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floridagrower

2009 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

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floridagrower

For those not aware, a new map is approaching a release in early 2009. As a general rule of thumb the 1990 USDA map is too conservative and the newer Arbor Day maps and the 2003 draft are based on recent trends. Neither maps have a long enough data sets in my opinion. I would guess the 30 year window would give a good average between the two types of maps. For me, living in Florida, the FSU Florida Climate Center map is one of the more accurate publications. While I would make a few adjustments, this map coupled with the 1990 map would be a good conservative estimate. http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/climate_center/images/ECOLD.JPG

What are your thoughts for your state/country? What are your thoughts on the map(s) themselves?

New map info:

The map to be released soon by the USDA is being prepared by the Prism group at Oregon State University, known for doing sophisticated climate modeling. The 1990 map designated growing zones as small as counties; the new one will narrow the focus to square miles.

Blurb from Plant Delights:

Good Maps Gone Bad

After the 1997 Heat Hardiness Map fiasco, the American Horticulture Society made an even bigger horticultural faux pas when, in 2003, they published a draft revision of the 1990 Hardiness Zone map. It's called a "draft" version because interested parties notified the USDA about the impending screw-up just prior to publication, and the project was halted immediately. The 2003 draft map, using data from 4,700 weather stations, was compiled using the premise that the climate had warmed so dramatically that only the last 15 years (1987-2001) of climatic data was needed. This recent data shifted Chicago, IL, into Zone 6, making for a true horticultural disaster when a real winter such as 2002/2003 occurred. The 2003 map also eliminated the "a" and "b" designations which would put two completely different climates, such as Wilmington, NC, and Wilmington, DE, into the same zone. This change was being made to make the map more "readable." The 2003 map also added more tropical zones, 12-15. The 2003 map certainly tops the all-time horticultural "what were they thinking?" list. In 2006, the Arbor Day Foundation released a map similar to the 2003 AHS map, which made the same unfortunate errors in judgment by including only 10 zones and using a 15-year dataset.

New Maps on the Way

On August 18, 2004, a group of stakeholders first met at USDA-ARS offices in Beltsville, Maryland to discuss the 1990 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map revision. The August 18 meeting included representatives from USDA-ARS, the American Horticulture Society, the American Association of Botanic Gardens and Arboreta, university researchers, and representatives of the nursery industry. There have been several meetings since, as work on the new map progresses. In 2007, the contract to produce the new map was awarded to the Prism Climate Group from Oregon State University.

The hardiness map revision project will consist of two phases. In Phase I, the map will be reconstructed using the most recent 30 years (up from 15 years) of average annual extreme minimum temperatures. The map will also retain the "a and b" designations for zones 2-10, but not for zone 11 and zone 1. For the first time, the map will include a better breakdown of coastal/lake effects and elevation differences. The map will be made available on-line where you can search for and zoom in on a target area. The map is nearing completion at the beginning of 2008. Preliminary draft maps show many areas that have warmed up to 7 degrees from the 1976-1990 period to the 1991-2006 period. Other parts of the country have seen their average minimum temperature rise only a degree or two. Final details and concern of the committee are being addressed at this time. Phase II of a possible future project will hopefully involve overlay maps for other factors such as duration of cold, summer heat factors, and perhaps even air flow patterns.

Summary

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Walt

Frankly, I thought it was a very, very bad mistake when the USDA did away with the A and B subzones. For example, in Florida, there is a day and night difference between the bottom of zone 9 and the top of it. I think zone 9 is the most critical of all zones (in Florida) with respect to growing so many borderline tropical palms and plants. I'm in the top of zone 9b and can grow (with minor frost damage only) almost most palms and plants found in zone 10. But once in the mid zone 9 and bottom, forget it. It can be very misleading to the neophyte gardener.

I like that they are finally going to recognize elevational differences and lake effect; I know first hand the differences (and value) with regard to these.

Living along the Lake Wales Ridge in south central Florida, I've found out empirically that there's little substitute for large bodies of water and elevation to keep nighttime temperatures up vis a vis low elevational areas and non lake areas.

