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Alicehunter2000

Most Northerly area of Florida Considered Zone 10b,10a, and 9b

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empireo22

Jim Bean,

I am enjoying yur commentary --- my appologies for one of my reply s --- I have b een visiting bros in Cocoa and Orlando so havent gone here. When I rearead the thread last nite the reply was a bit more terse than I entended it just expressing contra opinion and the rules that the USDA uses there mapas son variable as they revise each decade and we have some cold minimums and warm winters that shift the boundaries of the zones.s

the zone maps give me an idea but the spots and sometimes the minimums are wierd one time in 96 we had a clipper come through my minimum was heading down but clouds rolled in --- other sid e of the river got 18 gainseville got 17 but we stayed at 26 --- front rolled on down and homestead and western palm beach got about the same temps as Jax --- simularly the same thing happened in 2001 the late and very great John Bischoek had the same 21F minimum as me --- Damages in these southern areas was extensive as the foliage was tender and we got a few cool days to harden things off that they didnt in Homestead and Loxahatchee --- seemed so strange as John lives so far south but in western Manatee coutny --- ithe neighbor hood has coconuts and other palms but his property ironically was in a cold pocket of the neighbor hood I salute his memobry and enthusiam and miss his presence at meetings as he always liven up any grouping or party !

Kindest regards

Ed

That's fine, I am here to express the data.

Wunderground says you hit 29 F in 2010, so I think your designation is correct.

In my opinion, I would write a zone based on what the minimum low that you'll see in 20 years is. That's enough time to sprout a coconut and have it grow to fruiting maturity. Also, it's pretty difficult to find reliable data older than that.

I do remember someone telling me 29F on the 528 causeway and 28F further north. My location was 32F that early morning.

28 was the lowest in Sebastian with about 11 frosty days.

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Jimbean

this is in response to Zeeth's question.

Down the street there is one that is about 15-20 feet tall, but I don't know how big the trunk is. That one is in someone's back yard, but you can still see it growing above the house from the street.

I have seen some with 4 foot diameter trunks in the area, but they are a mile or two away.

Edited by Jimbean

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Jimbean

I do remember someone telling me 29F on the 528 causeway and 28F further north. My location was 32F that early morning.

28 was the lowest in Sebastian with about 11 frosty days.

I would say that year was the worst since '89.

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Jimbean

My house is less than a mile from Lake Murray. East northeast of Lake Murray. Although, I don't think the lake will have much effect on my hardiness zone, being that far away and having that many obstacles (houses, trees) between me and the lake. I'm situated at 345 feet.

As for the temperatures, the only historical data that I could draw from was the West Columbia airport temperatures. The airport is about 12 miles southeast of me and sits at about 200 feet. For some reason they didn't have any data for my exact area, so the closest area I chose was the airport. Here's where I got the data from: http://weather-warehouse.com/WeatherHistory/PastWeatherData_ColumbiaMetroArpt_WestColumbia_SC_January.html

Just for comparison of this past dreadful winter, the lowest temperature my yard got down to was 11 degrees, as did the West Columbia airport. I'm not sure why it doesn't show some areas of the midlands of SC to be 8B. Where my house is, I'd certainly be pushing it, but it very well could be a borderline 8B. But overall, agreed, the area is comfortably an 8A, but I know for certain some areas like the airport and downtown Columbia could be solid 8B's.

So every 20 years? When is the date of the next release? The cold hardiness map I use on their website says 1976-2005. Would the next one come by 2025?

Based on the USDA's methodology, I would assume that it would explain what would grow there in the short term, which the map looks like that is what it is basically showing you.

As far as your average temperature and what zone you are technically in, I have the same issue at my location in Merritt Island with averaging somewhere around 34F, yet the USDA puts me at 9B. I don't however care about the USDA regardless because I have my own zones, which I put myself in 9b and you probably at 8A.

Wait, don't you mean you'd put yourself at 10A if your average minimum is 34 degrees?

not when the record low is 21F

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Zeeth

this is in response to Zeeth's question.

Down the street there is one that is about 15-20 feet tall, but I don't know how big the trunk is. That one is in someone's back yard, but you can still see it growing above the house from the street.

