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Virginia Cold Snap, How Should I Protect My Trachy?

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PalmTreeDude

It is suppose to go down to 8 degrees F in my area, look in the weather/climate forum for a full post about that. But I was wondering, how should I protect my Trachy for this? It is suppose to snow as well. My little Trachy can't handle this much yet. I am wanting to temporarily protected it for 4 days until the cold is gone. Thanks for any suggestions!

 

IMG_2262.JPG

Edited by PalmTreeDude
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GeorgiaPalms

We also have a cold snap coming to north Georgia and it is going to drop to about 20 degrees with a few inches of snow on the forecast for this Friday/Saturday. I have a 15 gallon Trachy I planted back on the 1st of August '16. Since it is its first winter and we have this cold coming through I am thinking I will place a portable greenhouse over the palm. The palm is just small enough I think it will fit inside the structure since it is mainly vertical. Since we are supposed to get some freezing rain/ice before the snow, I want to keep as much moisture off the palm to keep from having freezing water around the crown. I may also wrap some burlap around the palm under the plastic greenhouse cover. I think this should be adaquate for the cold snap. I also gave a sago palm that I planted a month or so before the Trachy and I am going to place a 5 gallon bucket over it. Both of these plants will be protected for 1 to 2 nights using these methods since they are newly planted.

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Ponds & Palms

4 degrees in zone 7b-8a North Carolina!!!  Plus 3-5 inches of snow. I was gonna get plastic tarp and cover all my smalls, but my big 10' and 11' windmills I'm not sure what to do probably wrap their trucks and hope for the best.

Screenshot_2017-01-05-04-25-01.png

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NorCalKing
6 hours ago, Ponds & Palms said:

4 degrees in zone 7b-8a North Carolina!!!  Plus 3-5 inches of snow. I was gonna get plastic tarp and cover all my smalls, but my big 10' and 11' windmills I'm not sure what to do probably wrap their trucks and hope for the best.

Screenshot_2017-01-05-04-25-01.png

Wow, those are some crazy few days ahead for you. Hopefully things warm a bit.

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PalmTreeDude
11 hours ago, Ponds & Palms said:

4 degrees in zone 7b-8a North Carolina!!!  Plus 3-5 inches of snow. I was gonna get plastic tarp and cover all my smalls, but my big 10' and 11' windmills I'm not sure what to do probably wrap their trucks and hope for the best.

Screenshot_2017-01-05-04-25-01.png

Dang, if it gets to 4 degrees that would be crazy!

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Jimhardy

The foliage will not survive those temps

any structure you can put up would help...

you could try a 100 wt bulb in there,or if you

can find a thermocube locally(on 35F/off 45F)

that will make life easy as you wont have to be conscerned

about baking them...I would use a cover that will keep them

dark like old covers.tarps,put the cotton side inside and

use plastic over that so you dont have leaf.plastic contact.

If heating is not an option you can fill 2-3 5g buckets with

water(with lids on) and put them inside..if your not heating

than use more covers,you can probably keep it around 20F+ in there

with the buckets and enough insulation.

 

good luck....short duration events are easy to plan for.

 

P.S.   use something that will not allow sunshine in becasue

baking the palms is more a threat to them then those temps.

Edited by Jimhardy
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Ponds & Palms

Thanks for the tips! I'm gonna do everything possible.  3 days below freezing now weather says 0 degrees in North Carolina and I'm  only 2 hours from the coast. Lots of trees are gonna die around here I think :(

20170105_175241.jpg

Edited by Ponds & Palms

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GeorgiaPalms

So here is what I did today in preparation of the snow and ice tonight.

image-0-02-01-01a94e779b0994a0de7844d562

This is the 15 gallon Trachy I planted in August last year. 

image-0-02-01-0c962970b192250892fa66ee5b

I wrapped it with some burlap to provide just a touch of insulation and to hold the leaves up.

image-0-02-01-c16a86308c1f4d8fbfa7d5dc72

Then I placed a greenhouse over it and secured it with rope. The zipper is broken so cold air will still come in and provide ventilation. I'm not too concerned about the temperatures as we are showing dropping to 19 tomorrow night, tonight will be in the 20s. I mainly want to keep the ice off the palm.

image-0-02-01-0d389064f4cdd61f6728f3e034

This is my little Sago Palm I also protected.

image-0-02-01-be883b55129ffc4b07e86d4008

I placed burlap over it.

image-0-02-01-920927fe14389f8e1abd73f89d

And then I placed a 5 gallon bucket over that as well, with the intention to keep the ice off of it.

