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PalmatierMeg

Cold Damage Report: Cape Coral, FL

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PalmatierMeg

I like the way palm growers in TX have presented their info, so I am following their summary format.

To recap the prolonged cold spell that affected SW FL:

The abnormal cold lasted nearly 2 weeks, longest time period since 1940. Beginning about 1/1/10, daytime highs usually didn't rise above 60F, often less than 50F. Nightime lows fell to low 30s on numerous nights. Normal high is 75F, low 55F. On Jan. 9, a cold front brought rain combined with daytime temps in mid- to upper-30s. We had to uncover all sensitive palms as long as rain fell. Rain didn't let up until dusk, so we were able to cover/heat only the Areca concinna and Licuala grandis. Everything else was on its own. Jan. 10 brought a record low of 33F and a high in the mid-40s with gusty winds. We were able to cover smaller palms but I think some were already seriously damaged. On Jan. 11, low in our backyard fell to 28.5. That low was prolonged enough to ruin many of the fruit on our Ponderosa lemon tree. Nighttime lows did not rise above 40F until Jan. 14. Highs did not top 60F until approx. Jan. 16.

These clarifications made, this is the cold/freeze damage I have observed up to now:

JANUARY 2010 COLD SPELL

PALM DAMAGE

UNDAMAGED

ARCHONOTOPHOENIX maxima

BECCARIOPHOENIX madagascariensis

BISMARCKIA nobilis

BURRETIOKENTIA hapala – some protection

CHAMAEDOREA cataractum

CHAMAEDOREA elegans

CHAMAEDOREA microspadix

CHAMAEROPS humilis

COCCOTHRINAX argentata

COLPOTHRINAX wrightii – some protection

COPERNICIA alba

COPERNICIA cowellii – some protection

COPERNICIA macroglossa

DYPSIS albofarinosa – some protection

DYPSIS carlsmithii

DYPSIS crinita

DYPSIS pembana

HOWEA forsteriana

HYPHAENE thebaica

KERRIODOXA elegans

LIVISTONA decora

LIVISTONA nitida

PHOENIX roebelenii

PSEUDOPHOENIX sargentii

PTYCHOSPERMA caryotoides – banana leaf canopy

RAVENEA julietiae – some protection

RAVENEA hildebrandtii – some protection

RAVENEA xerophilla

RHAPIDOPHYLLUM hystrix

SABAL bermudana

SABAL causiarum

SABAL domingensis

SABAL etonia

SABAL guatemalensis

SABAL Lisa

SABAL minor

SABAL umbrucafilifera

SCHIPPIA concolor

SERENOA repens green & silver

SYAGRUS flexuosa x romanzoffiana

SYAGRUS romanzoffiana

SYAGRUS schizophylla

WASHINGTONIA robusta

JANUARY 2010 COLD SPELL

PALM DAMAGE

<25% Damage

ALLAGOPTERA caudescens – some protection

ARCHONOTOPHOENIX alexandrae

ARENGA engleri – minor leaf burn

BORASSODENDRON machodonis – in pot, protected & brought indoors during worst weather

BUTIA capitata – some yellowing of seedlings

CALYPTROCALYX polyphyllus – shielded by front lanai, covered during worst weather

CHAMAEDOREA adscendens – minor leaf burn, some protection

COCCOTHRINAX Azul

COCCOTHRINAX barbadensis

COCCOTHRINAX crinita

COCCOTHRINAX crinita var. brevicrinus

COCCOTHRINAX fragrans

COCCOTHRINAX miraguama

COCCOTHRINAX montana

COCCOTHRINAX pauciflorus

COCCOTHRINAX pseudorigida – tiny, occasional protection

COCCOTHRINAX spissa

COCCOTHRINAX species

COCCOTHRINAX trinitensis

COCCOTHRINAX yunguensis

DICTYOSPERMA album var. rubrum

DYPSIS cabadae

DYPSIS leptocheilos

DYPSIS plumosa, aka “fine leaf”

