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Brahea Axel

B. Alfredii under-rated

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Brahea Axel

Things went from someone not particularly liking me guessing Alfredii is not an emerging canopy palm, to confirming these plants come from gallery forest (which pictures clearly showed too), to guessing it grows naturally in an anthropogenic landscape, to pointing out the fact some places around the globe are anthropogenic and the influence started over 40,000 years ago. So to tie it all back together let me ask, when does an emerging canopy palm that has had it's natural vegetation whipped out by humans and now must grow exposed,

no longer become a "emerging canopy palm"? How long does natural selection take to where a few seedlings out of thousands sprouting grow to handle an exposed growing environment? 1000 years? 500 years? My guess is that it is pretty fast considering we see second and third generation palms around SoCal that are stronger growers then seed collected plants in sutu.

Evolution takes places on the scale of a million years, 40,000 years is a blink of an eye for evolution, just about barely enough for alfredii to begin to develop an adaptation. Either way, they would still retain their genes from being an emerging canopy palm.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_evolutionary_history_of_life

Three generations does pretty much nothing even worth noting other than favoring seeds from one origin versus another.

Disagree. Bacteria and viruses can evolve in days. Some insects develop immunity to pesticides in a single generation. You think way to macro.

Yes, bacteria and insects have a different evolutionary time scale than palms, but no, they don't develop immunity to a pesticide in a single generation, not sure where you heard that. That goes against all science we know. For a palm that has a life span at least half that of a human, perhaps more than a human, you need a heck of a lot more than a few years. You need quite a few generations to have any significant effects. Not to mention you actually need someone actively breeding to make a significant dent. So you could take a batch of seeds, expose them to the elements, and pick the survivors. Then, after 10 year and you get them to flower, pick two winners and cross them. Keep doing that for a few more generations, and eventually you will get some results. Even then you are looking at many generations. However, letting this happen via natural processes will take many times longer. Even then, it takes even longer to remove the un-used traits. This is why some of the Zealandia palms all share common cool adaptations, even if most of New Caledonia is pretty darn warm and toasty. The gene is still there.

Parajubaea cocoides is a case in point, don't see that palm developing any adaptation in Southern California, and Northern California offsprings from the Lakeside Palmetum are no better adapted to California than the original, perhaps they're actually getting worse. But no one is selecting the right strains.

But palms do have built in genes that will express different sets of adaptability. Many palms with built-in drought tolerance can take quite a bit of sun and cold. And California field grown specimens of the same plant but from in-situ seeds will do better than seedlings from the same seed batch but not raised here. That has more to do with the gene activation process than evolution.

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Brahea Axel

I'm way out of my depth with this stuff but possibly what Len is observing is epigenetics in action rather than evolution. As I understand it, put very simplistically, we have lots of genes which are not used or expressed unless particular events trigger them. Once turned on the characteristics displayed can be passed on. There is no change in the genome just different switches are flicked. This is important for humans because kids who get a tough start might actually pass on (genetically) some of the adverse side-effects to their offspring.

My god - then maybe Lamarck was right after all - I'll have to reconsider my position!

We need a warm bath for the frogs, hem, I mean seeds.

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Jonathan

It's called picking seed from genetically superior specimens. Do you know what genetic variation is? Next your going to tell me there are no genetically superior plants and passing on their progeny comes with no benefits?

I am not telling you some tropical plant will all of a sudden grow in your backyard in a few generations by the way. But I have no doubt you can find a plant in a group in the wild that is stronger and more readily able to handle a change in environment - like a new requirement to handle full sun due to deforestation for example.

It's a fair point - but you're still only working with existing variabilities which appeal to the human gardener, not showing any true response to its new environment.

So the genetic versatility must be inherent to some degree to allow for that flexibility to germinate and grow either inside the forest (gallery forest is still a defined forest type) or just outside it.

My guess would be that B. alfredii displays some talent in that direction. It likes it both ways, so to speak.

I think we're saying the same thing from different angles in that regard.

Just to pour fat on the fire, according to that article in Palms posted above, seed dispersal for this species is by water!

I'm gonna stop thinking about this for a while. Too little evidence, too many possibilities.

Cheers,

Jonathan

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Brahea Axel

I am going to follow Len's advice and I will be planting a few more so I can do some selection of my own. That's been my approach with all plants, and it's worked well, although in most cases I just end up with more palms than I know what to do with. i assume there is a certain gene pool I am accessing, and there will be variations from specimen to specimen. We're seeing that with queen palms, parajubaea, and we're likely to see a lot of variation with alfredii as well. Let's give it at least another ten years and see what happens. Then we'll know for sure if this thing can or cannot be grown as an emergent canopy palm. Everything else is just speculation at this point. Both the trial and speculation is a lot of fun. It wouldn't be interesting if we knew it all.