 

I also have a Sabal Minor and Rhapidophyllum Hystrix in the yard but I only threw leaves all over them.

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DCA_Palm_Fan
18 hours ago, Jimhardy said:

The foliage will not survive those temps

any structure you can put up would help...

you could try a 100 wt bulb in there,or if you

can find a thermocube locally(on 35F/off 45F)

that will make life easy as you wont have to be conscerned

about baking them...I would use a cover that will keep them

dark like old covers.tarps,put the cotton side inside and

use plastic over that so you dont have leaf.plastic contact.

If heating is not an option you can fill 2-3 5g buckets with

water(with lids on) and put them inside..if your not heating

than use more covers,you can probably keep it around 20F+ in there

with the buckets and enough insulation.

 

good luck....short duration events are easy to plan for.

 

P.S.   use something that will not allow sunshine in becasue

baking the palms is more a threat to them then those temps.

What he said!.  The only thing I would add is you can use incandescent white xmas lights.  Use several strings.  Even just having them in there under cover will help some.  Keep us updated!  You are going to get colder than we are up here in far northern VA!   We are only going to see about 10-14F

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enigma99

Honestly guys, I would get a 800watt space heater, or 200watts if you want to save costs. Go get yourself some plastic from your favorite home improvement store, drape it over it and put the heater inside. 

Depends on how many you need to protect. But it works well

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SEVA

They're forecasting 8"-12", with locally higher amounts, of snow here in southeast VA.

Screenshot_20170106-172347.png

Screenshot_20170106-172359.png

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SEVA

I wrapped my pindo palms with Christmas lights and placed a greenhouse over them today.  I did this two winters ago when we had single digit temperatures and they had no damage. 

20170106_184626.jpg

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PalmatierMeg

A lot of great ideas! But please beware: Never put plastic in direct contact with a plant. Plastic will actually transmit cold where it touches and makes damage worse. Wrap/cover plant with fabric (layers of burlap are great) before adding plastic to keep out moisture. Good luck to all.

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Ponds & Palms
5 hours ago, GeorgiaPalms said:

So here is what I did today in preparation of the snow and ice tonight.

image-0-02-01-01a94e779b0994a0de7844d562

This is the 15 gallon Trachy I planted in August last year. 

image-0-02-01-0c962970b192250892fa66ee5b

I wrapped it with some burlap to provide just a touch of insulation and to hold the leaves up.

image-0-02-01-c16a86308c1f4d8fbfa7d5dc72

Then I placed a greenhouse over it and secured it with rope. The zipper is broken so cold air will still come in and provide ventilation. I'm not too concerned about the temperatures as we are showing dropping to 19 tomorrow night, tonight will be in the 20s. I mainly want to keep the ice off the palm.

image-0-02-01-0d389064f4cdd61f6728f3e034

This is my little Sago Palm I also protected.

image-0-02-01-be883b55129ffc4b07e86d4008

I placed burlap over it.

image-0-02-01-920927fe14389f8e1abd73f89d

And then I placed a 5 gallon bucket over that as well, with the intention to keep the ice off of it.

 

I also have a Sabal Minor and Rhapidophyllum Hystrix in the yard but I only threw leaves all over them.

Geeze your palms should have no problem surviving this storm...I threw pine straw over my palms and then painters plastic.  If I get I few burnt tips I'll just snip them off .  Our palms will be the ultimate test of hardiness. We are predicted to get 3 inches of ice then 3 inches of snow on top of it. Below freezing temps for 3 days straight..

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SEVA
22 minutes ago, PalmatierMeg said:

A lot of great ideas! But please beware: Never put plastic in direct contact with a plant. Plastic will actually transmit cold where it touches and makes damage worse. Wrap/cover plant with fabric (layers of burlap are great) before adding plastic to keep out moisture. Good luck to all.

That's good advice.   I feared that the tips of my pindo's fronds would burn from touching the sides of the greenhouse.  Surprisingly, they were not damaged.  I'm hoping they won't be damaged this time either; one of my pindos is quite a bit larger now, and the greenhouse barely fits over it. 

