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NBTX11

TX vs. FL

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spockvr6

(syersj @ Dec. 29 2006,11:59)

QUOTE
Larry, just out of curiosity, how does this compare with your stations over there for the same timer period.  How does it compare to St Pete.  Would be interesting to see.

St. Pete's (Albert Whitted AP) data for the same period (from weatherunderground.com)---

2006 - 46F

2005 - 37F

2004 - 41F

2003 - 32F

2002 - 39F

2001 - 39F

2000 - missing

1999 - 37F

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spockvr6

(steve 9atx @ Dec. 29 2006,13:32)

QUOTE
I know at Galveston the beachwater temps in the summer of 1980 approached/exceeded 90F.  That's WARM bathwater!

I watch the University of South FL marine station located here in Tarpon Springs at the Gulf.  Last summer, this station logged a maximum water temp of over 94F!  This is abnormal of course as the usual readings are about 87-88F.

The measurement point is about half a mile off of land on the causeway to a county park.

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bubba

Dave-Vero, I respectfully disagree with your assessment that the effect of the gulfstream is useless if the wind is from the NNW.This is a very powerful and wide body of very warm water that has a pronounced effect on the climate of Southeast Florida regardless of wind direction. In those relatively rare instances in which we actually get a cold-front to clear through the Palm Beaches, you only need to view the Florida Mountain(area of huge seas on the gulfstream) and feel how quickly the temperature rebounds to know the power of the gulfstream.It certainly is not useless!

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ruskinPalms

I have a feeling the gulfstream keeps us warmer in winter even over here on the west coast. I really have no worries once the wind has an easterly component to it as the warming effect crosses the whole state. And that god for that east coast sea breeze in the summer as this is what creates the vast majority of the rain I receive as it collides with the west coast sea breeze. I think the Gulf hangs out in the low 60's during the coldest months around here. People still swim in it when they visit from up north in the winter  :(

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Alicehunter2000

Very interesting discussion as I am always comparing Florida to Texas in my mind. I look at what Greenhand is doing over there in Texas and wonder if I should be trying similar plantings.

One thing I would note is that the Panhandle of Florida should be zoned quite differently IMO. All along the gulf coast from Pensacola to East of Cape San Blast and inland 10 miles should probably be considered to be closer to 9a as opposed to 8b.

With the multitude of inland bays, rivers and other bodies of water as well as proximity to the Gulf we tend to stay a bit warmer. This is also where the majority of the population is located. To say that Tallahassee is the same temperature wise as Pensacola, Fort Walton, Destin, Panama City, Mexico Beach and small towns along the Apalachee Bay may not be totally accurate (but I don't have the data). Also if you look at Cape San Blas and outlying islands such as St. George you might find an almost 9b climate <---not sure just a hunch. Anyway someone correct me if I'm wrong.............but I think I will try to grow Bismarkia's anyway :)

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NBTX11

(Alicehunter2000 @ Dec. 30 2006,14:55)

QUOTE
Very interesting discussion as I am always comparing Florida to Texas in my mind. I look at what Greenhand is doing over there in Texas and wonder if I should be trying similar plantings.

One thing I would note is that the Panhandle of Florida should be zoned quite differently IMO. All along the gulf coast from Pensacola to East of Cape San Blast and inland 10 miles should probably be considered to be closer to 9a as opposed to 8b.

With the multitude of inland bays, rivers and other bodies of water as well as proximity to the Gulf we tend to stay a bit warmer. This is also where the majority of the population is located. To say that Tallahassee is the same temperature wise as Pensacola, Fort Walton, Destin, Panama City, Mexico Beach and small towns along the Apalachee Bay may not be totally accurate (but I don't have the data). Also if you look at Cape San Blas and outlying islands such as St. George you might find an almost 9b climate <---not sure just a hunch. Anyway someone correct me if I'm wrong.............but I think I will try to grow Bismarkia's anyway :)

You are correct, the areas of the FL panhandle nearest to the coast are 9a, and I bet there is even a few 9b microclimates right up agains the coast.  The Arbor Day map shows almost the entire panhandle a zone 9a.

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tropical1

Jim -

Interesting thread. Definitely royals and coconuts are more available in nurseries in Florida because they grow them by the ton in south florida and ship them up to home depots everywhere. In addition, Florida coasts have very expensive property and they pay quite a bit for landscaping. So perhaps the RGV and SPI are warmer than the plants in the ground would give them credit for. Why is SPI economically depressed. You would think with that much coastline on the gulf, climate, etc it would be booming.

Precipitation also is a factor with royals as Larry said. But doesnt the RGV have clay soil? or is it sand like Fla.

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spockvr6

The only thing I can see going against the "$ equals Royals" thing is that some of the most poverty stricken areas of Pinellas (deep south county) have some of the oldest (many are what I would call ancient) and most abundant numbers of such palms.  

