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How far north...Mule palm

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VA Jeff

Crossing butia with Santa Catarina highland queens make even hardier mules, as trialed in England.  Maybe Nigel would chime in.  My JxB is probably 10 years old and the leaves look almost all jubaea.  Maybe another 10-15 years for it to flower.  I'd love to make that cross.

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TexasColdHardyPalms
On 8/21/2017, 1:14:40, ErikSJI said:

Three hours south of Dallas. Todd Mission Texas. 100s of Mule palms of various sizes planted. Temps in the teens and snow. Owner tells me they bounce back every year.

18191139_10212952337188529_557198982_n.jpg

18216148_10212952332388409_656738360_o.jpg

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18217572_10212952333548438_1356523882_n.jpg

18217694_10212952333948448_1243579002_n.jpg

This place is near magnolia on the northwest side of houston. Very warm 8b/9a.  They have thousands of various palms on this 200 acre property.  

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VA Jeff

I have a mule in a 90 gallon trash can at my home in SE Virginia.  I can't remember it's exact height, but maybe 8 feet above the soil.  It is definitely too cold here on the edge barely inside zone 8a without protection.  But that's the key, protection.  After msny failures and damaged palms, I am learning better ways to protect each year.

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Joe NC
On 8/11/2017, 2:08:17, Joe NC said:
On 5/22/2017, 4:48:20, Joe NC said:

WP_20161007_028.thumb.jpg.3e30f639e1520a      

This is a photo last year sometime pre-hurricane Matthew.  It is already bigger now. 

IMAG0346.thumb.jpg.6577600be56c72f2ab005

One year since the above photo.  I'm going to have to re-think my protection plan...

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TexasColdHardyPalms
8 hours ago, Joe NC said:

One year since the above photo.  I'm going to have to re-think my protection plan...

Yepp, last years method probably wont fit after that much growth!

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Fusca

Nice growth!  My mule is a about a foot shorter than your "last year" photo, but it hasn't been in the ground for more than 7 consecutive months.  I'm hoping mine will start to take off soon - so far it's mostly just added girth but not much height yet.  Hopefully you'll get a mild winter and not have much problem with protection.  I used to live near N. Topsail Beach so I know how cold it can get there at times.

Jon

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Anthony_B
On 5/30/2017, 12:49:40, DCA_Palm_Fan said:

Butia Capitata are hardier than Mules though, and they even struggle at times in zone 8A.    Beyond 8A even those need full winter protection.

Here in the Wilmington, NC, area, which is a modest 8A, Butia's are extremely common.  There are only a handful of palms that will grow in this zone, so Butia's, with their exotic, pinnate look, are the top choice for majesty and elegance.  The specimens around these parts are astoundingly beautiful, and honestly, I believe they hold up better than sabal palmettos, which are native to the area.  I just moved into a rental home 2 weeks ago and the specimen in my front yard is pretty magnificent.  This home was built in 2006, so the palm has clearly been growing in the front yard for 11 years.

z0ilK7yh.jpg

And I don't have anywhere close to the most impressive one even on my street.  Some of the Butia's in older developments are even more impressive.  It's rare to see any frond burn at all.  They absolutely love this climate of hot, humid summers.  That may be the more defining factor than the hardiness zone.  They may require a certain amount of time in 90 degree heat with high humidity to perform.

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Joe NC
14 hours ago, Anthony_B said:

Here in the Wilmington, NC, area, which is a modest 8A, Butia's are extremely common.  There are only a handful of palms that will grow in this zone, so Butia's, with their exotic, pinnate look, are the top choice for majesty and elegance.  The specimens around these parts are astoundingly beautiful, and honestly, I believe they hold up better than sabal palmettos, which are native to the area.  I just moved into a rental home 2 weeks ago and the specimen in my front yard is pretty magnificent.  This home was built in 2006, so the palm has clearly been growing in the front yard for 11 years.

z0ilK7yh.jpg

And I don't have anywhere close to the most impressive one even on my street.  Some of the Butia's in older developments are even more impressive.  It's rare to see any frond burn at all.  They absolutely love this climate of hot, humid summers.  That may be the more defining factor than the hardiness zone.  They may require a certain amount of time in 90 degree heat with high humidity to perform.

