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The-ZonePusher

Updates on coconut palms in california?

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happ

Coconuts have been tried here since San Diego decided to move from a desert to a tropical paradise over a century ago. Sailors and travelers have been bringing them back and planting them for over a 100 years. Even the Hotel Del use to try and even brought in big ones WAY back when. The coconut is like the Delonix regia to tree lovers. If a mature coconut existed in CA, we would know about it. We seem to know where the flowering Delonix regia's are. Anytime a thread is brought up about these, then people will just have to deal with the fact others will point out the eventual results. I am going to take a leap here and say the Newport coconut will be dead in five years. Just a hunch. I think any plant that struggles is just a time bomb for disease or insect attack. I certainly hope it not. I would love to see fruiting coconut.

I understand that zone pushers are very important for other palm growers. Without them how would we know what all that grows here? While zone pushing is vital as there are so many new things to try, it seems like the coconut zone pushing will not die while other hopeless palms attempts have faded. No more sealing wax attempts in SoCal? Anyway, for those that want to try, go for it. What's the harm other then lost time? If the reward is worth the effort and time, then that is all that matters. I for one will leave it up to others like Ryan. :)

---

By the way, the only thing more common then a "Do a search. This has been discussed before" comment on forums, is the "Don't click if you don't like; go to the next thread." post. These seem to be the standards you will find on any forum. But as they say, it is a "public forum", so deal with it. I know I expect to see these replies almost daily. I guess I just know certain threads will always yeild the same replies. "Queen palm are ugly". "Where is the best place in the world to grow palms". "I just pulled a spear, will it live" and "Coconuts won't grow in SoCal". :)

Thanks for the historic information. I think a book exclusively on the topic of the coconut palm would be a fascinating read especially if it includes documentation of attempts to grow cocos outside the tropics. Perhaps there are articles about this topic in various international palm society journals. Can anyone refer me to this subject?

I know there have been discussions on Palm Talk about how far north or south of the equator coconut palms can be grown [either successfully or not]. If I am not mistaken even central Florida and far south Texas are marginal for cocos due to periodic destructive freezes\ frost.

Your comment about royal poinciana is well taken. Like the coconut palm, anyone viewing a flowering delonix regia may conclude that these two trees are among the most beautiful on earth. My attempt to grow delonix was frustrated by how poorly it survived winters and the fact that it never flowered. :bummed:

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Walt

Some speculate that for coconut palms to survive, in addition to winter time air minimum air temperatures, the soil temperatures must not average less than 60 degrees F.

I checked an official weather station in my county and found that most winters (January in particular) that our soil temperatures don't drop less than about 65 degrees F at night.

However, this past January was an anomally. On three nights soil temperatures dropped into the high 40s, the lowest being 47 degrees. We also had about 10 or so nights where soil temperatures dropped below 60 degrees. Many coconut palms in my area (inland south central Florida, about in the middle of zone 9B) died. Of the ones that survived, unless they were directly lake side, now have severely stunted fronds with manganese deficiency, although they are growing out of it.

This past winter I partially protected my small coconut palm with heating cables and insulative wraps around the trunk and growth bud. The fronds got mostly fried, even though on some nights I trained a 30K BTU kerosene forced air heater on it. But, I had 12 nights in a row where my lows dropped below 40 degrees, and five of these nights it dropped below 30 degrees. This has never, ever happened in my 12 years living here and growing palms. Had I not protected my coconut palm it surely would have died. (I gave up on the kerosene heater after about three nights of running it and runningh out of kerosene.)

Generally, coconut palms can grow in my area well enough, at least on high ground (where it's warmer at night from cold air drainage) and lake side, due to good wintertime air and soil heat. However, this winter was different. After 12 straight days of cold the lake waters cooled down (they normally run in the high 60s in January). Even though my lowest low this winter was 27 degrees, we had too many days of abnormally low temperatures. This protracted period wrecked havoc on many tropicals that otherwise wouldn't have had much difficulty from a one-night freeze, which is typically here, then it warms right back up.

With regard to growing coconut palms, somebody here some years ago gave an example of why one can't go by USDA hardiness zones. They said (paraphrase) that you could live in a zone 12 (50-60 degrees), but where the temperature never dropped below 50 degrees, but where it never went above 60 degrees -- and coconut palms would surely not grow there.

2415171290042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

My recovering coconut palm

2501223890042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

Close up of fronds:

2780706020042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

My coconut palm during last January's freezes. (Note: this photo was taken from a different angle from those above. The dead and dying bay trees in back and on the right side of my coconut palm have since been removed.)

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tank

Not to get too far off of this topic, but...

Walt, did your bay trees die from the Bay Blight or from something else (assuming the cold did not kill them)? Were these one of the native bays or something else. THANKS. Still love the Lee Van Cleef avatar!

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LJG

John Cressey and Greg Haines wrote an article for the journal 15 or so years ago about multiple Cocos nucifera growing near the Salton Sea, including b&w photos of some (admittedly) ratty-looking coconuts; I'll have to contact them for more information. Incidentally, they have (had?) a Cocos in the ground outside in Alta Dena.