I have seen some with 4 foot diameter trunks in the area, but they are a mile or two away.

Along with coconuts, those are one of the plants that I've been using to determine what zone the areas around me are, as they're relatively common and give some good info. If they're relatively small (less than 10 feet) everywhere they're planted, the area is likely 9b. If they have a large diameter and are taller than the houses, it's 10a. It works in my area with both the map you've made and the 2012 USDA zone map. The only places that I see them with diameter of a few feet are areas with coconut that pre-date the freezes of the 80's.

Something like the pictures in these links would say 10a or warmer to me

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/68/Plumeria_Tree_(8216037264).jpg

http://store.exoticplumeria.com/content/images/uploaded/ppink1.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/ba/Plumeria_rubra.jpg

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Jimbean

this is in response to Zeeth's question.

Down the street there is one that is about 15-20 feet tall, but I don't know how big the trunk is. That one is in someone's back yard, but you can still see it growing above the house from the street.

I have seen some with 4 foot diameter trunks in the area, but they are a mile or two away.

Along with coconuts, those are one of the plants that I've been using to determine what zone the areas around me are, as they're relatively common and give some good info. If they're relatively small (less than 10 feet) everywhere they're planted, the area is likely 9b. If they have a large diameter and are taller than the houses, it's 10a. It works in my area with both the map you've made and the 2012 USDA zone map. The only places that I see them with diameter of a few feet are areas with coconut that pre-date the freezes of the 80's.

Something like the pictures in these links would say 10a or warmer to me

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/68/Plumeria_Tree_(8216037264).jpg

http://store.exoticplumeria.com/content/images/uploaded/ppink1.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/ba/Plumeria_rubra.jpg

The ones growing in my area are not that thick in foliage. They are more like that middle one you listed.

the ones that you will see here in Merritt Island will look something like this (the third one when full grown):

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/lopaka/422894784/

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/170349/

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/09/Plumeria_obtusa_%27White_Frangipani%27._Roma_Street_Parkland..JPG

Edited by Jimbean

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Walt

This pair of Cocos nucifera are growing on Lake Pearl Drive in the town of Lake Placid, Florida. I can atest that these palms have been there for at least 12 years (when I first noticed them). The did get hurt in 2010, but as you can see they are fine when I took this photo last summer.

These palms exist because they are at elevation and about 500 feet north of Lake Pearl. No way would these palm have survived at my place just two miles away where I have no lake influence nor altitude benefit.

TwoLakePlacidcoconutpalms_zpsd5470806.jp

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Walt

In addition to temperature readings I also use plants (and the size of them) to determine an area's climate in my environs. The Ficus elastica tree below is the biggest one I've found in Highlands County. In fact, I've never seen a bigger one, even in south Florida (not to say I've traversed all of south Florida looking for one).

This particular Ficus elastica is growing on the southeast side of a lake at a 4H girls camp. The tree is growing to the right (and over the top) of the cabin. On the left of the cabin is a Ficus microcarpa. No doubt in my mind this is a solid zone 10 location. Zone 10 trees (ficus genus) don't lie.

100_6597_zps8a9316bb.jpg

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Walt

Here's a grainy video I took of the Ficus elastica tree. Click on image to start video:

th_Ficuselastica1.jpg

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Walt

Here's the Ficus microcarpa that was on the left side of the cabin (in first cabin photo). There were lots of big Ficus microcarpa at the camp:

Ficusmicrocarpa.jpg

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Jimbean

I'll have to show you guys pictures of my area.

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Jimbean

In addition to temperature readings I also use plants (and the size of them) to determine an area's climate in my environs. The Ficus elastica tree below is the biggest one I've found in Highlands County. In fact, I've never seen a bigger one, even in south Florida (not to say I've traversed all of south Florida looking for one).

This particular Ficus elastica is growing on the southeast side of a lake at a 4H girls camp. The tree is growing to the right (and over the top) of the cabin. On the left of the cabin is a Ficus microcarpa. No doubt in my mind this is a solid zone 10 location. Zone 10 trees (ficus genus) don't lie.

100_6597_zps8a9316bb.jpg

I have ficus trees this big in my neighborhood.

