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sonoranfans

the speed of the mule

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sonoranfans

First let me say, I dont live in a cold zone, it either 9B or 10A depending on mother nature, this year was 10A. I did live in zone 9a gilbert AZ for 10 years where my best feather palms were queens(20F minimum in 10 years). With that experience, I do have quite a few palms that might be considered cold hardy. I use these palms in the colder more frost prone areas of my yard, and because I like them. One of the most beautiful of these palms is the mule, or x butyagrus. My little 3 gallon hybrid was purchased from mike evans in august 2010. Here it is, the middle 3gal palm as purchased.

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sonoranfans

And here is my mule as of thanksgiving 2012, 27 months later, about 8' overall height, It is a beauty, planted on the east side of my house, so it gets sun from sunrise to about 3PM in summer. this is my fastest cold hardy feather palm, a bit faster than phoenix sylvestris, and also more cold hardy... What I love about this palm, aside from its beauty, is that I can count on it to laugh at cold and frost, while helping keep my yard beautiful and warmer in winter. Anybody else out there have some mule pics or stories of mule growth and hardiness.

Edited by sonoranfans
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SanDimas

WOW!! GET OUTA HERE!!

THATS AWESOME.

Is that 4real??

Im looking forward to mine getting that big in 2 years.

Mine is similar to the 3 gal you started with.

What did you do...feed alligator meat?

Just wondering if we get the same rate here in SoCal.

My parajubea tol. does pretty well for me here...you have one??

Ritchy

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sonoranfans

WOW!! GET OUTA HERE!!

THATS AWESOME.

Is that 4real??

Im looking forward to mine getting that big in 2 years.

Mine is similar to the 3 gal you started with.

What did you do...feed alligator meat?

Just wondering if we get the same rate here in SoCal.

My parajubea tol. does pretty well for me here...you have one??

Ritchy

Ritchy, If you have heat it should grow very fast, these are rockets. I fed it florikan palm special and also used some fish fertilizer and humic acid/kelp mix intermittently to help condition my sandy soils(needed here, soil is all sand). I dont have any tor tors, too humid here I think. I do have interest in a sunkha or a hybrid parajubaea....

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George Sparkman

Tom,

Thanks for sharing your pictures. I really like pictures that show growth rates and your pictures show speed.

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SanDimas

Tom

Thank you. I just purchased my 3gal in Nov 2012.

Looking forward to the insanity as spring and summer arrives here in SoCal.

My Parajubea tor. never skipped a beatt and steadily put out a growing spear thru the recent cold spells weve had.

Beccariphoenix, Pembanas, D. prestoniana & robusta, Syagrus amara&pseudococus all did well this winter also.

Thank you for the tip..looking forward to all the growth ahead.

Ritchy

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WestCoastGal

Looking forward to seeing what you guys have to say on this topic.

We have two mature mules already in our landscape but are still in the process of planting out our yard. Off and on we've thrown out the possibilty of adding a young xButiagyrus to the mix to enjoy the thrill of seeing it grow, which we didn't get to see with these. Another important factor to us is getting decent shade in a just a few years and the mule seems like out best palm bet for a large canopy down the road. We are wondering what might be a good overall height to plant now to achieve that goal. Is there a general expectation as to how many feet these grow each year?

I'm sure the zone matters as to growth rate. We're Zone 9 and get summer temps in the 90s and 100s. It would be planted in our southwestern planting area between our house and our neighbors so would get plenty of sun and heat (houses are stucco and they will keep that area warm as well).

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Brahea Axel

Mule palms are extraordinary! I wish all the queens around town would get replaced with mule palms. All these years I've hunted for the ultimate tropical looking palm, and here it is, one of the hardiest around. They move like coconuts, and if you grab the ones that lean more towards their queen heritage, i.e. lighter green and less curvature on the fronds, you can get pretty darn close to a coconut look alike.

Here are photos from WestCoastGirls' mule palms which I visited last weekend. These are as close to a coconut as we will ever get in California.