95 percent of cold weather in my area is from radiational cooling events. On such nights/mornings, those at elevation typically enjoy a 5-8 degree low temperature increase over those in low-lying areas, due to air inversion and/or stratification. By elevation I only mean maybe 30-100 feet above sea level.

In lake front areas I've recorded up to a 20 degree difference (warmer) than the coldest lower outlying areas on radiational cooling nights.

I've always taken the USDA zone maps with a grain of salt. In my county area I can almost tell what the zone rating is based on the size and species of plants (palms, trees, shrubs, etc.) found growing there. That's why I was somewhat confused to see fruiting coconut palms at or near lakes (and even at elevation), yet the USDA rated the area as 9a!

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gsn
I've always taken the USDA zone maps with a grain of salt. In my county area I can almost tell what the zone rating is based on the size and species of plants (palms, trees, shrubs, etc.) found growing there. That's why I was somewhat confused to see fruiting coconut palms at or near lakes (and even at elevation), yet the USDA rated the area as 9a!

Ditto

Walk around your neighborhood,look at what is growing long term. If it wasn't planted as a large field grown specimen,you can bet it will grow,no matter the USDA zone designation.

These maps are fairly useless with regard to tropical plantings,as far as I'm concerned, as a California Zone 10 or the ubiquitous phantom California Zone 11, is totally different than a Florida Zone 10, as to what will survive,grow and flourish!

Add the fact that these maps are based on average minimum low temps, a one time freak severe ARTIC blast could KILL tropical plants outright in a given ZONE!

Which is not a major problem if you loose your strawbeery crop for one seaon, but a large adult fully grown palm ,won't grow back by next year!

Edited by gsn

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_Keith

All in all, Zone maps are pretty good as guidelines, aka estimates. They cannot take into account the microclimates. Microclimates can make up for a half zone easily and sometimes a Zone or more. The only way to deal with microclimates is on an individual bases. Use the Zone maps for what they are, broad guidelines. The experimentation that determines the rest is where all the fun lies anyway.

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JakeK

There are so many more factors that determine a plant's hardiness besides the coldest temperature it can tolerate for a given period of time. This is true no matter what geographical region you live in.

In my area, how deep the ground freezes is more of a deciding factor than absolute low temperature. It's the reason why I have deodar cedars, albizzias, mahonias, aucubas etc. growing quite happily in a zone 6.

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chris78

We can't and never will be able to fit nature into a little box..... zones are VERY GENERAL guidelines.... zone 5 in New England is not the same as zone 5 in the Colorado.... If a plant is rated for zone 6 then if you live in zone 5... you may have trouble in winter....

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bubba

The USDA Zone Map is fatally flawed and should be entirely abandoned. It is truly a joke.

As it relates to tropical foliage, this system does not work.Using the benchmark of what is Tropical(ie the Coconut Palm),how can a system be viewed as anything but a farce given the clear facts.Areas of California are awarded Zone 11 that cannot grow fruiting Coconuts when areas of Florida in Zone 9A can?What is the problem?

The problem, as it relates to Pan-Tropical areas of Florida, is that all time minimum temperatures do not play the gigantic card utilized by this flawed system.Florida's quick bounce back is not factored in(probably created by the Gulfstream)Additionally,the flawed system fails to evaluate the long term nature of areas that have long periods of time that experience cool but not freezing temperatures(ie.40's)Those long term periods of temperatures under 50F doom Tropicals because of the shut down of photosynthesis.

It will be interesting to see what these unknown parties have arrived at as the second tier system that is discussed. With the availability of technology that allows anyone to observe temperatures worldwide, one would hope that some format of intelligence will be applied.Given the long-term clinging to the inherently flawed Zone System, I will reserve judgment until the product is revealed.

I still do not understand all of the hand wringing. The previously utilized Koppen System,as formerly employed by the USDA,worked very precisely. I do not understand the adoption of the flawed Zone System.For some reason,I smell Grant Money.

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SubTropicRay

The FSU map is the best true representation of my local microclimate.

