Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
redant

Not all coconuts are created equal

Recommended Posts

redant

So West palm beach had it's coldest Jan and Feb since 1888, that's a long time. I have been in Jupiter for about 25 years and while Dec 1989 was more devastating due to it's extreme low, this prolong period of cool and cold temps is really doing a number. So palms that looked pretty good after the Jan event are continuing to decline. Coconuts are the most prolific temperate palms planted in the area so they are interesting as a cold study. From my observations in the local are dwarf yellow coconuts are fairing far worse then other types. A planting of about 15 that I pass, several have passed away already and the others look far worse then most, they look like they will not make it. These are mature coconuts not small ones. Anyone else notice this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
palmsOrl

My dwarf yellow Malayan coconut is always the first to yellow up in the winter, and right now especially the newly emerging leaf is very yellow. Shockingly, however, it looks like it will definitely survive and resume growth once it gets warm.

-Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zeeth

Green is hardier than yellow and red, talls are hardier than dwarves. That's what I've gotten from my research

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
epicure3

Coconuts are the most prolific temperate palms planted in the area so they are interesting as a cold study.

I don't believe that they are temperate palms unless you mean something else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tyrone

So when I decided to plant a dwarf Malay coconut here in Perth where coconuts are not meant to grow, I chose the hardest one to grow in a marginal climate, the most tropical one. That makes me feel good. Mines doing fine, even starting to trunk after nearly 2 and a half years in the ground.

So when I decided to bite the bullet and take a chance planting a coconut, I without knowing it, decided to bite the biggest bullet going. :) Let's see if I can get it to flower. :D

Best regards

Tyrone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zeeth

So when I decided to plant a dwarf Malay coconut here in Perth where coconuts are not meant to grow, I chose the hardest one to grow in a marginal climate, the most tropical one. That makes me feel good. Mines doing fine, even starting to trunk after nearly 2 and a half years in the ground.

So when I decided to bite the bullet and take a chance planting a coconut, I without knowing it, decided to bite the biggest bullet going. :) Let's see if I can get it to flower. :D

Best regards

Tyrone

I have heard differing opinions on why talls are hardier, whether they are able to withstand a lower absolute minimum or because they get their leaves out of the frost sooner. I believe both may be the case, as in the hard adjective freeze of 1989, a Jamaican tall at Clearwater beach, and one at Coco beach both survived 19F, where all malayans were killed outright. I do know that neither varieties handle protracted cold very well, as even the Jamaican talls at Kopsick were burnt in this cold. The damage was, I would say, 2/3 the damage of the malayans. It wasn't quite as bad, but nothing to brag about. I know that in previous cold there, when it has frozen, they have been undamaged while the malayans had burning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tikitiki

Out of the 6 I have in the ground the Samoan Dwarfs are doing the best at 70 percent burned. They have zero wood on them. I have four golds two with no wood and two with 6 feet and flowering and they are all about 90 percent burned. For what ever that is worth. I plan on planting more types so time will tell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ken Johnson

Hold on a second my coconut obsessed friend. (You know I always give you a hard time about your obsession :lol:)

What research are you talking about?

Anybody ever seen any exact science on cold hardiness in palms? Dose anybody know exactly why some palms are much hardier than others?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tikitiki

Which one of us are you talking about. We are all obsessed. Observation is the basis of all research with a little trial and error and that is what we are doing. Exactly is a powerful word and can only be used in math. :winkie:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
floridagrower

It's true 'Green' holds up better in cold winters, but I do not think the 'Green Mayalan' is hardier. It naturally has more green than the 'Gold' and thus tends to look less damaged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zeeth

Hold on a second my coconut obsessed friend. (You know I always give you a hard time about your obsession :lol:)

What research are you talking about?

Anybody ever seen any exact science on cold hardiness in palms? Dose anybody know exactly why some palms are much hardier than others?

Both direct observation (this year was prime example) and through searches both online and on this forum (reading every page with "coconut" in the title since the forum has started provides some nice insight).

I'll use direct observation to explain my findings. Green over red and yellow, well there is a house about a block from mine with about 10 coconuts planted in the yard. There are 7 palms with trunk, 1 green, 1 red and 5 yellow. During the 1st 2 hard frosts, the green was still undamaged, but the red and yellow were a little beat up, with frond browning. It took about 3 freezes for 100% burning on the yellow and red, and 4 freezes for the same damage on the green, and they got 2 more freezes before the deep cold was done.

The taller coconuts around town (5+ feet of trunk) got damage on the 4th and 100% burning on the 5th, palms with 20 feet of trunk were burned on the 5th, and burned a little worse on the 6th. After that, the cool weather took it's toll, so even the tallest of palms were almost completely burned by the end (well, till today, the cool isn't over yet) except under canopy or right by the ocean.

