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MOlivera

Roystonea regia in Flagler Beach (North Florida)

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MOlivera

Today i took this picture of a royal palm growing up here in Flagler Beach. I don't know how old or how long its been planted at this site. The tree looks like its been there for at least 4 or 5 years, maybe more. It looks like its got some cold damage on the trunk. I first saw it from my friends boat while we were fishing in the intracoastal and i was surprised to see it. I figured out where we were and here's the picture. I haven't been able to speak with the owners but if i do i will make sure to find out more about it.

post-1837-0-85900800-1352426297_thumb.jp

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palmsOrl

That is quite impressive and looks as if it has been there for years. What kind of lows does this area experience since it is right on the intracoastal? If I were anywhere on the immediate coast from Jacksonville south, I would try a Roystonea regia since they seem to deal with prolonged chill fairly well.

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MOlivera

Not exactly sure on what lows it's experienced. My friend live 8 blocks to the north of this place. He had 25F 2 years ago. But I'm not sure if this palm has a little microclimate.

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empireo22

If you check the google map on street view in april 2011 it was defoliated.

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TikiRick

Back in the 50's and 60's royal palms' extended all the way up to the St. Johns River in Duval County. The freezes of the 70s and 80s pushed them back into Martin County for the most part.

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MOlivera

Empireo22, do you know how long this palm has been around and what minimum temps its seen?

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howfam

TickiRick. I live in Jacksonville and I know someone with 3 royal palms in his yard, 25-30 ft tall. He lives on Goodby's creek just off the St. Johns River on the south side of town. He says they've been in the ground for 12 years. He protected them the first six years and hasn't protected them the last six years, and we had record number of days in the 20's during winters of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. Last year was unusually mild. Success maybe due to establishment of palms and possible microclimate.

Edited by howfam
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Palmə häl′ik

That looks like a FL native, R. elata to me.

- Ray.

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Mandrew968

Elata is regia. No difference.

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Palmə häl′ik

I thought elatas stayed scrawnier than the "bulbulous" regias?

- Ray.

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Palmə häl′ik

Were the native Royal stands in ol skool Florida introduced from Cuba? The lineage would prolly answer that right?

- Ray.

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howfam

TickiRick. I live in Jacksonville and I know someone with 3 royal palms in his yard, 25-30 ft tall. He lives on Goodby's creek just off the St. Johns River on the south side of town. He says they've been in the ground for 12 years. He protected them the first six years and hasn't protected them the last six years, and we had record number of days in the 20's during winters of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. Last year was unusually mild. Success maybe due to establishment of palms and possible microclimate.

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MOlivera

Howfam, can you post any pictures of the royals in Jacksonville?

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Palmə häl′ik

After brushing up on my Roystonea knowledge, there ARE differences between elata and regia. The Cuban regias were introduced into S. FL landscapes heavily in the 1920s and 30s. The skinnier elatas were already here in FL.

Checkout the Floridata site, and check out Roystonea.

- Ray.

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Eric in Orlando

R. elata tends to be taller without the bulge like R. regia has. There is also some minor diferences in the inflorescences. Also, habitat is different. In Flroida, wild R. elata/regia is only found in swampy locations. In Cuba and elsewhere in its native range it is found in swamps but also in savannah areas and drier hillsides. In the early 1900s many R. regia were shipped in from Cuba so a majority of the planted royals in FL are the non-native types or hybrids.

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Palmə häl′ik

How much do I owe you Eric? :)

Evidently Zona has decided to combine the two into one for sake of arguement...

- Ray.

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Mandrew968

How much do I owe you Eric? :)

Evidently Zona has decided to combine the two into one for sake of arguement...

- Ray.

Elata is now a synonym for regia. They are the same.

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Palmə häl′ik

Just like a jewfish is now called a goliath. Always call em jewfish when I pull em up. Regardless of the "new" terminology.

- Ray.

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Eric in Orlando

Yes, R. elata is now lumped into R. regia. We have a dozen specmens here that were grown from seed collected in the Fakahatchee Swamp and I have kept them labeled R. elata for now.

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Palmə häl′ik

Understood. Its just that I have a "trained" eye, and when I see a big wide fatboy royal, I know its the cuban og regia. Likewise when I see the skinnier, scrawny ones, I know their prolly og elatas. But still, I hear ya Andrew... Regias fer all...

- Ray.