DYPSIS pusilla – some protection

HETEROSPATHE minor – some protection

HOWEA belmoreana – some protection

HYOPHORBE verschaffeltii

IGUANURA wallichiana – some protection

LEUCOTHRINAX morrisii

PINANGA coronata

PSEUDOPHOENIX ekmanii – some protection

RHAPIS laoensis

RHAPIS super dwarf

ROYSTONEA regia

SYAGRUS cearensis - seedlings, some protection

THRINAX radiata

VEITCHIA x wodyetia

VEITCHIA arecina – some shielding by lanai

WODYETIA bifurcata

JANUARY 2010 COLD SPELL

PALM DAMAGE

25-50% Damage

ADONIDIA merrillii – shielded by lanai screen

ARCHONOTOPHOENIX cumminghamiana – juveniles

ARCHONOTOPHOENIX purpurea - seedlings

ARECA trianda – some protection

ATTALEA butyracea – seedling, some protection

BALAKA seemanii – some protection

BENTINCKIA nicobarica - no protection but overlooking canal. I'm thrilled with how this palm did.

CARPENTARIA acuminata

CHAMBEYRONIA macrocarpa

COCOS nucifera red spicata

COCOS nucifera yellow Malayan

DRYMOPHLOEUS iran jaya – some protection

HYOPHORBE indica – some protection

ITAYA amicorum – some protection

KENTIOPSIS oliviformis - no protection, some leaf spotting

NEOVEITCHIA storckii – some protection. Survived night of 33F after cold rain with little damage.

PINANGA speciosa – some protection

PTYCHOSPERMA cuneatum – some protection

SYNECHANTHUS fibrosus – some protection

JANUARY 2010 COLD SPELL

PALM DAMAGE

50-80% Damage

CHAMAEDOREA deckeriana – some protection

DYPSIS lutescens

DYPSIS onilahensis – some protection

DYPSIS rivularis – some protection

DYPSIS saintelucei – some protection

HYDRIASTELE rheophytica – some protection

HYOPHORBE lagenicaulis

LICUALA grandis – some protection/heat source but major damage (from low day temps?)

PINANGA javana – some protection but not on 33F night after cold rain. That impressed me.

RHOPALOBLASTE augusta – some protection

RHOPALOBLASTE singaporensis – some protection

JANUARY 2010 COLD SPELL

PALM DAMAGE

80-100% Damage

ARECA vestaria – some protection but not on 33F night after cold rain.

EUTERPE oleracea – dead

EUTERPE precatoria – dead

HETEROSPATHE negroensis – seedling, dead. Missed moving this 1g indoors

HYDRIASTELE beguinii – no protection = major damage

PINANGA blue seed – some protection

PINANGA species – some protection

VEITCHIA joannis – 100% defoliation but possible new spear growth

VEITCHIA metiti - some protection

VEITCHIA winin – dead

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SW_FL_Palms

The Cape sure looks brown.

I noticed that palms and other plants on the southside received more damage than plants on the northside.

The opposite of what you would expect.

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SunnyFl

Meg, that was a great review of the cold event and a very informative,comprehensive list of palms and how they fared. This will be very helpful to many! Thank you for taking the time to do that.

I'm sorry to hear you lost your Euterpes (esp. the precaetoria - such an incredible palm). Did you happen to have any edulis?

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PalmatierMeg

Meg, that was a great review of the cold event and a very informative,comprehensive list of palms and how they fared. This will be very helpful to many! Thank you for taking the time to do that.

I'm sorry to hear you lost your Euterpes (esp. the precaetoria - such an incredible palm). Did you happen to have any edulis?

Last spring I bought a 15g E. edulis from a FL grower. About 3-4 months after I planted it along the canal, it shriveled, collapsed & died. I posted photos and members' consensus was that it had died as a result of lingering cold damage (last winter was also bad, with cold fronts training one per week for about a month). I learned this hard and expensive way that palms can appear to survive cold - only to die months later (2 other palms - Areca concinna & Dypsis boivineana - I bought there did the same thing) and apparently neither the grower nor his customers can tell a palm is terminal until too late. So, last winter and this winter have made me extremely leery of buying any tropical FL palms for at least the next 6-9 months to allow hidden casualties time to croak. Caveat emptor. I can't afford to spend hard-earned money on time-release compost.

But in any case, I doubt that E. edulis would have survived our marathon cold blast. I've given up on Euterpes.

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jonimic

Thanks heaps Meg,

This is really interesting...

