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VLyn

I thought MULES were hardy?

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palm tree man

It is a real winner then my friend, you were very fortunate to get one.

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Sandy Loam

Hello VLynn,

I am going to agree with everything MNorell said above, but will respectfully differ with him on two points regarding palms for your region, Panama City, FL. Please feel free to correct me, anyone, if you think I am wrong.

Based on what my friends in Lynn Haven tell me (a suburb of Panama City), the Gainesville, FL climate is generally pretty similar to yours. I don't know anything about the weather in Natchez, MS (MNorrell's home) and I understand that this January was exceptionally brutal in your region, but in Gainesville queen palms are considered permanent landscape features and appear by the dozen in practically every part of town. A know of a couple of queen palms in Gainesville that were defoliated and killed by the big freezes of 2009/2010, but those freezes were allegedly the worst since 1989. The vast majority of queens survived the 2009/2010 freezes even though many looked toasted and some lost their fronds completely. I even know of one canary island date palm that was killed by the 2009/2010 freezes in Gainesville. That is unusual.

Also, from what I could see in Gainesville, the Phoenix Sylvestris (Sylvester Palms) were not defoliated by the great freezes of 2009/2010. There were some toasted-looking fronds, but I did not see any killed -- although I could be mistaken. In fact, it appeared to me that they were doing better than the Phoenix Canariensis (Canary Island Date Palms), even though the latter is supposed to be very slightly more cold-hardy.

In Tallahassee, the experience was harsher in 2009/2010, as it always it is because it is farther from the Gulf of Mexico. Your low temperatures would not be as bad as Tallahassee's because you are right on the Gulf. Tallahassee, by the way, is a place where you see very few queen palms, perhaps because winters there are harsher for some reason.

Just my 2 cents worth --- I would not rule out Sylvester Palms if you like the way they look. In my opinion, they should be a long-term landscape palm for your region. A quick overnight blast of 18F does not seem to bother them much.

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ricky
DoomsDave

Ah, VLyn, see why we love this forum?

So, do what you decide, then, please let us know what happens, good or bad.

You've had a great consult by the Freeze Warriors!

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NorthFlpalmguy

I agree with Sandy Loam on the assumption of PC beach and Gainesville's climate being similar as I work in PC/PC Beach all the time and lived in G-ville for college. The slyvesters are much more popular and do seem to be hardier. I love their look. The problem with the mules is you never know what side the hybrid is going to take when it comes to hardiness and most seem to be crossed down in South/Central Fl.

I acutally have never seen a queen before in PC/PC beach but rarely go off the main roads.

Edited by bbrantley

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palm tree man

I agree a mule can be a blessing or a curse. You really have to check out the source and the parental material. Some of the tougher queens "silver, santa c." are just as hardy as some mule palms. Appearance of the mule makes no difference either. The most elegant, tropical appearing mule can be the most hardy and the most butia-like, tough, rugged mule can be just as wimpy as the very worst queen palm. I would like to agree with Sandy Loam and also add to his statement that many don't give their queen palms the benefit of the doubt or try to treat the growth spear and bud with peroxide or an anti-fungal agent. Most will push a new spear as soon as the weather gets warm again and in the South we can go from cold to hot in less than twelve hours. I have had even seedlings come back after being defoliated; queens are not as fragile as we often think. I liken them to W. robusta on many levels. They will burn and defoliate but will come back if taken care of not always but many times.

Edited by palm tree man

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