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SubTropicRay

Most of today's central Florida Royals (outside of beneficial microclimates) were planted post 1989. Pre 1989 plantings that did survive have significant trunk damage to show for their battle with mother nature. Plantings pre 1970's and 1980's were again only 15-20 years old since the 1958 or 1962 freezes would have wiped out most planted before those years. I've heard this stuff about the naturally occuring St. John's River Roystonea of the past but I personally don't believe this myth. It's been getting cold in Florida since the state has been in its current geographic latitude. I'd need some pretty good data to convince me that winter was warmer in Florida 100 years ago than it is now. In simple terms, 80% of central Florida Roystonea won't live longer than 20-25 years as that's the average amount of time between landscape altering freezes. My biggest specimens were planted in 1998 so I know they'll be or already are on borrowed time.

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Zeeth

Most of today's central Florida Royals (outside of beneficial microclimates) were planted post 1989. Pre 1989 plantings that did survive have significant trunk damage to show for their battle with mother nature. Plantings pre 1970's and 1980's were again only 15-20 years old since the 1962 freeze would have wiped out most planted before that year. I've heard this stuff about the St. John's River Roystonea of the past but personally don't buy it. It's been getting cold in Florida since the state has been in its current geographic latitude. I'd need some pretty convincing data to convince me it was warmer in Florida 100 years ago than it is now. In simple terms, 80% of central Florida Roystonea won't live longer than 20-25 years as that's the average amount of time between landscape altering freezes.

From my understanding, the temperature decrease in Florida is due to so much of the everglades being drained, as the mediating effects of the water kept the temperatures up.

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SubTropicRay
From my understanding, the temperature decrease in Florida is due to so much of the everglades being drained, as the mediating effects of the water kept the temperatures up.

I don't see how the Evergaldes would benefit north Florida's climate 400 miles to the north.

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Eric in Orlando

Bartram spotted the royals up near Palataka on the St. John's River in the late 1700s. That period of time was warm; avocado groves in St. augustine and citrus groves up into Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC (even limes). There was a severe freeze around 1820/1830 (can't remember exactly when) that killed the SA avocados and the citrus further north. This freeze pushed the citrus down to FL. I'm guessing this is the freeze that killed the Palatka royals.

Dent Smith had some royals (at least one) survive the 1957-58 freeze but they must have been killed in the '62 freeze.

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Eric in Orlando

How far back does that old surviving royal at FIT in Melbourne on the Dent Smith trail? It must be pre-1980s. Was it planted back in the '60s ?

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Zeeth

From my understanding, the temperature decrease in Florida is due to so much of the everglades being drained, as the mediating effects of the water kept the temperatures up.

I don't see how the Evergaldes would benefit north Florida's climate 400 miles to the north.

It extended much farther north than it does now.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/46/Florida_Everglades_Hydrology.gif

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Palmə häl′ik

I would say the housing boom and development caused that Keith... They've been diggin the shell pits for years to fill in areas for development... Now adays youve got the tree huggers involved, so its a preserve. AKA the everglades.

- Ray.

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SubTropicRay

There are microclimates that defy the odds but widespread Palatka Roystonea and Savannah citrus seems very unlikely to me. If we were to say this happened 10,000 years ago, I'd say that time is sufficiently removed from the present day to be a possibility. Climate change without man's influence or some sudden and drastic event takes thousands of years not hundreds. The climate of the 1700's was likely not much different that what we see today. I can see a stretch of time up to 40 years without a major freeze but an entire century? No way, I don't buy it. Bartram saw something but a river full of Royal Palms that far north seems like a real stretch to me. I'd say he may have stumbled across more smoke-able vegetation before putting pen to paper..

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howfam

I wish I could, but I have not gone back to take pics yet, and I don't think I know how to do it. When I find out, I'll take pics, then post.

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palmsOrl

Ray, I could not have said it better myself. I had read somewhere that Native Americans may have brought seeds from the royals further south in Florida and the Caribbean. I am very skeptical that royals were native to areas as far north as Palatka, at least in the last several thousand years. Also, North America and Europe were affected by the period between 200-400 years ago known as the "Little Ice Age". I really doubt Florida experienced fewer freezes and cold waves during this time.

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howfam

I wish I could, but I have not gone back to take pics yet, and I don't think I know how to post pics yet. When I find out, I'll take pics, then post.

Edited by howfam

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JLeVert

There are no Royal Palms in Savannah, but there is plenty of backyard citrus, even now. Tybee Island has lots of sweet oranges as do properties in the downtown area heat island. There is commercial citrus even north of Charleston, SC. Olives are also being planted in south and central Georgia to replace the ones that were killed by a hurricane(s) in the late 1890's. There are even mature olives in Augusta, GA. and I have quite a few citrus growing at the school where I teach: Keraji, Ichang Lemon, Meiwa, Satsuma, Seville, Chinotto. Florida is certainly the warmer climate, but parts of Georgia, in winter, don't go through the roller-coaster temperatures that Florida 'enjoys'. We get chilly, the soil is too cool to support new top growth and the plants can actually go dormant and avoid killing freezes of new growth.