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LJG

Things went from someone not particularly liking me guessing Alfredii is not an emerging canopy palm, to confirming these plants come from gallery forest (which pictures clearly showed too), to guessing it grows naturally in an anthropogenic landscape, to pointing out the fact some places around the globe are anthropogenic and the influence started over 40,000 years ago. So to tie it all back together let me ask, when does an emerging canopy palm that has had it's natural vegetation whipped out by humans and now must grow exposed,

no longer become a "emerging canopy palm"? How long does natural selection take to where a few seedlings out of thousands sprouting grow to handle an exposed growing environment? 1000 years? 500 years? My guess is that it is pretty fast considering we see second and third generation palms around SoCal that are stronger growers then seed collected plants in sutu.

Evolution takes places on the scale of a million years, 40,000 years is a blink of an eye for evolution, just about barely enough for alfredii to begin to develop an adaptation. Either way, they would still retain their genes from being an emerging canopy palm.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_evolutionary_history_of_life

Three generations does pretty much nothing even worth noting other than favoring seeds from one origin versus another.

Disagree. Bacteria and viruses can evolve in days. Some insects develop immunity to pesticides in a single generation. You think way to macro.

For a palm that has a life span at least half that of a human, perhaps more than a human, you need a heck of a lot more than a few years. You need quite a few generations to have any significant effects.

Can a human give birth to a few thousand progeny in one generation? Mendel worked with plants. Playing Devils Advocate.

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Bennz

It's called picking seed from genetically superior specimens. Do you know what genetic variation is? Next your going to tell me there are no genetically superior plants and passing on their progeny comes with no benefits?

I am not telling you some tropical plant will all of a sudden grow in your backyard in a few generations by the way. But I have no doubt you can find a plant in a group in the wild that is stronger and more readily able to handle a change in environment - like a new requirement to handle full sun due to deforestation for example.

Am I missing something? I can't understand this argument, are you guys not saying essentially the same thing?

I've seen Rhopalostylis sapida germinating as thick as grass in dense rainforest under emergent/semi-emergent palms. I've also seen them germinating just as thickly under open palms in full sun sheep-grazed pasture, in what appears to be a totally different habitat. What does this prove? Not much, it seems to me. Maybe some of the seedlings die in full sun, and some die in deep shade? Who can tell, they come up so thickly. Equally with the alfredii, so seedlings grow in sun, and in shade. Either way its a nice palm and I am inspired to try growing some more.

What I really want to know is how much wind alfredii can tolerate? Any chance of coastal exposure, like a real cocos-replacement?

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Jonathan

It's called picking seed from genetically superior specimens. Do you know what genetic variation is? Next your going to tell me there are no genetically superior plants and passing on their progeny comes with no benefits?

I am not telling you some tropical plant will all of a sudden grow in your backyard in a few generations by the way. But I have no doubt you can find a plant in a group in the wild that is stronger and more readily able to handle a change in environment - like a new requirement to handle full sun due to deforestation for example.

Am I missing something? I can't understand this argument, are you guys not saying essentially the same thing?

I've seen Rhopalostylis sapida germinating as thick as grass in dense rainforest under emergent/semi-emergent palms. I've also seen them germinating just as thickly under open palms in full sun sheep-grazed pasture, in what appears to be a totally different habitat. What does this prove? Not much, it seems to me. Maybe some of the seedlings die in full sun, and some die in deep shade? Who can tell, they come up so thickly. Equally with the alfredii, so seedlings grow in sun, and in shade. Either way its a nice palm and I am inspired to try growing some more.

What I really want to know is how much wind alfredii can tolerate? Any chance of coastal exposure, like a real cocos-replacement?

Yes we are saying the same thing now it would seem...it just takes a good debate to figure out that none of us know a damn thing!

By the way cant you Kiwi's ever think of anything but sheep - I dont want to make a cultural slur, but you've left yourself wide open Benny Boy.

Run, you sheep, and be scared....very scared...

Cheers,

Jonathan

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richnorm

Ben I think wind will be our problem. I will stick one in damp shade and see what happens. I've seen Dypsis decipiens do really well in full shade and the best Ravenea xerophila that I have seen in NZ was similarly in full shade so sometimes it pays not to be a sheep, much as we love them.

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palmislandRandy

The first 2 pics are what I have as B. alfredii & the 2nd two as B. windows. I'm sure of the windows, but am I correct on the alfredii? Thanks

post-1035-0-92485100-1366113652_thumb.jp

post-1035-0-48765100-1366113663_thumb.jp

post-1035-0-56247600-1366113727_thumb.jp

post-1035-0-90201100-1366113749_thumb.jp

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Gtlevine

Well, all i know is my Alfredii grow in hot dry high heat and sun from tiny seedlings which i expect. I was in the habitat of alfredii when i went to madagascar and its a high plateau palm. Most of the plants in the area are aloes. Its definately not an emergent canopy palm.

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quaman58

The first 2 pics are what I have as B. alfredii & the 2nd two as B. windows. I'm sure of the windows, but am I correct on the alfredii? Thanks

Yep, the first two look like alfredii because of the weepy tips. The second two don't look like windows to me; I believe they're the no windows B. mad. At that size they should still be exhibiting the broad leaves if it were the former. Healthy looking palms, regardless..