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Mark_NoVA

The maps are a good starting point for determining your zone, and you can then modify it a bit as you get more knowledge of how plants do in a particular area. A couple of things to note:

* Since the map zones are based on historical data, they can't account for urban heat island effect in rapidly growing areas (precisely my case--I live near a giant suburban office center, Tysons Corner, that was nothing like this 30 years ago, and the heavily-developed suburbs stretch many miles further out too.)

* The data for the maps, average lowest winter temperature, has varying importance in different parts of the world. It probably has the most importance in the heavily populated U.S. East Coast and Midwest, because of the Canadian blasts that go unimpeded by tall mountains all the way into the citrus-growing areas of Florida. Average winter low is extremely important here. In other areas that don't get such huge temperature dips, other factors become relatively more important. We see as a consequence gardeners on the U.S. West Coast (and Europe and Australia) don't pay as much attention to USDA zones as gardeners on the U.S. East Coast. This also makes a U.S. East Coast 9a, for example, different from a U.S. West Coast 9a.

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ghar41

The USDA's average annual minimum temperature isn't descriptive enough for my purposes. To place my area here in central California in the same zone as Orlando, Florida (USDA 9b) isn't accurate at all. It's ok as a basic guideline for the casual gardener. A system that lists the average number of days over 75 F per year would be better. I think there is something out there like this.

But for now, I find Sunsets Garden Climate Zones more helpful. Thanks,

http://www.sunset.com/sunset/garden/articl...,845218,00.html

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chris78

The USAD zone map was design for poeple growing temperate plants in temperate climates not for those who try to grow tropical plants in not so tropical climates...... Its a tool to help someone pin point what might be acceptable for there ave winter lows.....

I may love crape myrtle trees but if I live in Vermont this plant will mostly likely be winter killed even if all else is ok...... The plant hardiness zones was never ment to be a last say in what will grow where, all plants have soil needs, rainfall, wind tolarance, heat and sun needed to grow, that cold hardiness has nothing to do with..

Trying to grow tropical plants in subtropical or warm temperate climates has always been an different animal, mostly by trail and error.

Edited by chris78

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_Keith
,,, The previously utilized Koppen System,as formerly employed by the USDA,worked very precisely. I do not understand the adoption of the flawed Zone System.,,,

Bubba, I agree that the USDA system has flaws, but how can you say the Koppen system was either better or precise. It did have a good delineation down where you are, but also aAccording to the Koppen system, both my area and Houston have the same climate as Memphis. Well, to say "not quite" would be one hell of an understatement.

Don't argue we need a new system, but the Koppen system was as flawed as any. I would far rather go with the Sunset Zones which were more precise than any others I have seen.

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floridagrower

Also, keep in mind the people here on this board are "hardcore" and far from most casual gardeners. With that said this new GIS USDA map will be the starting point and industry standard whether or not we agree with its ratings. This will have lasting impressions on all of our nurseries and growing trends.

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bubba

If the USDA's aspirations are merely to provide in its maps a "good basis for an estimate" or a "starting place" for your Zone,then I believe it has failed miserably.Given the availability of cutting edge Computer Graphic technology and the expanding amount of regional climatic data, there is simply no basis for the low level of such a map product.

A private concern,Sunset,has done an good job of articulating climate as it relates to Tropical foliage.If a private concern can accompolish it,then why cannot a Governmental Agency charged with this as it's primary task? Are they not capable of making a more intelligent effort.If they can't accompolish something beyond confusing mediocrity,why should they exist.

Sunset is good but it has it's issues.How can Ocala,Florida(Silver Springs) and Homestead,Florida(Fruit and Spice) share the same classification(26).

The Old USDA maps used to be Koppen,which was developed in Germany in 1918.Major refinements have been made in newer versions that go by different names but include vegetation observation as a component.Admittedly,original Koppen has it's issues but as it relates to Florida,that 64F delineation for coldest month just happens to follow the coconuts. Tropical Savanah?

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Mark_NoVA

It's a useful tool if you understand how the zones are determined and the strong points/limitations of this methodology.

There isn't going to be one system that is accurate for all types of plants around the world, though! Sunset might be better for particular regions in the Western U.S., but it's not too useful for comparing Eastern vs Western U.S., or other parts of the world. USDA is a useful tool for comparing sites around the world--but just a tool, not the final word!

