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Palmy

Palm's in Oklahoma City area (nothing special)

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Palmy

I was surprised to see palms actually thriving here in Oklahoma City metro area. Every now and then, (rarely) I will see a thriving palm in someones yard. Usually I am driving and don't have time to take a picture, but this is proof that there are some palms that can survive here. These three pictures were taken at the Oklahoma City zoo. They are outdoors and don't seem to have any other protection from the cold. They are near sidewalks and under some canopy but thats basically it. Looks like a trachy, a few sabals and a few rhapidophyllums. Nothing special but considering our climate, I am still surprised to see these things here. Oklahoma City is in the southern great plains, however it is far too north to have any nice tropical looking palms. Just three hours south in Dallas, there are many washingtonia's around. It's amazing too see such contrast in a short ammount of distance.

OKC is 1000+ feet above sea level and has had temps below -15F at the aiport and even below -20F around the area multiple times. I can remember a few years ago when we had several days well below freezing with 12 inches of snow on the ground. I think we bottomed out below 0, and it may have been much colder in other areas nearby. We are too far away from any large mass of water and we get a lot of cold air in the winter straight out of Canada diving south. Even Dallas gets some of it, but it seems to be a little more moderated by the time it gets down there.

I wonder if anybody has ever tried a washingtonia up here in OKC area? I don't know of any forum members who live up this way. I have been at University of Oklahoma just south of OKC in the suburb of Norman getting a degree in meteorlogy. One day if I settle down here (which I may considering this is the center for meteorlogy :P ), would I be able to try anything better than a trachy? Even those trachys must not last longer than 10-20 years without some protection. I suspect at the zoo, they might protect some of the palms when it gets really cold here. I also wonder how far north palms can survive in the great plains? I doubt there are any palms too much further north of here. I would be utterly surprised if there were palms thriving in Kansas City or Wichita.

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peachy

Wow they look so healthy too. Amazing how tough some species are. I love zone pushing. (usually to my financial detriment but sometimes it works)

Thanks for posting these.

Peachy

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DoomsDave

Nothing special?

They are very special! I recall it got down to about minus 30 F not long ago.

That's pretty special. I can imagine wooly mammoths pawing through the snow to get at them . . . . :)

I know I saw (to my astonishment) some small sabals apparently growing wild in the median heading to Missouri on that highway of doom with cars in the trees from tornadoes. A huge line of thunderstorms were heading right at me, right out of the north or northwest. I was concerned. (My hands were shaking too hard to take pictures! Brave brave Sir Dave! :floor: )

Tough buggers, no two ways about it.

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Xerarch

No palm is not-special to me :rolleyes:

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jwitt

Washingtonia has been tried. I know of some in OKC that succumbed unprotected. There is one in Tulsa that survived the 2011 freeze, but it is protected, not sure of the method. Very nice palms by the way. This site has some links and info on Oklahoma palms. http://www.amazingga...site_index.html

That being said. There are some filifera here in the ABQ metro that continue to grow. These pictures are actually a colder part of town(zone 6b-Corrales) and these palms saw -10f and 30+consecutive hours below 7f in 2/2011 and 0f in 12/6/11. This pic was taken early last month(6/12)-recovery under way. They are unprotected. Filifera's have been more successful here when planted large, but I also know of one started by seed that is fairly large(15')

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Edited by jwitt
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Jeff Searle

I don't know about OKC, but I would donate my heart to Fort Sill! Plenty of good memories!

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jfrye01@live.com

I'm resurrecting a very old thread, but I can confirm I've seen palms in OKC and Tulsa. Also, there are a few Sabals up here in Wichita, mostly S. minor, but a few S. palmetto and S. birmingham...they seem to be thriving without protection...I'll get pictures next time I'm in Wichita.

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DoomsDave

I don't know about OKC, but I would donate my heart to Fort Sill! Plenty of good memories!

How about a thread to tell us why?

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Moose

I don't know about OKC, but I would donate my heart to Fort Sill! Plenty of good memories!