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LJG

Ben I think wind will be our problem. I will stick one in damp shade and see what happens. I've seen Dypsis decipiens do really well in full shade and the best Ravenea xerophila that I have seen in NZ was similarly in full shade so sometimes it pays not to be a sheep, much as we love them.

Rich, someone told you that you couldn't grow Alfredii, Dypsis decipiens and Ravenea xerophila in shade?

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Brahea Axel

Well, all i know is my Alfredii grow in hot dry high heat and sun from tiny seedlings which i expect. I was in the habitat of alfredii when i went to madagascar and its a high plateau palm. Most of the plants in the area are aloes. Its definately not an emergent canopy palm.

There's a good chance you are right but you can't say that for sure unless you can turn the clock back many years and see if the area was indeed forested at some point. However, given the rain patterns on Madagascar's high plateau are not likely to support forest, seems the emergent canopy idea might not hold much water, no pun intended.

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LJG

Well, all i know is my Alfredii grow in hot dry high heat and sun from tiny seedlings which i expect. I was in the habitat of alfredii when i went to madagascar and its a high plateau palm. Most of the plants in the area are aloes. Its definately not an emergent canopy palm.

There's a good chance you are right but you can't say that for sure unless you can turn the clock back many years and see if the area was indeed forested at some point. However, given the rain patterns on Madagascar's high plateau are not likely to support forest, seems the emergent canopy idea might not hold much water, no pun intended.

Why do I get the feeling this thread is about to just repeat itself........

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Brahea Axel

It's called picking seed from genetically superior specimens. Do you know what genetic variation is? Next your going to tell me there are no genetically superior plants and passing on their progeny comes with no benefits?

I am not telling you some tropical plant will all of a sudden grow in your backyard in a few generations by the way. But I have no doubt you can find a plant in a group in the wild that is stronger and more readily able to handle a change in environment - like a new requirement to handle full sun due to deforestation for example.

Am I missing something? I can't understand this argument, are you guys not saying essentially the same thing?

I've seen Rhopalostylis sapida germinating as thick as grass in dense rainforest under emergent/semi-emergent palms. I've also seen them germinating just as thickly under open palms in full sun sheep-grazed pasture, in what appears to be a totally different habitat. What does this prove? Not much, it seems to me. Maybe some of the seedlings die in full sun, and some die in deep shade? Who can tell, they come up so thickly. Equally with the alfredii, so seedlings grow in sun, and in shade. Either way its a nice palm and I am inspired to try growing some more.

What I really want to know is how much wind alfredii can tolerate? Any chance of coastal exposure, like a real cocos-replacement?

Yes we are saying the same thing now it would seem...it just takes a good debate to figure out that none of us know a damn thing!

By the way cant you Kiwi's ever think of anything but sheep - I dont want to make a cultural slur, but you've left yourself wide open Benny Boy.

Run, you sheep, and be scared....very scared...

Cheers,

Jonathan

Baaaa-ram-iouuuuu!

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Alberto

In a few generations all kind of crops can be selected for different enviroments. Why you think there are so many varieties in Soy beans, corn etc, etc

In Brazil there are now soybean varieties that can grow in Central and even north Brazil. This wasn´t economically viable and impossible a few years ago , and now destroying habitats will continue :-(

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Brahea Axel

In a few generations all kind of crops can be selected for different enviroments. Why you think there are so many varieties in Soy beans, corn etc, etc

In Brazil there are now soybean varieties that can grow in Central and even north Brazil. This wasn´t economically viable and impossible a few years ago , and now destroying habitats will continue :-(

Yes, I think we all agree on this. However, there's a big difference in between humans getting involved to do selection and breeding and when the process happens naturally. We have the ability to move around seed, get more seed, make selections, make crosses and make more plants. In the wild, it's much rougher. There is a much, much higher failure rate and thus it takes much longer.

Also, selection only has a lasting effect if you continue to breed based on the selections. I don't see that happen much with palms. Actually, the reverse is true, on many domesticated crops and palms, the genetic pool is too narrow, and there is a huge benefit to go back to the wild to collect seed and broaden the gene pool to provide better disease and climactic adaptation. Apples are a great case in point, to get disease resistance, they've been going back into the wild apple forests of Kazakhstan to select more stock for breeding out disease susceptibility.

To get a real natural adaptation you need a broad gene pool and a lot of time.

Well, all i know is my Alfredii grow in hot dry high heat and sun from tiny seedlings which i expect. I was in the habitat of alfredii when i went to madagascar and its a high plateau palm. Most of the plants in the area are aloes. Its definately not an emergent canopy palm.

There's a good chance you are right but you can't say that for sure unless you can turn the clock back many years and see if the area was indeed forested at some point. However, given the rain patterns on Madagascar's high plateau are not likely to support forest, seems the emergent canopy idea might not hold much water, no pun intended.

