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Brahea Axel

Death toll

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Brahea Axel

Hmmm, a chunk of the experiments I planted are now dead, and it's not even January. Not to mention we've had some spectacular weather, with ample 70's and 80's. My upper hillside had two nights of 31F, that's it. Despite the mild Winter, the death toll continues to rise. These are all victims of high chill and cold soil. The hillside is also in mostly shade in the Winter, so tends to remain colder.

None of these failures are surprises, but it was worth it to try.

- dypsis lastelliana highland form, Len warned me, this is borderline in Socal, not even close up here.

- dypsis orange crush, I hear out of hundreds of plantings in Socal, only a few specimens are known, so again, marginal in Socal, not even close here.

- copernicia hospita, three potted specimens now dead, two potted specimens left along with one in the ground still alive on the hillside in the shade, but once the Spring sun is overhead, it will die too. Once again, I was warned. No loss, the seedlings were all cheap.

- livistona carinensis, the specimen at the Huntington is almost dead, this is a tough grow in Socal, not a chance here.

- livistona lorophylla, didn't even get out of the gate on this one, spear pull in the pot.

- hyphane coriacea, went from perfect to completely dried up after two days of 85F during the Xmas week.

- dypsis schottiana, small seedling died before Winter even started.

On death row:

- beccariophoenix "windows", two specimens dead already last October, two left in the ground that will surely die. They look good now but will probably croak once the strong Spring sun is overhead.

Disappointing yellowing:

- beccariophoenix alfredii, new leaf just opened and showing signs of cold stress, very disappointing, may need to do some Winter fertilizing

- kentiopsis oliviformis, showing signs of getting lighter green

- dypsis betafaka, looks sickly light green

Showing zero sign of failure:

- dypsis slick willie

- dypsis prestoniana

- dypsis robusta

- dypsis paludosa

- dypsis heteromorpha

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Phoenikakias

Axel, I am compelled to disagree with part of your practice with new palms. There is one vital thing in handling marginal palms called acclimatization. I fear you do not grant those palms all possible chances, so that they will make through your winter. In your place I would let marginal palms spend at least two years in a cold frame, then outplant them providing them another two years an elemantary shelter during winter. This can not guarantee success anyway, but it creates better conditions for a good start. I understand besides that lack of adequate warmth during your summer may be responsible for minimal new growth for many palms, but has it ever crossed your mind that cool summer may be compensated in terms of new growth if such palms are helped to retain their canopy through previous winter and gradually increase it year after year? All previous has been said in very good will.

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Xhoniwaters1

Axel that's good feedback. Thankfully I've only seen 32 as my ultimate low so far but have had plenty of days this month where the temps have failed to reach 60 degrees. My B. alfredii still looks good. Foxtails are struggling. K. oliviformis has done the same thing-gone brownish green. Dypsis mahajanga is good.

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Brahea Axel

Axel, I am compelled to disagree with part of your practice with new palms. There is one vital thing in handling marginal palms called acclimatization. I fear you do not grant those palms all possible chances, so that they will make through your winter. In your place I would let marginal palms spend at least two years in a cold frame, then outplant them providing them another two years an elemantary shelter during winter. This can not guarantee success anyway, but it creates better conditions for a good start. I understand besides that lack of adequate warmth during your summer may be responsible for minimal new growth for many palms, but has it ever crossed your mind that cool summer may be compensated in terms of new growth if such palms are helped to retain their canopy through previous winter and gradually increase it year after year? All previous has been said in very good will.

You're right, but I have a large garden with a large palm collection and limited time. I have to choose my battles in the garden, and building a cold frame for palms just isn't in the cards. One practice I plan on correcting is to grow specimens to some size in the greenhouse before planting them out. I wasn't able to do that up to now because I didn't have a greenhouse. But I finally got one, and that's where I plan to nurse some marginal stuff to bigger size.

However, some of these palms display such poor cold tolerance that I won't be bothering with them. I won't be growing dypsis "orange crush" and some other marginal dypsis. If something is marginal in Southern California, it's not worth growiong here at all. I spoke to a couple of growers who told me of the thousands of "orange crush"and "carlsmithi" that got sold in Southern California, yet there are no more than a handful of successes. Livistona cariensis and lorophylla are total wastes of time, I saw the cariensis at the Huntington, it's half dead at this point. These are pointless here in Norcal.

