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Walt
On ‎8‎/‎31‎/‎2016‎ ‎11‎:‎22‎:‎09‎, Mr. Coconut Palm said:

Hey Walt,

I just noticed your replied to me.  No notification from Palmtalk.  Anyway, it's the same here.  In the winter we get our worst cold nights about a night or two after the passage of an Arctic front, when the high is directly over this area and winds drop down to nothing.  The temps can really drop like a rock.  Unfortunately, my yard seems to be a cold spot, colder by 3F to 7F colder earlier in the evening, just after sunset than the surrounding area.  This despite the fact that my home is only about .6 of a mile inland from the Laguna Madre, and despite the fact that my street is on a slight ridge, about 13 ft. above sea level.  This makes my coconut palms get exposed to prolonged chilly temps for more hours throughout the night than any others nearby might be exposed to.  In fact, I have noticed my yard early in the evening just an hour or two after sunset being significantly colder than the airport's official reading, and the airport is about 20 + miles inland!  But the interesting thing is that for the overnight low the next morning, my place is usually 3F to 5F warmer than the airport, but about 3F or 4F colder than the naval air station about 2.5 to 3 miles north of me (they are bordered on 3 sides by water though, which explains why they are significantly warmer in the morning than my place).  For some reason, my yard cools off very rapidly early in the evening in the winter, much more so than the airport, but by the next morning, my yard is usually a few degrees warmer, which should be expected considering my proximity to the water.  Actually, I would have expected my yard to be as much as 5F to 7F warmer than the airport, that is why I picked this part of town to move to, but unfortunately, my yard is only a few degrees warmer in the morning in the winter.  Early in the winter, when the water is still relatively warm, I have seen the naval air station as much as 14F warmer than the airport. 

By the way, we have very thick sea fog here at times in late February and March, when the land starts warming up, but the water is still really cool.  In the late spring and early summer, I have seen the temps as much as 16F difference from Port Aransas at the north end of Mustang Island, just north of Padre Island and areas about 30 to 40 miles inland.  For instance on such days, it may only be 70F at Port Aransas, but further inland at the same time, the temp may be 86F.  I know what you mean about the low temps in the 80'sF.  The normal low at the airport is 75F, and probably about 78F at my place, but lately, the airport has had a lot of nights with lows of only 80F to 82F, which means the low at my place has probably been around 84F!  We even set some record high low temps a few weeks ago.  Our Gulf water temps here normally peak out at around 85F or 86F in late July and early August, but over the last few weeks, our Gulf water temp many days has been 88F to 91F!  Coral is very tropical, but at 90F, coral starts dying, because the water is too warm even for the coral!  By the way, we just set the 14th consecutive month worldwide with a new record high average global temp, and yet there are still a lot of Americans who like to deny Global Warming.  As an agricultural scientist and amateur meteorologist and climatologist, I see evidence of it all day every day.

I know what you mean about the reverse side of the water effect.  When I lived in Galveston, a 10A Climate (but a very cool winter time 10A Climate), that was the chilliest springtimes I had ever encountered, as many days with the winds coming off the water back in the late 80's and early '90's, in March, you would need a jacket even in the afternoon, but just 20 to 30 miles inland, you could wear short sleeves a lot of days.  I think it has gotten milder there too though over the last 20 + years, as now you see a lot more truly tropical plants growing there.  When I lived there, I don't even recall seeing many if any queen palms, now they are everywhere, along with some royal palms, and foxtail palms.  But that is like here and in the Rio Grande Valley.  In the '80's, I only recall seeing 1 queen palm in Texas, and that was near the river in the old part of Brownsville at a hotel that my parents and I stayed at.  I never saw any coconut palms, royals, foxtails, etc. in Texas.  Now, there are 40ft. tall in overall height coconut palms in Brownsville, a coconut palm at South Padre Island that has had 93 coconuts on it one year according to homeowner, and many royal palms, foxtails, etc. throughout the Rio Grande Valley.  There is even a mature coconut palm on the northeast side of Edinburg out in the country northeast of McAllen!  Also, there a many big beautiful royal poincianas, ficus, mango trees, etc. in Valley.  We even have a few coconut palms here in Corpus Christi, and some several years ago, that were actually producing coconuts, and we have 40ft. tall royal palms here, royal poincianas, ficus, producing mangoes, etc. here in Corpus Christi, and you couldn't even think of growing any of that here back in the 80's.  Also, back then, the only black mangroves I ever saw in Texas were around the base of the causeway at South Padre Island, and they were only about 6ft. to 8ft. tall maximum.  Now there are probably 100's of thousands of them up and down the Texas Coast, with some probably 6ft. or more tall in Galveston, and there are some along the Rio Grande Delta about 25ft. to 30ft. tall.  Now, we even have red mangroves growing along Lydia Ann Channel across from Port Aransas, and some along the Rio Grande Delta that are about 8ft. to 13ft. tall!  Across the river on the Mexican side of the Delta back in March, I saw a huge Red Mangrove or a cluster of them that had to be 25ft. tall and about 50ft. wide!  Also, just upriver from where I was in the delta, it looked like there was a huge area of 30ft. tall Black Mangroves on the Texas side.  This whole area is definitely much more tropical than it used to be just 30 years ago!

John

John,

Sorry for the very, very late reply.

I read your reply to me two weeks ago and never answered it as it was such a long reply I didn't have time to read it all at the time and answer it. I then I totally forgot about it as I deleted the notification. I just only tonight thought about it as I was eating fresh coconut that I had shelled the other day. So far I've opened up three coconuts and my wife have been eating the meat each evening as a snack. The three nuts I picked I wasn't sure were ripe enough. But I shook them and I could hear water sloshing around inside. Sure enough, when I opened them they were ripe enough. Still, I'm only going to pick one nut at a time to eat them, and that will be the ripest looking nut on the oldest bunch.

While I really like eating the coconut meat, I don't like de husking the nuts. It's a lot of work, but I'm getting better at it.

I'm gearing up to soon start taking videos of all the mature coconut palms I can find in my environs, plus any other species of palms I find of interest. I'm going to start driving around and videoing palms, then downloading the videos to my computer. Once I make all the videos I will try to edit them all together, then upload a video(s) to YouTube. I still have to order a video editing software program. I plan to do that before the week is up.

Right now with the adequate rain we've been getting, everything is tropical lush, a good time to take videos.

Walt

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Mr. Coconut Palm
On ‎9‎/‎14‎/‎2016‎ ‎8‎:‎40‎:‎24‎, Walt said:

John,

Sorry for the very, very late reply.

I read your reply to me two weeks ago and never answered it as it was such a long reply I didn't have time to read it all at the time and answer it. I then I totally forgot about it as I deleted the notification. I just only tonight thought about it as I was eating fresh coconut that I had shelled the other day. So far I've opened up three coconuts and my wife have been eating the meat each evening as a snack. The three nuts I picked I wasn't sure were ripe enough. But I shook them and I could hear water sloshing around inside. Sure enough, when I opened them they were ripe enough. Still, I'm only going to pick one nut at a time to eat them, and that will be the ripest looking nut on the oldest bunch.

While I really like eating the coconut meat, I don't like de husking the nuts. It's a lot of work, but I'm getting better at it.

I'm gearing up to soon start taking videos of all the mature coconut palms I can find in my environs, plus any other species of palms I find of interest. I'm going to start driving around and videoing palms, then downloading the videos to my computer. Once I make all the videos I will try to edit them all together, then upload a video(s) to YouTube. I still have to order a video editing software program. I plan to do that before the week is up.

Right now with the adequate rain we've been getting, everything is tropical lush, a good time to take videos.

Walt

Hey Walt,

It sounds like you are getting some good nuts off your palm.  In one of the recent photos you took of it, it sure looked like it was producing some good ones.  I wonder if any of them are viable.  You ought to save a couple of mature ripe nuts and try sprouting them.  Fresh coconut water is really good for you, as I am sure you know, and coconut oil is even better for you than olive oil.  Hopefully at least one of my 8 in ground coconut palms will produce at least a few nuts one day.  I know they can be grown to maturity here and even produce at least a few medium sized nuts between really bad winters.  A friend of mine who is the president of the Palm Society of South Texas has a medium sized nut off a coconut palm that was growing at North Padre Island before the 2011 freeze killed it, and there was a mature producing one in the area where I live before the freeze.  There was also a mature one that survived the 2011 freeze, though it was defoliated due to the freeze that was growing on the south side of two story house on Ocean Dr. on the south side of Corpus Christi Bay, that was looking pretty good and had a few small nuts on it every once in a while until it was way over trimmed and subsequently died several months ago.  What a shame, I was the only local coconut survivor from the freeze that I know of and was probably still recovering, just to be butchered in an over trimming job, and then died.

If my palms ever produce any nuts, I will probably have to have someone else open them for me, since I am way to clumsy to do something like that without cutting my hand off.  If I get enough nuts, I will try to sprout a few of them.

I look forward to the videos of the mature coconuts in your area.  Unfortunately, if you narrate the videos, I won't be able to listen to it, since Windows 10 got downloaded onto my computer without my permission and wiped out my sound.

