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displaced_floridian

How far N in Florida can coconut palms reliably grow?

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sarasota alex

Even during the coldest stretch of 2010 we maybe, maybe lost a quarter of all coconuts in Sarasota. Only very few were lost west of US-41. And there are thousands of them here. Practically all of them are fruiting the last couple of winters. Even some dwarf varieties. There is a couple on Mall Dr next to Gateway Ave, growing with northern exposure. The fruit is about 6 feet off the ground.

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sdba25

Gib-town and Apollo Beach do have some pockets of Zone 10. They are on the Southeast edge of the bay, which stays almost as warm as the Gulf, so the areas close to the bay south of Brandon get the same benefits of the areas immediately along the coast. They are also directly East of the power plants, whose smoke stacks put off a lot of warm CO2 emission. So the areas directly to their South and East have a somewhat more mild (albeit polluted and cancerous) climate :)

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Palmə häl′ik

Yup. Dem cocos I seen are along the Alafia River. They're there. They made it through 2010 too. I just seen em a couple weeks back.

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Cocoa Beach Jason

I reside in Cocoa Beach (about 45 mins north of Vero) and there are thousands of big ones producing fruit. It is true that many get zapped during our harshest winters. However 40 footers can be found all over. This area is a micro climate because if one were to drive ten minutes inland, west of US-1, coconuts cannot grow reliably. The barrier island of Cocoa Beach and points south grow coconuts pretty reliably barring a 1989-like freeze event.

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palmsOrl

I reside in Cocoa Beach (about 45 mins north of Vero) and there are thousands of big ones producing fruit. It is true that many get zapped during our harshest winters. However 40 footers can be found all over. This area is a micro climate because if one were to drive ten minutes inland, west of US-1, coconuts cannot grow reliably. The barrier island of Cocoa Beach and points south grow coconuts pretty reliably barring a 1989-like freeze event.

I agree completely to the above and would also like to add that Cocos are not reliable long-term anywhere in the Orlando area (possibly with the exception of a few rare microclimates on large lakes or among skyscrapers downtown). I do, however, know of one tall specimen that has survived for more than 10 years at a hotel near Sea World south of town. This and the numerous large royals at the hotel have been mentioned on Palmtalk before.

I do not believe any exist, but I would like to be able to try a large trunking Cocos in a situation between close skyscrapers and surrounded by asphalt in downtown Orlando. I bet it would survive long-term no problem, barring a 1989 type event, the likes of which the 2010 freezes did not measure up to.

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Davidl

I believe Palm Beach close to the water and Ft Myers close to the water on the other coast. North of that I think is a gamble.

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Eric in Orlando

There were coconuts that survived the big 1989 freeze north of Ft. Myers and Palm Beach. Most in Cocoa Beach were wiped out in '89. But that is the last coconut killing freeze at Cocoa Beach.

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empireo22

There were coconuts that survived the big 1989 freeze north of Ft. Myers and Palm Beach. Most in Cocoa Beach were wiped out in '89. But that is the last coconut killing freeze at Cocoa Beach.

I think Fort Pierce is one of those places.

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sdba25

In Central FL the palms you typically find next to tall buildings are Mexican Fans, because they are the only palm that will grow tall enough to contrast with the building and make their presence felt. That is also the only place they can reach their full height potential of 80+ feet without becoming a lightning rod, as many of them turn into here in Tampa once they start to tower over their surrounding vegetation.

I do agree that downtown Orlando would be an interesting experiment. I don't think you'd have much success right next to large skyscrapers though, as they'd be significantly shaded for a good part of the day by the building. For at least part of the year (esp. when the sun is lower on the horizon in the late fall/early winter), that would be a big problem for a coco. Best bet would be in a somewhat sheltered courtyard or something that is surrounded by asphalt and busy roads, where it would maintain warm soil temps, be sheltered from the cold by large buildings particularly on the West and Northwest sides of the palm, but still far enough away from them to get full or near-full sunlight. Regular irrigation would be a plus. I heard from some Orlando old-timers that they did use to have some cocos in and around downtown at one point many years ago, but they did not do very well and over the years have been removed and replaced with other types of palms. That is word of mouth though, I have nothing to verify that information.