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PalmTreeDude

Here is my cold protection for this cold snap. 

 

 

IMG_2371.JPG

IMG_2372.JPG

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NorCalKing
1 hour ago, SEVA said:

They're forecasting 8"-12", with locally higher amounts, of snow here in southeast VA.

Screenshot_20170106-172347.png

Screenshot_20170106-172359.png

That's some crazy horrible weather you guys have coming out there! Takes some serious dedication to keep these palms looking good come summer. 6f with snow. Ouch!

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Walt
23 hours ago, PalmTreeDude said:

Here is my cold protection for this cold snap. 

 

 

IMG_2371.JPG

IMG_2372.JPG

What comprises your protection? That is, what's under the clear plastic? Hopefully, some insulation material along with a heat source. If no heat source, that protection will be little better than doing nothing.

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PalmTreeDude
On 1/7/2017, 7:36:10, Walt said:

What comprises your protection? That is, what's under the clear plastic? Hopefully, some insulation material along with a heat source. If no heat source, that protection will be little better than doing nothing.

There is no heat source, sadly, but there are layers under it. There is another tarp, a large towel under some plastic wrap, and the trunk and spear are covered in burlap.

Edited by PalmTreeDude

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Walt

Well, with no heat source your palm will quickly assume the ambient air temperature around it -- so there will be no insulation effect with regard to temperature.

At that point, the only thing the coverings will do is help the foliage resist desiccation from cold, dry winds. Also, the coverings (if totally water proof) will protect the foliage from becoming wet if you first get rain as the cold air is coming in. Or, the covering can prevent dew from forming on the foliage -- which will eventually freeze.

If nothing else, I would run an extension cord out to your palm and use some outdoor string lights (or just one low wattage light bulb under the coverings. Even if the lights are on the ground the heat will rise up into the palm. The main goal is to keep the temperature just above the point that the palm would become cold damaged. That shouldn't take much heat.

 

Of course, if your palm is a trachycarpus, then  your coverings may be more than is needed. Or maybe you aren't covering a palm. I don't recall what you are protecting.

 

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PalmTreeDude
2 hours ago, Walt said:

Well, with no heat source your palm will quickly assume the ambient air temperature around it -- so there will be no insulation effect with regard to temperature.

At that point, the only thing the coverings will do is help the foliage resist desiccation from cold, dry winds. Also, the coverings (if totally water proof) will protect the foliage from becoming wet if you first get rain as the cold air is coming in. Or, the covering can prevent dew from forming on the foliage -- which will eventually freeze.

If nothing else, I would run an extension cord out to your palm and use some outdoor string lights (or just one low wattage light bulb under the coverings. Even if the lights are on the ground the heat will rise up into the palm. The main goal is to keep the temperature just above the point that the palm would become cold damaged. That shouldn't take much heat.

 

Of course, if your palm is a trachycarpus, then  your coverings may be more than is needed. Or maybe you aren't covering a palm. I don't recall what you are protecting.

 

At least the wind was blocked, there was not much wind, but I guess it is still better then nothing. It is getting up to 67 on Thursday.

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SEVA

The temperature dropped to -2F Sunday night/ Monday morning.  The pindo palms inside the greenhouses appear to be undamaged. 

20170110_182133.jpg

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SEVA

I did not have a greenhouse for this one.  Please excuse the dumpster.  Clean up and repairs are still in progress from Hurricane Matthew flood damage. 

20170110_182255.jpg

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Walt
20 hours ago, PalmTreeDude said:

At least the wind was blocked, there was not much wind, but I guess it is still better then nothing. It is getting up to 67 on Thursday.

Of course, the coverings are better than nothing. But many neophyte palm hobbyists think that just covering a palm ( which is an object that doesn't produce heat, so insulation is virtually of little or no value to help keep it warm) will protect the palm. The palm will eventually get just as cold as a palm with no insulation wrapped around it in a very short time.

 

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Walt
56 minutes ago, SEVA said:

I did not have a greenhouse for this one.  Please excuse the dumpster.  Clean up and repairs are still in progress from Hurricane Matthew flood damage. 

20170110_182255.jpg

That palm, based on its overall size should have been a piece of cake to protect (better than shown). Seeing it (fronds) hurt like that makes me want to grit my teeth.