I bet South Florida looks nice now after all the rain.  I remember how lush and tropical it looked during normal rainy season years as opposed to the drought years.  Send some of that rain our way.  We really need it here in Corpus Christi.  Virtually all the rain in South Texas has been going around us for the last 3 months.  It is so frustrating, many afternoons, I see nice thunderstorms on the horizon but not here.  My plants would be doing so much better if we had our rain here.  Sept. and Oct. are our rainy season here, with May being a secondary mini rainy season, but so far here in Corpus, it has been a very dry month.

John

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Walt
On ‎9‎/‎15‎/‎2016‎ ‎11‎:‎56‎:‎12‎, Mr. Coconut Palm said:

Hey Walt,

It sounds like you are getting some good nuts off your palm.  In one of the recent photos you took of it, it sure looked like it was producing some good ones.  I wonder if any of them are viable.  You ought to save a couple of mature ripe nuts and try sprouting them.  Fresh coconut water is really good for you, as I am sure you know, and coconut oil is even better for you than olive oil.  Hopefully at least one of my 8 in ground coconut palms will produce at least a few nuts one day.  I know they can be grown to maturity here and even produce at least a few medium sized nuts between really bad winters.  A friend of mine who is the president of the Palm Society of South Texas has a medium sized nut off a coconut palm that was growing at North Padre Island before the 2011 freeze killed it, and there was a mature producing one in the area where I live before the freeze.  There was also a mature one that survived the 2011 freeze, though it was defoliated due to the freeze that was growing on the south side of two story house on Ocean Dr. on the south side of Corpus Christi Bay, that was looking pretty good and had a few small nuts on it every once in a while until it was way over trimmed and subsequently died several months ago.  What a shame, I was the only local coconut survivor from the freeze that I know of and was probably still recovering, just to be butchered in an over trimming job, and then died.

If my palms ever produce any nuts, I will probably have to have someone else open them for me, since I am way to clumsy to do something like that without cutting my hand off.  If I get enough nuts, I will try to sprout a few of them.

I look forward to the videos of the mature coconuts in your area.  Unfortunately, if you narrate the videos, I won't be able to listen to it, since Windows 10 got downloaded onto my computer without my permission and wiped out my sound.

I bet South Florida looks nice now after all the rain.  I remember how lush and tropical it looked during normal rainy season years as opposed to the drought years.  Send some of that rain our way.  We really need it here in Corpus Christi.  Virtually all the rain in South Texas has been going around us for the last 3 months.  It is so frustrating, many afternoons, I see nice thunderstorms on the horizon but not here.  My plants would be doing so much better if we had our rain here.  Sept. and Oct. are our rainy season here, with May being a secondary mini rainy season, but so far here in Corpus, it has been a very dry month.

John

John,

Again, as in a very early posting in this thread, I received no notification from Palmtalk that you replied to me. Your reply to me had already scrolled down to page three.

As far as my coconuts, I haven't a clue when they can become viable. All I know is the three I opened had good tasty water, and fresh white meat as well. A couple of months ago the bottommost bunch (10 nuts) became detached and fell to the ground. The nuts were still on the small side and I didn't hear any water sloshing around. I threw all 10 nuts on the ground on the south side of my house, figuring they would get lots of heat there, and if they had any viability at all they might sprout. But I doubt that they will.

When I make my videos up using a video editor program, I plan to put some text and subtitles on them here and there, so if your sound is out you will at least get some basic information. I don't know, though, how Windows 10 could download with out your permission.

I was getting annoying prompts to download Windows 10 about six months or so ago. I finally decided to download it. When I was finished and tried to get back online I couldn't get past my homepage. My homepage icons were all showing and the page flashed from black to normal about ever 1-2 seconds. I tried restarting about 10 times to no avail. I finally had to take my computer to the repair shop and have them remove Windows 10 and reinstall Windows 8. After I got my computer back I would constantly get prompts to download Windows 10, which I just deleted. The prompts stopped once the free time period to download it stopped.

I actually don't want any more coconut palms. Not that I don't want them, but I just don't want to have to protect more palms. However, I will make an exception. I would like to sprout a coconut from nuts from my own palm.  So far I've done that with bismarckia, A.alexandrae, A. cunninghamiana, and Arenga engleri. I'm hoping my tall Syagrus botryophora produces some viable seed, as it's flowering right now for the first time. I would like to grow some more of these rocket ship speed syagrus. I would like to make a group planting of them, just for the effect.

Walt

 

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Mr. Coconut Palm
5 hours ago, Walt said:

John,

Again, as in a very early posting in this thread, I received no notification from Palmtalk that you replied to me. Your reply to me had already scrolled down to page three.

As far as my coconuts, I haven't a clue when they can become viable. All I know is the three I opened had good tasty water, and fresh white meat as well. A couple of months ago the bottommost bunch (10 nuts) became detached and fell to the ground. The nuts were still on the small side and I didn't hear any water sloshing around. I threw all 10 nuts on the ground on the south side of my house, figuring they would get lots of heat there, and if they had any viability at all they might sprout. But I doubt that they will.

When I make my videos up using a video editor program, I plan to put some text and subtitles on them here and there, so if your sound is out you will at least get some basic information. I don't know, though, how Windows 10 could download with out your permission.

I was getting annoying prompts to download Windows 10 about six months or so ago. I finally decided to download it. When I was finished and tried to get back online I couldn't get past my homepage. My homepage icons were all showing and the page flashed from black to normal about ever 1-2 seconds. I tried restarting about 10 times to no avail. I finally had to take my computer to the repair shop and have them remove Windows 10 and reinstall Windows 8. After I got my computer back I would constantly get prompts to download Windows 10, which I just deleted. The prompts stopped once the free time period to download it stopped.

I actually don't want any more coconut palms. Not that I don't want them, but I just don't want to have to protect more palms. However, I will make an exception. I would like to sprout a coconut from nuts from my own palm.  So far I've done that with bismarckia, A.alexandrae, A. cunninghamiana, and Arenga engleri. I'm hoping my tall Syagrus botryophora produces some viable seed, as it's flowering right now for the first time. I would like to grow some more of these rocket ship speed syagrus. I would like to make a group planting of them, just for the effect.

Walt

 

Hey Walt,

The same thing happens to me occasionally here on Palmtalk.  You can tell when coconuts are viable or potentially viable when the nuts are at least about 8" long and turn brown all around the husk.  When you shake them, you should hear the water or milk at that point sloshing around inside.  If you float the nuts in a bucket, you can see which side is the up side and plant the nut with that side facing up or just sit it on the ground somewhere with that side facing up, and water the nut about once every 2 to 3 days when it is hot and dry.  Hopefully within a few months, the nuts will sprout.  I have had them take anywhere from a month and a half to 11 months to sprout, but 3 to 6 months is typical.  If you soak the nuts in water for about 5 to 7 days, that seems to help speed up germination.  I have never had a nut less than 7" long (husk length) sprout, so if your nuts are smaller than that, they probably aren't viable.  Nuts in the 9" size range would probably be more viable than the smaller ones.  I usually sprout mine in full sun, but I have gotten a few sprouts in partial shade.

Thanks for the subtitles that you are planning on putting in your videos.  I am not sure how long it will take me to get my computer fixed.  I have heard about a lot of problems with Windows 10, and someone in the local garden club here, told me that it actually takes over your computer and spies on you even more than the old system.  I need to see if I can find someone who won't charge me an arm and a leg to get rid of it and restore Windows 8.

You should be able to get at least one or two sprouts from nuts off of your palm if you leave at least a few nuts on the palm to ripen up and turn brown.  The green nuts are good for drinking the water from, but let a few get bigger and turn brown and naturally fall off when they are ready.  Those are the ones you should plant.  I will be happy if any of my coconut palms survive and start producing nuts over the next few years.  Hopefully, I can get at least a couple of viable nuts off of them.  That's great that you have gotten offspring from the seeds of your palms.  How many different species do you have total in the ground? I have a total of 16 species in the ground, and about another 9 species in pots.  I will have to look up that Syagrus that you have.  I am not familiar with it.

John

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Walt
19 hours ago, Mr. Coconut Palm said:

Hey Walt,

The same thing happens to me occasionally here on Palmtalk.  You can tell when coconuts are viable or potentially viable when the nuts are at least about 8" long and turn brown all around the husk.  When you shake them, you should hear the water or milk at that point sloshing around inside.  If you float the nuts in a bucket, you can see which side is the up side and plant the nut with that side facing up or just sit it on the ground somewhere with that side facing up, and water the nut about once every 2 to 3 days when it is hot and dry.  Hopefully within a few months, the nuts will sprout.  I have had them take anywhere from a month and a half to 11 months to sprout, but 3 to 6 months is typical.  If you soak the nuts in water for about 5 to 7 days, that seems to help speed up germination.  I have never had a nut less than 7" long (husk length) sprout, so if your nuts are smaller than that, they probably aren't viable.  Nuts in the 9" size range would probably be more viable than the smaller ones.  I usually sprout mine in full sun, but I have gotten a few sprouts in partial shade.