Good example of palms that grew for years and finally died. They are no more.

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Kim

Got an updated photo? One good leaf going into fall? Wonder how it is doing now. Thanks.

:rolleyes: I am not a coconut chaser, haven't been back to see. Danny's note reminded me I had the photo. Maybe I'll shoot them an email for an update.

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Tyrone

John Cressey and Greg Haines wrote an article for the journal 15 or so years ago about multiple Cocos nucifera growing near the Salton Sea, including b&w photos of some (admittedly) ratty-looking coconuts; I'll have to contact them for more information. Incidentally, they have (had?) a Cocos in the ground outside in Alta Dena.

Good example of palms that grew for years and finally died. They are no more.

I thought the house was left derelict and nothing was watered and that's why they died.

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LJG

John Cressey and Greg Haines wrote an article for the journal 15 or so years ago about multiple Cocos nucifera growing near the Salton Sea, including b&w photos of some (admittedly) ratty-looking coconuts; I'll have to contact them for more information. Incidentally, they have (had?) a Cocos in the ground outside in Alta Dena.

Good example of palms that grew for years and finally died. They are no more.

I thought the house was left derelict and nothing was watered and that's why they died.

I am not sure. Is that what you heard clear across the world? But the fact remains, the one of legandary tale is dead on the Salton Sea. Who knows if there are others.

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LJG

Got an updated photo? One good leaf going into fall? Wonder how it is doing now. Thanks.

:rolleyes: I am not a coconut chaser, haven't been back to see. Danny's note reminded me I had the photo. Maybe I'll shoot them an email for an update.

Thanks Kim. I would love to see it. :blink:

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bubba

Happ will probably kill me but I have to bring up Desmond Muirhead's book titled "Palms". Muirhead was a well known golf course designer and architect, who also shared our mutual Palm fascination. Robert Rifle was very familiar with this book and even asked if I knew where it was published.

Happ took exception with Muirhead's assertion in "Palms" that there were no truly frost-free areas in California, pointing out that even Catalina Island had reported low temperatures below 32F. on the pier.Through the years, I have learned more about the micro-climates of California and believe that there are places in California that meet this criteria in 30 year intervals.

At the same time, Muirhead's point about California and the Coconut is the most prescient in the book.Specifically, he points out that the Coconut is of the tropics and that it remains stunted on the Baja down to La Paz.The Coconut is prima facie evidence of the failure of the USDA zone classification. In this regard, while Koeppen is imperfect, the tropical designation afforded to climates in which the coldest month average exceeds 64F.is certainly pertinent to the Coconut.

Muirhead goes on to point out that it is not the extreme low temperatures that doom the Coconut in California but rather the extended cool time frames(ie long strings of lows in the 40'sF.)This is the distinction between the temperate climate, where the Coconut will only struggle at best and the pan-tropical, where it flourishes.

No disrespect intended whatsoever to Zonepushers, who should always be encouraged.That stated, my experience on this Board tells me that genetic engineering will be necessary to allow Coconuts to flourish in California. As I write this in Cape Verde, it is 87F at 9:00 PM with that familiar wind that tells you that you are in the tropics. You folks in California are trying to decide what sweater you will wear. The grass is always greener.....

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Walt

Not to get too far off of this topic, but...

Walt, did your bay trees die from the Bay Blight or from something else (assuming the cold did not kill them)? Were these one of the native bays or something else. THANKS. Still love the Lee Van Cleef avatar!

Tank: I've lost 90% of my bay trees. I have (or should I say had) three species of them: red bay, swamp bay, and silk bay. All of the southeast US is being ravaged by the laurel wilt disease. I noticed my first trees dying in the summer of 2009. I've seen some of my bay trees go completely brown in a week's time. In fact, I just cut down three more dead red bay trees today.

The below photo is typical of the many dead bay trees on my property (since cut down and burned up):

2686387580042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

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The-ZonePusher

Happ will probably kill me but I have to bring up Desmond Muirhead's book titled "Palms". Muirhead was a well known golf course designer and architect, who also shared our mutual Palm fascination. Robert Rifle was very familiar with this book and even asked if I knew where it was published.

Happ took exception with Muirhead's assertion in "Palms" that there were no truly frost-free areas in California, pointing out that even Catalina Island had reported low temperatures below 32F. on the pier.Through the years, I have learned more about the micro-climates of California and believe that there are places in California that meet this criteria in 30 year intervals.

At the same time, Muirhead's point about California and the Coconut is the most prescient in the book.Specifically, he points out that the Coconut is of the tropics and that it remains stunted on the Baja down to La Paz.The Coconut is prima facie evidence of the failure of the USDA zone classification. In this regard, while Koeppen is imperfect, the tropical designation afforded to climates in which the coldest month average exceeds 64F.is certainly pertinent to the Coconut.