All this basically confirmed my thinking about the color differences and the height of the palm differences. Nothing makes as big a difference as canopy though. Good canopy, that prevents frost. There is 1 coconut down the street from me that was about 10% burned on the lower 2 leafs, and 0% burned on the other leafs, it is stationed under a massive live oak, and gets a really big canopy. This coconut is right by the 100% defoliated coconuts I was just talking about. I'd say there's maybe a 1F - 1.5F degree difference between the hardiness of yellow/red and green, and a 5F difference between palms with 20 feet of trunk and palms with 1 foot of trunk, and maybe a 6+ degree difference between palms under good canopy and palms out in the open, and being close to a large body of water helps too, the larger the better. Or, if you are willing to experiment with me, a heated pool probably helps too, but still am in the planning phases of testing this.

Note: adding all those factors is a recipe for success if you live in a borderline area like a warm 9b, but you can only help so much, adding everything together can equate to maybe the difference between death or life for a once in a lifetime event, but deep freezes every year is certain death for coconuts. A tall green palm by the water somehow protected from frost can maybe survive 19F once if it has good genes, but if you bottom out below 27F every year, I don't advocate planting a coconut unless you want to do serious work protecting them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
palmsOrl

I have to say that I seriously doubt that Cocos out over the water in Clearwater Beach saw 19 F. The reporting stations in the area may have, but I'll bet you that it didn't see below 25 F out over the water like that.

-Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zeeth

I have to say that I seriously doubt that Cocos out over the water in Clearwater Beach saw 19 F. The reporting stations in the area may have, but I'll bet you that it didn't see below 25 F out over the water like that.

-Michael

I'm just restating things other members have said before, it's up to you to believe them or not. I think that you my be correct in that it may have not been that cold in that particular spot due to the shortness of the event, but I think it was probably in the low 20's.

I think it was David Witt who observed that a (Jamaica?) Tall coconut growing out on Clearwater Beach survived a low of 19F in the Christmas Eve freeze of '89.

says member SunnyFL in topic: http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=22287&st=0&p=371336&hl="clearwater%20beach"&fromsearch=1&#entry371336

And a quote from Eric in Orlando from this topic: http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?app=forums&module=post&section=post&do=reply_post&f=1&t=11448&qpid=198459

I don't know what variety of coconut this is. It is in Cocoa Beach and survived the 12/89 freeze, low to mid 20sF over there on the island. It was planted around '87. It was planted with several other coconuts and some queen palms. All were wiped out by the '89 freeze but this one survived. It was defoliated and came back. Now the queen palms were very stressed as this is ocean front and they were constantly burned by salt spray. It has coconuts that are more rounded, like a cannonball. The last few years the palm has been denutted, the coconuts are cut off.

This photo is about 5 years old. It has since gotten past the power lines and isn't hacked like in the photo. This is behind Ron Jons and a couple blocks south, next to a NASA/Air Force tracking radar (building behind it).

9254.jpg

631e.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zeeth

Also, here is a quote from Surgeon83 about talls vs dwarves. He brings up an interesting point about a Panama tall that got through a freeze with less damage than another coconut in the shade. The tall likely saw frost, while the dwarf likely didn't.

From my limited exposure, I would agree that the talls seem cold/cool hardiest. Take a look at these St. Petersburg coconuts which look pretty good coming through the freeze this past January. Nearby Corypha and Copernicias had considerable burning on lower fronds especially.

coconutkopsick.jpg

Here you can compare the panama tall to the golden malayan dwarfs (I think), and it is apparent that the smaller variety is less cold-tolerant from the more-than-normal yellow appearance of the leaves. These next 2 are in south Tampa, and the tall one was planted in 1990 from a coconut and left to fend for itself ever since. Jeff in Costa Rica told me where to find these palms.

coconuttrask2.jpg

coconuttrask.jpg

EDIT: Wal, I just read your post and I agree that could be the case sometimes. But with the coconuts in my last two pictures, the tall one has open exposure to the bitter-cold freezing winds while the 3 smaller ones are under live oak canopy. I would have thought the smaller ones would have been more protected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
floridagrower

Zeeth,

If that's the one I know about, that coconut hasn't been there for years now.

Also, those "Greens" you saw were most likely individual conditions. I wouldn't say that is a consistent rule.

Having lived there in 89, I too do not believe that Clearwater coconut saw 19 f.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zeeth

Zeeth,

If that's the one I know about, that coconut hasn't been there for years now.

Also, those "Greens" you saw were most likely individual conditions. I wouldn't say that is a consistent rule.