Thanks for the subtitles that you are planning on putting in your videos.  I am not sure how long it will take me to get my computer fixed.  I have heard about a lot of problems with Windows 10, and someone in the local garden club here, told me that it actually takes over your computer and spies on you even more than the old system.  I need to see if I can find someone who won't charge me an arm and a leg to get rid of it and restore Windows 8.

You should be able to get at least one or two sprouts from nuts off of your palm if you leave at least a few nuts on the palm to ripen up and turn brown.  The green nuts are good for drinking the water from, but let a few get bigger and turn brown and naturally fall off when they are ready.  Those are the ones you should plant.  I will be happy if any of my coconut palms survive and start producing nuts over the next few years.  Hopefully, I can get at least a couple of viable nuts off of them.  That's great that you have gotten offspring from the seeds of your palms.  How many different species do you have total in the ground? I have a total of 16 species in the ground, and about another 9 species in pots.  I will have to look up that Syagrus that you have.  I am not familiar with it.

John

Hi John,

Yesterday my wife was out walking our dogs and noticed a coconut lying on the ground. I'm not sure if it fell from the oldest bunch or not. Nevertheless, I opened it up. The water was sweet and the meat good. I have most of the meat in a plastic storage container in frig, and I eat some each evening. I didn't measure the entire nut (in husk) but I did measure the cleaned (exterior) of the nut itself. It only measured about 3-1/2" in diameter. Of all the coconuts I've harvested over the past three years, all of them seem to be about the same size. I may pick another nut tomorrow, and I will take on overall measurement of the husk.

I went on YouTube to try and find a video on how best (easy) to remove the copra meat from the shell, and without the thin brown scale on it where it meets the shell. One guy said to put the de husked coconut in the freezer for 12 hours, then crack the shell and the meat will come out easily and skinless. When he did it he got what looked like a big white egg (pretty neat). But I tried it and it didn't work for me. I left the water in it and the water froze, plus it expanded and cracked the shell. Yesterday I tried it again with the coconut my wife picked up off the ground. This time I punched a hole in the nut and drained it of the water. This morning I took a hammer to crack the shell. Another failure! This time it was worse than before. So much for that freezer method. And BTW, the coconut my wife picked up off the ground was mostly green.

As far as palm species, right now I have between 55-60 species in the ground. Years ago I had over 100 species/varieties. But hard freezes and diseases killed many of them. Further, many of the species were just too cold tender. I have maybe 5-6 species in pots that I don't have in the ground. Once the potted species get big enough to plant, that will be it for me. I no longer care to propagate palms from seed. It takes too much of my time now. Just maintaining my property (to the level I like it to be) takes too much time and labor. Any more palm species I don't have, I plan on buying them in larger sizes big enough to be planted out.

Walt

 

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Mr. Coconut Palm
3 hours ago, Walt said:

Hi John,

Yesterday my wife was out walking our dogs and noticed a coconut lying on the ground. I'm not sure if it fell from the oldest bunch or not. Nevertheless, I opened it up. The water was sweet and the meat good. I have most of the meat in a plastic storage container in frig, and I eat some each evening. I didn't measure the entire nut (in husk) but I did measure the cleaned (exterior) of the nut itself. It only measured about 3-1/2" in diameter. Of all the coconuts I've harvested over the past three years, all of them seem to be about the same size. I may pick another nut tomorrow, and I will take on overall measurement of the husk.

I went on YouTube to try and find a video on how best (easy) to remove the copra meat from the shell, and without the thin brown scale on it where it meets the shell. One guy said to put the de husked coconut in the freezer for 12 hours, then crack the shell and the meat will come out easily and skinless. When he did it he got what looked like a big white egg (pretty neat). But I tried it and it didn't work for me. I left the water in it and the water froze, plus it expanded and cracked the shell. Yesterday I tried it again with the coconut my wife picked up off the ground. This time I punched a hole in the nut and drained it of the water. This morning I took a hammer to crack the shell. Another failure! This time it was worse than before. So much for that freezer method. And BTW, the coconut my wife picked up off the ground was mostly green.

As far as palm species, right now I have between 55-60 species in the ground. Years ago I had over 100 species/varieties. But hard freezes and diseases killed many of them. Further, many of the species were just too cold tender. I have maybe 5-6 species in pots that I don't have in the ground. Once the potted species get big enough to plant, that will be it for me. I no longer care to propagate palms from seed. It takes too much of my time now. Just maintaining my property (to the level I like it to be) takes too much time and labor. Any more palm species I don't have, I plan on buying them in larger sizes big enough to be planted out.

Walt

 

Hey Walt,

I am curious why your palm is prematurely shedding its nuts while they are still green and fairly small.  Isn't this the third year of production for you?  If so, they should be holding on the palm until they ripen (brown up) before falling.  I have read that the first year or so that they start producing, it is normal for them to prematurely shed their nuts, just like most fruit trees shed their fruit the first year or so, but definitely by the third year, the nuts should be holding on the palm longer.  I think you need to get your actual unhusked nuts up to about 4.5" to 5" diameter, and then they should start being viable.  I think 3.5" diameter is still just a little small.  You mighty be just barely at the threshold for viability since I have had a few relatively small nuts (still in the husk) sprout over the years, and judging by the relatively small size of the husk, the nut inside may have been no more than 3.5" in diameter.  If any of them brown up fully, give them a try, but the husk would have to be at least about 7.5" to 8" long and at least about 5.5" to 6" in diameter.  Anyway, I am glad you are getting nut production.  I hope at least one or two of my 8 in ground palms will produce some coconuts over the next few years.  I have a Green Malayan that has almost 2ft. of woody trunk that should be old enough to start flowering by next summer.

When it comes to opening a coconut, I think I am way too clumsy to safely do that myself.  There are a lot of people from Mexico here that could probably easily do that for me if I ever get some nuts and want to try a green one for the water.  I like eating copra too.  It is a good nutritious snack.

Wow, you have a lot of palms.  The former president of our Palm Society over here has over 100 species in the ground in his yard on Padre Island, and most of them are labeled.  I have 16 species in the ground, and none of them are labeled yet.  The new president of the Palm Society here has approximately 86 or possibly more species in his yard, and he lives in a high end 9B climate about 4.5 to 5 miles inland from my place.  He has a small in ground coconut palm that has survived the last 2 winters, and recently planted 9 more in his yard.  I think all of his are from nuts we have collected off of Padre Island.  My 8 in ground ones, comprise 4 from Florida, 1 that was the last remaining one at a local nursery, and 3 that I sprouted from nuts off the beach at Padre Island.  So far this year, I have gotten 11 sprouts from nuts I collected off the beach, and one of them is VERY ROBUST.  It is only about 2.5 months old, yet is almost 3ft. tall!  I know what you mean about too much time for your palms.  I am overwhelmed when it comes to keeping everything watered.  I have given away a lot of my potted plants, but I still have enough left that it takes me a good hour and a half to water them all, and I have about 180 coconuts left from the beach ( I had about 350 at one point a couple of months ago, but gave a bunch to my Palm Society friend) that I am trying to sprout.  Keeping them watered takes me a good 2 hours every two to three days.

John

Edited by Mr. Coconut Palm

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Walt
20 hours ago, Mr. Coconut Palm said:

Hey Walt,

I am curious why your palm is prematurely shedding its nuts while they are still green and fairly small.  Isn't this the third year of production for you?  If so, they should be holding on the palm until they ripen (brown up) before falling.  I have read that the first year or so that they start producing, it is normal for them to prematurely shed their nuts, just like most fruit trees shed their fruit the first year or so, but definitely by the third year, the nuts should be holding on the palm longer.  I think you need to get your actual unhusked nuts up to about 4.5" to 5" diameter, and then they should start being viable.  I think 3.5" diameter is still just a little small.  You mighty be just barely at the threshold for viability since I have had a few relatively small nuts (still in the husk) sprout over the years, and judging by the relatively small size of the husk, the nut inside may have been no more than 3.5" in diameter.  If any of them brown up fully, give them a try, but the husk would have to be at least about 7.5" to 8" long and at least about 5.5" to 6" in diameter.  Anyway, I am glad you are getting nut production.  I hope at least one or two of my 8 in ground palms will produce some coconuts over the next few years.  I have a Green Malayan that has almost 2ft. of woody trunk that should be old enough to start flowering by next summer.

When it comes to opening a coconut, I think I am way too clumsy to safely do that myself.  There are a lot of people from Mexico here that could probably easily do that for me if I ever get some nuts and want to try a green one for the water.  I like eating copra too.  It is a good nutritious snack.