However, I plan on continuing to test some marginals. For example, hyphane and medemia, these are plants that I believe can be acclimated here to survive in the Winter. Same with dypsis schottiana, I just need some bigger specimens to make them work.

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Sutter Bob

A very cold but very dry December here. Numerous mornings below freezing but with light frost and relatively warm afternoons.

Got my first Lapageria blossom for Christmas but completely lost all 3 Stictocardia.

As for the palms:

Greatest damage so far to two small Parajubaea torallyi out in the open with no help. Also Phoenix roebellini in pot left out in open looks awful.

A P. torallyi under tall pine tree is fine. One Beccariophoenix alfredii in less than ideal spot helped with C9s took a hit but two in better locations ok.

I'm surprised at how well many things are doing. All four Dypsis decipiens look fine with just a little help here and there.

Five Ravenea xerophila and two Dypsis betafaka continue to look very promising here.

One Betafaka has great red emergent foliage with just a little browning of the leaflet tips.

A small Dypsis ambositrae in a fine spot looks quite good.

Just planted a 15 gallon Bismarckia that I got for Christmas (my son drove it up from San Diego).

I'm very optimistic (?crazy - my fourth or fifth try) since I've never started with one this big.

I think conditions might be right this winter with dry soil from the drought.

Thanks for the update Axel, hope to try some of the other Dypsis some day.

Might not turn out to be too bad of a winter for the palms (due to the dryness of the soil and atmosphere), but hope we get some water soon.

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Alicehunter2000

Tyler, if you are ever over this way, come by and check out what I got growing. I would like to hear what you are experimenting with over there.

Axel, I assume your DD are doing fine? also how about J. caffra and Nanno's....would be interested in any updates on these.

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Brahea Axel

The massacre continues. I toured the garden after coming back from Socal, there are a few more things heading into decline. I discovered that the cyphophoenix elegans is loosing lower fronds at a rapid rate, at this rate only the spear will remain in about another couple of weeks. This thing will not make it. I pulled on the spear, still firm. In contrast, cyphophoenix nucele still going very strong. Seems like a hardier much cooler growing palm to me than elegans.

The third of the beccariophoenix 'windows' rotted. Spear pull, the whole thing is toast. Oh well. One more still standing, on the hill where it only got to 31F.

Tyler, if you are ever over this way, come by and check out what I got growing. I would like to hear what you are experimenting with over there.

Axel, I assume your DD are doing fine? also how about J. caffra and Nanno's....would be interested in any updates on these.

DD are perfect, J. Caffra pushing new spears, Nanno green form is doing well. I don't consider these marginal here at all. When it comes to hardy palms, the only hardy palm giving me trouble is a sabal bermudana that seems to be some sort of infected specimen that must have some sort of fungus, it's not doing well at all, it had bud rot in the Summer, and hasn't grown much. I will probably yank it.

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Xhoniwaters1

10-4 on that David. I am rarely that far down the highway but if I am ever going to be in the vicinity I will shoot you a PM. As far as experiments not much yet. Everything is still pretty small. I just planted a 5 gal P. sunkah that should do well. I also have a few small Dypsis ambositrae that are looking really good despite the cooler weather. I have a Cyphophoenix elegans that is good. As far as my foxtails are concerned, I think it is a combination of the cooler weather and the fact that after about 3 feet down, it's nothing but beach sand. I get a sense they don't like that. Maybe over time they will grow out of it. Trying to keep the soil amended.

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Phoenikakias

Axel, I am compelled to disagree with part of your practice with new palms. There is one vital thing in handling marginal palms called acclimatization. I fear you do not grant those palms all possible chances, so that they will make through your winter. In your place I would let marginal palms spend at least two years in a cold frame, then outplant them providing them another two years an elemantary shelter during winter. This can not guarantee success anyway, but it creates better conditions for a good start. I understand besides that lack of adequate warmth during your summer may be responsible for minimal new growth for many palms, but has it ever crossed your mind that cool summer may be compensated in terms of new growth if such palms are helped to retain their canopy through previous winter and gradually increase it year after year? All previous has been said in very good will.