Why do I get the feeling this thread is about to just repeat itself........

Because when there are a lot of unknowns, there's also a lot of discussion. That's just the nature of the beast. Discussion is great. Assuming we know it all is not so great, especially when a palm has been in cultivation maybe 5 years. :)

Although on PalmTalk, people manage to generate massive threads even when talking about queen palms. :)

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palmislandRandy

The first 2 pics are what I have as B. alfredii & the 2nd two as B. windows. I'm sure of the windows, but am I correct on the alfredii? Thanks

Yep, the first two look like alfredii because of the weepy tips. The second two don't look like windows to me; I believe they're the no windows B. mad. At that size they should still be exhibiting the broad leaves if it were the former. Healthy looking palms, regardless..

It sure is a B windows. Here's a baby pic.

post-1035-0-23830500-1366128831_thumb.jp

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LJG

....especially when a palm has been in cultivation maybe 5 years. :)

This palm has been in cultivation longer. Mine has been in the ground for 6 years now. It was planted as a 15 gallon too.

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LJG

The first 2 pics are what I have as B. alfredii & the 2nd two as B. windows. I'm sure of the windows, but am I correct on the alfredii? Thanks

Yep, the first two look like alfredii because of the weepy tips. The second two don't look like windows to me; I believe they're the no windows B. mad. At that size they should still be exhibiting the broad leaves if it were the former. Healthy looking palms, regardless..

It sure is a B windows. Here's a baby pic.

It looked like Windows to me Randy. There are still a lot of fused leaflets and relaxed leaves in your current pics to make it Windows. If I could grow Windows to look green like yours, I would try again. It is very hard to grow here in SoCal.

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Brahea Axel

....especially when a palm has been in cultivation maybe 5 years. :)

This palm has been in cultivation longer. Mine has been in the ground for 6 years now. It was planted as a 15 gallon too.

Ok, let's say 10 years, still a long list of unknowns. I remember when people thought queen palms were tender palms for only low frost zones.

Please post a picture. If you started 6 years ago from a 15g, then it must be pretty darn big by now.

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palmislandRandy

The first 2 pics are what I have as B. alfredii & the 2nd two as B. windows. I'm sure of the windows, but am I correct on the alfredii? Thanks

Yep, the first two look like alfredii because of the weepy tips. The second two don't look like windows to me; I believe they're the no windows B. mad. At that size they should still be exhibiting the broad leaves if it were the former. Healthy looking palms, regardless..

It sure is a B windows. Here's a baby pic.

It looked like Windows to me Randy. There are still a lot of fused leaflets and relaxed leaves in your current pics to make it Windows. If I could grow Windows to look green like yours, I would try again. It is very hard to grow here in SoCal.

Len, The trick for me to keep these green is a liberal dose of Sequestrine 138 iron. Some around the base & sprinkle some right in the growing point. I got it for free from a local grower, because he couldn't keep them green in the pots & didn't want to deal with it. It was really pale when I planted it.

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LJG

....especially when a palm has been in cultivation maybe 5 years. :)

This palm has been in cultivation longer. Mine has been in the ground for 6 years now. It was planted as a 15 gallon too.

Ok, let's say 10 years, still a long list of unknowns. I remember when people thought queen palms were tender palms for only low frost zones.

Please post a picture. If you started 6 years ago from a 15g, then it must be pretty darn big by now.

Search PT. I posted a picture from last year a month or so ago. On iPhone now.

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richnorm

Ben I think wind will be our problem. I will stick one in damp shade and see what happens. I've seen Dypsis decipiens do really well in full shade and the best Ravenea xerophila that I have seen in NZ was similarly in full shade so sometimes it pays not to be a sheep, much as we love them.

Rich, someone told you that you couldn't grow Alfredii, Dypsis decipiens and Ravenea xerophila in shade?

No but there is a strong consensus that these are all full sun species. And I wouldn't argue with that either but on the basis that commonly held beliefs, my own included, are sometimes bullsh*t I feel it is worth experimenting with spare plants. Just exploring some ideas here.

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richnorm

Well, all i know is my Alfredii grow in hot dry high heat and sun from tiny seedlings which i expect. I was in the habitat of alfredii when i went to madagascar and its a high plateau palm. Most of the plants in the area are aloes. Its definately not an emergent canopy palm.

There's a good chance you are right but you can't say that for sure unless you can turn the clock back many years and see if the area was indeed forested at some point. However, given the rain patterns on Madagascar's high plateau are not likely to support forest, seems the emergent canopy idea might not hold much water, no pun intended.

This, again from Palms:

"In fact, B. alfredii experiences a

subhumid temperate climate (Cornet 1974),drier than that of the east of Madagascar. The
average temperature is 15–20ºC and the rainfall
generally less than 1500 mm. The dry season
is about five months long."
Of course once the vegetation changes the climate can also be altered, soils degrade etc.