20130223_150531_zps294d2a41.jpg

20130223_150342_zpsdd3f928d.jpg

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WestCoastGal

Worldsight, so glad to recruit another to the fold! Love to see yours when you get it planted. It's always educational to see photo comparisons throughout the years and in different zones.

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sonoranfans

Looking forward to seeing what you guys have to say on this topic.

We have two mature mules already in our landscape but are still in the process of planting out our yard. Off and on we've thrown out the possibilty of adding a young xButiagyrus to the mix to enjoy the thrill of seeing it grow, which we didn't get to see with these. Another important factor to us is getting decent shade in a just a few years and the mule seems like out best palm bet for a large canopy down the road. We are wondering what might be a good overall height to plant now to achieve that goal. Is there a general expectation as to how many feet these grow each year?

I'm sure the zone matters as to growth rate. We're Zone 9 and get summer temps in the 90s and 100s. It would be planted in our southwestern planting area between our house and our neighbors so would get plenty of sun and heat (houses are stucco and they will keep that area warm as well).

I think once the roots are established you can expect 3' a year. Roots seems to have been established in the first year as most of my growth 3' to around 7.5- 8' happened in the second year.. I do have a slightly longer growing season(10 months), so I might get 3.5'-4' a year. By the way, having several height levels is a good thing, balances the look of the garden. Beautiful palms by the way, they sure are pretty!

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ErikSJI

Of course I am partial to the Mule palm. Here are some photos. We also use Florican

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post-1930-0-25259000-1361998659_thumb.jp

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Brahea Axel

It's very clear that there are very different forms of mules. I like the ones from WestCoastGirl, they look fabulous. The ones Eric just posted look very different, not quite as coconutty, much shorter fronds.

I just picked up a 15g specimen from the nursery in Gilroy, I looked for lighter green and more upright growth habit with less recurving fronds. It was hard to pick out, I was almost tempted to get another one just to cover my bases to make sure I got the form I like.

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WestCoastGal

Wow, 3 or so feet a year of growth sounds pretty good. How long would you say it takes for mules to get a foot of trunk and does that growth rate for the trunk also hold true? Our Butia doesn't looks like it has added any trunk over the last 2 years, but the canopy has added a noticable amount of height as new fronds have emerged. We don't have a queen to compare either to.

We give our mature mules a small amount of fertilizer in November just before going into winter rainy season (on advice of our nursery) and we pretty much still see growth all year long. Even since planting in the ground we've had new fronds and inflouresence each winter. The nights can be in the low 30s (or below) but our days can range anywhere from the 50s to gee I think one year it was low 80s. We've hit a few 70s so far already. We do get some fog during the winter but then it's pretty much dry from then on out.

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DoomsDave

Tom

Thank you. I just purchased my 3gal in Nov 2012.

Looking forward to the insanity as spring and summer arrives here in SoCal.

My Parajubea tor. never skipped a beatt and steadily put out a growing spear thru the recent cold spells weve had.

Beccariphoenix, Pembanas, D. prestoniana & robusta, Syagrus amara&pseudococus all did well this winter also.

Thank you for the tip..looking forward to all the growth ahead.

Ritchy

I've got two Buteagrus in the ground at my place, and the largest is about 15 feet tall now, forming a trunk.

It's about 5-6 years old from a small plant mailed to me from Florida.

I've got other hybrids, too.

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Moose

Tom

Thank you. I just purchased my 3gal in Nov 2012.

Looking forward to the insanity as spring and summer arrives here in SoCal.

My Parajubea tor. never skipped a beatt and steadily put out a growing spear thru the recent cold spells weve had.

Beccariphoenix, Pembanas, D. prestoniana & robusta, Syagrus amara&pseudococus all did well this winter also.

Thank you for the tip..looking forward to all the growth ahead.

Ritchy

I've got two Buteagrus in the ground at my place, and the largest is about 15 feet tall now, forming a trunk.

It's about 5-6 years old from a small plant mailed to me from Florida.

I've got other hybrids, too.