Muirhead goes on to point out that it is not the extreme low temperatures that doom the Coconut in California but rather the extended cool time frames(ie long strings of lows in the 40'sF.)This is the distinction between the temperate climate, where the Coconut will only struggle at best and the pan-tropical, where it flourishes.

No disrespect intended whatsoever to Zonepushers, who should always be encouraged.That stated, my experience on this Board tells me that genetic engineering will be necessary to allow Coconuts to flourish in California. As I write this in Cape Verde, it is 87F at 9:00 PM with that familiar wind that tells you that you are in the tropics. You folks in California are trying to decide what sweater you will wear. The grass is always greener.....

None taken. Actually what you have said makes sense, and I am glad you posted it. I hope to have good new next year and I'll have an update if she makes it or not.

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Trópico

I'm wondering if it is also difficult to keep one alive in a pot, bringing indoors for the winter, etc. Any data on how long has it been kept alive?

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Palmy

We can dream eh? The Newport Beach cocos looks nice. If I could get one looking like that in southern California, I would call that a success. It is possible to have a decent looking cocos in California. It just has to be the right micro climate and it requires a lot of attention.

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The-ZonePusher

I'm wondering if it is also difficult to keep one alive in a pot, bringing indoors for the winter, etc. Any data on how long has it been kept alive?

It is and isn't. Many people kill them because they water alot during winter. Cool house temps and alot of water equal root rot. It is very possible and easy once you know what your doing. If your going to try, I would put it in a very sunny window, amd introduce it to sunlight very slowly when your ready to take her outside. If your not carefull, they sometimes get sun burned. Good luck:)

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happ

Happ will probably kill me but I have to bring up Desmond Muirhead's book titled "Palms". Muirhead was a well known golf course designer and architect, who also shared our mutual Palm fascination. Robert Rifle was very familiar with this book and even asked if I knew where it was published.

Happ took exception with Muirhead's assertion in "Palms" that there were no truly frost-free areas in California, pointing out that even Catalina Island had reported low temperatures below 32F. on the pier.Through the years, I have learned more about the micro-climates of California and believe that there are places in California that meet this criteria in 30 year intervals.

At the same time, Muirhead's point about California and the Coconut is the most prescient in the book.Specifically, he points out that the Coconut is of the tropics and that it remains stunted on the Baja down to La Paz.The Coconut is prima facie evidence of the failure of the USDA zone classification. In this regard, while Koeppen is imperfect, the tropical designation afforded to climates in which the coldest month average exceeds 64F.is certainly pertinent to the Coconut.

Muirhead goes on to point out that it is not the extreme low temperatures that doom the Coconut in California but rather the extended cool time frames(ie long strings of lows in the 40'sF.)This is the distinction between the temperate climate, where the Coconut will only struggle at best and the pan-tropical, where it flourishes.

No disrespect intended whatsoever to Zonepushers, who should always be encouraged.That stated, my experience on this Board tells me that genetic engineering will be necessary to allow Coconuts to flourish in California. As I write this in Cape Verde, it is 87F at 9:00 PM with that familiar wind that tells you that you are in the tropics. You folks in California are trying to decide what sweater you will wear. The grass is always greener.....

I promise, Bubba, I won't kill you and neither will frost in some places in California ;) For example, one has to go back 6 decades to find below freezing temps for downtown Los Angeles. 28F\ -2.2C in January 1949 was the coldest minimum since the main station was established in 1921. It was in 1949 that it snowed across the LA region and is the coldest winter on record. There were several freezing minimums in Jan 1949 but none since then and that was 61 years ago. The lowest temperature during the freeze of 1990 was 35F\ 1.6C and 37F\ 2.7C in the last arctic event to occur in California in 2007. At the main weather station for San Diego, Lindbergh Field\ airport, the lowest temperature in 2007 was 35F\ 1.6C and has recorded 32F or below freezing 9 times since records started in 1872 with the absolute low of 25F\ -3.8C on January 7, 1913. I did record 2 nights at 30F\ -1.1C in December 1990 but was living at the bottom of the canyon below my current home. Frost has never been observed in many foothill areas but some of the weather stations don't go back more than 40 or 50 years. This lack of frost and freezing temperatures is why parts of southern California is classified as USDA 11 but as we know it has no application on the survival of tropical palms. I do, however, never lose banana or brugmansia; in fact nothing ever dies during winter but certain plants look pretty shabby.

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palmcurry

If you live in zone 10b or zone 11 then you understand the climate Cocos nucifera grows in. If you have lived in these zones and then happen to live in SoCal you will easily understand why a coco will not grow here.

The first 22 years of my life were spent in the Caribbean and SW Florida. Now I have lived in SoCal both inland and coast for 13 years. The contrast of the two(SoCal zone 10a & Caribbean zone 11) is too severe...they are like two different worlds to me. Why try to grow something that doesn't want to grow here?