All things considered, I still call it a warm 9B.

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Walt

Base of Ficus microcarpa:

Ficusmicrocarpa1b.jpg

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Jimbean

Base of Ficus microcarpa:

Ficusmicrocarpa1b.jpg

There are a few of those in my area as well. You will see Ficus aurea this size as well, unless they are growing out of a sabal, in which case they are roughly half that size at most.

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Walt

These two coconut palms were planted 7-8 years ago. They did get hurt in 2010 but recovered nicely. They are located in Sebring, Florida, and have no lakes nearby to moderate low temperature. They are mainly on higher ground where cold air drainage is good.

CoconutpalmsSebringFlorida_zpseac7518a.j

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Zeeth

These two coconut palms were planted 7-8 years ago. They did get hurt in 2010 but recovered nicely. They are located in Sebring, Florida, and have no lakes nearby to moderate low temperature. They are mainly on higher ground where cold air drainage is good.

CoconutpalmsSebringFlorida_zpseac7518a.j

I noticed those driving through the area last summer and was really surprised. They look really nice considering how far inland they are. Do you know how this area fared during the 80's?

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Walt

I spotted this Elaeis guineensis palm many years ago growing close to the N.W. shore of Lake Jackson in Sebring, Florida. It was cold damaged in 2010 after 11 straight days of nighttime temperatures below 40 degrees, and daytime high temperatures below normal. No doubt the lake water temperatures dropped considerably during that time.

Elaeisguineensis_zpse3d892ee.jpg

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Walt

These two coconut palms were planted 7-8 years ago. They did get hurt in 2010 but recovered nicely. They are located in Sebring, Florida, and have no lakes nearby to moderate low temperature. They are mainly on higher ground where cold air drainage is good.

CoconutpalmsSebringFlorida_zpseac7518a.j

I noticed those driving through the area last summer and was really surprised. They look really nice considering how far inland they are. Do you know how this area fared during the 80's?

These palms weren't there in the 80s. They were installed about 8 years ago. What you have to realize about inland and take into account is the elevation out here along the Lake Wales Ridge. These palms aren't on low ground, but maybe 150 feet or more in elevation compared to where you are in Sarasota. If there was a 150' hill in Sarasota, it would be 6-7 degrees warmer at night during radiational cooling nights than near sea level locations. When the weatherman talks about it getting colder inland, he's talking about the general flat lay of the land and lower spots. Our weatherman always makes the distinction that high ground runs 6-7 degrees warmer at night -- something you don't hear along both Florida coasts. Then, of course, around the lakes you have the benefit of relatively warm water that gives them a good USDA zone higher. But, by an large, unless you are at elevation or on a lake, it's definitely colder inland at the same latitude along the coast due to no thermal effect from the Gulf or Atlantic. Conversely, it's generally hotter during the daytime inland during the winter months as you don't have the relatively cold water syphoning off heat from the air.

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Jimbean

I have to get around to showing you guys pictures of my area, and I'll give you my commentary with it.

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smithgn

I have to get around to showing you guys pictures of my area, and I'll give you my commentary with it.

Please do! Look forward to it. This is a great thread.

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empireo22

This pair of Cocos nucifera are growing on Lake Pearl Drive in the town of Lake Placid, Florida. I can atest that these palms have been there for at least 12 years (when I first noticed them). The did get hurt in 2010, but as you can see they are fine when I took this photo last summer.

These palms exist because they are at elevation and about 500 feet north of Lake Pearl. No way would these palm have survived at my place just two miles away where I have no lake influence nor altitude benefit.

TwoLakePlacidcoconutpalms_zpsd5470806.jp

Walt your pictures are great like always. I enjoy seeing photos of palms and plants in your area.

I wonder if those are maypans?

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Walt

This pair of Cocos nucifera are growing on Lake Pearl Drive in the town of Lake Placid, Florida. I can atest that these palms have been there for at least 12 years (when I first noticed them). The did get hurt in 2010, but as you can see they are fine when I took this photo last summer.

These palms exist because they are at elevation and about 500 feet north of Lake Pearl. No way would these palm have survived at my place just two miles away where I have no lake influence nor altitude benefit.