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bubba

The criteria employed by the USDA creates a very poor tool.Perhaps more so in our region than anywhere else in the US. My belief is that given the knowledge and technology available to the USDA,this is a very poor product,atleast from the Tropical foliage perspective,which is what our interest is.If this is the best they can do,it is very poor.

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Walt

I've concluded that the only thing the USDA zone hardiness maps do for me is indicate the average wintertime low temperature for a given area. There's just to many other parameters and dynamics going on within a given zone for the novice/neophyte palm and tropicals gardener (at least in my zone 9 designtion) to just plant out things and feel all will be well. I learned this empirically the hard way.

When I first started buying plants, palms, etc., and the care tag said zone 9, well I found out quick that that covered a lot of territory. While said plant might fare okay at the top of zone 9, it would be toast or mush in the bottom of zone 9.

Then there's the matter of duration of temperatures, mean average temperatures, average high temperature within a zone.

I quickly realized the short comings of trying to intrepret a zone designation and what could be grown within it. For instance, I went on line and found that Long Beach, California, was zone 11 -- but Long Beach's January average high is 10 degrees lower than my zone 9b high! I can grow coconut palms (albiet the foliage some winters get frost damage) and Long Beach can't. Same for Catalina Island.

I think one poster here (or maybe at another forum) expressed it best. A location where the temperature always remained exactly at 40 degrees would be classified as zone 11 -- yet I doubt highly if one would find any tropical or subtropicals growing at such a location.

The upshot is, is that one must do much further study in trying to understand exactly the dynamics of their particular zone rating.

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happ
I've concluded that the only thing the USDA zone hardiness maps do for me is indicate the average wintertime low temperature for a given area. There's just to many other parameters and dynamics going on within a given zone for the novice/neophyte palm and tropicals gardener (at least in my zone 9 designtion) to just plant out things and feel all will be well. I learned this empirically the hard way.

When I first started buying plants, palms, etc., and the care tag said zone 9, well I found out quick that that covered a lot of territory. While said plant might fare okay at the top of zone 9, it would be toast or mush in the bottom of zone 9.

Then there's the matter of duration of temperatures, mean average temperatures, average high temperature within a zone.

I quickly realized the short comings of trying to intrepret a zone designation and what could be grown within it. For instance, I went on line and found that Long Beach, California, was zone 11 -- but Long Beach's January average high is 10 degrees lower than my zone 9b high! I can grow coconut palms (albiet the foliage some winters get frost damage) and Long Beach can't. Same for Catalina Island.

I think one poster here (or maybe at another forum) expressed it best. A location where the temperature always remained exactly at 40 degrees would be classified as zone 11 -- yet I doubt highly if one would find any tropical or subtropicals growing at such a location.

That is an excellent point since even San Francisco essentially has a frost-less climate but is quite limited in what kind of palms will thrive. The USDA zones are merely a reflection of record cold temperatures not frequency of frost.

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PersistentPalms

Now Bubba, let me get this straight... How do you really feel about it?

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gsn
That is an excellent point since even San Francisco essentially has a frost-less climate but is quite limited in what kind of palms will thrive. The USDA zones are merely a reflection of record cold temperatures not frequency of frost.

Actually the USDA zones are not a reflection of record cold temperatures.

They are a reflection of the AVERAGE of cold temps over a given period of time ,say 15 ,20,or 30 years.

Which in reality is quite different than the record cold temperatures over that period of time! :)

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DoomsDave

I'm with Bubba.

The USDA zones are too general, and consider too little. There's a big difference between Zone 10b in Miami and Zone 10b in Newport Beach, and zones should reflect that.

To put it another way, there's a big difference between a short cold spell followed by warm weather (Miami) and a cold spell in the middle of a winter-long cool spell (Newport Beach) and their respective effects on plant hardiness. Simply listing minimum temperatures is a primitive, ignorant approach.

Sunset's 50+ U.S. Garden zones is a much better idea.