Regards

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SunnyFl

Last spring I bought a 15g E. edulis from a FL grower. About 3-4 months after I planted it along the canal, it shriveled, collapsed & died. I posted photos and members' consensus was that it had died as a result of lingering cold damage (last winter was also bad, with cold fronts training one per week for about a month). I learned this hard and expensive way that palms can appear to survive cold - only to die months later (2 other palms - Areca concinna & Dypsis boivineana - I bought there did the same thing) and apparently neither the grower nor his customers can tell a palm is terminal until too late. So, last winter and this winter have made me extremely leery of buying any tropical FL palms for at least the next 6-9 months to allow hidden casualties time to croak. Caveat emptor. I can't afford to spend hard-earned money on time-release compost.

But in any case, I doubt that E. edulis would have survived our marathon cold blast. I've given up on Euterpes.

Really sad to hear that about the euterpes. I'd been hearing how cold-tolerant the edulis is - but that was from CA, where the cold is much drier than ours. That makes all the difference, and this cold spell ended in a really nasty radiational blast.

Good point about the long-term damage, some palms take much longer than others to show it. Triangle is usually one of the slower ones - but the triangle down the road, a good sized one, is already quite dead....

...just goes to show how bad this winter was.

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DoomsDave

Meg:

OUCH!

You guys took a hit, but you still have a heck of a great collection . . . .

Wanna see your garden next time I'm in Florida!

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PalmatierMeg

Meg:

OUCH!

You guys took a hit, but you still have a heck of a great collection . . . .

Wanna see your garden next time I'm in Florida!

Dave, you're always welcome to stop by, though things will look a bit shabby for the next 6 months. It's a work in process.

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Natureguy

Meg,

OMG....I had no idea you had a collection like that! Great choices! Have you posted pictures?

I would love to see some pictures of the garden! Thanks for all the great information!!

I was in St Pete last weekend, Gainesville the week before and Ocala this weekend! Unbelievable the amount of palm damage. Sorry to hear about your loss and hope everything recovers soon!

Bob

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koolthing78

It really is a shame to hear about all that damage, especially the V. winin (probably my favorite palm). There's one here in St. Petersburg (at least I think that's what it is) near where I work, and I haven't driven past it yet to see how it fared. Judging by the surrounding area, I'm guessing not well. As SunnyFL could probably tell you, the Diston Ridge area of St. Pete seems to have been hit especially hard. It's almost surreal driving through that part of town and seeing the Ficus elasticas & benjaminas and Scheffleras completely defoliated, and the mangos holding onto their full crowns of crinkled, paper bag-colored leaves. I want to believe that since the most noticable damage was due to the heavy frost of the final night, the majority will come back. But I've never seen a Florida winter look so much like Ohio before, and it just kind of stinks having to wait and see how permanent these changes in the landscape will prove to be.

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LauraAnu

Meg,

I am very impressed with the size and variety of your collection. What percentage are grown in ground vs. containers? Your cold hardiness information was very informative. I may need to compile information like this relating to sun hardiness here.

Laura

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Tomas

Hi Meg,

I wouldn't give up on Euterpe edulis, I know plants can be strange, but I have four seedlings of that species and they take our cold and wet winters quite well, surviving temps down to 29-30F and long long cold and rainy winters (to compare, I would define those of the SF area as balmy). And maybe your hot and humid summer is better for them than my hot and dry!

Tomas

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SunnyFl

they take our cold and wet winters quite well, surviving temps down to 29-30F and long long cold and rainy winters

Hi Tomas - do you get frost there? This was the killer up here. A lot of palms were still doing okay until that happened.

Eric wrote:

the Diston Ridge area of St. Pete seems to have been hit especially hard. It's almost surreal driving through that part of town....

I want to believe that since the most noticable damage was due to the heavy frost of the final night, the majority will come back. But I've never seen a Florida winter look so much like Ohio before

You are so right - Disston Ridge got nailed - and it was the frost that caused all the damage. I've lived up here 20 years, and we've never had frost like this - or much at all - even though in some winters, nearby neighborhoods did.

So, up here, we'd been getting away with planting things you see in S. FL - the coconuts, hyophorbes etc. But this time, we got hammered the worst - Pinellas Park looks better.

I even lost all my bougainvilleas! Can't believe it...

it just kind of stinks having to wait and see how permanent these changes in the landscape will prove to be.