Wow, you have a lot of palms.  The former president of our Palm Society over here has over 100 species in the ground in his yard on Padre Island, and most of them are labeled.  I have 16 species in the ground, and none of them are labeled yet.  The new president of the Palm Society here has approximately 86 or possibly more species in his yard, and he lives in a high end 9B climate about 4.5 to 5 miles inland from my place.  He has a small in ground coconut palm that has survived the last 2 winters, and recently planted 9 more in his yard.  I think all of his are from nuts we have collected off of Padre Island.  My 8 in ground ones, comprise 4 from Florida, 1 that was the last remaining one at a local nursery, and 3 that I sprouted from nuts off the beach at Padre Island.  So far this year, I have gotten 11 sprouts from nuts I collected off the beach, and one of them is VERY ROBUST.  It is only about 2.5 months old, yet is almost 3ft. tall!  I know what you mean about too much time for your palms.  I am overwhelmed when it comes to keeping everything watered.  I have given away a lot of my potted plants, but I still have enough left that it takes me a good hour and a half to water them all, and I have about 180 coconuts left from the beach ( I had about 350 at one point a couple of months ago, but gave a bunch to my Palm Society friend) that I am trying to sprout.  Keeping them watered takes me a good 2 hours every two to three days.

John

John,

My coconut palm produced it's first nuts about seven years ago, but they were very small and all aborted. Then it went 3-4 years without flowering. But three years ago it started to flower again, producing it's first edible nuts. I only got three normal (for my palm) sized nuts. Last year I only got two normal sized (but lots of bunches developing). All those developing bunches of nuts last year are now coming to fruition.  However, one bunch of 10 nuts became detached several months ago and fell to the ground. They weren't large enough to be viable. I couldn't hear any water sloshing around in them. I pitched them all near the house foundation where my hose bib and hose is -- just in case one might sprout, but I doubt it.

As far as potted palms, while I sold some, I must have given away thousands of dollars (retail value) of them earlier this year. I donated most of them to my county extension office master gardener plant sale (a yearly event), and to the Avon Park Correctional Facility which has a large botanical garden (with lots of propagation buildings); they also have a yearly plant sale to the general public. I got to meet the supervisor of the garden, plus many of the prison inmates. They were a very respectful bunch and were very appreciative to get more than 10 new species of palms. The botanical garden comprises maybe 10 acres and is situated on the south side of a large lake, giving them a zone 10a climate. They have a small lake with an island in the middle of it, the island being accessed by a bamboo bridge. They are planting the island with many species of tropical plants and palms (many I donated to them).

I open my coconuts on the kitchen counter (with a plastic cutting board under the nut). I have a mesh cutting glove (my wife bought. The kind kitchen workers wear to protect from accidently cutting their hands with a knife) I put on my left hand. With my right hand I use a long serrated kitchen knife (like a saw) and cut off both ends of the husk. Then I start making (sawing) longitudinal cuts about ever two inches around the husk. This allows me to then peel the husk off in sections, making it easier -- but it's still hard and laborious. Once I remove the husk I use the knife to shave excess fibers off the nut. Once the nut is shaved I use a cork screw to punch through the biggest of the three eyes and drain the nut. Once drained I use a small ballpeen hammer or back of a thick chef's knife to crack the nut open.

Once the nut is cracked open I carefully use a knife to try and dislodge the biggest sections of copra I can. As you know, it's a lot of work for such a small reward.

Today I checked the 10 coconuts that I pitched on the ground (that fell off the palm several months ago). They all are very light in weight. I'm all but sure they are no good. I will pick them up tomorrow and put them in an out of the way location. I don't want them junking up my yard by the house.

Speaking of coconuts. I ran across this article the other day. Check it out.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/the-caribbean-running-out-of-coconuts-a7235836.html

 

Walt

 

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Mr. Coconut Palm
2 hours ago, Walt said:

John,

My coconut palm produced it's first nuts about seven years ago, but they were very small and all aborted. Then it went 3-4 years without flowering. But three years ago it started to flower again, producing it's first edible nuts. I only got three normal (for my palm) sized nuts. Last year I only got two normal sized (but lots of bunches developing). All those developing bunches of nuts last year are now coming to fruition.  However, one bunch of 10 nuts became detached several months ago and fell to the ground. They weren't large enough to be viable. I couldn't hear any water sloshing around in them. I pitched them all near the house foundation where my hose bib and hose is -- just in case one might sprout, but I doubt it.

As far as potted palms, while I sold some, I must have given away thousands of dollars (retail value) of them earlier this year. I donated most of them to my county extension office master gardener plant sale (a yearly event), and to the Avon Park Correctional Facility which has a large botanical garden (with lots of propagation buildings); they also have a yearly plant sale to the general public. I got to meet the supervisor of the garden, plus many of the prison inmates. They were a very respectful bunch and were very appreciative to get more than 10 new species of palms. The botanical garden comprises maybe 10 acres and is situated on the south side of a large lake, giving them a zone 10a climate. They have a small lake with an island in the middle of it, the island being accessed by a bamboo bridge. They are planting the island with many species of tropical plants and palms (many I donated to them).

I open my coconuts on the kitchen counter (with a plastic cutting board under the nut). I have a mesh cutting glove (my wife bought. The kind kitchen workers wear to protect from accidently cutting their hands with a knife) I put on my left hand. With my right hand I use a long serrated kitchen knife (like a saw) and cut off both ends of the husk. Then I start making (sawing) longitudinal cuts about ever two inches around the husk. This allows me to then peel the husk off in sections, making it easier -- but it's still hard and laborious. Once I remove the husk I use the knife to shave excess fibers off the nut. Once the nut is shaved I use a cork screw to punch through the biggest of the three eyes and drain the nut. Once drained I use a small ballpeen hammer or back of a thick chef's knife to crack the nut open.

Once the nut is cracked open I carefully use a knife to try and dislodge the biggest sections of copra I can. As you know, it's a lot of work for such a small reward.

Today I checked the 10 coconuts that I pitched on the ground (that fell off the palm several months ago). They all are very light in weight. I'm all but sure they are no good. I will pick them up tomorrow and put them in an out of the way location. I don't want them junking up my yard by the house.

Speaking of coconuts. I ran across this article the other day. Check it out.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/the-caribbean-running-out-of-coconuts-a7235836.html

 

Walt

 

Hey Walt,

Thanks for the link.  That was a very interesting article.  I wish there would be some way I could make an honest living doing the thing I have such a passion for, which is growing coconut palms organically.  I think that by growing them 100% organically, that it will increase their resistance to Lethal Yellowing, increase their cold hardiness slightly (which is a major factor for those of us growing them in marginal climates), and of course produce much more nutritious and healthy nuts than the ones grown with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

That is interesting that your palm went dormant so to speak when it comes to nut production for a few years.  Did that time frame coincide with the really bad winters you had a several years ago?  I wonder why that one bunch of nuts became detached prematurely.  When I lived in Coral Springs, I got a good cluster of about a dozen ripe viable Green Malayan nuts that fell off of one of the mature palms at the Coconut Creek City Hall.  That whole cluster was ripe, and I think it fell off during a thunderstorm.  I was just lucky enough to be passing by shortly thereafter before anyone else or the grounds keeping crew had a chance to pick them up.

That's great what you did with your palms.  I especially admire the way you donated some to the prison.  That sounds like a pretty neat botanical garden they have going there.  It sounds like it would be worth visiting if they let the general public in to see it.  They should try some coconut palms there, especially since they have a 10A Climate.  Fresh coconut water would be a great way for the inmates to stay hydrated, especially during the heat of the summer.

That sounds like a lot of work when it comes to opening the coconuts.  I love growing them so much, that I have never really tried opening one, with the exception of an unhusked grocery store nut that a family member wanted to consume about 5 years ago.  I just tapped one of the eyes like you did to get the water out.  I think I will leave the opening of the nuts to others, while I am quite happy to grow them.  If I ever get enough nuts (some for sprouting and others for consuming), maybe I can find someone who I can trade some nuts too in exchange for them opening a few for me.   My most promising palm for producing nuts in the next couple of years, my Green Malayan is really looking good after developing some penciling and being too dry and somewhat root bound at the nursery I got it from the end of May.  The penciling seems to be going away and the base of the trunk is fattening up nicely.  Also, the crown is becoming quite full, and I just planted it the first part of June.  If I could afford to keep it watered more, I am sure it would look even better now.  I am hoping sometime in the near future to replace the old trim on my old house and get a gutter system put up so that I can start doing rainwater harvesting.  Rainwater is so much better than tap water for plants, and it sure reduces your water bill.

John

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Walt
19 hours ago, Mr. Coconut Palm said:

Hey Walt,

Thanks for the link.  That was a very interesting article.  I wish there would be some way I could make an honest living doing the thing I have such a passion for, which is growing coconut palms organically.  I think that by growing them 100% organically, that it will increase their resistance to Lethal Yellowing, increase their cold hardiness slightly (which is a major factor for those of us growing them in marginal climates), and of course produce much more nutritious and healthy nuts than the ones grown with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

That is interesting that your palm went dormant so to speak when it comes to nut production for a few years.  Did that time frame coincide with the really bad winters you had a several years ago?  I wonder why that one bunch of nuts became detached prematurely.  When I lived in Coral Springs, I got a good cluster of about a dozen ripe viable Green Malayan nuts that fell off of one of the mature palms at the Coconut Creek City Hall.  That whole cluster was ripe, and I think it fell off during a thunderstorm.  I was just lucky enough to be passing by shortly thereafter before anyone else or the grounds keeping crew had a chance to pick them up.

