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_Keith

Cold Hardy Palm List.

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willials

Hi Keith,

I'll poke holes in this one for you gladly. Obviously whoever wrote this list was not from my area (Seattle)...

Chamaerops humilis Mediterranean Fan Palm 5

While a Med. fan palm may be able to take a (dry) 5 degrees once or twice, I am very confident it wouldn't survive 5F of wet cold like we have here in Seattle. Mine are all leaf burnt and completely brown although no spear pull yet and our coldest days so far this Winter have been 16 F and 18F. The rest of the days have been in the mid to high 20s and only about 14 days of temps significantly below freezing at night so far.

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njoasis

I am surprised to see T. martianus listed as hardy to 5.0 above F. Can anyone confirm that? I can get away with fortunei in my zone, but thought martianus was much less hardy, but if hardy to 5.0, that would be doable.

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Xerarch

Many of these look like "survive only" temps, not temps at which it will start to take damage. It looks like these temps will completely defoliate the listed palm, and then the palm might pull through and survive.

Edited by Xerarch

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Turtile

The writer is a member here!

I also just finished a list here but it doesn't include every palm, just the ones that I'm more familiar.

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Brahea Axel

This is a nice list. Who wants to poke holes in the temperatures listed?

http://www.hardiestpalms.com/ColdHardyPalmList.htm

This list is out in la la land for quite a few species. Probably a lot of wishful thinking on the part of TJ Walters who lives in a cold place, he's a member of PalmTalk, there's no excuse for this list. It does get relatively accurate only towards the bottom with the Chilean wine palm being one of the only accurate rating. Of course some of the ratings could be ok if you said "palm totally trashed at that temp and 10 years later it might resume growth with a 5 out of hundred chance."

Come on TJ, you can do better than that, don't mis-inform the public, it's not honest and it's detrimental to the cause.

I did some edits, ran out of steam, not entirely sure about the exact numbers, but at least I pointed out the horrible mis-information on those that are rated way higher than they are. Trachy martianus is probably the worst one being off by about 20F, it's a 9b palm.

Rhapidophyllum hystrix Needle Palm -20 Under snow cover maybe

Sabal minor Dwarf Palmetto -5? Not a chance, but maybe for a very, very short duration

Trachycarpus takil Kumaon Palm -5 No way, not on this planet, a lie

Serenoa repens Saw Palmetto -5

Trachycarpus wagnerianus Miniature Chusan Palm -3 Totally untrue, not even remotely close, much more tender than that

Trachycarpus fortunei Chusan Palm, Windmill Palm 0 Ironically, this is the hardiest, should be at the top, typically -5F to 0F but record of −17.5 °F in Bulgaria, See Wikipedia

Chamaerops humilis Mediterranean Fan Palm 5 Perhaps a dry 10F

Trachycarpus martianus Khasia Palm 5 No way, never ever will it survive 5F, try 15-20F, starts to show damage at 27F

Sabal etonia Scrub Palmetto 5 Wow, one that's actually right

Sabal palmetto Cabbage Palmetto 7 Safe rating is 10-15F but there are reports even below 7F

Trithrinax campestris Campestre Palm 7 15F

Butia capitata Pindo Palm 8 15F wet, 10F dry

Washingtonia filifera California Fan Palm 8 20F wet, 15F dry

Chamaedorea radicalis (none) 9 Under canopy maybe, but frozen soil will kill it

Trithrinax brasiliensis (none) 9 15F

Brahea armata Blue Hesper Palm 10 15F

Trithrinax acanthocoma Spiny Fibre Palm 10 15F

Livistona australis Australian Fan Palm 10 15F

Livistona chinensis Chinese Fan Palm 12 15F

Livistona decipiens Weeping Cabbage Palm 12 Another correct one

Phoenix dactylifera Date Palm 12

Acrocomia totai Gru Gru Palm 12

Sabal causiarum PuertoRican Hat Palm 14

Sabal blackburuca (none) 14

Arenga engleri Taiwan Arenga Palm 15

Phoenix canariensis Canary Island Date Palm 16

Acoelorraphe wrightii Paurotis Palm 16

Washingtonia robusta Mexican Fan Palm 16

Syagrus romanzoffiana Queen Palm 17

Copernicia alba Silver Copernicia Palm 18

Jubaea chilensis Chilean Wine Palm 18

Rhapis excelsa Lady Palm 18

Livistona saribus Taraw Palm 18

Phoenix reclinata Phoenix reclinata 18

Corypha elata Gebang Palm 22

Hyphaene dichotoma Doum Palm 22

Bismarkia noblis Bismarck Palm 22

Dypsis decaryi 24

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njoasis

Thanks for posting, this helpful list. Gotta love those fortuneis! I agree about distinguishing between wet and dry w.r. to the Butia.