This leads me to consider that either---

1)  Only the poorest sections of town liked to plant Royals way back when,

2)  Royals were planted everywhere way back when and only the warmest sections of the area allowed them to still be standing today.

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NBTX11

Don't forget Royals are not native to TX, like they are to FL/Cuba.  So they were planted in FL long before being planted in TX.  Maybe back when the older Royals were planted in Pinellas, maybe no one in the RGV had ever heard of royals (probably).  Instead, someone (or everyone) made the decision to plant Washys by the MILLIONS all over the RGV on just about every highway.  Texas Sabals are also native locally and commonly planted.  That type of history is hard to overcome.  You have to get into the private gardens of palm addicts to see royals and such.  And I bet if I went around taking pics, I could locate many of them.  SPI itself is not economically depressed, but the RGV is for the most part.  I bet the average household income is less than half, maybe a third of coastal areas of FL (just a guess).  Like I said, If I went down to SPI right now and planted a million royals and took care of them, and posted pics of them, you guys would be saying how great south texas is for royals.  As for cocos, they aren't planted too often, however there are a few larger ones than the one that was posted on this thread.  There are plenty of royals, foxtails, and even cocos around the valley, I just don't have the pics.  But here is a website of some examples of the royals, foxtails, and cocos that you might find.  Don't forget, citrus is a big business in the valley, so it has to be equivalent at least to the citrus areas of FL.

http://community.webshots.com/album/57639011jPfmwc?start=0

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Zac in NC

I have personally seen fruiting Cocos at Port Isabel (also flowering Delonix regia, which should be another tree taken into consideration in this topic) and I have seen several Cocos on SPI. There are also a number of Royals in private gardens in the RGV, though at usually more affluent places/gardens. There are also a few Acrocomias around too. I will post pics in the morning,as I am tired and need to go to bed now. That being said, I have only been to the valley about 4 to 5 times in the past 2 years. Richard Travis could elaborate on this. Ficus species should allso be taken into consideration too, as there are numerous large Ficus's down there.

Zac

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tropical1

Larry-

A third possibility is a long time ago when the royals were planted those sections of pinellas county were not economcially depressed.

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spockvr6

(tropical1 @ Dec. 31 2006,21:59)

QUOTE
Larry-

A third possibility is a long time ago when the royals were planted those sections of pinellas county were not economcially depressed.

Its possible......but the houses there do not look like "old money" generally speaking.    

In any case, regardless of demographics (and my tangent on this thread!), the climate down there has proven long term suitable for such palms.

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galveston1602

speaking from personal experience with regards to what grows in texas.  lots of palms will grow from galveston south to SPI but, the biggest real problem in my eye is affordability and availiability.

I dont think that we get nearly the royals or cocos etc that are seen in fl because they arent as readily availiable as they are in FL.  in talking to probably the largest "palm" shop in the area I have found that texas is very strict on their import ban of many plants from florida.  as a matter of fact they claim that they dont get but about 30% of their stock from florida and they get most of it from the RGV.   Which is why they claim the prices are so high for "fl banned plants" (apparently royals, cocos, and adondia are all on this list).

just about every "tropical" palm in tx could be wiped out by a 1989 type freeze event but, Id suspect that a vast majority of the tropical palms in central FL would bite the dust in the same freeze (as evidenced by the 1989 freeze)

Also, In all of this I think 1 thing that is getting overlooked is that sometimes its not as much absolute low as its the duration of aboslute low.  for example soemthing I know...  in reality galveston is only ~5 degrees warmer on the coldest (advective) nights than downtown houston but, usually if we dip into the 30's its only for 1 night whereas the houston area may stay with lows in the 30's for 2-3 days or more from secondary radiational events.  I think this is what allows a pretty diverse palm collection to be had here where in downtown houston you dont see a whole lot of diversity in palms.

also, I do plan on making a trip to corpus/SPI with the family this spring/summer and will have camera in hand!

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spockvr6

(galveston1602 @ Jan. 03 2007,14:46)

QUOTE
 lots of palms will grow from galveston south to SPI but, the biggest real problem in my eye is affordability and availiability.

From what youve been planting....maybe other folks will catch on and try some other stuff.

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NBTX11

Allen,

Good points, agree with them 100%.

Are you starting to see more Royals pop up in Galveston.  I've seen some photos of some pretty large ones there.  Do you think a cocos would stand a chance in Galveston for any length of time, seeing your average winter lows are only in the 50s.

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spockvr6

(syersj @ Jan. 03 2007,15:01)

QUOTE
Do you think a cocos would stand a chance in Galveston for any length of time, seeing your average winter lows are only in the 50s.

I think we need to find out!