How about a thread to tell us why?

Yes Mr. Searle - inquiring minds want to know. Please no steer story ... :bemused:

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Keith N Tampa (ex SoJax)

Any palm in OKC is special. Its a rigorous climate!

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Josh-O

palms RULE!!!

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NorthFlpalmguy

I know of 6 pindos I sold to a customer there who already had two existing ones.

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Bigfish

One of the first websites I visited when getting into cold-hardy palms was http://www.amazinggardens.com/ . Don in OKC has greatly contributed to the hobby over the years, although I think his attention has shifted to cold hardy citrus now. He has some huge Sabal sp. Louisiana, S. palmetto, S. sp. 'Birmingham', Rhapidophyllum hystrix and many other palms growing on his property. I think he's also the one responsible for the palm plantings at the zoo. He sold the palm-growing operation many years ago to Alligator Alley, and most of the pictures on the website of his specimen palms are severely outdated.

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jfrye01@live.com

One of the first websites I visited when getting into cold-hardy palms was http://www.amazinggardens.com/ . Don in OKC has greatly contributed to the hobby over the years, although I think his attention has shifted to cold hardy citrus now. He has some huge Sabal sp. Louisiana, S. palmetto, S. sp. 'Birmingham', Rhapidophyllum hystrix and many other palms growing on his property. I think he's also the one responsible for the palm plantings at the zoo. He sold the palm-growing operation many years ago to Alligator Alley, and most of the pictures on the website of his specimen palms are severely outdated.

Yep, I learned a ton from that website as well...I bought some of my palms from Bryan at Alligator Alley, including a large Sabal birmingham that is currently awaiting a spring planting...

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Matt N- Dallas

I think any palm that grows in OKC is special. I'm from Kansas City originally and Don was my inspiration and start in growing cold hardy palms in the Midwest. I know of long term s. Minor in Wichita and I have been growing s. Minor 'mccurtain co' & ne Tx types in KC since 1996- they produce seed every year. Don made a big impact in the little explored realm of cold hardy palms & citrus in z6 & z7.

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Bigfish

Matt, do you stay in touch with Don? I never see him post anywhere anymore. I know his interests shifted to citrus in the past decade, and he used to have a blog about that, but I can't even find that anymore.

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Jim in Los Altos

some pics of my yard in OKC.

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Scott, Nice going! Your garden is quite an accomplishment given the climate it's in. I wish half the gardens in my CA neighborhood looked so tropical!

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wsg

Thanks Jim. It can be a lot of work and cold weather like today does not help! I really do need a green house lol!

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WestCoastGal

Wsg, Impressed by what you have achieved especially given your zone. What gets protected and by what means?

Welcome to the forum!

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realarch

It seems like 'zone pushing' is hardly an adequate term for what you guys growing in your climates. Having been born and raised in Albuq., N.M., I thought raising palms in Artic temps. was impossible. As a kid I remember people planting small Wasingtonia in their yards in the spring, but the winters were always so severe, those little guys never had a chance. Maybe the trick was to plant much larger specimens. Really gratifying to see them doing so well, especially in my home town. I doubt I'll be moving back though.

Tim

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wsg

Thanks for the welcome! I've had most of the palms in the pics a decade or more. The Washingtonia lived its first 5 or 6 winters in a series of Flowerhouse portable

green houses with a small ceramic heater. It is now too big for anything but a tarp that I like to think holds a bit of the heaters warmth effectivley enough. I've been putting Xmas lights and a small heater in the crown the last couple of years. It has always has frost damaged fronds but by the end of May It looks like a pretty happy tree. The Traychys have never been protected. We don't get much weather below 10 degrees and the only real damage every year is from the wind. They've been through 48 hours of 6 to 10 degrees two winters in a row. I think we all know what winters i'm referring to...My bananas are hardy, Most of my colocasias come back with mulching, I bring the biggest alocasias into the house in pots.