I lost one above 10. 0 in a WET season. Protecting it from winter precip makes all the difference. My Needles and minors are covered in snow, saw a seasonal lowest w.o. snow coverage of 5.0 F. Trachys are looking pretty good. Wow, pretty good for the Seronoa! Even the capitata is doable. (Snow cover here though is less than reliable.)

Am surprised not to see Chilean Wine hardier than 18 F..

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Xerarch

There are so many variables to cold hardiness that it is impossible to come up with a list that everyone can agree on, or even that the palms can agree on. Most of this list is optimistic, I feel fine leaving it there.

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zootropical

10 °F for a Livistona australis? That's very optimistic I think.

Sincerely.

JM

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Xhoniwaters1

Syagrus romanzoffiana should be bumped up to 19 Phoenix dactylifera should be bumped up some. Size is a big factor as well.

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Brahea Axel

10 °F for a Livistona australis? That's very optimistic I think.

Sincerely.

JM

I gave it 15F, maybe even that is too optimistic.

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zootropical

In my place in south east of France, Phoenix canariensis is an indicator palm. That's mean a survive at the last century cold waves (february 56 and january 85). But sp. like Syagrus romanzofiana and Livistona australis and L. decipiens was very rare and maybe absent. Do you think such sp. are as hardy as P. canariensis?

Sincerely.

Jean-Michel

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willials

I would tend to agree much more with Axel's list here since he has probably tried most (if not all) of these on this list. Dry vs. wet does make a difference and size does matter ("It's not mine baby, I swear!" - Austin Powers reference). All of these factors do play a significant role, as most of us who have tried zone pushing have quickly figured out. I typically have to increase the low temp tolerances for most of my attempted palms by 5-10F since I live in an extremely wet climate, so manufacturer's recommended temps rarely hold up for most species where I live, but I guess that's part of what makes this hobby fun if you like a challenge.

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stevethegator

Sabal minor, at least here in the east, may be even hardier than Rhapidophyllum. It likely sees the coldest temperatures of any palm species in habitat, growing in places like Arkansas, Oklahoma, and above the fall line in the Southeast, even into the mountains in central Alabama. By contrast Rhapidophyllum has a coastal plain only distribution and does not grow as far west, although it's pre-ice age distribution was likely much wider.

I have no doubt that some parts of sabal minor's native range have seen -5F, the Oklahoma population in particular. However, the common thread with all of sabal minor's native habitat (like Rhapidophyllum) is extensive summer heat and a long growing season. Not sure how the hardiness would compare in an area that's not as warm on average.

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_Keith

Sabal minor, at least here in the east, may be even hardier than Rhapidophyllum. It likely sees the coldest temperatures of any palm species in habitat, growing in places like Arkansas, Oklahoma, and above the fall line in the Southeast, even into the mountains in central Alabama. By contrast Rhapidophyllum has a coastal plain only distribution and does not grow as far west, although it's pre-ice age distribution was likely much wider.

I have no doubt that some parts of sabal minor's native range have seen -5F, the Oklahoma population in particular. However, the common thread with all of sabal minor's native habitat (like Rhapidophyllum) is extensive summer heat and a long growing season. Not sure how the hardiness would compare in an area that's not as warm on average.

Sabal minor survived 5 degrees easily in middle Louisiana in 1989 with 72 consecutive hours below freezing. Looking at the map below, it may even be good even colder than that.

Sabal-minor.png

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stevethegator

Sabal minor, at least here in the east, may be even hardier than Rhapidophyllum. It likely sees the coldest temperatures of any palm species in habitat, growing in places like Arkansas, Oklahoma, and above the fall line in the Southeast, even into the mountains in central Alabama. By contrast Rhapidophyllum has a coastal plain only distribution and does not grow as far west, although it's pre-ice age distribution was likely much wider.

I have no doubt that some parts of sabal minor's native range have seen -5F, the Oklahoma population in particular. However, the common thread with all of sabal minor's native habitat (like Rhapidophyllum) is extensive summer heat and a long growing season. Not sure how the hardiness would compare in an area that's not as warm on average.

Sabal minor survived 5 degrees easily in middle Louisiana in 1989 with 72 consecutive hours below freezing. Looking at the map below, it may even be good even colder than that.

Sabal-minor.png

Yeah sabal minor's range is incredible. That northernmost distribution in Alabama is along the western edge of the some of the state's highest mountains, over 2000'. Sabal minor grows in the valleys of course, but it was -1F in those valleys (near the city of Anniston) last month during the "Polar Vortex."

I bet historically it has been very cold in central Louisiana like you suggested, and even more so along the western edges of it's range in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Those places get the brunt of the real bad arctic fronts, the swamps there freeze solid some years and yet the palms are able to grow and reproduce naturally.