Nice photos of your hybrids Dave - thanks for sharing ... >NOT :violin:

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DavidMac

Most of our Mules at FSU are in planters now-but we will be adding more to our campus landscapes for sure! Here is a shot of one of the Oglesby Union planters with a young Mule in the front.

post-7545-0-46826700-1364575868_thumb.jp

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Stevetoad

i just got one that im going to replace a R. regia with. i assumed they like a ton of sun and a ton of water. is this true?

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ErikSJI

Not sure about California but they do not require a lot of water here in Florida in fact they prefer to go dry. They are drought tolerant and have been reported to be doing very well in Arizona's dry climate.

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Stevetoad

Not sure about California but they do not require a lot of water here in Florida in fact they prefer to go dry. They are drought tolerant and have been reported to be doing very well in Arizona's dry climate.

Thanks for the info Erik

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DoomsDave

Steve:

Mules want the sun, no two ways, though they'll take shade too. I've got them in both.

They'll also take a lot less water than a Royal, though I suspect ample water won't hurt them, either, as long as it's not a swamp.

Both parents like plenty of water when they can get it, but will survive on a lot less.

They're not as thirsty as the Acrocomia of Doom . . .

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floridagrower

Most of our Mules at FSU are in planters now-but we will be adding more to our campus landscapes for sure! Here is a shot of one of the Oglesby Union planters with a young Mule in the front.

I'm really glad to see some palms going in at the college. Keep pushing them when you can; people notice and appreciate the effort.

Edited by floridagrower

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Alicehunter2000

Really loving these photo's. WCG I didn't know you already had some mature mules planted out....love the way it looks especially in the wind.

Tom, that is phenominal growth....would like to see the progression of this palm in the years to come.

Eric, as you know from my "Beach Party" thread I got some larger Mark Heath mules being installed. I plan on planting other mules from other hybridizers also. I find the variablity among different growers to be interesting and would love to see some of yours in my landscape. I know you are currently working on other crosses can you elborate as to what may be available in the near future?

David, I am happy to see this palm being used on campus.....as an alumni of FSU I still drive through the area occasionally and look forward to being on the lookout for them now. Definitely will be a nice break from the almost monotonous use of Butia.

Here are the mules that I will be installing on April 6th.

post-97-0-47904400-1364629334_thumb.jpg WestCoastGal, I will be installing this one in the front of the house....to answer your question from the other thread. I will plant it at a slight angle and try to get a nice curvature to it over time.

post-97-0-92001200-1364629374_thumb.jpg This one has a little smaller diameter trunk and relaxed leaflets. I think it is 4 ft. ct.

post-97-0-27547100-1364629419_thumb.jpg This one has a larger diameter trunk and also exhibits more relaxed leaflets it is 3 ft. ct. I prefer more of the queen look as opposed to Butia as we have so many Butia planted around here.

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ErikSJI

David, I have a guy not to far from you that has some of our Mules. He started growing there last year. He has everything from 30FT over all to seedlings. If you want his information let me know he has photos on his website of them and he does install. As far as new hybrids this year we are doing the Foxy Lady as well as the reverse cross of this the syagrus schizophylla x syagrus romanzoffiana and the Butia x Syagrus Shizophylla. We do have some butia x syagrus coronata seedlings from last year as well but only have a few left and are going to hang on to them.

If we could ever find a steady source of Jubaea or parajubaea pollen we would love to give that another go as well.

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Tampa Scott

I have a Mule palm that is slow as a mule. The palm is 6 yrs old. It is around the size of a two year old normal Mule palm.

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Tampa Scott

6 yrs old...

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Tampa Scott

variegated...

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WestCoastGal

Thanks for all the photos posted by everyone. I love seeing the variety out there and it's a good indication to new mule owners that there can be a lot of diversity.

Tampa Scott, is the slow growth likely because of the butia genes or the fact that it is still in a pot?

David, so that's the mule I hadn't accounted for in your plan....Beautiful canopy and great shade provider. It reminds me of our shorter mule (pictured above). If it's anything like ours it will continue to put out fronds and add height slowly. Keep that in mind if it will be planted close to your front house windows (that would be your east morning exposure if I'm correct, otherwise you might end up with a dark room for a long time if it doesn't grow fast like its queen father).