TwoLakePlacidcoconutpalms_zpsd5470806.jp

Walt your pictures are great like always. I enjoy seeing photos of palms and plants in your area.

I wonder if those are maypans?

I believe these are maypan coconuts (based on my limited knowledge of coconut varieties). I think most of the coconuts I see around here are maypans.

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Zeeth

They look like Maypan to me

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Walt

Below are two screen saves I took back on 12-4-10 at 6:00 a.m. of graphic temperature gradients from WINK TV (online website) radar in out of Ft. Myers, Florida.

Note the heat island effect in the Leesburg, Orlando, and Lakeland areas. Note the heat island plus water effect in the St. Pete and Tampa area.

Note the lake thermal effect off the south and southeast side of Lake Okeechoobee.

I remember December of 2010 I had my earliest frost since moving here in 1997. It may have been this morning (4th of December), I don't recall. But in any event it was in the first week of December. Normally, even in my cold spot I don't get my first frost until after December 20th.

Heatislandamplakeeffect_zps2496371d.jpg

Above: Note the colder air shown in the more cyan color, with heat islands shown in dark green. Note the light greenish-yellow color showing the Lake Okeechobee thermal effect, which matches the same heating color as coastal Florida from Jupier south to Fort Lauderdale.

Lakeheateffect_zpsa1fe930a.jpg

Above: Note the warm lake effect at the south and southeast end of Lake Okeechobee. The town of Pahokee is about the warmest area by the lake.

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Walt

Below is a screen save I took from the Homestead, Florida, FAWN (Florida Automated Weather Network) weather station (maintained by the University of Florida).

The cold front had already arrived the day before. This graphic was made at 9:30 p.m., and it shows a 10 degree difference in air stratification from 60 cms above the ground 38 degrees F; 41 degrees F at 2 meters, and 48 degrees F at 10 meters. This temperature difference demonstrates what I said about it being warmer at night (during radiational cooling events) at higher elevations (i.e., Lake Wales Ridge) relative to the lower areas in Florida.

As the night progresses, the temperature difference is less pronounced and the air temperature difference between 60 cm and 10 m may only be 2-3 degrees, but it still gets warmer (up to a limit) as the altitude increases. That's why the town of Lake Placid runs 6-7 degrees warmer (and most times more) than at my place just 1-1/2 miles (as the crow flies) N.E. of town, as the town is 70 feet higher in elevation, plus gets warm air updrafts from the 12 surrounding lakes. I bought topographical maps from the county many years ago so I could determine where the higher areas are.

HomesteadFlFAWNtemperaturevariation-Copy

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buzzmonkey

I spent a little time playing with weather data I downloaded form NOAA. I just arbitrarily picked the ten year period from 2003- 2013 and first mapped the lowest temperature recorded during that period, and then mapped the average yearly low for the same period, for all the stations in Florida having complete data. I used an interpolation model (IDW) to fill in the gaps between stations and create 2.5 degree contours.

There are some issues in the distribution of stations, notably a sparcity along the middle and lower Gulf coast and along the middle east coast.

As this is just one arbitrary ten-year period that included a really gnarly year (2010) for the whole state this is in no way a viable plant hardiness map, but it is kinda interesting.

Anyhoo, here are the two maps...

FloridaAvgMins03_13Contour.jpg

FloridaMins03_13Contour.jpg

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palmsOrl

Joe, that is an incredible map and perhaps one of the most useful and detailed maps posted in a long time for FL palm growing! Taking the average annual lows over the past decade, it actually depicts exactly what I would have expected. That is, that basically all of FL has averaged markedly higher average annual low temps over the past 10 years (and I believe the same would be true for at least the past 15 years) than averages/zones depicted on any official USDA zone map created to date.

Nowhere in FL averages below 20F (zone 9) over the past decade. I totally buy that. Zone 10 areas extend quite far north across even inland Central FL (even more for E. Central FL), including Orlando, which does not even average a low to the freezing mark over the past decade. 33F was the average low for Orlando I had calculated also, using data over the past roughly 15 years, can you say zone 10. Orlando is high on average winter chill for a FL zone 10, but still...

The Miami, Ft. Lauderdale metro areas and adjacent coastal locales average zone 11a lately. Most of the FL Keys are zone 11b.