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PalmatierMeg

I take the Zone map as a designation of a range of lowest of lows for my particular area -- and then take it with the proverbial grain of salt. So, when I see that Peladoxia is rated zone 11 and I live in Zone 10A, I know it cannot survive my winter without significant protection and shelter, so I don't even bother with it. But I also know that there will be 20-, 50-, 100-year freezes that turn my zone on its head. The all-time record low for Ft. Myers is 26F, which will knock off virtually every exotic we grow around here. Since I moved to SWFL, I have personally seen 29F, which killed off my A. merrillii. Last Jan we saw 31F (after a several years where lows did not fall below upper 30s) that killed another Adonidia, a Calyptrocalyx and nearly deep-sixed 2 of my Coccothrinax.

Also, what the zone system does not tell people is how quickly temps may or may not rebound from nightly lows. Thirty minutes at 32F is one thing, 8 hours another.

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floridagrower

I agree with Bubba about the Sunset map. It has no value in the southeast, where even the old 1990 map provides at least some casual information. Maybe in California it is useful, but not here in the southeast. I wouldn't be so harsh on the old map. For example, it would give some decent guidelines for a person moving to Florida from New york, who otherwise would try and plant coconut palms in Tallahassee.

The Koppen map more closely follows weather patterns but is way too simplified and therefore not very useful. Then you end up with conservative choices like boxwoods in Florida! It doesn't offer even a slight clue for plants a backyard gardener want to plant in a given area.

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bubba

Bill, I think Walt with the agreement of Happ articulated this point far better than my diatribe! Me? Tropical Savanah,baby!

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Walt

Not to belabor a point, but these two coconut palms are growing in USDA zone 9b (prior to the revised 2003 map, the USDA said they were in zone 9a) here in inland central Florida (Lake Placid). These palms are growing in the town's city limits. The town is only one square mile. The point here is to illustrate the difference between a California zone 9b (and 10 and 11, for that matter) and a central Florida zone 9b. In Lake Placid, the January average temperature is 73 degrees F high and 50 degrees F low, with soil temperaturs above 60 degrees F.

These coconut palms have been planted at least 10 years (that I know of) and I've been tracking them each winter. They did get foliage burn (light to medium) during an advective cold event on the morning of January 24, 2003, when the low temperature dropped to 30 degrees. Many tropical plants, shrubs, and palms were cold wind dessicated that morning.

2763867730042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

On the down side, in Florida, we can get some killer freezes. The December 1989 advective freeze was the last really devastating one for my area (I wasn't living here at the time). From all that I've been told anecdotally, all the coconut palms were killed, as well as most of the royal palms (however, many royal palms survived, but some with trunk damage, i.e., gouged out sections of trunk, and constricted trunks, etc.). One local I know who lives on lake front property had a coconut palm for 12 years until it was killed by the December of 1989 freeze.

Just this evening I was looking at Google Earth (street scene) at some royal palms up in Sebring, Florida (15 miles north of Lake Placid) which survived the December 1989 advective freeze. You can clearly see some of the trunk damage existing today from that freeze.

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Dypsisdean

After all the new info we received after the last big California freeze, and realizing for many years the deficiencies of the present approaches to survivability and hardiness of palms, I tried devising a new method. One that would be more useful for new and old growers alike, and much more definitive as far as determining what woulod actually survive in a specific neighborhood.

After some initial excitement and participation from some of the experts in this arena it has been slow going. But I thought some of you would be interested in at least taking a look at it and reading about the premise and methodology. It is still a data base that is open for anyone to contribute, comment, edit, or otherwise participate.

The intro addresses and attempts to solve many of the concerns that have been expressed above, and that always enter any discussion about growing zones based on temperatures alone.

PALMPEDIA SURVIVABLILITY INDEX

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surferjr
After all the new info we received after the last big California freeze, and realizing for many years the deficiencies of the present approaches to survivability and hardiness of palms, I tried devising a new method. One that would be more useful for new and old growers alike, and much more definitive as far as determining what woulod actually survive in a specific neighborhood.

After some initial excitement and participation from some of the experts in this arena it has been slow going. But I thought some of you would be interested in at least taking a look at it and reading about the premise and methodology. It is still a data base that is open for anyone to contribute, comment, edit, or otherwise participate.