By comparison, my potted needle pulled it's spear about a week ago here in Atlanta after 5F. Granted I allowed the pot to freeze solid for 3 days, and it was a box store "blue pot" palm which are notoriously tender but still, I wasn't expecting damage.

Edited by stevethegator

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willials

Interesting stuff. I would very much like to try both Needle Palm and Sabal Minor here in the Seattle area, but my inclination is that both will be very slow growers since our summers top out in the mid 80s and low 90s and only last for about 3 months with those temps. I don't think that will be a condusive environment for Sabals without the really hot summers. If I could get my hands on a mature Sabal here I bet it would do well though since we don't get below 16F in the Winter and lots of humidity all year round.

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tjwalters

Hey - I'm open to amending the list. I haven't updated it in years and a lot of the original numbers came from the guy that ran The Green Escape in FL, Palm Bay or Palm Harbor, or something like that. His name was Marshall - maybe some here knew him. I believe he died several years ago.

Anyway, if you think you have more accurate numbers, let me know and I'll update the site.

Thanks.

-t

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tjwalters

Okay, I've made a few changes based on some of the suggestions here. Also, please note the caveat at the top of the page (that has always been there): "Whether a palm can survive a period of cold depends on many things. Indeed, one palm may survive a cold-snap while an adjacent palm of the same species succumbs. With that in mind, this list is only a guide to minimum survivable temperatures and does not represent absolute survivable temperatures."

That said, I certainly don't want to mislead anyone or "lie" to anyone, so if there are other suggestions, I can make additional changes. I would like the list to be as accurate as possible, considering all the variables that come into play, so that the list might at least have some value.

Btw, there are reliable reports of R. hystrix withstanding -20°F, and at least one of mine has withstood -8.4°F. My S. minor palms look great at -1°F. I'll leave these where they are on the list, at least for now.

Thanks, everyone, for your input and for keeping me honest. :)

-t

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Brahea Axel

Okay, I've made a few changes based on some of the suggestions here. Also, please note the caveat at the top of the page (that has always been there): "Whether a palm can survive a period of cold depends on many things. Indeed, one palm may survive a cold-snap while an adjacent palm of the same species succumbs. With that in mind, this list is only a guide to minimum survivable temperatures and does not represent absolute survivable temperatures."

That said, I certainly don't want to mislead anyone or "lie" to anyone, so if there are other suggestions, I can make additional changes. I would like the list to be as accurate as possible, considering all the variables that come into play, so that the list might at least have some value.

Btw, there are reliable reports of R. hystrix withstanding -20°F, and at least one of mine has withstood -8.4°F. My S. minor palms look great at -1°F. I'll leave these where they are on the list, at least for now.

Thanks, everyone, for your input and for keeping me honest. :)

-t

I re-read my original response and my words sounded much harsher than it warranted so I apologize. Thanks for updating your list.

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tjwalters

No worries, Axel. I welcome any additional feedback. As you say, I live in a cold place. :bummed:

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Turtile

Okay, I've made a few changes based on some of the suggestions here. Also, please note the caveat at the top of the page (that has always been there): "Whether a palm can survive a period of cold depends on many things. Indeed, one palm may survive a cold-snap while an adjacent palm of the same species succumbs. With that in mind, this list is only a guide to minimum survivable temperatures and does not represent absolute survivable temperatures."

That said, I certainly don't want to mislead anyone or "lie" to anyone, so if there are other suggestions, I can make additional changes. I would like the list to be as accurate as possible, considering all the variables that come into play, so that the list might at least have some value.

Btw, there are reliable reports of R. hystrix withstanding -20°F, and at least one of mine has withstood -8.4°F. My S. minor palms look great at -1°F. I'll leave these where they are on the list, at least for now.

Thanks, everyone, for your input and for keeping me honest. :)

-t

Sabal minor is definitely can survive below 0F no problem. The local weather station hit -6F (1 mile away) and they still look fine here.

  • Upvote 1

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Sutter Bob

While you're at it TJ, if 24F is the upper limit, I think you could probably add Brahea clara and Dypsis decipiens somewhere in there.

I haven't tried D. decaryi here yet but from what I've read I think decipiens is tougher, probably at least to 24F.

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NorthFlpalmguy

I've lost full 3 and 7 gal sized phoenix reclinatas in 23-25 degrees with freeze cloth over them. Like approximately 500 dead, not a few. As stated, trachy at top followed by cabbage (sabal) and then maybe pindo. I've also lost med/euro fans in much less colder than they state. Must be averages of larger established plants.

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_Keith

I've lost full 3 and 7 gal sized phoenix reclinatas in 23-25 degrees with freeze cloth over them. Like approximately 500 dead, not a few. As stated, trachy at top followed by cabbage (sabal) and then maybe pindo. I've also lost med/euro fans in much less colder than they state. Must be averages of larger established plants.

