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Canopy palms for 9a

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sonoranfans

While my yard is a 9B yard, I did grow palms for 10 years in 9a, gilbert az, with lows of 21F. One of the successful strategies for improving survivability of palms that are marginal in your zone is to grow some overhead canopy. An overhead canopy can be grown with non palms, but I find a mixed canopy more interesting. Canopy can allow you a chance to push 1/2 a zone, in my experience, by trapping heat and preventing heavy frost. Many yards in florida use the live oak as an effective canopy tree. I have some of these, but I don't want a yard full of live oak. So I thought it would be a good idea to discuss some canopy palms with the following :

1) 9a or better cold tolerance

2) medium to fast growth, walk under canopy in ~ 10 years +/- from a 5 gallon(no sabal palmetto here, too slow)

I currently have the following:

1) sabal uresana: fast enough, nice color, big palm that is reportedly very cold tolerant

2) livistona decora: fits the bill in every way, plus drop dead gorgeous as an adult

3) sabal domingensis: looks plenty fast and its a pretty self cleaning sabal that gets huge

4) cocoid hybrids: gotta love these. I have x-jubutiagrus, and x-butiagrus, both are very fast

5) phoenix sylvestris: it'll hurt you if you're not careful and maybe even if your are. But this is the fastest non hybrid feather for 9a, and it gets a thick crown with hundred leaves or more. Plus you get a nice silver green color.

Those are my current canopy species, a palm canopy in the making, good to 9a. It would be interesting and perhaps helpful to many to understand what some of you have done. Do you use some of the same species? Different ones?

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sonoranfans

My phoenix sylvestris august 2010 just three months after planting as a 7 gallon and in may 2013, almost 3 years later. In the first pic you have to look a little close to see the sylvestris, its on the right, just to the right of the black soaker hose.

Edited by sonoranfans

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pfancy

Man that thing is blasting. Mine are slow here and maybe a bit more blue. L Australis,decora, mariae, and ridgida,Phoenix hybrid and dactys,acrocomia, butiagrus, and bizzies are all working their way skyward at a good pace here.

post-5751-0-04400000-1374987565_thumb.jp

Phx robi x rupi to the best of my knowledge. Grows like weed. Five feet in two years.

post-5751-0-12531900-1374988136_thumb.jp

A little bronzed post Big Chill-on the left

Edited by pfancy

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Kailua_Krish

I use the palms youve listed, others in their genera, and a variety of queen palms (Abreojos, Uruguay, Santa Catarina, and ones from different stores at different times) for my palm canopy. Outside of that Ive planted some of the evergreen flowering Magnolias from china and a Tipuana to try to make mine more of a blended landscape, as an all palm canopy sticks out like a sore thumb in my part of Florida.

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Mauna Kea Cloudforest

Livistona nitida is perhaps the fastest canopy maker besides decora. Phoenix take a little longer but they make a much more massive canopy.

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zootropical

Livistona nitida is perhaps the fastest canopy maker besides decora. Phoenix take a little longer but they make a much more massive canopy.

Do you think L. nitida is faster than Washingtonia robusta?

Here I planted Washingtonia robusta 2 years ago. They start to form nice palms now. This specie is less sensitive to palm weevil and Paysandia butterfly here. Phoenix or Trachycarpus are too sensitives and are like magnets for parasites.

Edited by zootropical

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sonoranfans

Livistona nitida is perhaps the fastest canopy maker besides decora. Phoenix take a little longer but they make a much more massive canopy.

Do you think L. nitida is faster than Washingtonia robusta?

Here I planted Washingtonia robusta 2 years ago. They start to form nice palms now. This specie is less sensitive to palm weevil and Paysandia butterfly here. Phoenix or Trachycarpus are too sensitives and are like magnets for parasites.

In the right(warm) climate w robusta is the probably fastest fan palm. But it has such a small crown, I doubt it would be of much use in making canopy. they also get so tall(80') that they end up only providing shade for very narrow sun angles. A decora(or nitida) is a much wider crown that will provide better coverage.

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Phoenikakias

Livistona nitida is perhaps the fastest canopy maker besides decora. Phoenix take a little longer but they make a much more massive canopy.

Do you think L. nitida is faster than Washingtonia robusta?

Here I planted Washingtonia robusta 2 years ago. They start to form nice palms now. This specie is less sensitive to palm weevil and Paysandia butterfly here. Phoenix or Trachycarpus are too sensitives and are like magnets for parasites.

Also Livistona spss are sensitive here to paysandisia. But this bug truely loves high temps and the higher they are the more active it gets!

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Phoenikakias

Another ideal canopy making palm would be from my perspective a cultivar of CIDP (most probably hybrid) with especially long, not curving fronds. It grows rapidly and is fairly resistant to wet and cold plus it is said to be also more resistant to frost (-12 C in contrast to -8 for normal CIDP). This cultivar produces fruits that turn from green to red and when fully ripe to black. Most people name all forms of CIDP looking plants, which bear red dates, P. porphyrocarpa but I do not know whether all exemplaries with this trait have common also all other traits. I am speaking of a particular subform that has especially long leaves, maybe 11/2 to 2 times longer than a regular CIDP of same size. With 4 such plants you can create a canopy covering about 100 sq meters.

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sarasota alex

Tom I would also recommend a Sabal mauritiiformis. When it comes to creating canopy, no Sabal does it better. It also happens to be one of the fastest growing and I think would do just fine in 9b.

Technically a Bismarck would be a good choice, with one drawback. It's self-cleaning. To me it would be a problem for a canopy palm when you don't have any control over those heavy leaves falling and crushing smaller palms.

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sonoranfans

Tom I would also recommend a Sabal mauritiiformis. When it comes to creating canopy, no Sabal does it better. It also happens to be one of the fastest growing and I think would do just fine in 9b.

Technically a Bismarck would be a good choice, with one drawback. It's self-cleaning. To me it would be a problem for a canopy palm when you don't have any control over those heavy leaves falling and crushing smaller palms.

Yes alex I can certainly agree on those for 9b, I have a 11' mauritiiformis and two bizzies that I use for exactly that. Perhaps I titled the topic too narrowly as canopy palms for 9a and below. Good information for 9b ers who want to have a diverse canopy. Sabal mauritiiformis is a gorgeous sabal when in part shade, and mine is but still manages to protect heliconia and plumeria. About the bizzie, I kind of like self cleaning, I don't want to be up on a ladder trying to cut those huge fronds off from below. :bemused: But yes planting under a bizzie comes with a risk.

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