What has been eye opening to me is learning about wonderful palms like Dypsis and Burretiokentia that thrive in our climate and appreciating their uniqueness. Even as common as Howea forsteriana are around here, they still have allot of the appearance qualities that cocos do. Of course I would rather uproot and move to somewhere warm where I can grow coconuts, Pinangas and Areca vestiarias...and maybe someday soon I will!!! But until then I'm going to watch my Beccariophoenix Alfredi and see what it dose.

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bubba

I just grabbed my "Palms" book by Desmond Muirhead, which was copyrighted in 1961. I actually had Muirhead autograph it many years latter when I met him at a golf course he designed. He was in his eighties but full of energy and globe trotting to all his projects. He was educated at Cambridge University in England but at the time he wrote the book, he was principaly venued on the West coast. Numerous references are made by him about an excellent organization referred to as the "Palm Society". He recommends Mrs. Lucita Waite, acting Secretary, who can be reached at 7229 S.W. 54th Ave., Miami, Florida by mail(I bet the street no longer exists).

Regarding Coconuts, he states: "Coconuts, though small and stunted,can be grown in Guaymas. They are still dwarfed at LaPaz, but they get progressively better as you travel down the coast to Acapulco".Regarding Howeas, he states: "To give an example, there are some fine Howeas under a live oak at the Huntington Botantic Garden which,with the aid of citrus oil stoves during the bad freeze of 1949, have been growing since the early 1940's, although there have been numerous minor freezes to contend with since, as well as the three days in 1949 when the thermometer hit 20F. for three nights running as it had done in 1937,1922 and in 1913." He also refers to 1937 in Old Town, San Diego, where the temperature hit 18F. while it only registered 30F. on some of the hillsides.

There is no question that this is an "old timey" book but a few pearls of wisdom flow. Notwithstanding the urban heat shield, there have been times in history when California experienced some rather cold time frames. Were these 500 year aberations or cyclical events. I do not pretend to know but I always find it interesting in Florida that our most devastating freezes occurred in 1893, 1895,1899,1983,1985 and 1989. Coincidence or a real pattern? The firmest base we have regarding our weather is what happened in the past.

California has perhaps the best climate in the world. Who cares whether you can grow Coconuts. Atleast it cools down at night.

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Kim

FLASH: News Update on the Cressey-Haines Altadena Coconut

This just in from Greg and John:

"Thanks for asking about our coconut palm. It is now in year 3 in the protected niche below the stairs on the south facing side of our house. It has put on one new leaf this summer, and has another one emerging now. It didn't seem to grow as fast this year with our much below normal temps, but it does seem to be healthy and happy. I give it fish emulsion once a month, and a bit of salt water in the winter months, which seems to work at keeping it green all year. Check back anytime for updates."

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SoTropiCal Ben

FLASH: News Update on the Cressey-Haines Altadena Coconut

This just in from Greg and John:

"Thanks for asking about our coconut palm. It is now in year 3 in the protected niche below the stairs on the south facing side of our house. It has put on one new leaf this summer, and has another one emerging now. It didn't seem to grow as fast this year with our much below normal temps, but it does seem to be healthy and happy. I give it fish emulsion once a month, and a bit of salt water in the winter months, which seems to work at keeping it green all year. Check back anytime for updates."

Thanks for the update... Any photos?

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The-ZonePusher

FLASH: News Update on the Cressey-Haines Altadena Coconut

This just in from Greg and John:

"Thanks for asking about our coconut palm. It is now in year 3 in the protected niche below the stairs on the south facing side of our house. It has put on one new leaf this summer, and has another one emerging now. It didn't seem to grow as fast this year with our much below normal temps, but it does seem to be healthy and happy. I give it fish emulsion once a month, and a bit of salt water in the winter months, which seems to work at keeping it green all year. Check back anytime for updates."

Is there a way I can contact them? Also wondering what does fish emulsion do, and salt water? I know salt water might kill bacteria that could cause root rot, and make it harder for roots to freeze but I don't know. And maybe the palm intakes the salt, slightly making it harder for water to freeze and expand in return not causing the cells to burst?

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AS in SA

Thought I'd share a pic of my socal coconut - Santa Ana. It's coming up on its 3rd anniversary outdoors. It's planted in a whiskey barrel filled with pure sand - prob weighs about 5-600lbs. It's been outdoors since it was a seedling and has never been given any sort of artificial heat. I believe the sand makes a big difference - quickly drains our cold winter rains. I'll try and get a better pick up - it actually has about 2 inches of trunk, although hard to tell from this pic. post-152-12834688084214_thumb.jpg

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The Germinator

Thought I'd share a pic of my socal coconut - Santa Ana. It's coming up on its 3rd anniversary outdoors. It's planted in a whiskey barrel filled with pure sand - prob weighs about 5-600lbs. It's been outdoors since it was a seedling and has never been given any sort of artificial heat. I believe the sand makes a big difference - quickly drains our cold winter rains. I'll try and get a better pick up - it actually has about 2 inches of trunk, although hard to tell from this pic. post-152-12834688084214_thumb.jpg

There you go a trunking Coco in So-Cal... West coast is in the Hizouw. :drool:

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mnorell

One major point I suspect that dooms Cocos in California is that, since palms do all of their growing at night, they probably need to have a threshold temperature once the sun goes down, no doubt combined with a warm-enough soil temperature, while they commence growing new tissue. Not only in coastal California, but also inland, nighttime temperatures are quite chilly from the perspective of a lowland tropical plant. Even this morning, temperatures across the L.A. basin were in the mid-50s (admittedly lower than normal)...but those low temps extended approximately 90 miles inland to San Bernardino! But beyond that is the phenomenon of the cold eddy that spins over the cold Pacific, and the fact that as the inland deserts heat up, the pressure gradient sucks in that chilly air sometimes rather early in the afternoon, and often, within 10-15 miles of the coast, temperatures by 5-6pm are already cold enough that sweaters are in order, even though the day may have been 80F at 1pm. This give a unique temperature curve compared to climates where cooling happens much later at night.

In terms of absolute low temps, in Miami Beach the average nighttime low temp in the coolest month, January (62.8F), is equal to that measured in the warmest month, August, on the coast in Santa Monica (62.2F). Meanwhile Bermuda, on which coconuts grow plentifully, has daytime temps only a little warmer than coastal and near-coastal California throughout the year, but the nighttime temps are 10F warmer consistently throughout the year.

I would be curious to hear from Tyrone if Perth's evening temperatures from, say, 6pm-midnight (as opposed to morning absolute minima) are as cold as those in Southern California, since the absolute minima appear to be similar (though days appear to be much hotter in summer in Perth). If it's a little warmer there in the evening hours, perhaps that's what allows a coconut to push some growth and survive with less herculean efforts than are required in SoCal?

Ultimately if you want the look of a coconut in Southern California, why not grow a Beccariophoenix or a Howea? Those are both absolutely beautiful palms that carry the relaxed grace of the tropics and grow well, despite the year-round chilly evenings and nights found in California.

You've brought up some interesting points regarding night time temps. I think you're totally right. Perth in summer can sizzle. I'm 18km inland (11 miles) and in the heat of summer we may not get a cooling sea breeze at all on some nights. Also if we do get a seabreeze, it's warmed up by the time it reaches my area after passing over hot land. From mid Dec to mid March the mins happen just before sunrise and are around the 16-19C (61-67F) range on average. However we can get mins as high as 27,28C (81-84F) during a heat wave. The 6pm - midnight temp range will always be above 20C (68F) with midnight temps frequently around 25-27C (77-81F) and sometimes as high as 32C (90F). It's nothing to walk outside at 10pm from an airconditioned house into a wall of real heat in my area. Closer to the coast it's cooler and more humid. Often we'll go down to the beach at night, and it will feel pleasant and cool. By the time we're half way home it's stinking hot and your sweating again at 10pm. I think the high heat in summer between 6pm to midnight is the key. It's also the time when I irrigate and so the humidity goes quite high on those sort of nights. I've never thought about this before, but I think you're right.

Best regards

Tyrone

In Southern California, except in the low desert, it's pretty rare to have temps as you mention in the evening, though it can be warm in the evenings during hot summers in the inland valleys, separated as they are from the coast at least partially by hills or mountains. Certainly not 80-90F at midnight most of the time, though I always lived on the coastal plain so others can comment with greater accuracy for the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, and similar areas, as to when the temps really drop into the coolish range on summer nights. I know there are at least some 'hot' nights inland in summer. So I suspect there are obviously some nuanced climate differences between Perth/SW Oz and SoCal, despite the fact that they both fall into that rare "west-coast cool-current maritime fog-desert" climate zone, along with Chile and Portugal. Perhaps these really start to define what makes a Cocos able to survive. It's also interesting that the Newport Beach Cocos, though in a chilly area (even if warmed by automobiles, asphalt, concrete and walls), and the Santa Ana containerized specimen, both have lots of sand at their feet. Many have suggested it in the past, and perhaps this is indeed another key component for cooler areas.

How cold are your ocean temps, and do you also have this 'eddy' of low clouds and fog that sits off the coast, drifting in and out as is typical along the California coast? This is a persistent feature and is either the heaven or the dread of people living in the coastal and near-coastal areas of California in spring and summer. Good sleeping weather, but not that nice if you want to go to the Hollywood Bowl for an evening concert (schlepp the blankets and sweatshirts), and particularly if you're a heat-loving, tropical palm tree! Only when the Pacific Ocean warms up (to about 20-21C) in August-September is there some semblance of evening warmth for people along the coast, since it weakens the eddy and keeps it offshore. Nevertheless, there are some years when even the adamant cloud-forest people along the immediate coast complain that they never saw the sun once from April through September...

I noticed that you say you get six leaves in a summer on your Cocos, Tyrone, and it sounds from the few SoCal specimens mentioned in this thread that it might be only 2-3 leaves on in-ground plants there. A couple of new leaves obviously is not enough to sustain a crown and a healthy plant for years. Six leaves sounds decent enough if old leaves make it more than a season, so perhaps you're just on the edge? Where do Cocos start thriving to the north of you?