I disagree with you on this one.  In the decade I've been here in Wilmington, I've never witnessed a Sabal with winter damage.  Sabal might look like crap as recent transplants from Florida that are struggling when establishing, from the horrible overpruning that people think they "need", or have some yellowing and ratty tips from missing nutrients, but they never show any serous winter damage (even after some awful ice storms).  While there are some really really large and nice Butia around, they definitely suffer winter damage especially when it is wet then freezes in the crown.  There were many damaged pindo palms around with burned fronds and damaged emerging spears after some of the cold (low teens) and wet (snow and ice storms) winters we have had.  There are even some dead carcasses of some still standing around town that did not survive the back to back icy wet winters of 2015-2016(?).  They are now all looking really good this summer because last winter was fairly mild (minus one night) and they have had two seasons to recover from the 2015-16 damage.  The more winter finicky pindos eventually get culled, and the tougher ones persist.  Also as a side note, there is some sort of Pindo funk (fungus?) that some large ones will catch in the summer, where the newest spears will brown and die then the rest of the palm will slowly follow over the course of a few months.  I've seen it happen to several Buita palms I drive bay daily, and one of mine caught it as well.     

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Anthony_B
8 hours ago, Joe NC said:

I disagree with you on this one.  In the decade I've been here in Wilmington, I've never witnessed a Sabal with winter damage.  Sabal might look like crap as recent transplants from Florida that are struggling when establishing, from the horrible overpruning that people think they "need", or have some yellowing and ratty tips from missing nutrients, but they never show any serous winter damage (even after some awful ice storms).  While there are some really really large and nice Butia around, they definitely suffer winter damage especially when it is wet then freezes in the crown.  There were many damaged pindo palms around with burned fronds and damaged emerging spears after some of the cold (low teens) and wet (snow and ice storms) winters we have had.  There are even some dead carcasses of some still standing around town that did not survive the back to back icy wet winters of 2015-2016(?).  They are now all looking really good this summer because last winter was fairly mild (minus one night) and they have had two seasons to recover from the 2015-16 damage.  The more winter finicky pindos eventually get culled, and the tougher ones persist.  Also as a side note, there is some sort of Pindo funk (fungus?) that some large ones will catch in the summer, where the newest spears will brown and die then the rest of the palm will slowly follow over the course of a few months.  I've seen it happen to several Buita palms I drive bay daily, and one of mine caught it as well.     

I never said sabal palmettos are suffering winter damage.  I said the Butia's planted in Wilmington typically look better than the sabal palmettos, which are native to the area.  It's true many of the sabal palmetto's around are Florida transplants.  However, all the trees in my neighborhood were planted at the same time.  The sabal palmettos are from 2006 as well.  While they are good looking, very mature specimens, sabals usually have browned, lower fronts.  Maybe that's just part of the species, but it is unsightly.  Butia's don't do that, at least to that degree.

 

If you drive around my neighborhood, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, etc....the butia's looks better than the sabals.

 

I am impressed by how hardy the pindo palm is.  You'd think they were natives, they're so common around these parts.

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Joe NC
8 hours ago, Anthony_B said:

I never said sabal palmettos are suffering winter damage.  I said the Butia's planted in Wilmington typically look better than the sabal palmettos, which are native to the area.

Sorry I just interpreted holding up as surviving, and I meant that in my experience pindos can take a hit in the winter and often look bad here where Sabals won't.  Hopefully I didn't come off as a jerk.  It's a handful of nights every year that really limit what we can pull off.  Sabals can definitely get a ratty look to them here, and the brutal pruning doesn't help. 

If you are into Pindos, there is an epic one Downtown on Anne between 2nd and 3rd.       

https://www.google.com/maps/@34.231753,-77.9462192,3a,75y,324.53h,82.53t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s6P1AlkE0WKOQB8xwS9LqEQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

Streetview doesn't do it justice, and I've wondered if it has some Jubaea in it based on how massive the trunk is.  I've never tried to stop by and find any seeds to see if they are large like a bxj.  

