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philinsydney

Where does it start looking tropical for you?

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philinsydney

We are lucky on the east coast because we have tropical-looking vegetation at least as far as 35S. the Illawarra district south of Sydney has fertile soils and a high rainfall, meaning there are large figs, bangalow palms and fan palms, flame trees and stinging trees growing wild.

But when I am travelling north the landscape doesn't really resemble the tropics until I reach Grafton and the Clarence valley. Here all of a sudden there are sugarcane plantations on the river flats overlooked by timber houses on stilts, and some enormous Moreton Bay figs in the paddocks. There is nothing quite like this south of Coffs Harbour.

Where do the pseudo-tropics start for you?

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bubba

In Florida,it follows a line at about 28 North on the East coast of the state(between Melbourne and Vero) to around Bradenton on the West Coast of the state(27.4 N). Coconuts grow from this point South and the climate is classified as Tropical Savanah(per Koppen) atleast on the coasts.

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SubTropicRay

Bubba,

I'd say the line crosses through the middle of Tampa Bay on the west coast. There are too many flourishing coconuts around here planted shortly after 1989 to argue that point. You're selling me short brother. On cool nights, Melbourne, Fl is no warmer than me. The heat island has really changed things.

This map is pretty good.

Plant Cold Hardiness map

Ray

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bubba

Ray, I agree. That fictional line does not take into effect Microclimates like yours.(See Sunken Gardens)

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tank

When driving down I-75, I'd agree with Bubba, when driving on I-275 or US-19, I'd agree with Ray.

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Tyrone

For me it's Litchfield in the Northern Territory. :D

But if you're talking coconut palm fringed waterways etc it's quite a bit closer at Kalbarri or Carnarvon. Carnarvon is at 25S, and Kalbarri is at the same lat as the Sunshine coast etc. Irrigation makes things look very tropical and lush, but don't expect the rain to help you much on the west coast.

Best regards

Tyrone

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bubba

Jason, Ray and I agree. By the way,did you enjoy your trip to Atlanta?

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PalmatierMeg

Long ago I noticed that vegetation south of Tampa has a distinctive tropical look/feel. From Tampa north, the landscape has the eastern U.S. continental look (i.e., more like my home state of VA).

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Eric in Orlando

If I'm driving south on I-75 somewhere in the lower third of Georgia or along I-95, southern SC it starts to look subtropical when you see Sabals and Spanish Moss. In FL, along the coasts, it starts to look real tropical at about Clearwater and Cocoa Beach.

Its amazing going to south FL from Orlando along the Turnpike. The first coconuts you used to see was at the Jupiter exit where I-95 is running alongside the Turnpike. Now in the last few years, lots of coconuts and royals have been planted and are seen from the TP before you even get to Ft. Pierce.

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bubba

Eric, No question climates undulate. I remember that the freeze of 1962 was the cause of the loss of many Tropical specimens around Orlando,such as many mature Coconuts,Royals,Australian Pines.....

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SunnyFl
Long ago I noticed that vegetation south of Tampa has a distinctive tropical look/feel. From Tampa north, the landscape has the eastern U.S. continental look (i.e., more like my home state of VA).

What part of VA, Meg? I came from the (ugh) northern part, but that was well over 30 years ago. I think parts of St. Pete have a distinctly tropical feel - but it's not everywhere. And a lot of it began after about '92. When we first came back up here from Broward, I was so disappointed, it looked more like the mid-Atlantic than what we loved so much in S. FL. But that was in '80. It's improved here a lot since then.

And you see more palms and fewer racks n' racks of peach trees and ligustrum in the nurseries now.

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SubTropicRay

The 1962 freeze makes the 1989 event look like a baby.