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Kim

FLASH: News Update on the Cressey-Haines Altadena Coconut

This just in from Greg and John:

"Thanks for asking about our coconut palm. It is now in year 3 in the protected niche below the stairs on the south facing side of our house. It has put on one new leaf this summer, and has another one emerging now. It didn't seem to grow as fast this year with our much below normal temps, but it does seem to be healthy and happy. I give it fish emulsion once a month, and a bit of salt water in the winter months, which seems to work at keeping it green all year. Check back anytime for updates."

Is there a way I can contact them? Also wondering what does fish emulsion do, and salt water? I know salt water might kill bacteria that could cause root rot, and make it harder for roots to freeze but I don't know. And maybe the palm intakes the salt, slightly making it harder for water to freeze and expand in return not causing the cells to burst?

Fish emulsion is organic fertilizer, of course. I passed on your query about salt water:

"Kim,

I read an article a few years ago in Palms about coconuts growing in high elevations in South America, far from the coast and at cool temperate conditions. The locals applied sea water in the cool winter to keep the palms happy. It seemed to work for them so I have been doing it for 2 winters now with no ill effects. Who knows if it's scientific or not, but I'll try anything that might help. Any comments?

Greg"

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kylecawazafla

Does anyone have pictures of the one in Newport Beach? It's been a while since I've seen a picture of it, let alone see it in person! I was upset when I couldn't see it last October, even though I was in Newport Beach. :( It's hard traveling with other people who don't understand a passion for palm trees, or just passion in general.

I personally love this topic! Thanks for whoever posted it in the first place! Coconuts growing in California are the exact thing which sparked my interest in palm trees back when I was 13 years old. I think the posts based off of personal experience, or actual accounts of growing them should be taken the most seriously! One day, I will get a coconut to grow in Southern California. lol.

I've posted this a million times, but there were coconuts growing by the Salton Sea. They died (or at least in the process of dying in the last photos I saw) due to the owner leaving, and the palms no longer getting water. There are beautiful coconuts growing in drier parts of Malawi, Dubai, Puerto Penasco, etc so I don't think a lack of humidity is a problem for them.

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The-ZonePusher

Does anyone have pictures of the one in Newport Beach? It's been a while since I've seen a picture of it, let alone see it in person! I was upset when I couldn't see it last October, even though I was in Newport Beach. :( It's hard traveling with other people who don't understand a passion for palm trees, or just passion in general.

I personally love this topic! Thanks for whoever posted it in the first place! Coconuts growing in California are the exact thing which sparked my interest in palm trees back when I was 13 years old. I think the posts based off of personal experience, or actual accounts of growing them should be taken the most seriously! One day, I will get a coconut to grow in Southern California. lol.

I've posted this a million times, but there were coconuts growing by the Salton Sea. They died (or at least in the process of dying in the last photos I saw) due to the owner leaving, and the palms no longer getting water. There are beautiful coconuts growing in drier parts of Malawi, Dubai, Puerto Penasco, etc so I don't think a lack of humidity is a problem for them.

The newest pics I can find of the NewPort Beach coconut is to google map it. Type in state farm insurance( I think thats it?)It might be the building next to it.Those pics are from this winter/spring.

Edited by The-ZonePusher

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Mark M @ S. Oceanside palms

Hey palm people,

Here's my Cocos nucifera,

I got it from Wal mart for $14.95 and babied it for the first 3+ years and now it is completely on it's own after 8-9 years in the ground against a 16 foot, South facing wall. It's overall height is about 13 feet.

It went through last winter without any shadecloth "help" of any kind.

Edited by Mark M @ S. Oceanside palms

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BS Man about Palms

Mark will get better at posting his I'm sure....

Or eventually I could do it..

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GreenIslandPalms

Does anyone have pictures of the one in Newport Beach? It's been a while since I've seen a picture of it, let alone see it in person! I was upset when I couldn't see it last October, even though I was in Newport Beach. :( It's hard traveling with other people who don't understand a passion for palm trees, or just passion in general.

I personally love this topic! Thanks for whoever posted it in the first place! Coconuts growing in California are the exact thing which sparked my interest in palm trees back when I was 13 years old. I think the posts based off of personal experience, or actual accounts of growing them should be taken the most seriously! One day, I will get a coconut to grow in Southern California. lol.

I've posted this a million times, but there were coconuts growing by the Salton Sea. They died (or at least in the process of dying in the last photos I saw) due to the owner leaving, and the palms no longer getting water. There are beautiful coconuts growing in drier parts of Malawi, Dubai, Puerto Penasco, etc so I don't think a lack of humidity is a problem for them.

