.

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spockvr6

(ruskinPalms @ Sep. 23 2006,18:13)

QUOTE
Jeffrey, we are in the midst of an experiment on a massive, corporate scale with Foxtail palms...

Bill-

I have frequently thought the exact same thing.

Foxtails are everywhere now.  They are so widespread that I have actually started to think that they are 100% suitable to this climate.  I guess well see over the next 5-10 years how things go.  If there are lots of mature seeding specimens all over the place, then I guess that will be the final arbiter.

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SoLando

I've even noticed, foxtails are lining the streets of my neighborhood - a few of them well over 10ft. and pretty fat towards the base. I, personally, think they are "nicer" looking than the ordinary queen, sabal, or washingtonia. Foxtails are the next "big thing" in palms these days..but that's just fine and dandy with me!

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SunnyFl

(SoLando @ Sep. 24 2006,13:20)

QUOTE
I've even noticed, foxtails are lining the streets of my neighborhood - a few of them well over 10ft. and pretty fat towards the base. I, personally, think they are "nicer" looking than the ordinary queen, sabal, or washingtonia. Foxtails are the next "big thing" in palms these days..but that's just fine and dandy with me!

I want seeds from the O-town foxies :D

I wonder, with the faster-growing palms like foxtails, if they are increasingly grown up in Central FL, they might increase their cold-tolerance.  Sure hope so.

They're showing up all over St. Pete, and there's a nice grouping up in Largo - really great to see them up here.

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Dave-Vero

Foxtails are very narrowly-distributed in the wild.  I suspect the cultivated ones, even if descended from a broad sampling of the wild trees, are genetically all about the same.  

Since foxtail is very similar to Normanbya normanbyi, it'd be interesting to check the hardiness of the the latter species, and to see if it hybridizes with the former.  

PACSOA, Wodyetia

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NBTX11

(SoLando @ Sep. 22 2006,21:30)

QUOTE
When I go up to Gainesville (9A or 8B), there's DEFINITELY less palms - I didn't see any CIDPs, queens, washies, pigmies, etc. I mostly saw sagos, saw, and plenty of sabals.. Here in Orlando, you find a wide variety - queens, foxtails, dates, washies, some coconuts that have the perfect microclimate - same with royals. ...Don't know what that tells ya, but that's what I notice when I got up to  Gainesville for UF games (tomorrow vs. Kentucky!).

You don't see any CIDP, queens and Washys in G-ville???  That's hard to believe.  We are also 9A, and there are THOUSANDS of Washys around the SA area, along with our fair share of CIDPs and even queens.  I would think that all of the above would be fine in Gainesville, at least outside of an 89 type freeze.

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NBTX11

How long would a foxtail make it in my 9A area.  SA climate is somewhat drier than the FL climate.  We get quite a bit of winter time heat (70-80F).  Winter low has been bottoming out in mid 20s, although ther was an upper teen reading about 5-6 years ago I believe.

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Palmy

I think once you get past 10a you can grow many different kinds of dypsis. I dont see much between but I would think more dypsis. Here in the bay area, if your in a 10a, you see a bunch of kings. I have only seen a few kings in the far east bay but near the bay I see them much more often, still not enough. I can grow howea here somewhat. I dont think I can grow those in a 9b.  But I would say the most drastic difference would be, being able to grow a bunch of dypsis's.

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Alicehunter2000

There is a ton of CIDP and Washingtonia here as well. When we get a really nasty freeze alot of the these look like they are going to die but grow back with a vengence. I guess most of the hard freezes here are at night and short lived. We are seeing a ton of Queens here in the last couple of years and it will be interesting to see what there long term prospects will be.

Panama City was zone 8b now is 9a YEEEEEHAAAA!!

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SunnyFl

(Dave-Vero @ Sep. 24 2006,17:29)

QUOTE
Foxtails are very narrowly-distributed in the wild.  I suspect the cultivated ones, even if descended from a broad sampling of the wild trees, are genetically all about the same.  

Since foxtail is very similar to Normanbya normanbyi, it'd be interesting to check the hardiness of the the latter species, and to see if it hybridizes with the former.  

PACSOA, Wodyetia

Interesting you should mention the hardiness of Normanbya normanbyi.  I was just looking at cold-tolerance info on this palm last night - from 2 researchers at Mongomery Bot. Garden & Fairchild.

The table shows normanbyi surviving 25F with no damage, but the foxtail being slightly damaged at 26 and severely damaged just below that (if I'm reading the table right).  Anyway, the link is here:

http://www.bg-map.com/PLMTBLA.HTML  

If the two do hybridize, wouldn't that result in a hardier palm, as hybrids are often more cold-tolerant than either parent, as in the foxy-lady hybrid?

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Bilbo

Bill - not a palm I know- Swietenia mahogani (mahogany) can grow in 9b where it is semi deciduous tho it prefers 10.  Its not possible in 9a I believe . . . (?)

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Bilbo

Sorry should have signed as below.

Regards

Jon

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Kathy

Great thread.  We were 9a many decades ago, and 9b for last 30 years or so, and are now usually 10a, trending there over last 15 years solidly.  The experimenting you see here now is a much different landscape than even 15 years ago, as the big boxes respond by carrying bananas and pygmy dates and hibiscus, etc.  As far as palms, Archontophoenix cunninghamiana was unheard of 10 years ago, and now many are planting them successfully.  The newer subdivisions have every other house planted "tropical style" versus older subdivisions.