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WattsZ

I know this is an old thread, but as someone living in okc and recently (last summer) planted a couple trachys, a Mediterranean and a Texas sabal. All have been thriving and the only protection I gave them was the few times we were due to have ice or snow last winter. Luckily the winter was very mild with one snow that didn't last long.  The rest of winter I just used Christmas lights with a thermo cube. 

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Alex High
On 7/27/2020 at 12:57 PM, WattsZ said:

I know this is an old thread, but as someone living in okc and recently (last summer) planted a couple trachys, a Mediterranean and a Texas sabal. All have been thriving and the only protection I gave them was the few times we were due to have ice or snow last winter. Luckily the winter was very mild with one snow that didn't last long.  The rest of winter I just used Christmas lights with a thermo cube. 

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Awesome, thanks for sharing! I love hearing about the palms of Oklahoma City, and there seem to be quite a few that are thriving there! Thank you so much for the pictures, those palms look great! I would love to know of any others around town that haven't been shared! Take care!

PalmsUSA

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EastCanadaTropicals
On 7/1/2012 at 3:38 PM, Palmy said:

I was surprised to see palms actually thriving here in Oklahoma City metro area. Every now and then, (rarely) I will see a thriving palm in someones yard. Usually I am driving and don't have time to take a picture, but this is proof that there are some palms that can survive here. These three pictures were taken at the Oklahoma City zoo. They are outdoors and don't seem to have any other protection from the cold. They are near sidewalks and under some canopy but thats basically it. Looks like a trachy, a few sabals and a few rhapidophyllums. Nothing special but considering our climate, I am still surprised to see these things here. Oklahoma City is in the southern great plains, however it is far too north to have any nice tropical looking palms. Just three hours south in Dallas, there are many washingtonia's around. It's amazing too see such contrast in a short ammount of distance.

OKC is 1000+ feet above sea level and has had temps below -15F at the aiport and even below -20F around the area multiple times. I can remember a few years ago when we had several days well below freezing with 12 inches of snow on the ground. I think we bottomed out below 0, and it may have been much colder in other areas nearby. We are too far away from any large mass of water and we get a lot of cold air in the winter straight out of Canada diving south. Even Dallas gets some of it, but it seems to be a little more moderated by the time it gets down there.

I wonder if anybody has ever tried a washingtonia up here in OKC area? I don't know of any forum members who live up this way. I have been at University of Oklahoma just south of OKC in the suburb of Norman getting a degree in meteorlogy. One day if I settle down here (which I may considering this is the center for meteorlogy :P ), would I be able to try anything better than a trachy? Even those trachys must not last longer than 10-20 years without some protection. I suspect at the zoo, they might protect some of the palms when it gets really cold here. I also wonder how far north palms can survive in the great plains? I doubt there are any palms too much further north of here. I would be utterly surprised if there were palms thriving in Kansas City or Wichita.

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photo4.jpg

I wish there were some sabal palmettos planted there in a sheltered location.

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EastCanadaTropicals
On 1/7/2021 at 8:15 PM, PalmsUSA said:

Awesome, thanks for sharing! I love hearing about the palms of Oklahoma City, and there seem to be quite a few that are thriving there! Thank you so much for the pictures, those palms look great! I would love to know of any others around town that haven't been shared! Take care!

PalmsUSA

The palms look nice.

Edited by EastCanadaTropicals

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EastCanadaTropicals
On 1/10/2015 at 6:56 PM, wsg said:

some pics of my yard in OKC.

 

 

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Nice sabal you got there.

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PalmTreeDude
49 minutes ago, EastCanadaTropicals said:

Nice sabal you got there.

That’s a Washingtonia.

Edited by PalmTreeDude
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EastCanadaTropicals
15 minutes ago, PalmTreeDude said:

That’s a Washingtonia.

Even better.

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Alex High
10 hours ago, EastCanadaTropicals said:

The palms look nice.

Yeah, very nice! It's great to see people experimenting with cold-hardy palms in OKC. Take care!