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LJG

Ben I think wind will be our problem. I will stick one in damp shade and see what happens. I've seen Dypsis decipiens do really well in full shade and the best Ravenea xerophila that I have seen in NZ was similarly in full shade so sometimes it pays not to be a sheep, much as we love them.

Rich, someone told you that you couldn't grow Alfredii, Dypsis decipiens and Ravenea xerophila in shade?

No but there is a strong consensus that these are all full sun species. And I wouldn't argue with that either but on the basis that commonly held beliefs, my own included, are sometimes bullsh*t I feel it is worth experimenting with spare plants. Just exploring some ideas here.

I don't think any plant lover can argue against that. In fact I doubt I know a single palm grower that doesn't experiment with their plants. It comes with the territory.

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LJG

Len, The trick for me to keep these green is a liberal dose of Sequestrine 138 iron. Some around the base & sprinkle some right in the growing point. I got it for free from a local grower, because he couldn't keep them green in the pots & didn't want to deal with it. It was really pale when I planted it.

Thanks. Never heard of it but should track it down for use on some of my other palms. I have only used Ironite.

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Gtlevine

Someone posted that Dysis decipians does well in shade, but that is not true at all. When I planted my Dypsis decipians they were small plants. I fell in love with them after seeing many in shaded and coastal gardens. They were growing and pretty, one of them had ten foot leaves. Today my decipians have lots of trunk and all those shaded ones look the same. Because palms grow and live in the shade and have that shade green color, does not mean they grow good in the shade. Dypsis decipians and B Alfredii belong in full sun if you ever want to see one trunk in under 20 years. Gary

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Gtlevine

Ravenea xerophylla in the shade? plant a blue cycad instead, it will look similar and get the same size.

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palmislandRandy

Len, The trick for me to keep these green is a liberal dose of Sequestrine 138 iron. Some around the base & sprinkle some right in the growing point. I got it for free from a local grower, because he couldn't keep them green in the pots & didn't want to deal with it. It was really pale when I planted it.

Thanks. Never heard of it but should track it down for use on some of my other palms. I have only used Ironite.

I tried to use Ironite also. The problem is the uptake is blocked by my calcarous soil. If you can't find Sequestrine 138, try Sprint 138. It appears to be the same formula. This is from the manufacturer website; Sequestrene® 138 6% fully chelated EDDHA iron chelate helps prevent iron chlorosis by maintaining and protecting iron availability in the most challenging soils that are alkaline or calcareous. It prevents iron from binding with other compounds in the soil, allowing it to stay in a form readily available for plant use for improved plant quality.

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LJG

Thanks Randy. Tracking it down now.

On man Gary. You did it now. :)

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Jonathan

Someone posted that Dysis decipians does well in shade, but that is not true at all. When I planted my Dypsis decipians they were small plants. I fell in love with them after seeing many in shaded and coastal gardens. They were growing and pretty, one of them had ten foot leaves. Today my decipians have lots of trunk and all those shaded ones look the same. Because palms grow and live in the shade and have that shade green color, does not mean they grow good in the shade. Dypsis decipians and B Alfredii belong in full sun if you ever want to see one trunk in under 20 years. Gary

Good advice Gary, except that if I followed it at my place, my alfredii would be toasted by frost in the first winter.

In the long run I'd rather have a live, slow-growing palm in shade with the potential to get bigger, than a dead one with the potential only to rot.

Cheers,

Jonathan.

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Phoenikakias

Someone posted that Dysis decipians does well in shade, but that is not true at all. When I planted my Dypsis decipians they were small plants. I fell in love with them after seeing many in shaded and coastal gardens. They were growing and pretty, one of them had ten foot leaves. Today my decipians have lots of trunk and all those shaded ones look the same. Because palms grow and live in the shade and have that shade green color, does not mean they grow good in the shade. Dypsis decipians and B Alfredii belong in full sun if you ever want to see one trunk in under 20 years. Gary

Good advice Gary, except that if I followed it at my place, my alfredii would be toasted by frost in the first winter.

In the long run I'd rather have a live, slow-growing palm in shade with the potential to get bigger, than a dead one with the potential only to rot.

Cheers,

Jonathan.

It depends on the prevailing climatic conditions. In the cold-hardy section it has been recently almost unanimously accepted that DD at least when young does not tolerate well cold soil during winter (and that's the case when winter is constantly cool to cold even though without freezing temps), and this latter factor could also lead to the gradual decline of young plants. If this is also the case with B. alfredii then in such places full sun is a must. If on the other hand you fear of an occasional frost or excessive sun in summer, you'd better take extra protection measures during the suspicious period of year.

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sonoranfans

Someone posted that Dysis decipians does well in shade, but that is not true at all. When I planted my Dypsis decipians they were small plants. I fell in love with them after seeing many in shaded and coastal gardens. They were growing and pretty, one of them had ten foot leaves. Today my decipians have lots of trunk and all those shaded ones look the same. Because palms grow and live in the shade and have that shade green color, does not mean they grow good in the shade. Dypsis decipians and B Alfredii belong in full sun if you ever want to see one trunk in under 20 years. Gary

Good advice Gary, except that if I followed it at my place, my alfredii would be toasted by frost in the first winter.