You should of cinched (bundled the fronds all the way up. Then just tie a pole (like a 1" piece of PVC pipe, or a 2 x 4, or furring strip, old broom handle, etc. Then use some old blankets or quilted mattress covers and drape one corner over the pole, then make multiple wraps to cover the palm. But also, you should have installed some string lights around the palm (to give it some degree of supplemental heat) then wrapped it. The rubber (either open-cell or closed-cell, I can't tell from the photo) is good, but it's not going to be beneficial if there's no supplemental heat under it. You either need string lights or heating cables.

Also, if you had bundled your palm so as to reduce the girth, you could have, in essence, made a small tent, by installing 3-4 vertical poles around the palm, then covering the entire palm with one of those inexpensive plastic tarps,  clear plastic, or blankets, etc. Then just install an old electric skillet inside the tent for supplemental heat. Works like a charm. But don't let any of the plastic touch the palm. If in doubt, first cover the palm with a blanket, then cover everything with plastic. Plastic is a good conductor and will conduct heat from the palm to the surrounding air, once the air temperature drops lower than the palm. This can happen when the palm heats up some from the sun during the day, then at night the air temperature falls very quickly (faster than the palm). Once that happens, heat flow will be from the palm to the air and the palm will soon reach equilibrium with that of the air (elementary physics).

In the below photo (taken back in December of 2010 when we had an 11-day cold snap and I recorded three nights in the low 20s) note the blue tent. The tent just comprised some support stakes with an old car cover draped over the stakes. I installed an old frying skillet my wife discard due to the teflon coating peeling off. The skillet provides more than enough heat keep palms or tropical plants from freezing. In this case I had red sister cordylines in the tent. To the left of the blue tent I had a 5-foot step ladder straddling a palm, used as a support to then cover everything with an old king-sized mattress cover (they make great insulation).

Lastly, note the palm trees (right side of photo) with the trunks covered with multiple wraps flannel sheets. The closet palm is a teddy bear palm (Dypsis leptochelios) and a Archontophoenix alexandrae palm behind it. As you can see, the fronds are damaged, but the trunk and meristem (growth bud) where not cold damaged as I first wrapped the trunk (and up past meristem) with a thermostatically controlled heating cable. So, if one can't protect the entire palm, it is imperative that one protect the trunk and meristem from freezing. 

I'm getting too old now to be climbing high ladders and trying to protect the entire palm (I can still do it, but I won't), so I now limit myself to just protecting the palm's trunk and meristem. Believe me, it works. I kept my coconut palm from being killed this same December of 2010 by protecting the trunk and meristem -- when my all-time overnight low hit 20.8 degrees in the open yard. And my coconut palm is too big now to protect it, even if I were 20 years old again. 

The palm in the foreground is a bottle palm, first wrapped with heating cable, then insulated over with mover's quilts and mattress cover. The palm wasn't hurt at all -- except where the heating cables scorched the foliage because I first didn't cover the palm with a blanket to prevent direct contact of the heating cables. The cables won't hurt the trunk, only the foliage.

 Various%20cold%20protection_zpscbxx1kny.

 

 

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Walt

The below photo shows my coconut palm (back in January of 2010) wrapped with a heating cable around the trunk and up and past the meristem -- prior to wrapping the trunk with either mover's quilts or mattress covers for insulation so as to hold the heat in from the cables. However, where you see the cables contact the base of the frond petioles, you must first put an insulation material (old towel, etc.) between the petiole and the cable. While the cables only run warm to the touch, they will build up enough heat over a period of 6-10 hours (or more) that will eventually damage the petioles or leaves, etc. The cables, at least from my years of experience, won't hurt the palm's trunk, so the trunks don't need to be wrapped first. 

One winter night I installed a remote digital temperature transmitting sensor under the wraps on my coconut palm, but made sure the sensor wasn't in proximity to the heating cable so that the the sensor wouldn't be influenced. The sensor transmitted  the temperature back to my thermometer  base station in the house (on my bedroom night table). I could monitor the palm all night long. The temperature never dropped below 55 degrees under the wraps when the outside air temperature was in the 20s. Once a palm has some trunk, the fronds can get fried (killed) if they are too big to protect, but there's enough starch in the trunk and root system to generate new fronds in the spring, and once the first frond opens photosynthesis will then start manufacturing food for the palm. My coconut palm is now in it's 14th winter and is still alive and well. The proof is in the pudding with regard to using heating cables and insulative wraps to keep a palm from being killed even in the harshest of winters. Fortunately for me I haven't had to use my cables and wraps now for the past four winters.