PalmsUSA

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Chester B
On 12/12/2014 at 12:30 PM, jfrye01@live.com said:

Yep, I learned a ton from that website as well...I bought some of my palms from Bryan at Alligator Alley, including a large Sabal birmingham that is currently awaiting a spring planting...

This was my source for needle palms and Sabal minor McCurtain when I lived in Canada and here too.  I do have two needle palms, as well as five McCurtain minors in my current garden from seeds I purchased from Alligator Alley.  I spent some time in that neck of the woods for work many years back so it is nice to have some Okey palms.

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WattsZ
On 1/7/2021 at 7:15 PM, PalmsUSA said:

Awesome, thanks for sharing! I love hearing about the palms of Oklahoma City, and there seem to be quite a few that are thriving there! Thank you so much for the pictures, those palms look great! I would love to know of any others around town that haven't been shared! Take care!

PalmsUSA

I personally onlu know of a few homes that have some palms. I know there are probably a lot more. I know a guy in Tulsa, Ok and one in NW okc. The one in NW okc has several large windmills in his front yard. He also has about a 6'(trunk and prob 9' altogether) Canary island Date 

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Alex High
5 hours ago, WattsZ said:

I personally onlu know of a few homes that have some palms. I know there are probably a lot more. I know a guy in Tulsa, Ok and one in NW okc. The one in NW okc has several large windmills in his front yard. He also has about a 6'(trunk and prob 9' altogether) Canary island Date 

Awesome, thanks for sharing! I have seen pictures of some nice palms in Tulsa and I just discovered these MASSIVE and beautiful Washys at an exotic plant nursery in Tulsa known as Tropical Plant Design. They are wrapped up and protected every winter. I was incredibly surprised to see them looking so good even with the protection they receive. They were about 30 feet tall as of 2019. Here are some pics and the Google Maps link:

Winter protection:

Protect your tropical plant investment by wrapping it in the winter | Home  & Garden | tulsaworld.com

Protect your tropical plant investment by wrapping it in the winter | Home  & Garden | tulsaworld.com

Protect your tropical plant investment by wrapping it in the winter | Home  & Garden | tulsaworld.com

Protect your tropical plant investment by wrapping it in the winter | Home  & Garden | tulsaworld.com

In 2011:

image.thumb.png.e5b7e348b3534a2d0e8810d17981cbe3.png

In 2019:

image.thumb.png.0aa222d30c80bd5b20a266da0f51c6ac.png

image.thumb.png.4fd0871eb6b99153e965bb5e1f45fa51.png

image.thumb.png.a49946ac63a0dd0b8ab0c82d5af05369.png

image.thumb.png.faa748e5d4185c514656828a074bd1e6.png

Location of the Washys

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WattsZ
17 hours ago, PalmsUSA said:

Awesome, thanks for sharing! I have seen pictures of some nice palms in Tulsa and I just discovered these MASSIVE and beautiful Washys at an exotic plant nursery in Tulsa known as Tropical Plant Design. They are wrapped up and protected every winter. I was incredibly surprised to see them looking so good even with the protection they receive. They were about 30 feet tall as of 2019. Here are some pics and the Google Maps link:

Winter protection:

Protect your tropical plant investment by wrapping it in the winter | Home  & Garden | tulsaworld.com

Protect your tropical plant investment by wrapping it in the winter | Home  & Garden | tulsaworld.com

Protect your tropical plant investment by wrapping it in the winter | Home  & Garden | tulsaworld.com

Protect your tropical plant investment by wrapping it in the winter | Home  & Garden | tulsaworld.com

In 2011:

image.thumb.png.e5b7e348b3534a2d0e8810d17981cbe3.png

In 2019:

image.thumb.png.0aa222d30c80bd5b20a266da0f51c6ac.png

image.thumb.png.4fd0871eb6b99153e965bb5e1f45fa51.png

image.thumb.png.a49946ac63a0dd0b8ab0c82d5af05369.png

image.thumb.png.faa748e5d4185c514656828a074bd1e6.png

Location of the Washys

those are amazing and from what ive understood is they basically whack off all the fronds before insulating. I have passed them but never been in the store. Do you know if they sell a variety of cold hardy in larger sizes? All of ours we have picked up in DFW or like my CIDP and Queen we picked up in Houston. 