I have posted these before, but here is the Newport Beach Cocos about 8 months ago.

post-3311-12836149040966_thumb.jpg

post-3311-12836149669178_thumb.jpg

post-3311-128361503782_thumb.jpg

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Gtlevine

What needs to be done is someone should plant several coconuts at various locations in the vicinity of the Newport Coconut. This may give us an indication if the Newport Coconut has just been lucky to this point, has superior and better genetics to withstand the cold, or if the location in Newport is an extreme microclimate. The concrete and buildings all around it are probably causing a heat sink, but if this palm has superior genetics then the seedlings will be valuable to try if it starts producing seed. Either way, if anyone lives in the area you should talk with local business if you can plant coconuts as an experiment.

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SoTropiCal Ben

Does anybody know what type of coconut this is? (Newport coconut) Is it a Hawaiian Tall or a Pacific Tall, or both? I can see it has the yellow petioles, so it should not be the green variety known to grow in northern/marginal areas of Florida. Does anybody have any idea or guess, by the trunk structure?

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Zeeth

Does anybody know what type of coconut this is? (Newport coconut) Is it a Hawaiian Tall or a Pacific Tall, or both? I can see it has the yellow petioles, so it should not be the green variety known to grow in northern/marginal areas of Florida. Does anybody have any idea or guess, by the trunk structure?

I emailed the email on that sign a while back. The coconut was purchased in Hawaii, and is a Hawaiian tall (Which may or may not be synonymous with Pacific tall). It's a green variety, I think the petioles just don't show as brilliant a green as they do in more tropical climates

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Zeeth

What needs to be done is someone should plant several coconuts at various locations in the vicinity of the Newport Coconut. This may give us an indication if the Newport Coconut has just been lucky to this point, has superior and better genetics to withstand the cold, or if the location in Newport is an extreme microclimate. The concrete and buildings all around it are probably causing a heat sink, but if this palm has superior genetics then the seedlings will be valuable to try if it starts producing seed. Either way, if anyone lives in the area you should talk with local business if you can plant coconuts as an experiment.

Imagine if, instead of Washingtonia, they had trucked in a load of coconuts and planted them all along that wall

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The-ZonePusher

I think the newport beach coco is here to stay.It doesn't look like it will ever fruit, but its a very nice palm anyway. That makes we wonder if a coconut palm would fruit in a place with summer heat, like the valley or SoCals desert.

I wouldn't be surprized if micro-climates in dense urban areas of the Valley can support a coco palm, and maybe allow one to fruit. Its just wishful thinking of a zone pusher, and chances are against it. To those in Florida or hawaii,at what time of year does your coconut palms produce flowers? What are the temps like before and after they start to fruit?

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pogobob

Here i am in 1979 in my backyard obsessing over Coconuts . I grew Many too large size 15 gallon . I planted some only to watch them languish. Who knowa maybe one of these is the FAMOUS ! :mrlooney: NewPORT Beach coconut.

Believe me i feel your pain COCO -NUTS :lol:

post-406-12838060639453_thumb.jpg

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Shon

Nice shorts Bob. Tanning your upper thighs I see.

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SoTropiCal Ben

Here i am in 1979 in my backyard obsessing over Coconuts . I grew Many too large size 15 gallon . I planted some only to watch them languish. Who knowa maybe one of these is the FAMOUS ! :mrlooney: NewPORT Beach coconut.

Believe me i feel your pain COCO -NUTS :lol:

post-406-12838060639453_thumb.jpg

I heard the Newport Beach coconut was a gift from the original owner's girlfriend who brought it over from Hawaii, and he planted it there in '84. :winkie:

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Tyrone

One major point I suspect that dooms Cocos in California is that, since palms do all of their growing at night, they probably need to have a threshold temperature once the sun goes down, no doubt combined with a warm-enough soil temperature, while they commence growing new tissue. Not only in coastal California, but also inland, nighttime temperatures are quite chilly from the perspective of a lowland tropical plant. Even this morning, temperatures across the L.A. basin were in the mid-50s (admittedly lower than normal)...but those low temps extended approximately 90 miles inland to San Bernardino! But beyond that is the phenomenon of the cold eddy that spins over the cold Pacific, and the fact that as the inland deserts heat up, the pressure gradient sucks in that chilly air sometimes rather early in the afternoon, and often, within 10-15 miles of the coast, temperatures by 5-6pm are already cold enough that sweaters are in order, even though the day may have been 80F at 1pm. This give a unique temperature curve compared to climates where cooling happens much later at night.

In terms of absolute low temps, in Miami Beach the average nighttime low temp in the coolest month, January (62.8F), is equal to that measured in the warmest month, August, on the coast in Santa Monica (62.2F). Meanwhile Bermuda, on which coconuts grow plentifully, has daytime temps only a little warmer than coastal and near-coastal California throughout the year, but the nighttime temps are 10F warmer consistently throughout the year.

I would be curious to hear from Tyrone if Perth's evening temperatures from, say, 6pm-midnight (as opposed to morning absolute minima) are as cold as those in Southern California, since the absolute minima appear to be similar (though days appear to be much hotter in summer in Perth). If it's a little warmer there in the evening hours, perhaps that's what allows a coconut to push some growth and survive with less herculean efforts than are required in SoCal?