As you can tell we are still working on the backyard and have made a concious decision to hold on to as many fronds as possible. We should probably cut off the inflorescence early on but so far have left it on enjoying it bloom and watching the various stages of flowering growth. I've read that if it's removed however, the palm will put more energy towards putting out fronds and thus height. I do think holding onto the fronds for as long as possible has helped the mule attain a fuller look, not a problem with yours (was it field grown??). Ours has only been in the ground for about three years now so probably just getting to appreciate the roots in the soil. With our dining pergola nearby like it is to the palm, we definitely could benefit from some more height.

I think the two more strictor version mules will work great in your backyard giving you more sunlight back there for your shorter younger palms to grow.

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ErikSJI

If you guys would like to see more photos of Mule palms you may want to check out my facebook page. I have been taking photos of the process at our nursery as well as the growers that are involved. We will be doing videos and photos as well for the new hybrids that we are doing this year.

https://www.facebook.com/xbutyagrus

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Brahea Axel

If you guys would like to see more photos of Mule palms you may want to check out my facebook page. I have been taking photos of the process at our nursery as well as the growers that are involved. We will be doing videos and photos as well for the new hybrids that we are doing this year.

https://www.facebook.com/xbutyagrus

Eric, how do you control the look the mule palms take? I personally prefer the mule form that has the open crown like the ones in West Coast Gal's yard. How can you tell when the plant is smaller?

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Tampa Scott

WestCoastGal , The slow growth I believe is that this variegated mule is tropical in its requirements. I have only seen new growth in the summer months. The palm will add 2-3 leaves in the heat of the summer. The growth comes to a standstill in the cooler months and declines. Looks to hate anything below 50f. Also of note is the leaves will burn in direct sunlight. I removed all soil yesterday from the roots and repotted the palm in fresh potting mix to see if it may help with growth.

Edited by Tampa Scott

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ErikSJI

Axel it appears you like the mules that have more of the queen in it. There are a lot of factors out there and other pollinators as well. They select specific queens or butias they want to work with because they prefer the look of them. Even if you use the same queen and the same butia you are going to have variations. We have had runts, doubles, triples, quads, mutants, skinny, fat etc. The Mules with the skinnier trunks would be my guess to picking one out that has the open crown. Where as the fatter trunked Mules seem to take on more of the Butia.

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Tampa Scott

Eric, Have you noticed a pattern with the young mules with the red leaf base that turn almost black when a little older have the biggest trunks when older?

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Tampa Scott

oops...

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ErikSJI

I have not seen any with a red tint to it like that. You have some interesting Mule palms. As well as the colors of the inflorescence that your Mules put off. We have had some that had a purple tint to them but they loose there color as they get older.

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Tampa Scott

Eric, That is interesting that you have not seen the different colors in the male flowers. I have been checking on the mule with the darker purple flowers fruit set the last few weeks. I have opened four of the seeds to find nice white meat in the four. I also have noticed that the female flowers on this one are purple. I will get you some pictures later. I also thought that the red leaf base was normal. Looking at my seed bed of the young ones about 50% are red.

Edited by Tampa Scott

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ErikSJI

I have seen the different colors in the flowers. Just not like the one you posted on Palmpedia where it had two different colors. One of our mules puts of a quite nice inflorescence. Almost pink

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WestCoastGal

Wow, stunning. I'd call that pink. This is what I find makes palms so interesting to see growing. That and their fruit coloring. Curious Erik what color was the inside of the spathe? Is it yellow in the photo?

I've had magenta/pink sometimes almost red coloring on the interior of the spathes on my smaller mule when it first blooms (fades in color fairly quickly) but the inflorescence has always been yellow as I recall but I'll check my photos.

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Tampa Scott

I have seen the different colors in the flowers. Just not like the one you posted on Palmpedia where it had two different colors. One of our mules puts of a quite nice inflorescence. Almost pink

Wow! The hot pink is outstanding. The inflorescence with the two different colors is on the S.rom X Butia.

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Tampa Scott

male flowers

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Tampa Scott

open seed

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