Don't forget, though, for those of us in more Northern areas, the heating degree days (did I say that right?) is an issue.  Even as we become solid 10a, coconuts are impossible here.  For changes throughout a city, it'll have to be fast growers coming through the big boxes.  So we're seeing foxtails here too.  Of course, truckloads of Queens (probably near 100 in my neighborhood alone).   More are trying Ravenea -- Majesties.   And I think we'll be seeing more Royals!  (or at least borinquena if we start handing out seedlings!).

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bubba

I have seen Queens, Washingtonia's, Pygmies and many other exotics in Gville.

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alex_7b

I think you guys have it ALL BACKWARDS.

Orlando is becoming 10a because there are more and more Foxtails being planted. Royals and Spindles would hasten the rezoning.

If folks up in G'ville would start planting Bismarkia, Queens, P.syvestris & P.rupicola, they would see the area rezoned as a solid 9b. Maybe even plant Hibiscus out in the open.

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spockvr6

Alex-

You make my realism seem downright tame :D

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Trópico

(Alicehunter2000 @ Sep. 25 2006,00:42)

QUOTE
Panama City was zone 8b now is 9a YEEEEEHAAAA!!

Has a new USDA zone map been released yet and where can I find it?

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NBTX11

(Trópico @ Sep. 25 2006,14:12)

QUOTE

(Alicehunter2000 @ Sep. 25 2006,00:42)

QUOTE
Panama City was zone 8b now is 9a YEEEEEHAAAA!!

Has a new USDA zone map been released yet and where can I find it?

No, but both the 2003 "draft" USDA map AND the 2004 Arbor day map indicate places like Panama City are now zone 9a.  Plus the long term climate stats indicate that as well.  Supposedly USDA is working on another map to replace 1990 map.  The 1990 map is well know for being extremely conservative.  For example, USDA 1990 map shows me as zone 8b - haven't had a 8b winter in years and probably about 1 total in the last 16-17 years.

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SunnyFl

(Kathy @ Sep. 25 2006,09:50)

QUOTE
Don't forget, though, for those of us in more Northern areas, the heating degree days (did I say that right?) is an issue.  Even as we become solid 10a, coconuts are impossible here.  For changes throughout a city, it'll have to be fast growers coming through the big boxes.  So we're seeing foxtails here too.  Of course, truckloads of Queens (probably near 100 in my neighborhood alone).   More are trying Ravenea -- Majesties.   And I think we'll be seeing more Royals!  (or at least borinquena if we start handing out seedlings!).

Hi Kathy,

So you have a kind of Mediterranean-type climate?  There are a number of palms that prefer less tropical (heat n' humidity) growing conditions.  How are the rivs (majesties) doing?  Those are tough and forgiving palms - I would bet they'd do well there.  And what about Howea forsteriana - that's a beauty that, I'm guessing, would do much better in CA - it's not too fond of our sauna-like clime :D

D.  baronnii and onilahensis would do better in CA I think - one of the nicest pix I've seen of a baronnii was there - a healthy, full and gorgeous one.

I still don't understand the "heating days" concept though.

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SunnyFl

(alex_7b @ Sep. 25 2006,12:40)

QUOTE
I think you guys have it ALL BACKWARDS.

Orlando is becoming 10a because there are more and more Foxtails being planted. Royals and Spindles would hasten the rezoning.

IIf folks up in G'ville would start planting Bismarkia, Queens, P.syvestris & P.rupicola, they would see the area rezoned as a solid 9b. Maybe even plant Hibiscus out in the open.

Hehe, Alex - I think you just motivated Larry to plant cyrtostachys in Tarpon :D

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spockvr6

(SunnyFl @ Sep. 25 2006,21:47)

QUOTE

(alex_7b @ Sep. 25 2006,12:40)

QUOTE
I think you guys have it ALL BACKWARDS.

Orlando is becoming 10a because there are more and more Foxtails being planted. Royals and Spindles would hasten the rezoning.

IIf folks up in G'ville would start planting Bismarkia, Queens, P.syvestris & P.rupicola, they would see the area rezoned as a solid 9b. Maybe even plant Hibiscus out in the open.

Hehe, Alex - I think you just motivated Larry to plant cyrtostachys in Tarpon :D

Sunny -

You know I am a "climate realist" that somehow still plants too much out of zone even though I am fully aware of this areas worst freezes :D

But, if Alex's theory works, my yard will register on the new USDA map as Zone 12!

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NBTX11

And San Antonio will be a zone 10 on the next map!!!  :;):

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Palmy

I would  have to say Im in a solid 9b. Although that freeze in 90 got us down in the low teens, that doesnt mean im still a 9b(hehe). The bay area is very diverse climate. Concord, walnut creek, orinda are all 9b but lots of oakland, and cities near the bay are 9b/10a more 10a than 9b. And at the sea its a good 10a. Even though Im in the east bay, Im up about 1000 feet so the temp is a little cooler. Parts of orinda may be 9a. Here, we have moutians and valleys. The valleys really get cold at night on a clear night. On a clear night its not uncommon for it to be 30 up here and 25 down there. I remember last year, I went to safeway at 10 and it was 31 and they had salt out and whatnot. And back up at my house it was 37. One of the coldest nights last year. So its hard to get an accurate reading for all of the bay area. I wonder what this winter has in store for us. Already I can feel the upper 40's in the early morning.

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