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Dave-Vero

The 1989 freeze killed native gumbo limbo (Bursera simaruba) trees in Cocoa Beach. I think what happened is that they had been part of the beach scrub/low forest (hammock) vegetation and received some protection from the continuous canopy, which included hardy live oaks. When the vegetation was cleared and a few gumbo limbos left behind as specimens, they became vulnerable. Substantial gumbo limbos at the edge of the Indian River on Tropical Trail survived, although with severe damage. They still have their big trunks.

Orlando has some heat islands that might be fit for coconuts. Orlando International Airport has done a nice job with landscaping the areas separating the big parking garages from the terminal. Disney has foxtail palms cuddling buildings.

In Vero Beach, coconuts are reasonably hardy very close to the ocean, so they're suitable for oceanfront condos and hotels (The Vero Beach Hotel & Spa is a good example, except the palms were all imported around 2006). If you're even a bit inland, they become iffy. The McAnsh Grove neighborhood south of the airprot has a few tall, older coconuts, but a lot of coconuts in the area perished in the two bad winters of 2010-2011.

One of the oddities of Vero Beach is a couple of vacant oceanfront lots just north of the Ocean Drive shopping area. The lots were given walls and landscaping to prep them for house construction before the bust. The coconut palms, which are still tended, thrived and are now mature-looking. There's also a public coconut, on a boardwalk at South Beach Park, that somehow showed up and has grown happily, but slower than the real estate palms.

I think much of the Melbourne Beach, Indialantic, and Satellite Beach area in Brevard County has a better freeze situation than mainland Vero Beach and perhaps even some of the Vero barrier island, in areas where the Indian River is narrow.

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empireo22

Saw a coconut off palm bay rd yesterday about a mile from the river with about 7ft of clear trunk. happy to see it make it through the 2010 winter that far inland. also saw one off sebastian blvd about 4 or 5 miles from the river with about 4 ft of trunk. all look healthy after this winter

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Radiobill

I would agree with your map but I would shade in the area around Charlotte Harbor east to I-75. Punta Gorda is loaded with mature coconuts.

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displaced_floridian

Has anyone seen cocos nucifera in New Smyrna Beach?

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Coconutman

Hello everybody! I'm new here to PT.This cocos was loaded with coconuts in Cocoa beach in March 2014

imagejpg1_zps84adda80.jpg

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Ken Johnson

Hi Displaced, and Coco, those "mature" coconuts could easily have been planted after 1989.

It's like showing you a picture of a huge lipstick palm that had been growing outside in South Florida for 20 years and then one day its not, right after a slight frost.... :sick:

P.S. Coconutman, Welcome! Do you have palms in Cali?

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Coconutman

Actually I have 3 young coconuts that I'm growing.

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Jimbean

Supposedly there is one that survived '89 in Cocoa Beach. I was always thought the northern limit (>50% survival) was Jupiter Inlet.

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Cocoa Beach Jason

I live in Cocoa Beach. If anyone knows where some pre-89 cocos are I will go take pictures. I know of about 5-6 that could be that old based on height but I can't say for sure bc they get tall so quick. My guess is the tall ones I am seeing are probably not that old.

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IHB1979

If there are any pre '89 coconuts in coastal Brevard they would huge. My friend in Indian Harbour Beach planted some in '91-'92 after the freeze and they did well until 2010. He said they would have recovered but at that point they had 25-30' of clear trunk and the cost of trimming every year became too much so he removed them. Would be awesome if there was a pre '89 hidden here.

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Eric in Orlando

I heard there were coconuts that survived the 12/89 freeze in Cocoa Beach, some on the south tip of Merritt Island along Tropical Trail. The only one I saw and know that survived was on the beachfront in front of a NASA tracking radar building. It was behind the Wakulla Hotel a few blocks south of Ron Jons. There was a grouping of coconuts that were planted there around 1986-87. So they werent there for the 12/83 or 1/85 freeze. But this one survived the horrible 12/89 freeze. A lot of coconuts were planted in Cocoa Beach around 1991-93 that are tall now. Prior to the first record freeze in 12/83 there were lots of tall coconuts in the area.

Here is the one that survived. It was removed a few years ago. It had more rounded coconuts.

9254.jpg

631e.jpg

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Bill H2DB

Supposedly there is one that survived '89 in Cocoa Beach. I was always thought the northern limit (>50% survival) was Jupiter Inlet.

I remember that back in the '60's , there was a radio station in Vero Beach that had the call letters WTTB , which

they said stood for Where The Tropics Begin .