You're right, but I have a large garden with a large palm collection and limited time. I have to choose my battles in the garden, and building a cold frame for palms just isn't in the cards. One practice I plan on correcting is to grow specimens to some size in the greenhouse before planting them out. I wasn't able to do that up to now because I didn't have a greenhouse. But I finally got one, and that's where I plan to nurse some marginal stuff to bigger size.

However, some of these palms display such poor cold tolerance that I won't be bothering with them. I won't be growing dypsis "orange crush" and some other marginal dypsis. If something is marginal in Southern California, it's not worth growiong here at all. I spoke to a couple of growers who told me of the thousands of "orange crush"and "carlsmithi" that got sold in Southern California, yet there are no more than a handful of successes. Livistona cariensis and lorophylla are total wastes of time, I saw the cariensis at the Huntington, it's half dead at this point. These are pointless here in Norcal.

However, I plan on continuing to test some marginals. For example, hyphane and medemia, these are plants that I believe can be acclimated here to survive in the Winter. Same with dypsis schottiana, I just need some bigger specimens to make them work.

For the rapid growth method a greenhouse may prove useful. Nevertheless a cold frame remains valuable in your climate for the first stage of hardening off if you still want to avoid a post greenhouse shrink or shock death during first winter outdoors.

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Xhoniwaters1

So I wanted to note on this chilly New Years morning that my in ground brownish green Kentiopsis oliviformis is indeed showing some winter wear, but I am concluding that it is from winter sun and not from the cool wet weather that has been bestowed upon me for the last 2 weeks and counting. I discovered that the 1 gallons I have under shade cloth look to be in perfect condition. :bemused: Thank you and happy growing your palmage into the new year.

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George Sparkman

Showing zero sign of failure:

- dypsis slick willie

- dypsis prestoniana

- dypsis robusta

- dypsis paludosa

- dypsis heteromorpha

Axel, what size are the 5 Dypsis species you have listed as doing well ?

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Brahea Axel

Showing zero sign of failure:

- dypsis slick willie

- dypsis prestoniana

- dypsis robusta

- dypsis paludosa

- dypsis heteromorpha

Axel, what size are the 5 Dypsis species you have listed as doing well ?

- dypsis slick willie - tiny 5 inch seedling with divided leaves

- dypsis prestoniana - 12 inches tall, divided leaves

- dypsis robusta - 30 inches tall, divided leaves

- dypsis paludosa - 2 1/2 feet tall, divided leaves

- dypsis heteromorpha - 2 feet tall, divided leaves

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Brahea Axel

Death toll continues, dypsis utilis, spear pull, this one definitely didn't die from frost, it just gave out from too many hours in the 38-45F range. It's not necessarily the species, though, this one was a fresh planting last Fall from Floribunda. I have one more in the ground that is doing ok, this one was planted in the Spring.

Bentickia condama, spear pull, small plant that was in a shaded protected spot in between two buildings, nothing lower than 40F there, but still it's just too cold.

One small Euterpe edulis croaked as well. Came from Hawaii in the Fall. Oh well, that will be my last ever Fall Floribunda order. Most of the palms that croaked this WInter came from the Fall order.

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Ben in Norcal

I have an Euterpe Edulis from Jungle Music that is so far, so good Axel...even here in Contra Costa...and dangerously just in ground in fall. I am feeling very lucky so far with my lowest reading at 30 even during our early December cold snap. Fingers crossed...

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Brahea Axel

I have an Euterpe Edulis from Jungle Music that is so far, so good Axel...even here in Contra Costa...and dangerously just in ground in fall. I am feeling very lucky so far with my lowest reading at 30 even during our early December cold snap. Fingers crossed...

Anything 5g or bigger is fine here. This was a small one about 6 inches tall.

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Jonathan

A very cold but very dry December here. Numerous mornings below freezing but with light frost and relatively warm afternoons.

Got my first Lapageria blossom for Christmas but completely lost all 3 Stictocardia.