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Alex High
7 hours ago, WattsZ said:

those are amazing and from what ive understood is they basically whack off all the fronds before insulating. I have passed them but never been in the store. Do you know if they sell a variety of cold hardy in larger sizes? All of ours we have picked up in DFW or like my CIDP and Queen we picked up in Houston. 

Yeah, seems like what they do. I have no idea which palms they sell, I have never been to Oklahoma and I live in the D.C. area. Thanks and take care!

PalmsUSA

Edited by PalmsUSA
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ArkiePalms95

I spoke with a very kind lady on the phone from TPD in Tulsa, the one referred to in the previous post. I live in NW Arkansas, and have driven past these palms and have the same climate as Tulsa so I wanted to get info. They wrap them in mid-December and they stay wrapped through 'til about March. There's no supplemental heat whatsoever. They just wrap them and mulch the base heavily. She also said to leave about a 2" hole in the top so it can breathe, but I can't imagine them not rotting that way as we get a considerable amount of precipitation. She said they've done this for 10 years and only ever lost a single palm but it wasn't as strong as the others to begin with. I'm definitely going to try it! I already have a trachycarpus that easily sailed through last winter with nothing more than a pre-, mid- & post-winter copper fungicide treatment and covering it with a trash can on the coldest nights (like 2 nights a year). I will have to cover it again this next week due to a couple nights being in single digits. So far it took 13 degrees just fine.  Looking into buying some sabal minors. Anyone else in the NWA area have palms in the ground?

 

 

 

 

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wrigjef

Supposed to be -6 below Monday in Tulsa. I highly doubt any will survive that kind of cold.  I would like to see an update in a month or so.   

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kinzyjr

It would be interesting if a few snuck through and recovered.  Don't want anything like this to happen, but if there are survivors other than Sabal minor, Rhapidophyllum hystrix, and perhaps 2% of Sabal palmetto it will be interesting.

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WattsZ

I know I have came across some others fromOklahoma in here that are having success like myself growing cold hardy palms in the ground. I just wanted to share that recently i made a fb groupOklahoma Palm growers-tropical Zone Pushing, just as a way to seek advice, share, buy/sell etc. from locals..

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ArkiePalms95

Hello, ArkiePalms95 here. Just wanted to give an update of the Tulsa, OK and NWA area. I emailed Tropical Plant Design in Tulsa and they lost all theirs this winter, along with everyone else in Tulsa that we know of. There was no way to insulate the ground enough to keep it from freezing and we had severely cold temps for 2 weeks straight. Here in Rogers, AR it got down to -16, a record for the nearly 24 years I've lived in the area. My Trachycarpus froze completely back. I treated it with fungicide but had the rotting smell - I was sick! It's been in the ground for two years to this point. About 2 weeks after this had happened, I was reading in my book, 'Palms Don't Grow Here (and other myths)' that in the case like mine, sometimes the tree can be saved by cutting the trunk horizontally back until you start seeing greenish/white and applying a fungicide and even some hydrogen peroxide to stop the rot. It was 10pm when I was reading this and got a flashlight and went outside and started cutting the trunk until I got below the rot (If I would've done this quicker I wouldn't have had as much rot). When I poured the hydrogen peroxide on the trunk it fizzed and bubbled. I then started spraying it with copper fungicide once a week or two. TO MY ASTONISHMENT!! It started pushing new growth! As of now, August 3, 2021 its pushing out its 3rd fan. I will be protecting it well this winter and hope we NEVER have another winter like this last one! I have since planted a Washingtonia robusta and will be experimenting with it. I figure if TPD in Tulsa had them successfully for almost 15 years its worth it.  I will be posting a photo tomorrow - thought I had one on my phone. 

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