CoconutFP1.jpg

 

 

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SEVA
14 minutes ago, Walt said:

That palm, based on its overall size should have been a piece of cake to protect (better than shown). Seeing it (fronds) hurt like that makes me want to grit my teeth.

You should of cinched (bundled the fronds all the way up. Then just tie a pole (like a 1" piece of PVC pipe, or a 2 x 4, or furring strip, old broom handle, etc. Then use some old blankets or quilted mattress covers and drape one corner over the pole, then make multiple wraps to cover the palm. But also, you should have installed some string lights around the palm (to give it some degree of supplemental heat) then wrapped it. The rubber (either open-cell or closed-cell, I can't tell from the photo) is good, but it's not going to be beneficial if there's no supplemental heat under it. You either need string lights or heating cables.

Also, if you had bundled your palm so as to reduce the girth, you could have, in essence, made a small tent, by installing 3-4 vertical poles around the palm, then covering the entire palm with one of those inexpensive plastic tarps,  clear plastic, or blankets, etc. Then just install an old electric skillet inside the tent for supplemental heat. Works like a charm. But don't let any of the plastic touch the palm. If in doubt, first cover the palm with a blanket, then cover everything with plastic. Plastic is a good conductor and will conduct heat from the palm to the surrounding air, once the air temperature drops lower than the palm. This can happen when the palm heats up some from the sun during the day, then at night the air temperature falls very quickly (faster than the palm). Once that happens, heat flow will be from the palm to the air and the palm will soon reach equilibrium with that of the air (elementary physics).

In the below photo (taken back in December of 2010 when we had an 11-day cold snap and I recorded three nights in the low 20s) note the blue tent. The tent just comprised some support stakes with an old car cover draped over the stakes. I installed an old frying skillet my wife discard due to the teflon coating peeling off. The skillet provides more than enough heat keep palms or tropical plants from freezing. In this case I had red sister cordylines in the tent. To the left of the blue tent I had a 5-foot step ladder straddling a palm, used as a support to then cover everything with an old king-sized mattress cover (they make great insulation).

Lastly, note the palm trees (right side of photo) with the trunks covered with multiple wraps flannel sheets. The closet palm is a teddy bear palm (Dypsis leptochelios) and a Archontophoenix alexandrae palm behind it. As you can see, the fronds are damaged, but the trunk and meristem (growth bud) where not cold damaged as I first wrapped the trunk (and up past meristem) with a thermostatically controlled heating cable. So, if one can't protect the entire palm, it is imperative that one protect the trunk and meristem from freezing. 

I'm getting too old now to be climbing high ladders and trying to protect the entire palm (I can still do it, but I won't), so I now limit myself to just protecting the palm's trunk and meristem. Believe me, it works. I kept my coconut palm from being killed this same December of 2010 by protecting the trunk and meristem -- when my all-time overnight low hit 20.8 degrees in the open yard. And my coconut palm is too big now to protect it, even if I were 20 years old again. 

The palm in the foreground is a bottle palm, first wrapped with heating cable, then insulated over with mover's quilts and mattress cover. The palm wasn't hurt at all -- except where the heating cables scorched the foliage because I first didn't cover the palm with a blanket to prevent direct contact of the heating cables. The cables won't hurt the trunk, only the foliage.

 Various%20cold%20protection_zpscbxx1kny.

 

 

Right now, I'm working with what I have.   I lost almost everything in the flood from Hurricane Matthew.  I had no other old blankets/plastic or additional lights to use for protection.  That is being used to protect a ~20 foot tall queen palm.

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NorCalKing
39 minutes ago, SEVA said:

Right now, I'm working with what I have.   I lost almost everything in the flood from Hurricane Matthew.  I had no other old blankets/plastic or additional lights to use for protection.  That is being used to protect a ~20 foot tall queen palm.

Hang on, you you have a queen palm is 7b?

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DCA_Palm_Fan
23 hours ago, NorCalKing said:

Hang on, you you have a queen palm is 7b?