Allen!  A test is in order!  Plant that sucker out!

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spockvr6

(syersj @ Jan. 03 2007,15:01)

QUOTE
Are you starting to see more Royals pop up in Galveston.  I've seen some photos of some pretty large ones there.  

The pics Ive seen that Allen took look like very nice specimens to me.  Id take 'em in my front yard :D

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NBTX11

(spockvr6 @ Jan. 03 2007,15:09)

QUOTE

(syersj @ Jan. 03 2007,15:01)

QUOTE
Do you think a cocos would stand a chance in Galveston for any length of time, seeing your average winter lows are only in the 50s.

I think we need to find out!

Allen!  A test is in order!  Plant that sucker out!

I have a sneaking suspicion that a cocos would survive quite a while in Galveston.  Thier average winter lows are no lower than Tampa/St Pete.  Winter highs are a little cooler, but not cold by any means.  I bet someone is already putting this theory to test.  And ground temps shouldn't get any lower than 60F with winter lows in the 50s.  Plus, tons of "Florida like" heat and humidity, the rest of the year.

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galveston1602

Im going to plant out a coco in the spring and see how it does!

Just to further this discussion,  Ill let yall in on a little project ive been working on.  its by no means done as I just went through and did a huge update so the site is always changing.  

txpalms.com

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SubTropicRay

Hi Allen,

How are the palms at Moody Gardens doing these days?

Ray

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galveston1602

Ray,

the outdoor palms can mostly be seen here

http://www.txpalms.com/Moodyout.htm

for the indoor variety I am working on a webpage... It just seems to take a while to find the time to make them up....

To answer your questions, I think all of the palms at moody are doing quite well,

Moody gardens sits in probably the warmest spot on the island so, their palms always do rather well.

of course 10 years of 10a temps have helped things along quite nicely.

on another related subject,

here are galvestons lows for the last 16 years

the average on these is 32 degrees....

if you expand that average to include the last 60 years of data it only drops to 28 degrees

1990 24

1991 37

1992 31

1993 38

1994 35

1995 27

1996 27

1997 32

1998 34

1999 32

2000 34

2001 30

2002 31

2003 30

2004 32

2005 37

2006 35

In all id say we have a psycho type climate mix of florida and california around here.

our lows arent all that low but our highs arent too high in the winter, while at the same time summer is florida like around here!

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spockvr6

(syersj @ Jan. 03 2007,15:36)

QUOTE
I have a sneaking suspicion that a cocos would survive quite a while in Galveston.  

The best way to see is to spend 10-12 bucks at Walmart/HDfor a 3 gallon Coconut, plant it out and see what happens!

If it croaks, the worst case is one loses 10 bucks.  If it croaks in the first year.....warranty!

And, if nothing else, it will be good fun.

I have a pair of golden Malayans I am doing this with.  I have both of them in a single 15 gallon pot (as a harsher test than being in the ground) and vowed to leave them out all winter no matter what!  The goldens are supposedly the most tender, and being in a pot will make them even more so.

But, this winter has been so mild that there hasnt been much to test yet.  

IMO, the true test of a palm's suitability to a climate is the ability to grow it from a very small size to fully mature.  Of course, many of us (i.e. me) cheat with regard to that (especially with Coconuts) and have planted them with 3-4 ft of trunk  :D   They seem far hardier this way (and also give more instant lanscape gratification).

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galveston1602

well if I could find a coco for 10$ id own 10 of em for a more accurate test!

unfortunately around here they are ~40$ for a 3 gallon.  oh yeah, that price is 1/2 off!!!!

this spring I am going to try for at least 2 cocos from lowes or HD (warranty!)

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steve 9atx

Allen

Isn't Moody Gardens just south of Offats Bayou?  If so, that's why it's the warmest spot on the island.  I understand that Offats was the area they took the spoils from to build the seawall and is consequently the deepest water anywhere near the island except for the Houston Ship Channel (over 40' deep rings a bell).  In any case, If you want to find fish on a record cold day, just paddle out to the middle of the bayou and drop some "fresh dead" on the bottom.

Steve

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galveston1602

yes moody is just south of offats....

yes offats is generally 40' deep

yes offats was 1 of the very few places that didnt freeze over in 89

BUT, the area where moody is isnt all that deep, maybe 8-10 feet deep in most places nearby

Thats a great point though Steve, Id always wondered why the temp guage in my car always warmed in that general area... maybe thats part of it but, honestly where 61st street croses offats the car temp isnt that much warmer (its 40' down at that point)

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ZoneTenNut

(galveston1602 @ Jan. 04 2007,01:49)

QUOTE
Just to further this discussion,  Ill let yall in on a little project ive been working on.  its by no means done as I just went through and did a huge update so the site is always changing.  

txpalms.com

Great photo gallery and really interesting. Looks like you really put a lot of work into it. Well done!