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Eric in Orlando

I don't see how Bartram would confuse royal and cabbage palms. he desribed the green crownshafts. Now I don't believe the royal palms were actually "native" there or they would have been found elsewhere between Palatka and SoFL. Good chance it was native people who spread some seed for whatever reason. These sprouted in a favorable microclimate and thrived for awhile until a killing freeze. I have read there were royal palms laong some rivers in the Tampa (Hillsborough???) area way back too.

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Eric in Orlando

The freeze was in 1835.

http://flcitrusmutual.com/industry-issues/weather/freeze_timeline.aspx

1835

  • The *impact freeze that occurred on February 2-9 brought the lowest temperatures that had ever been recorded in north and central Florida. This freeze is considered an *impact freeze because it ended attempts to commercially grow citrus in South Georgia, southeast South Carolina and in the northern part of Florida

http://www.historiccity.com/2009/staugustine/news/florida/historic-city-memories-the-big-freeze-ii-2223

Prior to 1835, oranges were grown not only in Florida but in South Georgia and southeastern coastal South Carolina. Oranges were planted by the Spanish in the original capital of Florida, Santa Elena, in what is now South Carolina. In 1835, a freeze ended citrus in South Carolina and Georgia. On February 9, the freeze came to St. Augustine. According to D. J. Browne, prior to 1835, St. Augustine was producing between 2 to 2 1/2 million oranges a year. Colonel Dancey reported that trees a hundred years old were killed to the ground. Max Bloomfield described the scene:

“In January, 1766, the thermometer sank to 26° above zero. The only snow-storm remembered was during the winter of 1774; the inhabitants spoke and thought of it as the “white rain.” But the coldest weather ever known in Florida or St. Augustine was in February, 1835, when the thermometer sank to 7° above zero, and the St. John’s River froze several rods from the shore. This freeze proved a great injury to St. Augustine, for it killed every fruit tree in the city, and deprived the majority of the people of their only income. The older inhabitants still remark, that the freeze of 1835 cost most of them their all.”

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Eric in Orlando

There are no Royal Palms in Savannah, but there is plenty of backyard citrus, even now. Tybee Island has lots of sweet oranges as do properties in the downtown area heat island. There is commercial citrus even north of Charleston, SC. Olives are also being planted in south and central Georgia to replace the ones that were killed by a hurricane(s) in the late 1890's. There are even mature olives in Augusta, GA. and I have quite a few citrus growing at the school where I teach: Keraji, Ichang Lemon, Meiwa, Satsuma, Seville, Chinotto. Florida is certainly the warmer climate, but parts of Georgia, in winter, don't go through the roller-coaster temperatures that Florida 'enjoys'. We get chilly, the soil is too cool to support new top growth and the plants can actually go dormant and avoid killing freezes of new growth.

They were growing "commercial" sweet oranges in GA and SC prior to the 1835 freeze. I have read even limes. But all was wiped out in the 1835 freeze. this forced the citrus industry south into FL, from Jacksonville to Orlando. There was a big concentration of groves in the Gainesville/Ocala area in FL. Then the big freeze of 1894-1895 wiped out the citrus industry in NoFL and pushed it to about Orlando and south..

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JLeVert

Thanks for the info, Eric. I knew about the 1894-95 freeze, but somehow I missed the earlier one. Any theories as to why it got so cold? Volcano? Killing 100 yr. old orange trees in St. Augustine sounds like something had changed all of a sudden. I hope I don't have to see any temps like that in my lifetime.

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Eric in Orlando

I was reading more about this and it says it reached 0F in Charleston and Savannah in the 1835 freeze.

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Eric in Orlando

Are there any royals growing now north of Flagler Beach ? Any in St. Augustine ?

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MOlivera

Eric, howfam mentioned earlier that he knows of someone in Jax that has three of them in their yard.

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howfam

Eric. I finally got pics of the royal Palms here in Jacksonville on Goodby's creek, just off the St. Johns River. Two doubled ones are against the east side of the house and the 3 other pics are of the same palm located near the pool.

post-7094-0-68937200-1356536462_thumb.jp,post-7094-0-05029400-1356536516_thumb.jp,post-7094-0-92635300-1356536591_thumb.jp,post-7094-0-35031000-1356536617_thumb.jp

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