And I'm thinking the same thing. I'm afraid we'll be seeing fewer palms, crotons, acalyphas.... and more ligustrums & podocarpus, the stuff that was so over-planted in the 80's. :hmm:

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Peter Pacific

Hi Meg, what great documentation! I saw this post but didn't want to read it, you have a wonderful collection and I didn't want to see the damage. I wish you all a speedy recovery. I, too, want to see your garden again but it will be late spring. Unfortunately it looks like I'll miss the Searle brother's sale too! best of luck to you, Peter

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PalmatierMeg

Hi Meg, what great documentation! I saw this post but didn't want to read it, you have a wonderful collection and I didn't want to see the damage. I wish you all a speedy recovery. I, too, want to see your garden again but it will be late spring. Unfortunately it looks like I'll miss the Searle brother's sale too! best of luck to you, Peter

Laura, the vast majority (90+%)except for most Sabals were in the ground. My tons of potted stuff were in the house, garage and heated green/shadehouse, or I'd have lost many, many more plants. It was quite crowded for over a week.

Peter, let me know when you'll be by this way. I hope by spring things will look less shabby. At least I will have cut off all the dead fronds.

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www.dadluvsu.com

Wow Meg! Your collection has really grown quickly! I'm glad to hear a great portion of it fared well... I too lost some sensitive palms and was pleasantly surprised by others. I'm sure you, like the rest of us in FL, are eager to have the warm months return quickly this year.

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philinsydney

Have you checked out the coconuts at Fort Myers beach yet?

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PalmatierMeg

Have you checked out the coconuts at Fort Myers beach yet?

It is(snowbird)Season here until May and traffic is horrendous. I probably won't go back to FMB until my timeshare weeks in late July. But I expect FMB palms will do much better than anything further inland because of the Gulf. But I expect they probably suffered some frond damage.

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Tomas
Hi Tomas - do you get frost there? This was the killer up here. A lot of palms were still doing okay until that happened.

Actualy frost is rare here, just cold dry air, radiational freeze.

Tomas

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gyuseppe

hello tomas and welcome to the forum.

tomas:Euterpe edulis are in your terrace or in the house?

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PalmatierMeg

Spear pulled on my 3-1/2' V. joannis tonight. Guess I can kiss that one goodbye.

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LauraAnu

Bummer on that Joannis Meg. It is a really lovely plant as a mature specimen. I guess they are really warm weather lovers. Hopefully,not many other palms suffer this fate after that cold spell.

Laura

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PalmatierMeg

Painful blast from the past nearly 10 years later. What I didn't realize when I posted those lists was that I would continue to lose palms to likely cold damage for the rest of the year through at least September. Stuff that appeared merely "damaged" continued to up and die for months after that awful winter. From hindsight memory:

Winter 2010 Final Death Toll

ARCHONOTOPHOENIX purpurea

ARECA concinna

ARECA trianda

ARECA vestaria

BALAKA seemanii

BENTINCKIA nicobarica

CALYPTROCALYX polyphyllus

COCOS nucifera yellow Malayan

COLPOTHRINAX wrightii (no outward damage but declined, died months later)

DRYMOPHLOEUS iran jaya

DYPSIS albofarinosa

DYPSIS carlsmithii

DYPSIS onilahensis

DYPSIS rivularis

DYPSIS saintelucei

EUTERPE edulis

EUTERPE oleracea

EUTERPE precatoria

HETEROSPATHE minor

HETEROSPATHE negroensis

HYDRIASTELE beguinii (lingered 9 months before dying)

HYDRIASTELE rheophytica

HYOPHORBE indica

IGUANURA wallichiana

LICUALA grandis

NEOVEITCHIA storckii

PINANGA blue seed

PINANGA coronata

PINANGA javana

PINANGA species

PINANGA speciosa

PTYCHOSPERMA caryotoides

 RHOPALOBLASTE augusta

RHOPALOBLASTE singaporensis

VEITCHIA joannis

VEITCHIA winin

VEITCHIA x wodyetia

WODYETIA bifurcata (went into decline, penciled, became infested with borers; I removed it a year or two later)

Did cold damage kill all of the above 37 palm species? In most cases, no doubt about it or cold and icy rain greatly contributed to their demise. In retrospect, I realize I was growing a few species that are not well suited to my climate and soil, i.e., Colpothrinax wrightii, Hyophorbe indica and most of the Dypsis. They were facing a steep survival curve and that unusually cold winter gave them a push into oblivion. That a few of them managed to delay total collapse for months reflects they were dead but didn't know it yet.