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Dave-Vero

Interesting Google Maps application.  I'm amazed at some of the adventurous plantings.  I guess that Acoelorraphe wrightii (Everglades palm) will hold up very well, barring a worst-case scenario.

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galveston1602

thats the thing, I dont think these plantings are all that adventurous

even though we're officially a "9a"

we are usually 10a. 11 yrs in a row now....

worst case scenario will unfortunately be the same if it happens in central fl or if it happens here

heres a specific plantings of royals locally I like

http://txpalms.com/index.htm?&aaa=aaa

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NBTX11

(galveston1602 @ Jan. 09 2007,11:56)

QUOTE
thats the thing, I dont think these plantings are all that adventurous

even though we're officially a "9a"

we are usually 10a. 11 yrs in a row now....

worst case scenario will unfortunately be the same if it happens in central fl or if it happens here

heres a specific plantings of royals locally I like

http://txpalms.com/index.htm?&aaa=aaa

Well...you're not really "officially" a 9a.  The 1990 map was the only one that put you at 9a.  The 1960 map, the 2003 map, the 2004 map, and the 2006 map all put you at least 9b.  And if you look at the long term stats, you would not be 9a, but very close to a 9b/10a.  The 1990 map isn't worth the paper it's printed on.  It's the only one of the 5 maps that doesn't agree with the rest of them.

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Xenon

Time to resurrect another old topic...

SPI just broke it's 20 years in a row of Zone 10/11 winters with low of 28F and a record breaking maximum high of 30F!

Anyway back in 2010, Royal Palms seemed to be the 4th most common(newer developments were using more tropical palms especially Royals but also Majesties and Bottles) palm with Queens having only a slight edge. Of course Washingtonia outnumbers evrything 1-10, I wouldn't be surprised if there were more Washies per square mile in Cameron County then SoCal.

Ficus, Schefflera, Norfolk Pine and Royal Poinciana are in the top five most common trees along with the subtropical Mesquite. Live Oak is found in more inland areas.

I've looked at every street on SPI on Google Maps, and there seems to be a total of 9 coconut palms(most the houses have very small or no backyards) on the entire island with another 6 across the bay in Port Isabel. About 10 of them have some decent trunk and have set fruit. The tallest one is near 35 ft tall overall height in Port Isabel.

I'm not sure about the status of the more tropical palms/trees after such a cold winter though.

I think immediate SPI is in line with Albert Whitted Airport in coastal downtown St. Petersburg because they both have recorded one freeze into the high 20s since 1989. St. Petersburg probably has slightly higher winter daytime temperatures, but the average low is probably the same. SPI warms up a tad faster in the spring.

Just my 2 cents,

:) Jonathan

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displaced_floridian

The gulf stream is useless when the wind is out of the NNW.  But if it's from N, the air coming from off the water will always be above freezing.  NNE and it'll be warmish.  

The Atlantic has a very important effect on the Florida east coast in the summer--we rarely get really hot, unlike, say, inland areas of Ft Myers and Immokalee. Or Texas.

http://www.ahs.org/publications/heat_zone_map.htm

That seems to be true, which is why Ft. Myers didn't get as cold as W. Palm Beach, Naples was warmer than Miami, and Stuart got colder than Tarpon Springs during the worst December 2010 cold snap. The winds were Northwesterly, which gave the FL West coast an advantage due to the wind coming off the Gulf.

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sonoranfans

Bubba

Excellent point about the water temperatures. Go to http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/dsdt/wtg12.html to see a comparison. FL water temps are much more constant. I know at Galveston the beachwater temps in the summer of 1980 approached/exceeded 90F. That's WARM bathwater! In the freeze of '89, the water temperature in some estuaries was down to the low 40's which led to massive fish kills. Our current on the upper TX coast is a counterclockwise one which brings all the lovely silt from the Mississippi River our way.

Steve

The coldest snaps seem ot frequently come out of the NW direction in winter. This would mean that the moderating effect of water during NW winds is more important to florida, especially the west coast, if you are far enough south. It also means that the east coast of florida will get bumped more off its mean temps by a north western front as the winds go across >100 miles of cooler inland areas to the the east coast. However, the east coast of florida enjoys a notably warmer winter ocean(vs the gulf on the west coast) in the middle of winter. This means that a shift in the wind to easterly will rapidly warm the east coast with its 70+ degree water, while the west will actually get cooler with eastern winds. The gulf near st pete and holmes beach/bradenton beach dropped to 54F this year during december, and at that time the water didnt protect as much as it would with the wind coming off the water in the SW florida areas. In texas, it should be significantly different in terms of the moderating effect of water.

Edited by sonoranfans

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