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Eric in Orlando

I think the 3 '80s freezes were worse in Orlando than the 1962 one. When I was in high school, I helped take care of an elderly lady's yard. It was a big Mediterranean style house that was built in the late 1930s and she and her late husband were the original owners and had planted a very lush yard. I was taking care of her yard during the 83 and 85 freeze. She had dozens of mature queen palms including one that was easily 50ft tall. About 75% of them were killed in the 83 freeze and the others were defoliated and then killed in the 85 one. Her avocado, mango, and orchid trees were huge but killed to the ground. She had several giant Melaleuca that were killed outright. There were some old crotons over 10ft that went to the ground. There was a group of 8-10ft Phoenix roebelenii that were killed in the 83 freeze as was a tall Norfolk Island Pine. All of these had survived the 57-58 and '62 freeze she said, with just some minor to moderate damage but they weren't defoliated or killed to the ground. I just remember her lush yard looked like it had been napalmed by Jan. 84.

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Cristóbal

on west coast of americas you can grow cocos nucifera with no problem in santa rosalia and bahia de tortugas on baja peninsula and guaymas sonora, all 28 north. to find the real wet tropical this only start in area of san blas, nayarit state, 21 north.

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bubba

Cristobal,There seems to be something about 28 Degrees Latitude.

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Coloradoboi

well. I am happy to say that I have the most "tropical" garden in all of colorado. I've planted several Banana palms, 3 T-Fortunei, and a florida needle palm. I am crazy, to say the least.

But If I really want to go somewhere tropical, I hop on a plane to miami beach. =)

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amazondk

Eric,

I was working in Miami and went frequently to Orlando during the 83 freeze. It really did hit Orlando hard. There were brown plants everywhere. It had some impact on my yard in Fort Lauderdale, but nothing serious. Since 98 percent of Brazil is in the tropics it is pretty hard not to look tropical. And, in part my of the country all I have to do is stick my head out the door and it is about as tropical as it can get. To get to somewhere that does not look tropical is a long way away. Now that we have non stop flights from Manaus to Atlanta I guess that is about the shortest trip to get to a non tropical looking place.

dk

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Cristóbal
Cristobal,There seems to be something about 28 Degrees Latitude.

yes bubba i think this 28 is important latitude of change of tropical to sub tropical in many parts in the world i see the cold of the winter does not go to more south (or north) of this latitude much. where i grow up (la paz) in the baja peninsula at 24 north theres very little cold in the winter but much more at 28 north (santa rosalía). this i see is same in florida ? orlando, tampa is not miami !

but i dont want to live in tropical area again with hurricanes and very hot weather im happy at 32 north :rolleyes:

to me palms are important but other things in this life are more important. i live in a interesting city with very good people, climate and many oportunities. its more hard to grow cocos nucifera here but this is ok :mrlooney:

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bubba

Outdoor Air Conditioning! Cocos are not the only thing in life!

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NBTX11

Here is what you see driving North to South in Texas, which I have done many times:

North Texas, north of the DFW metroplex, there are zero palms visible. I'm sure some palm collectors have some stashed away in their yards, but none visible I've ever seen.

Then in DFW, you see the very occasional palm in front of motel chains. Very few and far between, hardly any. Usually small and usually Washingtonias, Trachy or sabal

By the time you get down to Waco on I-35, they are slightly more common planted commercially, but still very infrequent. An occasional 20-30' Washy.

Then, just north of Austin, you all of a sudden start to see palms more common, somewhere around Georgetown or Round Rock. By the time you get to central Austin, commercial plantings of Washingtionias and Sabals are very common, they also start showing up in people's yards commonly. Here you first see mature, pre big freeze palms (although I have seen a couple in the Temple Killeen area). Those are mainly Filifera, Sabals, and Trachycarpus and Filibusta.

Somewhere in Austin or just south, you see your first queen palm, though still rare. Palms stay at about this level to just about San Antonio, when you start seeing more Phoenix Palms, usually Canariensis, some Dactylifera. Mature hardy palms are fairly common, and you can't drive anywhere around the city without seeing at least some. You see some large W. Robusta but not nearly as many as Corpus south.

Then south of San Antonio on I-37, you basically run out of population centers all the way to Corpus Christi, so there aren't that many palms. Basically because there are no people there.