 

 

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Merlyn

Interesting that a few "tender" ones survived and others did not!  For example Dypsis Pembana is not that frost hardy, like Dypsis Lutescens.  But apparently both survived with significant damage, while other similar clumpers like Pinanga Coronata and Areca Triandra did not!  i guess it's fortunate for me that I only have one palm on your "dead" list, Licuala Grandis.  :D 

Thanks for the (painful) update, that helps a lot!  I was considering getting some Areca Triandra seedlings, but knowing that they are marginal and didn't survive 2010 means it's probably not worth the time compared to the rocket-like growth of my Dypsis Pembana cluster.

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PalmatierMeg

I must disagree about Dypsis pembana. That is a palm that does extremely well for me, even though none of mine have produced viable seeds. My original palm planted as 3g survived 28.5F and cold rain with only minor spotting. I highly recommend it. Arecas and Pinangas are much more cold sensitive.

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Merlyn

That's great news to me, I really like Pembana and it's a super fast grower for me.  I planted a 2G pot in April at just under 3 feet tall, and it's 7 feet now and opening a new spear that'll be at least 8 feet.  My notes had it as undamaged at Leu Gardens in the 2009 winter (29F) but another person reported 70% damage at 27F in the double cold snap in 2017.  It may be that their deaths were in CA dessicating winds, because MNorell had no damage with light frost at 29-31 and only slight damage on a windy 27F night.

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palmsOrl
On 9/29/2019 at 2:34 PM, PalmatierMeg said:

Painful blast from the past nearly 10 years later. What I didn't realize when I posted those lists was that I would continue to lose palms to likely cold damage for the rest of the year through at least September. Stuff that appeared merely "damaged" continued to up and die for months after that awful winter. From hindsight memory:

Winter 2010 Final Death Toll

ARCHONOTOPHOENIX purpurea

ARECA concinna

ARECA trianda

ARECA vestaria

BALAKA seemanii

BENTINCKIA nicobarica

CALYPTROCALYX polyphyllus

COCOS nucifera yellow Malayan

COLPOTHRINAX wrightii (no outward damage but declined, died months later)

DRYMOPHLOEUS iran jaya

DYPSIS albofarinosa

DYPSIS carlsmithii

DYPSIS onilahensis

DYPSIS rivularis

DYPSIS saintelucei

EUTERPE edulis

EUTERPE oleracea

EUTERPE precatoria

HETEROSPATHE minor

HETEROSPATHE negroensis

HYDRIASTELE beguinii (lingered 9 months before dying)

HYDRIASTELE rheophytica

HYOPHORBE indica

IGUANURA wallichiana

LICUALA grandis

NEOVEITCHIA storckii

PINANGA blue seed

PINANGA coronata

PINANGA javana

PINANGA species

PINANGA speciosa

PTYCHOSPERMA caryotoides

 RHOPALOBLASTE augusta

RHOPALOBLASTE singaporensis

VEITCHIA joannis

VEITCHIA winin

VEITCHIA x wodyetia

WODYETIA bifurcata (went into decline, penciled, became infested with borers; I removed it a year or two later)

Did cold damage kill all of the above 37 palm species? In most cases, no doubt about it or cold and icy rain greatly contributed to their demise. In retrospect, I realize I was growing a few species that are not well suited to my climate and soil, i.e., Colpothrinax wrightii, Hyophorbe indica and most of the Dypsis. They were facing a steep survival curve and that unusually cold winter gave them a push into oblivion. That a few of them managed to delay total collapse for months reflects they were dead but didn't know it yet.

 

 

Areca triandra and Euterpe edulis?  Wow.

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PalmatierMeg
3 hours ago, palmsOrl said:

Areca triandra and Euterpe edulis?  Wow.

Most of the palms I lost were quite small as I was just getting into palms. If that spell in Jan. didn't kill them outright, the cumulative effect of months of dreary chilly weather that winter may have. Bear in mind I had palms keeling over weeks and months later. My point is that cold damage isn't always once and done - sometimes it is delayed slaughter that reveals itself long after you think you've come through fine. I haven't sworn off either A. trianda or E. edulis (although I gave up on the other Euterpes).

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