In the long run I'd rather have a live, slow-growing palm in shade with the potential to get bigger, than a dead one with the potential only to rot.

Cheers,

Jonathan.

It depends on the prevailing climatic conditions. In the cold-hardy section it has been recently almost unanimously accepted that DD at least when young does not tolerate well cold soil during winter (and that's the case when winter is constantly cool to cold even though without freezing temps), and this latter factor could also lead to the gradual decline of young plants. If this is also the case with B. alfredii then in such places full sun is a must. If on the other hand you fear of an occasional frost or excessive sun in summer, you'd better take extra protection measures during the suspicious period of year.

In my experience alfredii takes every bit of the most intense sun florida can offer and does better for it compared to those in part shade. Also in the freeze section there appears to be some frost, but not necessarily so much temperature sensitivity of the young seedlings. Can a large juvenile take 25F and frost? It might be able to as the only fatality of a large juvenile was gallops 6 footer that was subjected to 21F and heavy frost. Young royals cannot take frost and 28F even, but mature royals all around my area, even those planted far away from any cover took that 28F and hard frost and fully recovered the following summer while the smaller ones invariably died. So I would say its possible that Jonathan may be able to grow alfredii in the open if frost cloth is used to protect them -while they are small- in winter. Clearly there are not enough data int he freeze section on the frost and even the cold hardiness of larger juvenile alfredii to determine frost/cold hardiness. As years go by we should find out more.

Edited by sonoranfans

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Brahea Axel

Someone posted that Dysis decipians does well in shade, but that is not true at all. When I planted my Dypsis decipians they were small plants. I fell in love with them after seeing many in shaded and coastal gardens. They were growing and pretty, one of them had ten foot leaves. Today my decipians have lots of trunk and all those shaded ones look the same. Because palms grow and live in the shade and have that shade green color, does not mean they grow good in the shade. Dypsis decipians and B Alfredii belong in full sun if you ever want to see one trunk in under 20 years. Gary

Good advice Gary, except that if I followed it at my place, my alfredii would be toasted by frost in the first winter.

In the long run I'd rather have a live, slow-growing palm in shade with the potential to get bigger, than a dead one with the potential only to rot.

Cheers,

Jonathan.

It depends on the prevailing climatic conditions. In the cold-hardy section it has been recently almost unanimously accepted that DD at least when young does not tolerate well cold soil during winter (and that's the case when winter is constantly cool to cold even though without freezing temps), and this latter factor could also lead to the gradual decline of young plants. If this is also the case with B. alfredii then in such places full sun is a must. If on the other hand you fear of an occasional frost or excessive sun in summer, you'd better take extra protection measures during the suspicious period of year.

I used to think that too when I first started to grow palms, but the last 17 years of palm growing have shown me that Winter sun is the least favorable for tender tropicals. I've experienced exactly the opposite. Winter sun hitting a plant that has cold feet is probably the best recipe for disaster. The sun angle is too low to really warm up the soil during the peak Winter months, but it's warm enough and at the right angle to cause leaves to try to metabolize when the roots aren't capable of supplying nutrients.

The best setup for a tropical plant that likes full sun is to give it a setup where it can get full sun in the Summer and as much shade as possible in the Winter. The shade will help the above ground portion to stay as inactive as possible while the roots aren't capable of functioning.

This is probably the #1 reason why I succeed with palms up here that others have failed with. I have a lot of large trees that maximize Winter shade in many parts of my garden while allowing full sun during the Summer. The sun angle drops the fastest during September while it's still warm, and palms start to slow down. By the time the real cold arrives, the palms are dormant and can handle a lot more cold. Spring provides a gradual increase in sun exposure, and as the soil warms up, the sun exposure increases. This is the most optimal setup.

Another circumstance where Winter sun can be clearly seen as detrimental is when you look at the freeze damage patterns. The south and east sides of palms and tropical trees are usually the places that damage first, because the sun hits the leaves first thing in the Morning and the tissue goes instantly from freezing to thawing and the plant cells can't take it.

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sonoranfans

Someone posted that Dysis decipians does well in shade, but that is not true at all. When I planted my Dypsis decipians they were small plants. I fell in love with them after seeing many in shaded and coastal gardens. They were growing and pretty, one of them had ten foot leaves. Today my decipians have lots of trunk and all those shaded ones look the same. Because palms grow and live in the shade and have that shade green color, does not mean they grow good in the shade. Dypsis decipians and B Alfredii belong in full sun if you ever want to see one trunk in under 20 years. Gary

Good advice Gary, except that if I followed it at my place, my alfredii would be toasted by frost in the first winter.

In the long run I'd rather have a live, slow-growing palm in shade with the potential to get bigger, than a dead one with the potential only to rot.

Cheers,

Jonathan.