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displaced_floridian

Yes, I remember a sign on entering Vero from the North, saying "Gateway to the Tropics". Coconuts do become more common from Vero south, but I don't know

how many survived the cold of Jan and Dec 2010.

Edited by displaced_floridian

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Dave-Vero

Mainland Vero Beach lost a lot of coconuts in 2010-2011. In the McAnsh Park area on the mainland, I think almost half died. The survivors are looking fine. On the barrier island, a lot of them looked bad for a year or so, but also recovered. The tall one at Riverside Cafe is one of the more visible. On Ocean Drive, coconuts planted north of Village Spires before the Great Recession are now impressively tall. They grow fast.

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palmsOrl

I read somewhere (maybe it was on here) one time that Downtown Orlando was widely landscaped with coconuts in the 1950s. I don't know if they were widely planted starting in that decade, or if a couple warm decades led to them becoming common by the 1950s. I know of a few larger Cocos around town that look decent and one that survived 2010.

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Palmaceae

I read somewhere (maybe it was on here) one time that Downtown Orlando was widely landscaped with coconuts in the 1950s. I don't know if they were widely planted starting in that decade, or if a couple warm decades led to them becoming common by the 1950s. I know of a few larger Cocos around town that look decent and one that survived 2010.

Yes, back in the 50s there was a lot of mature coconuts in Clearwater and St Pete. There was a long warm streak back in the 50s but all that stopped in 1977, then of course the 80s was bad. Here are some postcard pictures of Clearwater in the 50s. I had another picture of a row of tall coconuts in downtown Clearwater but can't find it.

clearwaterglasshouse012213.jpg

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post-10151-0-81666000-1415240677_thumb.j

post-10151-0-17942600-1415240688_thumb.j

post-10151-0-29616100-1415240803.jpg

post-10151-0-99719100-1415240959_thumb.j

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Eric in Orlando

Here is a post card from the 1920s of Central Park in downtown Winter Park, just north of Orlando. Park Ave. would be on the left.

post-231-0-78600000-1415282210_thumb.jpg

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Xerarch

Love the old photos guys, amazing what kind of climate shifts/cycles we can see just within the last 100 years

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displaced_floridian

Those look like coconut trees--in Winter Park? Was it actually warmer then?

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Bill H2DB

Maybe large trees were transported in , and that might explain the size.

Back in the late 60's or early 70's ( foggy memories ) , here in Daytona Beach , a number of fairly

large Cocos were planted at the Desert Inn Motel . Direct ocean front . Looked quite nice for a year and a half . I do remember

that the owner installed soil heaters , thinking that would help. Of course it didn't .

At least they were planted on the southerly side , and near the building , which is about 6 stories .

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Eric in Orlando

They were probably brought in as larger specimens. But they look fully "foliated" so must have survived for a few years before a freeze took them out.

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Eric in Orlando

Just like these Royal Palms growing in Howey-in-the-Hills. This is NW of Orlando. The Howy Mansion was built in 1927 and these photos were taken in the late 20s. Check out the big Roystonea. They were obviously brought in as large specimens but grew well for awhile.

post-231-0-40213300-1415396761_thumb.jpg

post-231-0-48530600-1415396780_thumb.jpg

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Coconutman

Do some still coconuts exist on Honeymoon island state park in Dunedin?I saw some pictures on their website.

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Jimbean

I can imagine that coconuts can grow on Dunedin, possibly for decades.

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Eric in Orlando

Here is another Orlando photo from 1963, the Kingswood Manor neighborhood north of downtown. Nice Cocos!

post-231-0-68045100-1415822529_thumb.jpg

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Jimbean

Here is another Orlando photo from 1963, the Kingswood Manor neighborhood north of downtown. Nice Cocos!

attachicon.gifKingswood.jpg

Thanks for those photos! I did not even know that's what it looked like back then.

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Eric in Orlando

It hasn't changed much. Just more trees ( no coconuts now) and modern cars!

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Explorer

Do you use coconuts in cooking by the way downthere in Florida? Santem is very nice in many spicy dices!

Indonesia there are billions of coconutpalms, the tree of live they call it there. That was ones our colony.

Will go there this winter.

A couple of months of tropical heat is always good in winter!

Alexander

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Explorer

Here one from Indonesia.

One wich realy has gone coco loco...

www.carigold.com/portal/forums/showthread.php?t=165945

Went

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_Keith

A good 10 to 20 year stretch of mild winters can make many things happen. And those stretches have happened many times over the last century.

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