The intro addresses and attempts to solve many of the concerns that have been expressed above, and that always enter any discussion about growing zones based on temperatures alone.

PALMPEDIA SURVIVABLILITY INDEX

Are they're plans to alphabetize the listings Dino?

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Dypsisdean
After all the new info we received after the last big California freeze, and realizing for many years the deficiencies of the present approaches to survivability and hardiness of palms, I tried devising a new method. One that would be more useful for new and old growers alike, and much more definitive as far as determining what woulod actually survive in a specific neighborhood.

After some initial excitement and participation from some of the experts in this arena it has been slow going. But I thought some of you would be interested in at least taking a look at it and reading about the premise and methodology. It is still a data base that is open for anyone to contribute, comment, edit, or otherwise participate.

The intro addresses and attempts to solve many of the concerns that have been expressed above, and that always enter any discussion about growing zones based on temperatures alone.

PALMPEDIA SURVIVABLILITY INDEX

Are they're plans to alphabetize the listings Dino?

Lot's of plans. But little participation. :)

My list of plans is getting longer instead of shorter. And cold hardiness is not really anywhere near the top of my consciousness these days. Volunteers would be welcome. This was started because of all the interest at the time to take advantage and reference the new found info we had amassed.

However, in this scheme palms are listed in order of hardiness, so alphabetical would not be compatible, but could be cross referenced I guess.

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Walt
After all the new info we received after the last big California freeze, and realizing for many years the deficiencies of the present approaches to survivability and hardiness of palms, I tried devising a new method. One that would be more useful for new and old growers alike, and much more definitive as far as determining what woulod actually survive in a specific neighborhood.

After some initial excitement and participation from some of the experts in this arena it has been slow going. But I thought some of you would be interested in at least taking a look at it and reading about the premise and methodology. It is still a data base that is open for anyone to contribute, comment, edit, or otherwise participate.

The intro addresses and attempts to solve many of the concerns that have been expressed above, and that always enter any discussion about growing zones based on temperatures alone.

PALMPEDIA SURVIVABLILITY INDEX

I only took a cursory look at the listings but they seem fairly accurate to me, base on my wintertime experiences over the past 11 years.

One statement (in part) is absolutely true, at least with regard to radiational freezes:

"I have seen Phoenix roebelleniis defoliated and Kings just badly burned... but that may be because Kings are usually quite a bit higher in the air, so is that really a fair comparison."

From most radiational freezes I've experienced, the air becomes very stratified, i.e., it gets warmer with every foot of elevation above ground level. I've measured this physical fact with digital thermometers place at different heights above the ground. Further, I've observed this physical fact naturally, by foliage damage on various indicator plants. For example, during a 27 degree radiational freeze (measurement taken at 5 feet above ground) pothos vines climbing tree trunks were undamaged once above the 15 feet level above ground. Same applied to ficus leaves. My 35 feet high Ficus altissima was defoliated from ground level up to about 18 feet above ground. The foliage damage began to become less at about the 15 feet level and damage stopped completely at 18 feet level.

As such, a king palm et al that was very tall would surely have less (or none) foliage damage than a pygmy date palm, being closer to ground level.

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bubba

Palmpedia is a fantastic site that is vastly underused by "us" collectively on this Board.It is a great gift that we all need to assist in expanding.

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koolthing78

"Actually the USDA zones are not a reflection of record cold temperatures.

They are a reflection of the AVERAGE of cold temps over a given period of time ,say 15 ,20,or 30 years.

Which in reality is quite different than the record cold temperatures over that period."

Scott, I think you're half right. From my understanding, it's an average of the lowest record lows for each year. So, basically, on an average year, what is the coldest you can expect to get on your coldest, possibly record-breaking night of cold? They represent the average of record cold temps.

As far as a system being able to distinguish "between a short cold spell followed by warm weather (Miami) and a cold spell in the middle of a winter-long cool spell," or being able to tell us "how quickly temps may or may not rebound from nightly lows," it sounds like we're expecting a little too much from a device that's really just meant to be the most cursory of jumping off points. How about when the new USDA guide comes out, they just deliver a box full of reams and reams of local climatological data from the beginning of recorded history to your doorstep. Short of that, I don't see how any one system could possibly incorporate everything that's being asked here, without it becoming too cumbersome too use as a simple "guide."