That's great what you did with your palms.  I especially admire the way you donated some to the prison.  That sounds like a pretty neat botanical garden they have going there.  It sounds like it would be worth visiting if they let the general public in to see it.  They should try some coconut palms there, especially since they have a 10A Climate.  Fresh coconut water would be a great way for the inmates to stay hydrated, especially during the heat of the summer.

That sounds like a lot of work when it comes to opening the coconuts.  I love growing them so much, that I have never really tried opening one, with the exception of an unhusked grocery store nut that a family member wanted to consume about 5 years ago.  I just tapped one of the eyes like you did to get the water out.  I think I will leave the opening of the nuts to others, while I am quite happy to grow them.  If I ever get enough nuts (some for sprouting and others for consuming), maybe I can find someone who I can trade some nuts too in exchange for them opening a few for me.   My most promising palm for producing nuts in the next couple of years, my Green Malayan is really looking good after developing some penciling and being too dry and somewhat root bound at the nursery I got it from the end of May.  The penciling seems to be going away and the base of the trunk is fattening up nicely.  Also, the crown is becoming quite full, and I just planted it the first part of June.  If I could afford to keep it watered more, I am sure it would look even better now.  I am hoping sometime in the near future to replace the old trim on my old house and get a gutter system put up so that I can start doing rainwater harvesting.  Rainwater is so much better than tap water for plants, and it sure reduces your water bill.

John

John, I had a string of very cold winters, with both January and December of 2010 in the middle of it. That could be a factor as to why I didn't get any flowering for a few years. In any event, that's all in the past! It's certainly flowering now and producing quality nuts. In fact, the third (current) nut I picked, the meat tastes discernibly sweeter than the first two, although were good. Tomorrow I will pick another nut and open it. Today I made three YouTube videos (one of my coconut palm, one of my Syagrus botryophora palms, and one of my Caryota mitis palms). However, the videos aren't edited where I could put in subtitles. So far I've only uploaded my Syagrus botryophora video. I will upload the other two later this evening.

As for coconuts, I only open about one nut a week, so while it's hard to do, at least it's not frequently that I have to do it. If I had to make a living opening coconuts, you can bet I would find an easy way, one using mechanical equipment and tools, etc., to do it. And no way would I ever try to open them with a machete while holding them! As I drive around my environs and see property owners with coconuts loaded with nuts, I wonder if they harvest them or just dispose of them with yard waste. If I ever see a home owner with a fruiting coconut palm I intend to ask them about it.

No doubt rain water is far superior than tap water. I catch all the water I can as roof run off (n rectangle plastic trash cans) and use it to water all of my and my wife's potted plants. I generally get more water than I can use during the rainy season. Once I see mosquito larva in the water I dump it. Sometimes I even have tree frog tadpoles in the water if it's left too long. I've seen raccoons (we have lots of them) around here try to eat the tadpoles in the water cans.

I took the below pic today as I was making my YouTube video.  Right now everything is tropical lush. But as the days continue to grow shorter and the rainy season ends, the lushness will slowly diminish

Coconut%20palm%209-21-16_zpsacef8t7w.jpg

Walt

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Walt

John,

Today I cut off the oldest (bottom most) bunch of coconuts (only four on this bunch). They definitely looked past the point I should have picked them. In any event, they are picked and cleaned. Now I have to start opening them up. All the nuts have water in them, even the very small one (although not much water). I will open the small nut first. If that one is okay then I feel for sure the others will be fine. I have a feeling the small nut might be more difficult to crack. Guess I will find out.

Coconuts%209-23-2016_zpsikelzcmf.jpg

Coconuts%20husked%209-23-2016_zpskqxblrb

 

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PalmTreeDude
6 hours ago, Walt said:

John,

Today I cut off the oldest (bottom most) bunch of coconuts (only four on this bunch). They definitely looked past the point I should have picked them. In any event, they are picked and cleaned. Now I have to start opening them up. All the nuts have water in them, even the very small one (although not much water). I will open the small nut first. If that one is okay then I feel for sure the others will be fine. I have a feeling the small nut might be more difficult to crack. Guess I will find out.

Coconuts%209-23-2016_zpsikelzcmf.jpg

Coconuts%20husked%209-23-2016_zpskqxblrb

 

Woah! :yay:

Edited by PalmTreeDude

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Keith in SoJax

Here's our best looking zone 9 coconut. It was planted as an annual in 2014 and has never been protected.  I'm cheating though, the last 2 winters have been exceptionally warm and I don't think it's actually been below 30f.  The other 2 look rather crappy.

 

IMG_0320.JPG

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Walt

Well, your coconut palm looks good and very healthy, Keith. Fortunately, I haven't had to protect my coconut palm for the past three (maybe four, I just can't recall now) winters. I would suggest if you ever do have to protect your palm that you at least give some kind of light supplemental heat (string lights, heating cables, etc.) and insulative wrap from the meristem on down to the soil line. As you know, that's what's kept my palm alive through many cold winters. You only need to do this if the temperature goes below 30 degrees. My palm would surely never have pulled through the December 2010 cold had I not protected it.

So far I've harvested eight coconuts, all with sweet water and meat. I'm beginning to get my fill of them, and I think I will try to sprout some, if for no other reason than to say I grew new coconut palms from my own palms, that they are truly zone 9b coconuts.

I took the below video back on September 23, 2016 and uploaded it to YouTube. Since this video the largest spathe has blossomed into golden flowers and small nuts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyOgIdXXZgw

 

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RedRabbit
On 9/21/2016, 7:19:47, Walt said:

John, I had a string of very cold winters, with both January and December of 2010 in the middle of it. That could be a factor as to why I didn't get any flowering for a few years. In any event, that's all in the past! It's certainly flowering now and producing quality nuts. In fact, the third (current) nut I picked, the meat tastes discernibly sweeter than the first two, although were good. Tomorrow I will pick another nut and open it. Today I made three YouTube videos (one of my coconut palm, one of my Syagrus botryophora palms, and one of my Caryota mitis palms). However, the videos aren't edited where I could put in subtitles. So far I've only uploaded my Syagrus botryophora video. I will upload the other two later this evening.

As for coconuts, I only open about one nut a week, so while it's hard to do, at least it's not frequently that I have to do it. If I had to make a living opening coconuts, you can bet I would find an easy way, one using mechanical equipment and tools, etc., to do it. And no way would I ever try to open them with a machete while holding them! As I drive around my environs and see property owners with coconuts loaded with nuts, I wonder if they harvest them or just dispose of them with yard waste. If I ever see a home owner with a fruiting coconut palm I intend to ask them about it.

No doubt rain water is far superior than tap water. I catch all the water I can as roof run off (n rectangle plastic trash cans) and use it to water all of my and my wife's potted plants. I generally get more water than I can use during the rainy season. Once I see mosquito larva in the water I dump it. Sometimes I even have tree frog tadpoles in the water if it's left too long. I've seen raccoons (we have lots of them) around here try to eat the tadpoles in the water cans.

I took the below pic today as I was making my YouTube video.  Right now everything is tropical lush. But as the days continue to grow shorter and the rainy season ends, the lushness will slowly diminish

Coconut%20palm%209-21-16_zpsacef8t7w.jpg

Walt

She's looking great there Walt!

3 hours ago, Keith in SoJax said:

Here's our best looking zone 9 coconut. It was planted as an annual in 2014 and has never been protected.  I'm cheating though, the last 2 winters have been exceptionally warm and I don't think it's actually been below 30f.  The other 2 look rather crappy.

 

IMG_0320.JPG

Looks nice Keith! 

 

The best coconut I've seen in a legit zone 9 is the one up in Land O'Lakes. It has only been there a couple years but it already has some trunk if I'm not mistaken. I'd share it but it isn't really on streetview.

These 3 are about 1/4th mile from me... They all started about the same size so it is interesting to see how the rate of growth has differed so drastically. 

https://www.google.com/maps/@28.0342477,-82.5056171,3a,75y,73.87h,74.08t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s1mfdWOCJljyTz1L3zDqCjg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

Here's another nice one (though there could be an argument this part of town is over the 10a threshold):  https://www.google.com/maps/@27.9915953,-82.5689457,3a,37.5y,246.01h,83.82t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s6PttSAJz1C1qKguBvyQ9pQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

There are quite a few others I know of in Tampa that are technically in USDA 9b, but should really be classified as 10a. The ones I shared above are in locations that they could not have survived 2010 at. Pretty much anything that survived 2010 is either in USDA 10a or in a location that USDA is under rating. 

 

 

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PalmTreeDude
6 hours ago, RedRabbit said:

She's looking great there Walt!

Looks nice Keith! 

 

The best coconut I've seen in a legit zone 9 is the one up in Land O'Lakes. It has only been there a couple years but it already has some trunk if I'm not mistaken. I'd share it but it isn't really on streetview.