Just north of Corpus, you start seeing huge old tall slender Washingtonia Robusta, the true skydusters, and of course lots of huge hardy palms of every nature, quite a few queen palms, etc. South of Corpus they call it the Texas Tropical Trail, by the time you get to the Rio Grande valley, you see palms lining every single road available, just about. Someone came along and planted Washingtionias by the thousands or tens of thousands along the roads. You see your share of tropical palms such as royal palms, some of them large, but you have to keep your eye out for them, because there are just so many washingtonias everywhere, that you have to look past those. Skyline is loaded with palms in every direction. You don't see any Cocos really all though there are a some in private gardens if you know where to look apparently.

Well that's my take. Any other Texans want to chime in. Agree/disagree with my assesment.

Edited by syersj

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Cristóbal

i look on the map corpus christi is ..... 28 degrees

:D

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NBTX11
i look on the map corpus christi is ..... 28 degrees

:D

Correct. Corpus is a very palmy city, loaded with palms.

The reason it isn't more tropical is because it got down to 13F in 1989. That is EXTREMELY rare. Many winters do not go below 32F (0C), and if so just barely.

The 13F temp in 1989 was a once in a lifetime temperature, basically. I believe the all time low was 11F in 1899.

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Jimbean

It starts to look tropical around my area, especially around Merritt Island/Melbourne Beach. It starts to feel tropical around Sebastian Inlet on the coast, and it starts to look seriously tropical around Jupiter Inlet/West Palm Beach.

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epicure3

There is no geographical area here in Cali that looks tropical. Most desert like areas don't. There are plenty of places like the SD Zoo and the like that look tropical. Even Cabo San Lucas doesn't look tropical to me and it's actually in the tropics.

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Cristóbal

foto of the area of bay of pichilingue by la paz where i am born and grow up 24 north. this is not very far from los cabos. shows the natural vegetations of the desert and also mangroves. the island is isla partida.

if you go to mazatlan 23 north on the other side of the mar de cortez the areas more weter but very dry still. only at 21 north by nayarit state and more south is it wet tropical.

post-285-1230141504_thumb.jpg

post-285-1230144243_thumb.jpg

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Cristóbal

i forget to put informations on foto # 2, it is matanchen nayarit state 21 north. by matanchen is the jungle la tovara is famous place in mexico.

Edited by Cristóbal

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epicure3
i forget to put informations on foto # 2, it is matanchen nayarit state 21 north. by matanchen is the jungle la tovara is famous place in mexico.

I love Punta Mita but I can't remember if that is in the state of Nayarit or the next state over.

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osideterry

Punta Mita is at the south end of Nayarit. Just south is the state of Jalisco.

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SuburbanGuy

So then, the area I am moving to, the western side of West Palm Beach, about 8-9 miles from shore, is not too far north for tropical stuff and a tropical feel to the climate?

I've been reading lots of articles on the web, and I get confused with the 'humid subtropical' climate, which includes most of Florida, including Orlando and well to the north. Humid Subtropical stretches to the northern states that are still part of the southern Unites States, and correct me if I am wrong but humid subtropical and warm-temperate are the same things. Sort of. Or at least they are used interchangeably.

Wikipedia's article on Florida says that Florida has two main climates. North of lake Okeechobee has a humid subtropical climate and south of lake Okeechobee is tropical. Even though all of south Florida including Miami and the Keys are still in the subtropics (north of the Tropic of Cancer). Very confusing. I suppose that south Florida, especially from Miami south to the Keys, are only 1-2 degrees north of the Tropic of Cancer, allowing it to have an almost tropical climate. Obviously TRUE TROPICAL islands like Jamaica and the U.S. Virgin Islands are much warmer, with the lowest temps being in the low 60s, and not much more than a 5-10 degree swing from the coldest winter nights to the warmers summer days. Whereas Key West got as low as 41 degrees and West Palm Beach got as low as 27 degrees. I know the only area of Florida never to get frost are the lower and middle keys.

The main thing I would like to know is, Is the West Palm Beach area similar in climate/weather/temps and sunshine intensity to that of Miami? Especially for someone that's moving from BITTER COLD Chicagoland, who won't notice 2-5 degrees colder (but will notice 7-10 degree differences). I know WPB is about 70 miles to the north of Miami and 70 miles is a large distance when taking into account all the different microclimates in south Florida. And also, from what I've read is that only EXTREME southern tip of Florida and the Keys gets a tropical or semi-tropical climate, something better than the subtropical climate that central Florida has which is more influenced by temporate climates than the far south.