Having lived there in 89, I too do not believe that Clearwater coconut saw 19 f.

I am aware that the one posted by Eric in Orlando was removed some years ago, which probably had something to do with power line interference. The fact that it survived 1989 is not diminished by the fact that it was removed years after the event. I wish someone had taken nuts from it though..

The greens I was talking about are not the only ones I've noted like this. There is a grouping of about 20 of various colors about 5 ft from the Manatee river, all were eventually 100% damaged, but the greens tended to last about a day longer. I'd say the differences are very minimal, like I said about 1 - 1.5 degrees. They are probably killed at about the same temp, but they look better longer. I think it's because of more accessible chlorophyll. It could be that they just look better, as the yellows get more yellow, which looks bad, and the greens get darker green, which doesn't look as bad.

As for hardiness, we all know taller trees are out of the worst of the cold, so that's one major reason talls are hardier, they get to this point much faster. We all also know that fertilized palms are hardier than unfertilized palms. Well, Malayans are from areas with much richer soil, so they don't grow as well in our sandy soils without being fertilized, but talls are from areas with sandy soils, so they don't need the fertilizer, as they likely produce their own. I think this may be a factor in hardiness. If this is the case, one would expect Samoan dwarves to be hardier, as they are just mutant Samoan talls, and, although a small result, Tikitiki's palms make it look like this may be the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
floridagrower

It too probably didn't see 19 f. Were areas around Cocoa and Clearwater 19 f? Sure, but not that spot on that palm's bud. IF that palm was there in 89, it would have very small and easily protected by the localized conditions.

Same point I made in my first reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zeeth

It too probably didn't see 19 f. Were areas around Cocoa and Clearwater 19 f? Sure, but not that spot on that palm's bud. IF that palm was there in 89, it would have very small and easily protected by the localized conditions.

Same point I made in my first reply.

I don't understand what you are arguing against. I stated that the palm was probably helped by it's conditions, so it survived what the city recorded as 19F. I was making a statement that coconuts can benefit from certain things, and that's why the palm survived while others didn't. If a Jamaican tall survives what the city has recorded as 19F, but a Malayan next to it dies, why argue what the absolute low was in the bud of the palm, when the point I am making is that talls are hardier than dwarves?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
floridagrower

It too probably didn't see 19 f. Were areas around Cocoa and Clearwater 19 f? Sure, but not that spot on that palm's bud. IF that palm was there in 89, it would have very small and easily protected by the localized conditions.

Same point I made in my first reply.

I don't understand what you are arguing against. I stated that the palm was probably helped by it's conditions, so it survived what the city recorded as 19F. I was making a statement that coconuts can benefit from certain things, and that's why the palm survived while others didn't. If a Jamaican tall survives what the city has recorded as 19F, but a Malayan next to it dies, why argue what the absolute low was in the bud of the palm, when the point I am making is that talls are hardier than dwarves?

Nobody said Malayans were next to these during 89. So that point makes no sense. I agree that the talls have an advantage over dwarfs.

The second part was the point I was making about 'Green' vs 'Golden'. You simple repeated what I already said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zeeth

Nobody said Malayans were next to these during 89. So that point makes no sense. I agree that the talls have an advantage over dwarfs.

The second part was the point I was making about 'Green' vs 'Golden'. You simple repeated what I already said.

I mean next to it by in the same town, or the same area, which invariably would have been the case. I have heard reports of Ray's coconut in Brandon surviving 19F this winter, but I'm not sure the variety. If anyone would like, I can pull up some more info on hardiness of the talls.

Here are some posts on the hardiness of green vs gold and yellow.

Down here in extreme south Florida this winter, The GREEN malayan did way better than the gold or yellow. The gold and yellow ones got burnt back pretty bad.

Green over "golden," orange and/or red! Talls over "dwarfs" are more forgiving of raw, nasty, cold weather vs. dwarf coconuts.

Pablo

Paul Drummond, who was an expert on Coconuts, used to say the Jamacan Tall was the most cold hardy, as well as being the most care free. He used to point out Jamacan Talls that had grown up in vacant lots without any irrigation or fertilizer and they looked fine. The Malaya dwarfs are the most tender and there are at least 3 colors, orange, yellow, and green. When temps. got to low in S. Fla. the yellow and orange foliage would tend to yellow, and for that reason the green, which shows less yellowing to cold. is preferred.