These 3 are about 1/4th mile from me... They all started about the same size so it is interesting to see how the rate of growth has differed so drastically. 

https://www.google.com/maps/@28.0342477,-82.5056171,3a,75y,73.87h,74.08t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s1mfdWOCJljyTz1L3zDqCjg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

Here's another nice one (though there could be an argument this part of town is over the 10a threshold):  https://www.google.com/maps/@27.9915953,-82.5689457,3a,37.5y,246.01h,83.82t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s6PttSAJz1C1qKguBvyQ9pQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

There are quite a few others I know of in Tampa that are technically in USDA 9b, but should really be classified as 10a. The ones I shared above are in locations that they could not have survived 2010 at. Pretty much anything that survived 2010 is either in USDA 10a or in a location that USDA is under rating. 

 

 

I think the USDA needs to completely re do their map. Or at least for some states. They have Hilton Head Island, S.C. labeled as zone 8b, and it is clearly 9a, they have queens and everything. A lot of parts of costal south central Florida labeled as 9b that have more of 10a and 10b (in some micro climates) tempature.

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RedRabbit
36 minutes ago, PalmTreeDude said:

I think the USDA needs to completely re do their map. Or at least for some states. They have Hilton Head Island, S.C. labeled as zone 8b, and it is clearly 9a, they have queens and everything. A lot of parts of costal south central Florida labeled as 9b that have more of 10a and 10b (in some micro climates) tempature.

I agree. I think they take the 30yr averages and the last update was in 2012 so it included data going as far back as 1982. When they redraw their next map most of the 80s will be out the the equation and it should be quite a bit warmer. The averages I've seen going back to 2000 are up to about 7f than what USDA has. For instance, USDA only gives metro Orlando about 27F as the avg low, but I have Orlando Executive Airport over 32f... There are some places though that calling 9b is downright egregious like St. Armends Key. Sarasota in general seems pretty underrated, I'm not sure how USDA got it so wrong.  

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Zeeth
3 minutes ago, RedRabbit said:

I agree. I think they take the 30yr averages and the last update was in 2012 so it included data going as far back as 1982. When they redraw their next map most of the 80s will be out the the equation and it should be quite a bit warmer. The averages I've seen going back to 2000 are up to about 7f than what USDA has. For instance, USDA only gives metro Orlando about 27F as the avg low, but I have Orlando Executive Airport over 32f... There are some places though that calling 9b is downright egregious like St. Armends Key. Sarasota in general seems pretty underrated, I'm not sure how USDA got it so wrong.  

A lot of north Sarasota is actually kind of cold considering how close to the water it is. West of Tamiami is 10a, but east of Tamiami drops down to 9b really fast. Bradenton sticks out into the water so far that Sarasota has a lot of air moving over land before it hits, so it's really cold. The Sarasota Airport, for example, is right on the water, but it consistently records the same lows every winter as my current garden, which is 2 miles inland in Palmetto. Once you get out to the islands it's much warmer though, with large coconuts and Geiger trees all over. I suspect that Pritchardia pacifica could do well in the right microclimate too. 

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NorCalKing
1 hour ago, PalmTreeDude said:

I think the USDA needs to completely re do their map. Or at least for some states. They have Hilton Head Island, S.C. labeled as zone 8b, and it is clearly 9a, they have queens and everything. A lot of parts of costal south central Florida labeled as 9b that have more of 10a and 10b (in some micro climates) tempature.

You don't have to go back too far to see "technically" Hilton Head is indeed 8b. Just 2014 they hit 19f which would drop it just out of 9a. Also, what you are forgetting (and part of the East coasts' dilemma in general) is many parts the southeast and even, central coastal Florida are susceptible to arctic cold fronts/polar vortexes that can, and do drop very far south. All it takes is one freak cold front to put an area that 9/10 years are easily 10a back squarely into zone 9a/b. Although I agree USDA is a horrible tool overall, it simply gives you an average min over the last 25 yrs.

Hilton Head:

https://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KHXD/2014/1/7/DailyHistory.html?req_city=Hilton%20Head%20Island&req_state=SC&req_statename=South%20Carolina&reqdb.zip=29915&reqdb.magic=2&reqdb.wmo=99999

Melbourne FL (Coastal Central Fl) 25f (9B)

https://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KMLB/2010/1/12/DailyHistory.html?req_city=&req_state=&req_statename=&reqdb.zip=&reqdb.magic=&reqdb.wmo=

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RedRabbit
39 minutes ago, Zeeth said:

A lot of north Sarasota is actually kind of cold considering how close to the water it is. West of Tamiami is 10a, but east of Tamiami drops down to 9b really fast. Bradenton sticks out into the water so far that Sarasota has a lot of air moving over land before it hits, so it's really cold. The Sarasota Airport, for example, is right on the water, but it consistently records the same lows every winter as my current garden, which is 2 miles inland in Palmetto. Once you get out to the islands it's much warmer though, with large coconuts and Geiger trees all over. I suspect that Pritchardia pacifica could do well in the right microclimate too. 

I was just in Sarasota yesterday and noticed that. On University Parkway going west there weren't too many zone 10 plants until 41, but there were a lot more zone 10 plants on Fruitville going out almost to I-75. I'm not sure if Fruitville is really warmer or not but it appears to be. For instance, these veitchia sp are pretty far inland but they're been there since at least 2007:  https://www.google.com/maps/@27.3374461,-82.5057222,3a,75y,135.41h,97.66t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1siSOynXJ_l-u5Dd4LUZC5Jw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

I'm really curious how all the palms they planted at UTC will fare long term. I suspect the royals will be okay but the veitchia and addonidia were some pretty bold choices for being just barely west of I-75.

Edited by RedRabbit

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Zeeth
26 minutes ago, NorCalKing said:

You don't have to go back too far to see "technically" Hilton Head is indeed 8b. Just 2014 they hit 19f which would drop it just out of 9a. Also, what you are forgetting (and part of the East coasts' dilemma in general) is many parts the southeast and even, central coastal Florida are susceptible to arctic cold fronts/polar vortexes that can, and do drop very far south. All it takes is one freak cold front to put an area that 9/10 years are easily 10a back squarely into zone 9a/b. Although I agree USDA is a horrible tool overall, it simply gives you an average min over the last 25 yrs.

Hilton Head:

https://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KHXD/2014/1/7/DailyHistory.html?req_city=Hilton%20Head%20Island&req_state=SC&req_statename=South%20Carolina&reqdb.zip=29915&reqdb.magic=2&reqdb.wmo=99999

Melbourne FL (Coastal Central Fl) 25f (9B)

https://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KMLB/2010/1/12/DailyHistory.html?req_city=&req_state=&req_statename=&reqdb.zip=&reqdb.magic=&reqdb.wmo=

That's not how USDA zones work though. It's the average of the annual low, not the record low for X number of years. I averaged the temperatures of Hilton Head from the link you posted, and the average for 1953-2016 (excluding 1994-2003, when the data is missing) is 20.28˚. This number includes all of the freezes of the 1980's, so I feel pretty secure in saying that the data backs up it being on the low end of 9a. 

Ft. Myers has recorded as cold as 24˚ before, but the airport averages 34˚, and it's in a cold pocket. At the very coldest though, it's a 10a zone with a tropical climate, it's not 9a because of a freeze that happened once. 

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Zeeth
1 minute ago, RedRabbit said:

I was just in Sarasota yesterday and noticed that. On University Parkway going west there weren't too many zone 10 plants until 41, but there were a lot more zone 10 plants on Fruitville going out almost to I-75. I'm not sure if Fruitville is really warmer or not but it appears to be.

I'm really curious how all the palms they planted at UTC will fare long term. I suspect the royals will be okay but the veitchia and addonidia were some pretty bold choices for being just barely east of I-75.

There are some weird spots in Sarasota, so it'll be interesting to see what happens. My dad works just south of the new mall and there's a coconut in the plaza near his work that survived 2010.

They planted a bunch of Royals, Veitchias, Latanias and even a few Elaeis guineensis at the I75 interchange in Ellenton a few years ago. Like you said, the royals will be fine in that spot but I have my doubts about the other stuff. There are a bunch of Veitchias at the Outlet mall that survived 2010 though, so maybe the Manatee river being so close-by will help. There are a few coconuts on the banks of the river in that spot that did alright through 2010 though. 

The main issue in the area that I saw was that people chopped palms down before they had a chance to recover after the bad winter. A lot of the tender palms that were more neglected actually ended up recovering because the ones that were "maintained" were removed as soon as the damage became evident. I don't see the UTC keeping anything brown around for very long though. 

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NorCalKing
13 minutes ago, Zeeth said:

That's not how USDA zones work though. It's the average of the annual low, not the record low for X number of years. I averaged the temperatures of Hilton Head from the link you posted, and the average for 1953-2016 (excluding 1994-2003, when the data is missing) is 20.28˚. This number includes all of the freezes of the 1980's, so I feel pretty secure in saying that the data backs up it being on the low end of 9a. 

Ft. Myers has recorded as cold as 24˚ before, but the airport averages 34˚, and it's in a cold pocket. At the very coldest though, it's a 10a zone with a tropical climate, it's not 9a because of a freeze that happened once. 

So why is it USDA even with the 2012 latest update still rates HH as 8B? Clearly they have this data.

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Zeeth
1 minute ago, NorCalKing said:

So why is it USDA even with the 2012 latest update still rates HH as 8B? Clearly they have this data.