Also correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I've read, I guess one thing that helps Palm Beach County is the proximity to the Gulf Stream which comes the closest to anywhere on the mainland at PBCo.

Edited by SuburbanGuy

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Wai`anae Steve

Looking out the window into the back yard. :drool:

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Tassie_Troy1971

Our cool temperate rainforests can look kinda tropical ,but the absence of palms snaps you back into reality .

post-1252-1236675479_thumb.jpg

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epicure3
So then, the area I am moving to, the western side of West Palm Beach, about 8-9 miles from shore, is not too far north for tropical stuff and a tropical feel to the climate?

I've been reading lots of articles on the web, and I get confused with the 'humid subtropical' climate, which includes most of Florida, including Orlando and well to the north. Humid Subtropical stretches to the northern states that are still part of the southern Unites States, and correct me if I am wrong but humid subtropical and warm-temperate are the same things. Sort of. Or at least they are used interchangeably.

Wikipedia's article on Florida says that Florida has two main climates. North of lake Okeechobee has a humid subtropical climate and south of lake Okeechobee is tropical. Even though all of south Florida including Miami and the Keys are still in the subtropics (north of the Tropic of Cancer). Very confusing. I suppose that south Florida, especially from Miami south to the Keys, are only 1-2 degrees north of the Tropic of Cancer, allowing it to have an almost tropical climate. Obviously TRUE TROPICAL islands like Jamaica and the U.S. Virgin Islands are much warmer, with the lowest temps being in the low 60s, and not much more than a 5-10 degree swing from the coldest winter nights to the warmers summer days. Whereas Key West got as low as 41 degrees and West Palm Beach got as low as 27 degrees. I know the only area of Florida never to get frost are the lower and middle keys.

The main thing I would like to know is, Is the West Palm Beach area similar in climate/weather/temps and sunshine intensity to that of Miami? Especially for someone that's moving from BITTER COLD Chicagoland, who won't notice 2-5 degrees colder (but will notice 7-10 degree differences). I know WPB is about 70 miles to the north of Miami and 70 miles is a large distance when taking into account all the different microclimates in south Florida. And also, from what I've read is that only EXTREME southern tip of Florida and the Keys gets a tropical or semi-tropical climate, something better than the subtropical climate that central Florida has which is more influenced by temporate climates than the far south.

Also correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I've read, I guess one thing that helps Palm Beach County is the proximity to the Gulf Stream which comes the closest to anywhere on the mainland at PBCo.

Compared to Illinois, I'm sure that you will feel the climate of Florida no matter where you are. I wouldn't worry about it.

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Walter John

For me, the tropical look starts at Woodgate, before you get to Bundaberg.

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happ

Certainly at 32N there is nothing “tropical” in California. I was in Anza Borrego & the Coachella valley this week where there are groves of date palms and one gets the impression of being in the Middle East [ie. Iraq\ Saudi Arabia]. Parts of southern Arizona & SoCal are in the northern-most Sonoran Desert that is definitely subtropical.

It’s interesting to read Jim’s comments about where palms grow in Texas. Dallas [32.78N] & San Diego [32.60N] are vastly different regarding palms. Los Angeles at 34N is more like the 28N “subtropical” Gulf Coast [Corpus Christi & Tampa] with royals\ foxtails\ veitchia, etc. Palms are common from Redding CA\ 40N on south [including queens] but certainly not in New Jersey at the same latitude.

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spockvr6
Certainly at 32N there is nothing “tropical” in California. I was in Anza Borrego & the Coachella valley this week where there are groves of date palms and one gets the impression of being in the Middle East [ie. Iraq\ Saudi Arabia]. Parts of southern Arizona & SoCal are in the northern-most Sonoran Desert that is definitely subtropical.

It’s interesting to read Jim’s comments about where palms grow in Texas. Dallas [32.78N] & San Diego [32.60N] are vastly different regarding palms. Los Angeles at 34N is more like the 28N “subtropical” Gulf Coast [Corpus Christi & Tampa] with royals\ foxtails\ veitchia, etc. Palms are common from Redding CA\ 40N on south [including queens] but certainly not in New Jersey at the same latitude.