Ultimately if you want the look of a coconut in Southern California, why not grow a Beccariophoenix or a Howea? Those are both absolutely beautiful palms that carry the relaxed grace of the tropics and grow well, despite the year-round chilly evenings and nights found in California.

You've brought up some interesting points regarding night time temps. I think you're totally right. Perth in summer can sizzle. I'm 18km inland (11 miles) and in the heat of summer we may not get a cooling sea breeze at all on some nights. Also if we do get a seabreeze, it's warmed up by the time it reaches my area after passing over hot land. From mid Dec to mid March the mins happen just before sunrise and are around the 16-19C (61-67F) range on average. However we can get mins as high as 27,28C (81-84F) during a heat wave. The 6pm - midnight temp range will always be above 20C (68F) with midnight temps frequently around 25-27C (77-81F) and sometimes as high as 32C (90F). It's nothing to walk outside at 10pm from an airconditioned house into a wall of real heat in my area. Closer to the coast it's cooler and more humid. Often we'll go down to the beach at night, and it will feel pleasant and cool. By the time we're half way home it's stinking hot and your sweating again at 10pm. I think the high heat in summer between 6pm to midnight is the key. It's also the time when I irrigate and so the humidity goes quite high on those sort of nights. I've never thought about this before, but I think you're right.

Best regards

Tyrone

In Southern California, except in the low desert, it's pretty rare to have temps as you mention in the evening, though it can be warm in the evenings during hot summers in the inland valleys, separated as they are from the coast at least partially by hills or mountains. Certainly not 80-90F at midnight most of the time, though I always lived on the coastal plain so others can comment with greater accuracy for the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, and similar areas, as to when the temps really drop into the coolish range on summer nights. I know there are at least some 'hot' nights inland in summer. So I suspect there are obviously some nuanced climate differences between Perth/SW Oz and SoCal, despite the fact that they both fall into that rare "west-coast cool-current maritime fog-desert" climate zone, along with Chile and Portugal. Perhaps these really start to define what makes a Cocos able to survive. It's also interesting that the Newport Beach Cocos, though in a chilly area (even if warmed by automobiles, asphalt, concrete and walls), and the Santa Ana containerized specimen, both have lots of sand at their feet. Many have suggested it in the past, and perhaps this is indeed another key component for cooler areas.

How cold are your ocean temps, and do you also have this 'eddy' of low clouds and fog that sits off the coast, drifting in and out as is typical along the California coast? This is a persistent feature and is either the heaven or the dread of people living in the coastal and near-coastal areas of California in spring and summer. Good sleeping weather, but not that nice if you want to go to the Hollywood Bowl for an evening concert (schlepp the blankets and sweatshirts), and particularly if you're a heat-loving, tropical palm tree! Only when the Pacific Ocean warms up (to about 20-21C) in August-September is there some semblance of evening warmth for people along the coast, since it weakens the eddy and keeps it offshore. Nevertheless, there are some years when even the adamant cloud-forest people along the immediate coast complain that they never saw the sun once from April through September...

I noticed that you say you get six leaves in a summer on your Cocos, Tyrone, and it sounds from the few SoCal specimens mentioned in this thread that it might be only 2-3 leaves on in-ground plants there. A couple of new leaves obviously is not enough to sustain a crown and a healthy plant for years. Six leaves sounds decent enough if old leaves make it more than a season, so perhaps you're just on the edge? Where do Cocos start thriving to the north of you?

Sorry that I missed these questions earlier. I'll try and answer them.

One big difference between the southern west coast of OZ and So Cal is the ocean. Although we are on the west coast of a continent the traditional southerly to northerly flow of waters which keeps temps down is way off shore out near the continental shelf and beyond. The west coast of Oz has a tropical northerly to south current called the Leeuwin current which travels down the west coast all the way down from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea from about the shoreline out to the other cooler south north current way offshore. Winter ocean temps are around 18C and summer temps are between 22-23C, 24C in a warm year. I think the Leeuwin current is strongest in a La Nina period when winds across the top of Australia blow water into the Indian Ocean.

We don't get those clouds in summer like So Cal. It's all blue skies in summer. Sometimes you can literally go weeks without even seeing a small cloud in summer. Summer in Perth is typically blue bright and hot.

With my Cocos (which is suffering this record winter-41 days below 5C) it probably puts out 5 or 6 new leaves in a growing season (Spring to Autumn). In the summer it may very well put out 3 new leaves. I mark the spear year round, and although it grows slowly in winter it doesn't actually stop at all.

Cocos start to thrive at about 29S along the coast (I'm at 32S) at Dongara where there is at least one large healthy trunking specimen growing. Just a little further to the north at Geraldton (28.5S) there are many largish specimens which are fruiting now. Geraldton is approximately 1C warmer than me but with 1/3 of my rainfall. It is still a winter rainfall area that is very hot and dry in summer.

Another thing which is very helpful along the coastal areas of Western Australia is the abundance of sand. Coconuts love the sand.

Best regards

Tyrone

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