The same reason that Lido Key, with lush coconuts and Geiger trees that were barely damaged in 2010 is rated at 9b: The map is wrong. Saying anything more than that is speculation, but it is, for whatever reason, wrong. 

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NorCalKing

Yeah I know from my perspective, how I personally select what I will plant - If I've dipped to 19F in the last decade, sorry I'm planting 8B trees. 

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RedRabbit
19 minutes ago, Zeeth said:

There are some weird spots in Sarasota, so it'll be interesting to see what happens. My dad works just south of the new mall and there's a coconut in the plaza near his work that survived 2010.

They planted a bunch of Royals, Veitchias, Latanias and even a few Elaeis guineensis at the I75 interchange in Ellenton a few years ago. Like you said, the royals will be fine in that spot but I have my doubts about the other stuff. There are a bunch of Veitchias at the Outlet mall that survived 2010 though, so maybe the Manatee river being so close-by will help. There are a few coconuts on the banks of the river in that spot that did alright through 2010 though. 

The main issue in the area that I saw was that people chopped palms down before they had a chance to recover after the bad winter. A lot of the tender palms that were more neglected actually ended up recovering because the ones that were "maintained" were removed as soon as the damage became evident. I don't see the UTC keeping anything brown around for very long though. 

I feel a little better about Ellenton with the Manatee river than UTC... It is very interesting there's a pre-2010 coconut just south of UTC. That would seemingly defy explanation given how far east it is.   

9 minutes ago, NorCalKing said:

Yeah I know from my perspective, how I personally select what I will plant - If I've dipped to 19F in the last decade, sorry I'm planting 8B trees. 

Over here there can be a pretty big disconnect between the average low and the lowest low. Vandenburg in Tampa, for instance, has averaged 28.7f since 2000 but did have a low of 19f in 2010. So do you plant 9b stuff there? Personally I wouldn't either.

Edited by RedRabbit
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NorCalKing
3 minutes ago, RedRabbit said:

 

Over here there can be a pretty big disconnect between the average low and the lowest low. Vandenburg in Tampa, for instance, has averaged 28.7f since 2000 but did have a low of 19f in 2010. So do you plant 9b stuff there? Personally I wouldn't either.

I probably would not. Unless it's a cheap Home Depot queen or something. In that case, hey, if I get 5-10 years, great! But if she croaks, no big loss!

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Mr. Coconut Palm
On ‎9‎/‎23‎/‎2016‎ ‎10‎:‎30‎:‎50‎, PalmTreeDude said:

Woah! :yay:

 

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Mr. Coconut Palm
On ‎9‎/‎21‎/‎2016‎ ‎6‎:‎19‎:‎47‎, Walt said:

nng John, I had a string of very cold winters, with both January and December of 2010 in the middle of it. That could be a factor as to why I didn't get any flowering for a few years. In any event, that's all in the past! It's certainly flowering now and producing quality nuts. In fact, the third (current) nut I picked, the meat tastes discernibly sweeter than the first two, although were good. Tomorrow I will pick another nut and open it. Today I made three YouTube videos (one of my coconut palm, one of my Syagrus botryophora palms, and one of my Caryota mitis palms). However, the videos aren't edited where I could put in subtitles. So far I've only uploaded my Syagrus botryophora video. I will upload the other two later this evening.

As for coconuts, I only open about one nut a week, so while it's hard to do, at least it's not frequently that I have to do it. If I had to make a living opening coconuts, you can bet I would find an easy way, one using mechanical equipment and tools, etc., to do it. And no way would I ever try to open them with a machete while holding them! As I drive around my environs and see property owners with coconuts loaded with nuts, I wonder if they harvest them or just dispose of them with yard waste. If I ever see a home owner with a fruiting coconut palm I intend to ask them about it.

No doubt rain water is far superior than tap water. I catch all the water I can as roof run off (n rectangle plastic trash cans) and use it to water all of my and my wife's potted plants. I generally get more water than I can use during the rainy season. Once I see mosquito larva in the water I dump it. Sometimes I even have tree frog tadpoles in the water if it's left too long. I've seen raccoons (we have lots of them) around here try to eat the tadpoles in the water cans.

I took the below pic today as I was making my YouTube video.  Right now everything is tropical lush. But as the days continue to grow shorter and the rainy season ends, the lushness will slowly diminish

Coconut%20palm%209-21-16_zpsacef8t7w.jpg

Walt

Hey Walt,

I have been out of town and away from a computer till this evening.   Your Green Malayan looks great.  I hope that mine can look that good one of these days and have some decent nuts on it like yours.  Mine is looking pretty good now, but what it looks like after the winter is anybody's guess.  I will try to check out your videos when I get a chance, even though I can't listen to the audio.

Considering all the effort to get into the coconuts, its probably a good idea to only open 1 per week.  Yeah, I would never use a machete or anything like it to open one. I look forward to any info you get from local homeowners that have producing coconut palms.

Your yard looks so lush and green.  We should have had 5" of rain here in Sept., but only ended up with about 4" and most of that came the last few days of Sept.  Oct. is supposed to be our second rainiest month with about 4", but so far none, so I am back to watering again.  I sure wish I could get my trim on my house replaced soon and get a gutter system up, then buy a couple of rainwater harvesting tanks.  My water bill last month was $136, and it is just my wife and I living here in a small house!  That's neat that you have the tree frog tadpoles in the water cans.  I assume they would probably eat any mosquito larva there.

John

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Mr. Coconut Palm
On ‎9‎/‎23‎/‎2016‎ ‎4‎:‎06‎:‎09‎, Walt said:

John,

Today I cut off the oldest (bottom most) bunch of coconuts (only four on this bunch). They definitely looked past the point I should have picked them. In any event, they are picked and cleaned. Now I have to start opening them up. All the nuts have water in them, even the very small one (although not much water). I will open the small nut first. If that one is okay then I feel for sure the others will be fine. I have a feeling the small nut might be more difficult to crack. Guess I will find out.

Coconuts%209-23-2016_zpsikelzcmf.jpg

Coconuts%20husked%209-23-2016_zpskqxblrb

 

Hey Walt,

That little coconut on the left looks like it is from a totally different variety since its shape is completely different from the other nuts.  The one on the right certainly looks large enough to be viable.  You ought to try planting a couple of the larger nuts and see what happens.  You could try soaking them in a bucket of water for about 5 to 7 days.  That has helped some of mine to sprout faster.

John

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Mr. Coconut Palm
On ‎10‎/‎2‎/‎2016‎ ‎8‎:‎37‎:‎29‎, Keith in SoJax said:

Here's our best looking zone 9 coconut. It was planted as an annual in 2014 and has never been protected.  I'm cheating though, the last 2 winters have been exceptionally warm and I don't think it's actually been below 30f.  The other 2 look rather crappy.

 

IMG_0320.JPG

Keith,

That looks like a healthy coconut palm, especially that far north.  What are your normal highs and lows there in Jan.?

John

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Keith in SoJax
6 hours ago, Mr. Coconut Palm said:

Keith,

That looks like a healthy coconut palm, especially that far north.  What are your normal highs and lows there in Jan.?

John

Hi John, low is about 50, high about 70... that's true for just about 90 days in Dec, Jan, Feb.. its those lows in the high 20's that happen a few times, plus those brief morning frosts that get us.  Coconuts look rough if they make it through winter.  It takes till late fall for them to look good again. Royals are a much better bet, though winter cold generally takes them out eventually too.  

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Walt
7 hours ago, Mr. Coconut Palm said:

Hey Walt,

I have been out of town and away from a computer till this evening.   Your Green Malayan looks great.  I hope that mine can look that good one of these days and have some decent nuts on it like yours.  Mine is looking pretty good now, but what it looks like after the winter is anybody's guess.  I will try to check out your videos when I get a chance, even though I can't listen to the audio.

Considering all the effort to get into the coconuts, its probably a good idea to only open 1 per week.  Yeah, I would never use a machete or anything like it to open one. I look forward to any info you get from local homeowners that have producing coconut palms.

Your yard looks so lush and green.  We should have had 5" of rain here in Sept., but only ended up with about 4" and most of that came the last few days of Sept.  Oct. is supposed to be our second rainiest month with about 4", but so far none, so I am back to watering again.  I sure wish I could get my trim on my house replaced soon and get a gutter system up, then buy a couple of rainwater harvesting tanks.  My water bill last month was $136, and it is just my wife and I living here in a small house!  That's neat that you have the tree frog tadpoles in the water cans.  I assume they would probably eat any mosquito larva there.

John

Well, last night I bought a video editing program. Now I must study the tutorials and learn how to completely use it. Once learned I will then be able to make some better quality videos to upload to YouTube. Next week I plan to start videoing all the coconut palms and other palms and tropical trees, etc., I can find in my area. I just want to take lots of raw video, then I will edit all of them down as needed to make a finished video(s).

A $136 water bill for one month seems steep to me. I guess the biggest cost is sewage (if your bill includes both). Fortunately for me I'm on a well and septic, so my only cost is the electric to pump the water. I'm on septic (have a septic mound), so there's no sewage cost. We've been getting lots of rain the past few days and all of my water containers are full to the top.