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bubba

The Koppen-Geiger World Map presented in 1961 has been updated in 2007.You can download this map in numerous forms,including Google Earth.This map is the most broadly used map in the world regarding climate classification and with it's recent updates,it should be viewed as the Gold Standard.

It's classifications differentiate between short cold spells in a warm climate vs cold spells in a cool climate.As it relates to the Tropics,it's classification of 64F.for the average of the coldest month does follow the Coconuts in Florida.(Tropical Savanah)

To the USDA: Why build an Edsel when a World-Wide Rolls is already in place?

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koolthing78

Well, I just tried looking at it, but I guess I'm missing something in terms of its "amazingness." I'll take your word for it, though; but then someone outta tell the palm nuts in Kentucky they can finally grow the same things as in Taiwan and southern Brazil--I bet they'll be so happy!

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Dypsisdean
Palmpedia is a fantastic site that is vastly underused by "us" collectively on this Board.It is a great gift that we all need to assist in expanding.

Thanks Keith,

Palmpedia uses the exact same software as Wikipedia. And the vast amount of data and knowledge presented in Wikipedia today is no more than the collective participation of all of it's users. It is a proven concept for the accumulation and referencing of information. Perfect for assembling the collective experiences of growers for the purpose of referencing hardiness.

I spent many years discussing temperatures and temperature zones with growers. Invariably the discussion would not settle whether a certain palm would make it in a certain location. We would always fall back on the relative hardiness of a species. That is, if this is growing, then this should make it.

It is this relative scale of survivability that Palmpedia is trying to utilize. Instead of saying a certain species will survive 29.5 degrees, it seems much more useful to say to someone that if P. roebellenii is doing well in your area then according to the Palmpedia Index the following should make it as well.

The Pigmy Date Zone

Archontophoenix cunninghammiana, Calamus australis, Ceroxylon quindiuense, Chamaedorea benzei, Chamaedorea cataractarum, Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii, Chamaeodorea hooperiana, Chamaedorea plumosa, Chamaedorea woodsoniana, Coccothrinax barbadensis, Cryosophila warscewiczii, Cyphophoenix elegans, Dypsis carlsmithii, Dypsis lutescens, Euterpe edulis, Geonoma schottiana, Howea forsteriana, Hyphaene crinita, Laccospadix australisica, Livistona bentahmii, Livistona fulva, Livistona victoriae, Parajuabaea coccoides, Parajubaea sunkha, Parajubaea torrallyi, Phoenix paludosa, Pseudophoenix sargentii, Ptychosperma elegans, Ravenea madagascariensis, Rhapis humilis, Trachycarpus latisectus, Trachycarpus nanus, Wallichia disticha... and lastly, Phoenix roebellenii as the wimpiest of the bunch.

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Jimbean

bump

so when is this map coming out? I am in the process of making my own Florida hardiness zone map, and should be finished with it sometime in the next month or so.

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Ryland

I'm glad to hear they are making the maps more detailed. Microclimates and elevation differences cannot be overlooked, especially when it makes a difference of a zone or two. I've seen usda maps that show Los Angeles as zone 9, where it's absolutely certain that much of the area is at least a zone 10, with a few rare patches of 11. The lack of detail in southern Oregon would lead one to conclude that my town was a zone 6, even though the coldest night we've had in the last 10 years was 17 degrees.

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floridagrower

They jokingly said when "we get a new President" (in 2008) and eluded to the first half of this year. Sadly it took the change in administration to prompt advancement in a project that was previously stalled.

Jim,

I would be interested in seeing your map. I too have been analyzing regional data and considered making a detailed map myself. It would be great if versed people from regions all over would participated and compile this information into one detailed map.

Edited by floridagrower

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buffy

Where is this stupid thing?

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_Keith

Well, let's take sunspots into account here, and long term trends as well. I, a total amateur am predicting a quite cold winter. So, we will see what happens. As for myself, I am praying global warming is real, if not say goodbye to your tender out of zone stuff.

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