Dick

I tried Green Malayan dwarfs, Yellow Malayan dwarfs, Jamaican talls, and Rangiroa varieties, along with my two Hawaiian talls, but this winter was pretty severe here in Orange County with lower than usual overnight temps that took out all coconuts except for one Hawaiian tall which overwintered outside and is now two years old. It is a bit worn from the winter and spring, but is trying to recover in the recent heat. All of the palms were containerized, which explains why the cold affected them so badly. One Hawaiian tall succumbed to termites, along with a Puerto Rican Royal next to it, and not to the cold. I didn't think that the Hawaiian variety would be best here, and I actually would have put money on the Yellow Malayan dwarf variety (well, I did, by buying several sprouts from Costa Rica via San Marcos), but the Hawaiians appear to have been the hardiest, in my limited test. They came from Hilo, and were the sprouted nuts in bags type sold for export in tourist shops. I spoke with the fellow that had this nut business (Ed), and the cultivar had been in the family for a few generations. He verified the variety. Good luck in your project.

I really like the look of the dark green form that has dark green petioles, dark green nuts and really dark green leaflets. It looks really solid and healthy compared to a lot of other coconuts. I have a variety at home with pale yellow petioles and it is really cold tender compared to others.

Then of course Redant's experience this winter, and what I have seen with every coconut here. I am beginning trials on hardiness of Green Malayan and Gold Malayan, and also Jamaican tall, Panama tall, and Hawaiian tall. It will be a few years before I have a definitive answer, but it will be interesting to see how the 3 tall varieties stack up against each other. I have read in a Journal (The Coconut Odyssey: the bounteous possibilities of the tree of life) that coconuts from Hainan island may be the hardiest coconut, but exportation is banned at the moment. I have also heard reports a variety of coconut growing in New Delhi that can withstand down to 26F before damage occurs. I have neither been able to confirm or deny these reports, so I don't know if it's true, but I think this may just be a rumor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
garrin

I want to add here that I have received cocos as sprouted nuts from local trees which were supposed to be "Samoan dwarf" nuts which turned out to be yellow dwarf malayans. And while the true "Samoan dwarf" -- actually now thought to be of Fijiian origin, truly is the greenest and most healthy looking coconut in these parts; even here with winter temps almost never falling below 60 deg F., the gold malayans look very yellow and unhealthy by early spring. This can be alleviated somewhat by heavy feltilizer doses. I must add that the malayan "yellows" are even yellow in Malaysia, but they look stunning against a background of healthy green talls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tyrone

I'm growing my Golden Malayan Dwarf in an area that shouldn't even support coconuts but I've given it some unheated plastic protection through winter, and it does yellow a bit through winter. But I feed the heck out of it. I give it a handful of NPK plus trace elements at least once a week during summer, and I water it every day during summer. I also give it regular seaweed and fish emulsion. Last year it did have a Boron deficiency problem which gave it crinkle leaf and leaflets which would stick together, but this year I've been giving it a once a month handful of Scotts Micromax trace elements which has fixed it's boron issues. By the end of autumn it's yellow petioles have distinct green bits in them. Twice a season I give it some rock salt too. I should technically be killing my coconut with the nutrients, but I believe that it needs to be fully pumped up with nutrition to take it through winter when it gets no water and therefore no nutrient uptake from June to late September. Also it's growing in straight forward sand, which is 800000 yr old beach sand when my area was coastal or estaurine. I think the sand is to the coconuts liking.

I can't wait for it to find the water table, which is about 6m down.

Best regards

Tyrone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zeeth

I'm growing my Golden Malayan Dwarf in an area that shouldn't even support coconuts but I've given it some unheated plastic protection through winter, and it does yellow a bit through winter. But I feed the heck out of it. I give it a handful of NPK plus trace elements at least once a week during summer, and I water it every day during summer. I also give it regular seaweed and fish emulsion. Last year it did have a Boron deficiency problem which gave it crinkle leaf and leaflets which would stick together, but this year I've been giving it a once a month handful of Scotts Micromax trace elements which has fixed it's boron issues. By the end of autumn it's yellow petioles have distinct green bits in them. Twice a season I give it some rock salt too. I should technically be killing my coconut with the nutrients, but I believe that it needs to be fully pumped up with nutrition to take it through winter when it gets no water and therefore no nutrient uptake from June to late September. Also it's growing in straight forward sand, which is 800000 yr old beach sand when my area was coastal or estaurine. I think the sand is to the coconuts liking.

I can't wait for it to find the water table, which is about 6m down.

Best regards

Tyrone

Wow, I think all those nutrients are really helping, as the dwarves really need extra nutrients in sand, or they suffer. I've ALWAYS heard that a fertilized palm is more cold hardy (which is why I think a tall is hardier than a dwarf of the same size. All things being equal, the tall gets enough nutrients from sand where a dwarf doesn't. A fertilized dwarf, for this reason, probably will have the same hardiness as a tall of the same size), so you're doing a good job. Don't stop fertilizing, or your palm may not like it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×