Right now my concerns are Hurricane Matthew. NOAA has been constantly revising it's northward track. Now I'm within the cone of probability. If the hurricane were to track up the center of the cone I'm still going to get some wind, although nothing too damaging. I expect lots of tree limbs and leaf and pine needle litter.

120607W5_NL_sm.gif

Walt

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Walt
7 hours ago, Mr. Coconut Palm said:

Hey Walt,

That little coconut on the left looks like it is from a totally different variety since its shape is completely different from the other nuts.  The one on the right certainly looks large enough to be viable.  You ought to try planting a couple of the larger nuts and see what happens.  You could try soaking them in a bucket of water for about 5 to 7 days.  That has helped some of mine to sprout faster.

John

John,

That little coconut just wasn't fully developed. It did have water and meat in it, though. I'm going to cut off another bunch any day now. I will try soaking some and try to sprout them.

I read just the other day that this winter might be a cold one, one that will even damage the citrus crops. If that proves to be so, then any coconut palms that are not protected will be toast, and probably killed. I read the predicted cold would be in mid January. Of course, I hope the prediction doesn't come true and that we have another relatively mild winter.

If the cold does come I only plan to protect the meristem and trunk of my coconut palm and adonidia palm I have growing next to my house, plus a small Roystonea borinquena growing near my coconut palm. The royal is still small (only a few inches of trunk) and I can't take a chance with it. One thing I've learned is that when a palm is small and it get severely cold damaged they never grow normally again. I've seen this with so many palms. They live but their growth rate seems to slow down to less than 1/4 the normal rate, and most end up dying after 2-3 years.

Walt

 

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GottmitAlex

Congratulations Walt! Your dedication has paid off. Not only do you have a healthy cocos nucifera palm, but a fruiting one. Thank you for sharing your video.

You have a very nice garden.

 

:greenthumb::greenthumb::greenthumb:

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Walt
2 hours ago, GottmitAlex said:

Congratulations Walt! Your dedication has paid off. Not only do you have a healthy cocos nucifera palm, but a fruiting one. Thank you for sharing your video.

You have a very nice garden.

 

:greenthumb::greenthumb::greenthumb:

Thanks. Keeping my coconut alive (during a hard freeze) is rather easy (with my protection method). But it took mother nature to give me at least three relatively mild winters in a row for my coconut to produce fruit. It's very gratifying to get so many  mature fruits in my climate/zone 9b.

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GottmitAlex
40 minutes ago, Walt said:

Thanks. Keeping my coconut alive (during a hard freeze) is rather easy (with my protection method). But it took mother nature to give me at least three relatively mild winters in a row for my coconut to produce fruit. It's very gratifying to get so many  mature fruits in my climate/zone 9b.

Not taking into account those sporadic and very seldom hard freezes, what would you say were the average lows during this past winter in your place?

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Walt
4 hours ago, GottmitAlex said:

Not taking into account those sporadic and very seldom hard freezes, what would you say were the average lows during this past winter in your place?

I don't know what my average lows were. All I know is the coldest morning this past winter my low was exactly 30 degrees F (1.1C). My lowest low for the previous winter was 31F, and 32F for the winter previous to that.

I checked my closet official weather station (Sebring, Florida, operated by the University of Florida) and ran a temperature report for December of 2015, January of 2016, and February of 2016.  The report generator doesn't measure the average low temperatures, only the daily, weekly, monthly average temperature.

The lowest low for December of 2015 was 47.84 F (8.7 C).

There were three days in January 2016 where the lows dropped below 40 F. They were 38.83F/3.75C; 36.19F/2.30C; 39.29F/4.0C. All the other lows were in the 40s, 50s, and even a few nights in the 60sF.

In February there was only one night below 40F, at 38F/3.3C.

The average temperature for the above three months was: December 2015: 72.43F/22.24C; January 2016: 60.84F/15.86F; February 2016 62.33F/16.68C.

My place generally runs 3-5 degrees colder on the coldest nights than that of the Sebring weather station, as I'm in a relative cold pocket. The town of Lake Placid (two miles from me) generally runs 7-8 degrees F warmer than my place, as it's at a higher elevation and has good cold air drainage.

 

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Mr. Coconut Palm
18 hours ago, Keith in SoJax said:

Hi John, low is about 50, high about 70... that's true for just about 90 days in Dec, Jan, Feb.. its those lows in the high 20's that happen a few times, plus those brief morning frosts that get us.  Coconuts look rough if they make it through winter.  It takes till late fall for them to look good again. Royals are a much better bet, though winter cold generally takes them out eventually too.  

Keith,

That's mild by Texas standards.  My average high and low in Jan. is 65F and 50F, but I am in a solidly Zone 10A Climate.  So far for the four winters I have lived here, the lowest my yard has gotten down to is 33.6F, 3 times as I recall.  My yard has had 10 frosts over that period, with about half of those moderate to heavy frosts, but the frosts don't affect my coconut palms nearly as bad as prolonged chilly weather, especially if it is accompanied by damp conditions, which we have sometimes in the winter here.  Your place is almost as mild as the Rio Grande Valley, but they rarely drop below the mid 30'sF, though the all time record low in Brownsville is 12F.  Coconut palms do quite well there between really bad Arctic freezes (which happen about once every 30 to 40 years), if they are adequately watered in the hot dry summers.  Royals also do really well there (and here too) if they are adequately watered.

If I understood you correctly, the temps drop down to the high 20'sF a few times each winter there?  If it weren't for that, then you would be in a solid 10A Climate too.

Be careful with the storm!  I just heard that it could come really close to Jacksonville.

John

Edited by Mr. Coconut Palm

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Mr. Coconut Palm
17 hours ago, Walt said:

John,

That little coconut just wasn't fully developed. It did have water and meat in it, though. I'm going to cut off another bunch any day now. I will try soaking some and try to sprout them.

I read just the other day that this winter might be a cold one, one that will even damage the citrus crops. If that proves to be so, then any coconut palms that are not protected will be toast, and probably killed. I read the predicted cold would be in mid January. Of course, I hope the prediction doesn't come true and that we have another relatively mild winter.

If the cold does come I only plan to protect the meristem and trunk of my coconut palm and adonidia palm I have growing next to my house, plus a small Roystonea borinquena growing near my coconut palm. The royal is still small (only a few inches of trunk) and I can't take a chance with it. One thing I've learned is that when a palm is small and it get severely cold damaged they never grow normally again. I've seen this with so many palms. They live but their growth rate seems to slow down to less than 1/4 the normal rate, and most end up dying after 2-3 years.

Walt

 

Hey Walt,

Your yard looks great!  I hope my Green Malayan will survive and start producing like yours in the next couple of years.  It is getting a really nice full crown on it, and it is recovering from the penciling it had when I bought.  Regarding this winter, is the prediction for the whole Gulf Coast or just your side of the Gulf.  I have heard a few rumors here that this winter may be a bad one, but I hope not.  Last winter was supposed to be a cool to somewhat chilly one here, and it ended up being the mildest winter I have ever experienced in Texas, and I am 46 years old. 

I think you are right about severely cold damaged young palms.  I try to harden off my more cold sensitive palms for a winter or two by exposing them to some nights in the 30'sF when they are still young and in pots before planting them.  This seems to have worked for my royals, Christmas palms, and to a certain extent with some of my coconuts that I planted this year.  I hope you are spared the storm.  Be careful over there!

John

P.S.  I still think the longer shape of the small nut is really interesting, as if it is from a different variety.  It is interesting that the same tree will produce different shaped nuts, since I don't think they go from being elongated to round as they get bigger.   The other 3 nuts have a distinctly round shape.

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Mohsen
On 3 October 2016 at 1:36:29 AM, Walt said:

Well, your coconut palm looks good and very healthy, Keith. Fortunately, I haven't had to protect my coconut palm for the past three (maybe four, I just can't recall now) winters. I would suggest if you ever do have to protect your palm that you at least give some kind of light supplemental heat (string lights, heating cables, etc.) and insulative wrap from the meristem on down to the soil line. As you know, that's what's kept my palm alive through many cold winters. You only need to do this if the temperature goes below 30 degrees. My palm would surely never have pulled through the December 2010 cold had I not protected it.

So far I've harvested eight coconuts, all with sweet water and meat. I'm beginning to get my fill of them, and I think I will try to sprout some, if for no other reason than to say I grew new coconut palms from my own palms, that they are truly zone 9b coconuts.

I took the below video back on September 23, 2016 and uploaded it to YouTube. Since this video the largest spathe has blossomed into golden flowers and small nuts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyOgIdXXZgw

 

Walt

perhaps I need to read all thread but I being lazy and ask the question ,

can we grow coconut outside if we never get below 30 F ( -1.1C) , if yes I am not sure why we don't have coconut in Sydney coastal or even here , I am not sure we have many 30f for winters or perhaps there are other variables I'm missing? Or perhaps types of coconut is also important ?

i have a coco seedling but don't dare to keep it outside even now the coldest night are not below 48 F!

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