Happ-

I travel to Sacramento for work frequently and am always amazed at the Orange trees loaded with fruit......this is at ~38N! Thats equivalent to what.......Orange trees in New Jersey on the east coast!!??!?!?

Ive also seen a number of Queen palms in the area as well. Queens barely even grow in north Florida.

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happ
Certainly at 32N there is nothing “tropical” in California. I was in Anza Borrego & the Coachella valley this week where there are groves of date palms and one gets the impression of being in the Middle East [ie. Iraq\ Saudi Arabia]. Parts of southern Arizona & SoCal are in the northern-most Sonoran Desert that is definitely subtropical.

It’s interesting to read Jim’s comments about where palms grow in Texas. Dallas [32.78N] & San Diego [32.60N] are vastly different regarding palms. Los Angeles at 34N is more like the 28N “subtropical” Gulf Coast [Corpus Christi & Tampa] with royals\ foxtails\ veitchia, etc. Palms are common from Redding CA\ 40N on south [including queens] but certainly not in New Jersey at the same latitude.

Happ-

I travel to Sacramento for work frequently and am always amazed at the Orange trees loaded with fruit......this is at ~38N! Thats equivalent to what.......Orange trees in New Jersey on the east coast!!??!?!?

Ive also seen a number of Queen palms in the area as well. Queens barely even grow in north Florida.

It is strange! When driving south on Interstate 5 from Oregon into California & all-of-a-sudden you come across lots of palms in the Sacramento valley. I have family in Chico [100 miles north of Sacramento] where queen palms & orange trees grow [and where Kiwi fruit is commercially produced].

Something about the Mediterranean climate that limits winter cold.

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SuburbanGuy
Certainly at 32N there is nothing “tropical” in California. I was in Anza Borrego & the Coachella valley this week where there are groves of date palms and one gets the impression of being in the Middle East [ie. Iraq\ Saudi Arabia]. Parts of southern Arizona & SoCal are in the northern-most Sonoran Desert that is definitely subtropical.

It’s interesting to read Jim’s comments about where palms grow in Texas. Dallas [32.78N] & San Diego [32.60N] are vastly different regarding palms. Los Angeles at 34N is more like the 28N “subtropical” Gulf Coast [Corpus Christi & Tampa] with royals\ foxtails\ veitchia, etc. Palms are common from Redding CA\ 40N on south [including queens] but certainly not in New Jersey at the same latitude.

Happ-

I travel to Sacramento for work frequently and am always amazed at the Orange trees loaded with fruit......this is at ~38N! Thats equivalent to what.......Orange trees in New Jersey on the east coast!!??!?!?

Ive also seen a number of Queen palms in the area as well. Queens barely even grow in north Florida.

It is strange! When driving south on Interstate 5 from Oregon into California & all-of-a-sudden you come across lots of palms in the Sacramento valley. I have family in Chico [100 miles north of Sacramento] where queen palms & orange trees grow [and where Kiwi fruit is commercially produced].

Something about the Mediterranean climate that limits winter cold.

I've never been to Cali, but reading that Cali can have tropical or near-tropical plants at latitudes that do not come close to that of South Florida, and at best in SoCal, approach the latitudes of north Florida, is just amazing. So it's not so much latitude, but the shielding that Cali's geography provides from the cold of winters/

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The Palm Nut

Looking out the window.

Cheers

Mike

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amazondk

It looked real tropical to me week before last at 9º 45 ´ South and 65º 20 ´West while crossing the Madeira river on a ferry boat just north of the Bolivian border.

Madeirarivercrossing.jpg

It got even more tropical looking as I went for a walk off the road in a patch of forest and came upon some nice Attalea speciosa specimens.

babassurondonia-1.jpg

Then I found a big Brazil nut tree just a short ways from the road. They are the kings of the rainforest. I picked up a little philodendron which I took home to my place in Manaus.

bigbrazilnut.jpg

dkrondoniavistaalegre.jpg

Life in the Tropics,

dk

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Jeff in St Pete

Cool photos Don. Gotta love that huge Attalea!

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