My Kopsick coconuts are finally sprouting and I can't wait to get them planted out. :yay: Sorry to veer off topic.

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Pando

Wow, nice! I'd like to see a similar map for Southern California! :greenthumb:

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buzzmonkey

Thank you, thank you! It was definitely a fun project. Of course, Florida is one of the easiest places anywhere to map this way because there is no topographic influence on temperature whatsoever. I'd be up for trying southern California but I'd definitely want to vet it as a draft by the local experts first. The accuracy will be very dependent on the extent of the NOAA weather stations in the area in the area, as the topographic/ orographic /marine influences create a really crazy mosaic of microclimates.

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Jimbean

I need to post pictures of my local area. most of you will think it is zone 10A/10B.

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Zeeth

I need to post pictures of my local area. most of you will think it is zone 10A/10B.

Photograph the largest coconuts and plumerias in the area, they seem to be the best indicators IMO.

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Jimbean

The biggest coconut is about 60-70 feet tall, and the biggest plumerias are about 20-25 feet tall.

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empireo22

The biggest coconut is about 60-70 feet tall, and the biggest plumerias are about 20-25 feet tall.

Where is it? if you have an address we can map it.

the biggest ive seen in Brevard county is around 40 or 50 ft somewhere in Indiatlantic or South Patrick Shores...I cant remember

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Jimbean

The biggest coconut is about 60-70 feet tall, and the biggest plumerias are about 20-25 feet tall.

Where is it? if you have an address we can map it.

the biggest ive seen in Brevard county is around 40 or 50 ft somewhere in Indiatlantic or South Patrick Shores...I cant remember

Go to google earth, and type in 626 5th st Merritt Island, Fl 32953. Then drop the little Dora Explorer on Alabama ave, and look North.

You should see two horrible looking coconut palms 30 or so feet above the roofs of the houses. I jog past there almost every day. Today, there is just one standing there but it looks much better with a huge full crown.

Edited by Jimbean

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Zeeth

From that address that you provided I think I agree with your 9b assertion, but it's a warm 9b. Over here there's a line that follows the coast where you go from seeing coconuts as tall as those two in nearly every yard, to only seeing them every once in a while. Check out these coconuts in an area of Sarasota that I would consider 9b. They're hard to see from any angle in the 2011 picture, but they're much taller today and are easily seen from the main road. This is a 9b area though, and is about what I expect your climate is like based off what I'm seeing from the street view.

http://goo.gl/mahdl5

Here is a palm much closer to the water. This is an area that I would consider 10a, but it drops off to 9b very quickly. Once you go west of Tamiami trail I consider it a 9b, as coconuts are much less common.

http://goo.gl/bKc2H1

Here is one growing on a vacant lot right on Tamiami, a little west of the one above. I would say that this is right at the point between 9b and 10a.

http://goo.gl/ngI6fy

Here is one growing in Palmetto. I haven't driven around Palmetto enough to know the climate that well but I think this is probably at the cutoff point of 9b and 10a.

http://goo.gl/elzwcL

Here is an example of what you see out on Anna Maria island, what I would consider to be between 10a and 10b. It was damaged in 2010 but grew back a full crown before the whole lot was bulldozed to build townhouses.

http://goo.gl/UVaQ4u

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Jimbean

The google street view does not really do it justice, you really either have to be there or I need to take pictures.

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Jimbean

I used to visit your area because my late great grand parents used to live in Ellenton and I used to drive around that area from Apollo to Sarasota to check out the area whenever I went over there. Here is rough comparison from my area to yours:

Bradenton Melbourne

Ellenton: Rockledge/Cocoa

Bradenton Beach: Cape Canaveral

Sarasota: Palm Bay area

Sunken Gardens area of St. Petersburg: Roughly like Merritt Island

Clear Water: Merritt Island

Mac Dill AFB: Probably like another Merritt Island

Downtown Tampa: Rockledge/Cocoa

Parrish: Bithlo

Sarasota Beach: Satellite Beach

Venice: Fort Peirce

Edited by Jimbean

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Alicehunter2000

Dang....this thread has some serious legs!