The problem might have been that they were in pots. Mine has frozen to the ground twice, but since our ground doesn't freeze, it has come back fine. In a pot the ground as they know it, aka roots, would freeze. Now once it trunks, if ever, all bets are off.

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Tropicdoc

I thought Copernici alba was burnt up pretty bad at about 25

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_Keith

I thought Copernici alba was burnt up pretty bad at about 25

Jury out on this one, Chad. Based on what I have heard, I am not sure, but if Zone 9a, super marginal for sure.

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sonoranfans

I've lost full 3 and 7 gal sized phoenix reclinatas in 23-25 degrees with freeze cloth over them. Like approximately 500 dead, not a few. As stated, trachy at top followed by cabbage (sabal) and then maybe pindo. I've also lost med/euro fans in much less colder than they state. Must be averages of larger established plants.

pure bred reclinatas are not as hardy, and they are hard to find. Most people that think they have reclinatas, actually have a reclinata hybrid, they are even hybridized some in their native range. I seriously doubt a pure reclinata is a zone 9a palm...

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_Keith

I've lost full 3 and 7 gal sized phoenix reclinatas in 23-25 degrees with freeze cloth over them. Like approximately 500 dead, not a few. As stated, trachy at top followed by cabbage (sabal) and then maybe pindo. I've also lost med/euro fans in much less colder than they state. Must be averages of larger established plants.

pure bred reclinatas are not as hardy, and they are hard to find. Most people that think they have reclinatas, actually have a reclinata hybrid, they are even hybridized some in their native range. I seriously doubt a pure reclinata is a zone 9a palm...

I know of one reclinata in the New Orleans area that is a long time survivor. Mine burned to the ground twice and returned, which may this palms saving grace. Of course it will never reach its true beauty that way, but it will survive and still be interesting.

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palm tree man

I haven't seen any of the unusual Sabal species on this list like Brazoria, Birminghamia, Louisiana, or Riverside. They are all tough and all are very cold and frost hardy for trunking palms. Though maybe no needle palm or minor, they are all four very hardy regardless.

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Tropicdoc

I was in New Orleans three times in the past four days. The difference from my town is striking as far as polar vortex damage. The city has a heat island effect, it is south of a huge lake and there are live oaks everywhere. I did not see any burnt palms. Some beautiful livistonas, syagrus, sabals, Phoenix, and trachycarpus. Almost all of the queens, livistonas, and Phoenix have some degree of burn here only sixty miles to the southwest.

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palm tree man

It is crazy how the heat generated by a large city can make such an impact. Tampa and other metro areas in Florida see the same effect. Microclimates used to sound like voodoo to me years ago, but they can make all the difference in the world when growing marginal or tender species.

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stevethegator

Orlando is a huge microclimate, you can even see it on zone maps. 10a with mature roystoneas and other nice tropicals in several areas.

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palm tree man

I agree. There is a mature bottle palm in Adventure land at Disney,so this is totally believable. It has been there every year and showed no damage when a relative went. I had him send me pics of palms to check for damage. Yeah, I am pretty obcessed with palms. :)

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Tropicdoc

I get it, I thought I was gonna wreck in uptown New Orleans with all the palm-gawking I was doing.

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palm tree man

I know it is like a disease! My daughter says "palm tree" now and points to them for me! Train your kids the right way when they are young and they were share in the joy of your palm obsession. I am just glad that they like them too; now hopefully there will be future generations to enjoy my slower growing palms as well as my love.

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Sabal Steve

I agree that the Chilean may be hardier, people grow these in Texas, and I suspect that the A. engleri may not be hardy to 15F.

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_Keith

I agree that the Chilean may be hardier, people grow these in Texas, and I suspect that the A. engleri may not be hardy to 15F.

Don't know about 15, but I can assure you A. engleri is easily hardy to 19 + plus an ice storm + a 2nd freeze to 23, all in the same year.

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Sabal Steve

I agree that the Chilean may be hardier, people grow these in Texas, and I suspect that the A. engleri may not be hardy to 15F.

Don't know about 15, but I can assure you A. engleri is easily hardy to 19 + plus an ice storm + a 2nd freeze to 23, all in the same year.

All I can tell you is that mine has seen mid 40's and did fine:p It also survived that brutal rain storm that we got a month or so ago.

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Sabal Steve

I agree that the Chilean may be hardier, people grow these in Texas, and I suspect that the A. engleri may not be hardy to 15F.

Don't know about 15, but I can assure you A. engleri is easily hardy to 19 + plus an ice storm + a 2nd freeze to 23, all in the same year.

All I can tell you is that mine has seen mid 40's and did fine:p It also survived that brutal rain storm that we got a month or so ago.

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