It depends on the prevailing climatic conditions. In the cold-hardy section it has been recently almost unanimously accepted that DD at least when young does not tolerate well cold soil during winter (and that's the case when winter is constantly cool to cold even though without freezing temps), and this latter factor could also lead to the gradual decline of young plants. If this is also the case with B. alfredii then in such places full sun is a must. If on the other hand you fear of an occasional frost or excessive sun in summer, you'd better take extra protection measures during the suspicious period of year.

I used to think that too when I first started to grow palms, but the last 17 years of palm growing have shown me that Winter sun is the least favorable for tender tropicals. I've experienced exactly the opposite. Winter sun hitting a plant that has cold feet is probably the best recipe for disaster. The sun angle is too low to really warm up the soil during the peak Winter months, but it's warm enough and at the right angle to cause leaves to try to metabolize when the roots aren't capable of supplying nutrients.

The best setup for a tropical plant that likes full sun is to give it a setup where it can get full sun in the Summer and as much shade as possible in the Winter. The shade will help the above ground portion to stay as inactive as possible while the roots aren't capable of functioning.

This is probably the #1 reason why I succeed with palms up here that others have failed with. I have a lot of large trees that maximize Winter shade in many parts of my garden while allowing full sun during the Summer. The sun angle drops the fastest during September while it's still warm, and palms start to slow down. By the time the real cold arrives, the palms are dormant and can handle a lot more cold. Spring provides a gradual increase in sun exposure, and as the soil warms up, the sun exposure increases. This is the most optimal setup.

Another circumstance where Winter sun can be clearly seen as detrimental is when you look at the freeze damage patterns. The south and east sides of palms and tropical trees are usually the places that damage first, because the sun hits the leaves first thing in the Morning and the tissue goes instantly from freezing to thawing and the plant cells can't take it.

Actually my experience is is the same as Konstantinos, my most tender tropicals do best in a spot where they get early morning winter sun. My many(8) plumeria prove it as the ones with southeast exposure and direct sun have had much less winter damage than the ones that are shaded in winter and get sun in summer(northern exposure). Each year I cut back the cold damaged limbs and the extent is much greater in those in winter shade. It could be that something about your santa cruz weather/exposure is different.

Edited by sonoranfans

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Brahea Axel

Someone posted that Dysis decipians does well in shade, but that is not true at all. When I planted my Dypsis decipians they were small plants. I fell in love with them after seeing many in shaded and coastal gardens. They were growing and pretty, one of them had ten foot leaves. Today my decipians have lots of trunk and all those shaded ones look the same. Because palms grow and live in the shade and have that shade green color, does not mean they grow good in the shade. Dypsis decipians and B Alfredii belong in full sun if you ever want to see one trunk in under 20 years. Gary

Good advice Gary, except that if I followed it at my place, my alfredii would be toasted by frost in the first winter.

In the long run I'd rather have a live, slow-growing palm in shade with the potential to get bigger, than a dead one with the potential only to rot.

Cheers,

Jonathan.

It depends on the prevailing climatic conditions. In the cold-hardy section it has been recently almost unanimously accepted that DD at least when young does not tolerate well cold soil during winter (and that's the case when winter is constantly cool to cold even though without freezing temps), and this latter factor could also lead to the gradual decline of young plants. If this is also the case with B. alfredii then in such places full sun is a must. If on the other hand you fear of an occasional frost or excessive sun in summer, you'd better take extra protection measures during the suspicious period of year.

I used to think that too when I first started to grow palms, but the last 17 years of palm growing have shown me that Winter sun is the least favorable for tender tropicals. I've experienced exactly the opposite. Winter sun hitting a plant that has cold feet is probably the best recipe for disaster. The sun angle is too low to really warm up the soil during the peak Winter months, but it's warm enough and at the right angle to cause leaves to try to metabolize when the roots aren't capable of supplying nutrients.

The best setup for a tropical plant that likes full sun is to give it a setup where it can get full sun in the Summer and as much shade as possible in the Winter. The shade will help the above ground portion to stay as inactive as possible while the roots aren't capable of functioning.

This is probably the #1 reason why I succeed with palms up here that others have failed with. I have a lot of large trees that maximize Winter shade in many parts of my garden while allowing full sun during the Summer. The sun angle drops the fastest during September while it's still warm, and palms start to slow down. By the time the real cold arrives, the palms are dormant and can handle a lot more cold. Spring provides a gradual increase in sun exposure, and as the soil warms up, the sun exposure increases. This is the most optimal setup.

Another circumstance where Winter sun can be clearly seen as detrimental is when you look at the freeze damage patterns. The south and east sides of palms and tropical trees are usually the places that damage first, because the sun hits the leaves first thing in the Morning and the tissue goes instantly from freezing to thawing and the plant cells can't take it.

Actually my experience is is the same as Konstantinos, my most tender tropicals do best in a spot where they get early morning winter sun. My many(8) plumeria prove it as the ones with southeast exposure and direct sun have had much less winter damage than the ones that are shaded in winter and get sun in summer(northern exposure). Each year I cut back the cold damaged limbs and the extent is much greater in those in winter shade. It could be that something about your santa cruz weather/exposure is different.