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Jimbean

Well does it answer your question?

Edited by Jimbean

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empireo22

The biggest coconut is about 60-70 feet tall, and the biggest plumerias are about 20-25 feet tall.

Where is it? if you have an address we can map it.

the biggest ive seen in Brevard county is around 40 or 50 ft somewhere in Indiatlantic or South Patrick Shores...I cant remember

Go to google earth, and type in 626 5th st Merritt Island, Fl 32953. Then drop the little Dora Explorer on Alabama ave, and look North.

You should see two horrible looking coconut palms 30 or so feet above the roofs of the houses. I jog past there almost every day. Today, there is just one standing there but it looks much better with a huge full crown.

Do you think they are pre 89?

here is a coconut in Sebastian it is now about 30ft plus https://www.google.com/maps/@27.782191,-80.461901,3a,49y,232.68h,92.21t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sh86oKxl36lTUR33Y1n_Otw!2e0?hl=en

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      By kinzyjr
      While perusing a few threads referencing the 1835 freeze, 1894-1895 freeze and the 1899 freeze, there were a few mentions of this book.  There are used copies available on Amazon for less than $20 so I decided to order it.  After reading it, I’d certainly recommend it.  While the content is presented primarily from the point of view of someone interested in commercial citrus growing, the information about each of the events is certainly relevant to palm horticulture.
      The book was a welcome relief from staring at a screen all day after working a job that typically centers around doing the same.  There are a lot of references and to the small cities throughout the state since they are typically where citrus is grown, and the weather data is obviously of interest to anyone growing palms since the same freezes are typically what impacts what is long-term or bulletproof in an area.
      The book contained weather records and quotes from the various growers as well as descriptions of the weather before and after the freeze.  Some of the quotes are humorous in spite of the fact that these folks likely lost a lot of money due to these events.  Almost all areas are at least represented in the weather records, including Key West in some cases.
      There are actually two freezes from California noted in the book (1937 and 1990).  In my case, the book does provide some weather readings from Lakeland City Hall rather than the airport, and has some weather readings from Bok Tower to compare to the Mammoth Grove area in Lake Wales to illustrate the difference elevation makes during a radiational event vs. an advective event.  There is also information on a few of our early and late season frosts that have the potential to impact tropical plants and citrus alike.  There book also covers an inverted freeze, where north and central Florida were not impacted as harshly as south Florida. 
      The cover photo actually came from our local newspaper, The Ledger.
      As the book was released in 1997, the 1996 freeze is the last one fully covered.  If you want a screen break and you like the data on the weather forums - give this one a read.
      Book Information: A History of Florida Citrus Freezes by John A. Attaway, Ph.D. (June 1st, 1997)
      Amazon Listing: https://www.amazon.com/John-Attaway/dp/0944961037/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=A+History+of+Florida+Citrus+Freezes&qid=1599060452&sr=8-1
      Some links posted by @richtrav @tropical1 and @Matthew92 referencing this book:
      https://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/4720-long-and-lat/&do=findComment&comment=81717
      https://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/9124-freezing-degree-hours/&do=findComment&comment=153877
      https://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/9289-what-is-a-dewpoint/&do=findComment&comment=157382
      https://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/59364-orlando-area-winters-recent-trends-and-history/

    • missknich
      By missknich
      Need help identifying this palm tree. Thank you.

    • chinandega81
      By chinandega81
      Hello,
       
      As many people know, South Florida has been much warmer than usual over the past few years (summers, winters). Lately there have been many record high lows and high daytime highs. 
       
      I have seen graphs showing a general warming trend in Miami over the past 100 years or so...it averages out to 2 or 3 degrees warmer than what it used to be in the early 1900s.
       
      My question is, do you think this is just because of cyclic patterns of warm and cool periods coinciding with urbanization? Or is this a long term trend? I have read about frosts being somewhat frequent at Fairchild in the 70s and now they are very rare if any even occurr in a winter.

      What are your experiences in South Florida regarding this warming?
      I have noticed many bread fruit trees in my neighborhood, but I also know they grow fast so they probably haven't been around for too many years.
       
      Please share your thoughts or experiences in the garden and weather world from South Florida, I would love to hear them.
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