As for the palms:

Greatest damage so far to two small Parajubaea torallyi out in the open with no help. Also Phoenix roebellini in pot left out in open looks awful.

A P. torallyi under tall pine tree is fine. One Beccariophoenix alfredii in less than ideal spot helped with C9s took a hit but two in better locations ok.

Bob,

Are you sure that the damaged Parajubaea's are torallyi?

My winters sound a bit like yours - cold frosty mornings (down to -3C, 26/27F), clear sunny afternoons, and I've found torallyi to be absolutely bullet proof.

Even in the most open and exposed positions with direct frost exposure I've never had any damage on these...cocoides on the other hand, different story!!

Just wondering whether they may be mis-labled cocoides?

Cheers,

Jonathan

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Sutter Bob

Jonathan,

Wish I had a better memory and was more compulsive about recording things.

I believe at least two of the three Parajubaea that were growing in the fall came from the same reliable source and were both sold as torallyi. One might have come from another source but almost sure was also sold as torallyi.

The one growing under canopy and at least one growing in the open were both purchased as torallyi from the same source, although the one under canopy at least a year earlier than that in the open.

The oldest of the two in the open made it through last winter with considerable damage, starting growing, had a spear pull, and started growing again.

It was just coming around when it got clobbered by the December cold. Looks awful now.

The other one was started out last spring and didn't grow much but looked good. Also looks awful now.

The site where these are planted is not ideal. Formerly large pines had been growing there but they were removed several years ago and the roots left to rot, so considerable fungal growth is occurring in that area. In spite of that, numerous Brahea clara seeds which I scattered on the ground last spring have sprouted like wildfire.

A Jubaea in the same region is also struggling a bit. A larger Jubaea that I planted at my parents home in sandy loam at the same time is taking off like a rocket.

I would eventually like to get a P. torallyi growing in the open here, since the other one will be crashing into its cover in a few years. I think its doable but I would probably baby the seedlings a bit more in the future.

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Phoenikakias

Jonathan,

Wish I had a better memory and was more compulsive about recording things.

I believe at least two of the three Parajubaea that were growing in the fall came from the same reliable source and were both sold as torallyi. One might have come from another source but almost sure was also sold as torallyi.

The one growing under canopy and at least one growing in the open were both purchased as torallyi from the same source, although the one under canopy at least a year earlier than that in the open.

The oldest of the two in the open made it through last winter with considerable damage, starting growing, had a spear pull, and started growing again.

It was just coming around when it got clobbered by the December cold. Looks awful now.

The other one was started out last spring and didn't grow much but looked good. Also looks awful now.

The site where these are planted is not ideal. Formerly large pines had been growing there but they were removed several years ago and the roots left to rot, so considerable fungal growth is occurring in that area. In spite of that, numerous Brahea clara seeds which I scattered on the ground last spring have sprouted like wildfire.

A Jubaea in the same region is also struggling a bit. A larger Jubaea that I planted at my parents home in sandy loam at the same time is taking off like a rocket.

I would eventually like to get a P. torallyi growing in the open here, since the other one will be crashing into its cover in a few years. I think its doable but I would probably baby the seedlings a bit more in the future.

Decaying wood absorbs enormous quantities of nitrogen from the soil.

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Jonathan

Yeah, I was just wondering about the roots, particularly pines, which would probably acidify the soil.

Maybe the less than ideal growing conditions have compromised the palms ability to withstand low temps?

Interesting.

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Phoenikakias

Yeah, I was just wondering about the roots, particularly pines, which would probably acidify the soil.

Maybe the less than ideal growing conditions have compromised the palms ability to withstand low temps?

Interesting.

This is a Phoenix specimen growing in the position of a huge pine tree in the past. Yellow lower fronds may well mean magmesium deficiency (due to over acidification?) or nitrogen feficiency?

post-6141-0-93740900-1389009633_thumb.jppost-6141-0-03482400-1389009660_thumb.jp

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Jonathan

Or both - who knows, it's not happy either way - it needs some lovin' dude!

Hit it with some seaweed and nitrogen and see what happens?

Cheers,

Jonathan

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