 

That's what I want to know!  If so, and it survives winters, Ill be amazed and very pleased!   *grabs popcorn*...:o

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SEVA
On 1/10/2017, 8:52:42, SEVA said:

Right now, I'm working with what I have.   I lost almost everything in the flood from Hurricane Matthew.  I had no other old blankets/plastic or additional lights to use for protection.  That is being used to protect a ~20 foot tall queen palm.

Also, my pindo palms have already seen temperatures in the upper single digits without protection, and I only saw minor damage to the frond tips.  The forecast was for 6F degrees, but it unexpectedly dropped to -2F degrees.

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SEVA
On 1/11/2017, 8:55:19, DCA_Palm_Fan said:

 

That's what I want to know!  If so, and it survives winters, Ill be amazed and very pleased!   *grabs popcorn*...:o

Yes, I have a queen palm that is approximately 20 ft, including the fronds.  This is its first winter outside.

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NorCalKing
On 1/11/2017, 5:55:19, DCA_Palm_Fan said:
1 hour ago, SEVA said:

Yes, I have a queen palm that is approximately 20 ft, including the fronds.  This is its first winter outside.

I admire your attempt. But I don't think there's a chance a queen will survive long term without serious protection. It's an 8b 9a palm at best from all the ones here.

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GottmitAlex
6 minutes ago, NorCalKing said:

I admire your attempt. But I don't think there's a chance a queen will survive long term without serious protection. It's an 8b 9a palm at best from all the ones here.

Who knows. With the extreme experiences on both sides of the spectrum told here in PT, that Queen might have a better chance in VA than an Alfredii has in LA.

 

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NorCalKing
2 minutes ago, GottmitAlex said:

Who knows. With the extreme experiences on both sides of the spectrum told here in PT, that Queen might have a better chance in VA than an Alfredii has in LA.

 

I haven't read or heard of a single Queen surviving below 20f. I'd be pleasantly surprised if I'm wrong. I think it would be great if people could grow them in zone 7/8

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SEVA
30 minutes ago, NorCalKing said:

I admire your attempt. But I don't think there's a chance a queen will survive long term without serious protection. It's an 8b 9a palm at best from all the ones here.

I'm not entirely optimistic that it will survive.  It became too large to bring inside, so I'm pretty much experimenting. It is wrapped with burlap, lights plugged into a thermocube, blankets, and plastic.  I will remove the outer layers sometime in March.

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NorCalKing
16 minutes ago, SEVA said:

I'm not entirely optimistic that it will survive.  It became too large to bring inside, so I'm pretty much experimenting. It is wrapped with burlap, lights plugged into a thermocube, blankets, and plastic.  I will remove the outer layers sometime in March.

Looking forward to seeing if all your protection pays off. They do outgrow protection very quickly!

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Walt

One big difference in the lower USDA zones is the soil freezing. I don't know how that may effect trying to grow a queen palm. Frozen soil isn't a consideration for me. All I have to concern myself about  (to grow a coconut palm, vietchia, etc.) is to protect for just a short duration the a palm's trunk and meristem. As I've already said, once the palm develops a trunk and mature root system, there's enough stored starch in the trunk and root system for the palm to start regenerating new frond in the spring, if the fronds get toasted, which they sure will (for a queen) in zone 7b/8a.

I have more queen palms than any other species. They have naturalized on my property and come up everywhere like weeds. I'm constantly cutting them off at the soil line, mowing over seedlings, etc. I've found that a small queen palm with no trunk will generally start to get leaf damage with heavy frost, with temperatures around the mid 20s. A mature queen seems to fare okay down to about 25 degrees, even lower.

When it comes to cold protection of palms, there's not much I haven't tried (techniques) over the years to protect them. I've found the best protection is either a makeshift heated tent or greenhouse. A runner up to that is mummy wrapping the palm while using string lights or heating cables for supplemental heat. Both methods protect the entire palm. But once a palm becomes too big to protect the canopy/crown, it is imperative to at least protect the trunk/stem, and meristem. The only sure fire way to do that is to use string lights or heating cables under insulative wraps around the trunk and up and over the meristem area. If the trunk and meristem incurs no cold damage, but the fronds are totally fried dead, it would be no worse to the palm as if you just cut off all the living fronds from a healthy palm -- they will grow back. I've done this to many queen palms and Sabal etonia palms that I wanted to kill. I would cut the fronds totally off, but above the meristem area. Over a period of 6-10 months these palms would almost regrow a full crown again. 

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