Sonorafans, with all due respect what you call Winter we call Summer. We are dealing with a completely different degree of cold here. :)

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sonoranfans

Someone posted that Dysis decipians does well in shade, but that is not true at all. When I planted my Dypsis decipians they were small plants. I fell in love with them after seeing many in shaded and coastal gardens. They were growing and pretty, one of them had ten foot leaves. Today my decipians have lots of trunk and all those shaded ones look the same. Because palms grow and live in the shade and have that shade green color, does not mean they grow good in the shade. Dypsis decipians and B Alfredii belong in full sun if you ever want to see one trunk in under 20 years. Gary

Good advice Gary, except that if I followed it at my place, my alfredii would be toasted by frost in the first winter.

In the long run I'd rather have a live, slow-growing palm in shade with the potential to get bigger, than a dead one with the potential only to rot.

Cheers,

Jonathan.

It depends on the prevailing climatic conditions. In the cold-hardy section it has been recently almost unanimously accepted that DD at least when young does not tolerate well cold soil during winter (and that's the case when winter is constantly cool to cold even though without freezing temps), and this latter factor could also lead to the gradual decline of young plants. If this is also the case with B. alfredii then in such places full sun is a must. If on the other hand you fear of an occasional frost or excessive sun in summer, you'd better take extra protection measures during the suspicious period of year.

I used to think that too when I first started to grow palms, but the last 17 years of palm growing have shown me that Winter sun is the least favorable for tender tropicals. I've experienced exactly the opposite. Winter sun hitting a plant that has cold feet is probably the best recipe for disaster. The sun angle is too low to really warm up the soil during the peak Winter months, but it's warm enough and at the right angle to cause leaves to try to metabolize when the roots aren't capable of supplying nutrients.

The best setup for a tropical plant that likes full sun is to give it a setup where it can get full sun in the Summer and as much shade as possible in the Winter. The shade will help the above ground portion to stay as inactive as possible while the roots aren't capable of functioning.

This is probably the #1 reason why I succeed with palms up here that others have failed with. I have a lot of large trees that maximize Winter shade in many parts of my garden while allowing full sun during the Summer. The sun angle drops the fastest during September while it's still warm, and palms start to slow down. By the time the real cold arrives, the palms are dormant and can handle a lot more cold. Spring provides a gradual increase in sun exposure, and as the soil warms up, the sun exposure increases. This is the most optimal setup.

Another circumstance where Winter sun can be clearly seen as detrimental is when you look at the freeze damage patterns. The south and east sides of palms and tropical trees are usually the places that damage first, because the sun hits the leaves first thing in the Morning and the tissue goes instantly from freezing to thawing and the plant cells can't take it.

Actually my experience is is the same as Konstantinos, my most tender tropicals do best in a spot where they get early morning winter sun. My many(8) plumeria prove it as the ones with southeast exposure and direct sun have had much less winter damage than the ones that are shaded in winter and get sun in summer(northern exposure). Each year I cut back the cold damaged limbs and the extent is much greater in those in winter shade. It could be that something about your santa cruz weather/exposure is different.

Sonorafans, with all due respect what you call Winter we call Summer. We are dealing with a completely different degree of cold here. :)

28F in summer there eh axel? I lived in san jose for a year (2011-2012), dont recall summers being that cold... Matter of fact I dont recall anything below 28F...

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ghar41

My enthusiasm for alfredii has been tempered a bit with time.

Alfredii can indeed take intense sun and 100 plus dry heat here as seedlings no problem (if watered).

Frost, on the other hand is trouble here. My only survivors have been under cover.

Seedlings at least must have canopy. They do seem to tolerate cold if not directly exposed to frost.

I would certainly encourage more trials in northern California, but recommend frost protection at least for a few years.

Bob, I tend to agree with you on this palm.

But I am thinking that my palms, purchased from 2 different people are 2 different var of palm.

2 do great in my garden... though they are planted in soil mixed with peat and are close to other plants..

The other 2 look like crap.

Jeff

I agree with both of you. It does great in the frost if its under shade cloth, ok if its real close to the house, and gets beat up if fully exposed. Same problem with yellowing here also in our soil.

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Brahea Axel

Sonorafans, with all due respect what you call Winter we call Summer. We are dealing with a completely different degree of cold here. :)

28F in summer there eh axel? I lived in san jose for a year (2011-2012), dont recall summers being that cold... Matter of fact I dont recall anything below 28F...

This isn't about frost, it's about the lack of Winter daytime heat, which is not an issue in Arizona or Florida. In Florida you may dip into the freezing range and have a few days that don't top the mid 40's during the day, but it rebounds pretty quickly back into a warm range. No such luck here in Norcal, average daytime Winter highs are 61F. If your daytime Winter highs are in the 70's, then yes, more southern exposure is always better.

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