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Joe NC
On 10/12/2017, 12:23:57, Joe NC said:
 
On 5/22/2017, 4:48:20, Joe NC said:

WP_20161007_028.thumb.jpg.3e30f639e1520a      

This is a photo last year sometime pre-hurricane Matthew.  It is already bigger now. 

IMAG0346.thumb.jpg.6577600be56c72f2ab005

Here it is October 2018...

5bbfb08a1917b_leanmule.thumb.jpg.f1bbd11

Slight lean from Florence, but I think it will give it character. I straightened it up as much as possible and now have it supported with some stakes and lines.  Don't mind the pile of fence parts and weedy mess, as I'm still dealing with storm cleanup... It did suffer some frond damage (I trimmed off all the brown, that's why there are some stubby fronds in the mix) in early 2018 with that awful hard freeze we had, but the christmas lights, thermo-cube, and frost cloth helped it pull through temps that killed nearly every local Washingtonia and many Butia. 

   

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Sandy Loam

Wow, I can't believe this tree is way up on North Carolina (unless you're right along the coast)   I recall seeing some Butia and sabal Palms in Greensville, NC and in Washington, NC, but much West of Greensville must be impossible.

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TexasColdHardyPalms

I was talking with a grower in Lousianna this week and their field of butia near Alexandria will have to be bulldozed. While we were the same temperature and lost zero established butia they lost hundreds from fungal infections from the really wet spring. These aren't small plants; hundreds of 5-8' trunk butia, all dead.

Their field operation south of Lafayette lost every single mule in the ground as well.  

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Sandy Loam

How devastating for the grower!   There goes their livelihood.  Wow.

So, is the takeaway that Butia and Mule palms can't take wet weather?   In Florida, it won't stop raining almost every day from June until the end of September most years.  Yet, I have not heard of fungal infections resulting from this in Butia or Mule palms.  Perhaps Alexandria, Louisiana (which well is north of ANY part of Florida) is still too chilly when all of that rain happened?  Here in northeastern Florida, we're back to "summer" by March,  so there aren't really cold temperatures which could damage Palms much at that time of year, even if combined with heavy rain.  January is the main month when we have cold snaps, and it tends to be a rather dry month for us.  ...and ancient Butia are everywhere around here too.
 

I just hope we don't have anything to worry about over  here, based on the Alexandria experience, unless some new fungal infection has been introduced (?)

 

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TexasColdHardyPalms

That part of Louisiana averages 60-65" of rain spread evenly thought the entire year, unlike Fl which has a Winter reprieve.  All the queens died, and a lot of washingtonia died this year as well.  It was pretty brutal for them.  I saw 100% mortality on Mules and Livistona Decora as far south as Franklin, LA while driving around there the last month or so. There were a few queens that lived in Franklin though, which I thought was very odd.

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NC_Palms
On 10/12/2018, 12:40:09, Sandy Loam said:

Wow, I can't believe this tree is way up on North Carolina (unless you're right along the coast)   I recall seeing some Butia and sabal Palms in Greensville, NC and in Washington, NC, but much West of Greensville must be impossible.

Sabal palmetto and butia are both grown farther west of Greenville. I have seen established specimens of both in Charlotte and Raleigh.  

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Manalto
On 10/11/2018, 4:31:41, Joe NC said:

Here it is October 2018...

5bbfb08a1917b_leanmule.thumb.jpg.f1bbd11

Slight lean from Florence, but I think it will give it character.

I agree. Not only that, It'll shade your car. You're doing something right - it looks great.

This is exciting to see. I just planted this 15 gallon mule in August that's well behind yours, but look forward to this stage of growth, when the fronds are big and robust.

20180725_190255-1-1.jpg

Edited by Manalto
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NC_Palms
On 10/11/2018, 4:31:41, Joe NC said:

Here it is October 2018...

5bbfb08a1917b_leanmule.thumb.jpg.f1bbd11

Slight lean from Florence, but I think it will give it character. I straightened it up as much as possible and now have it supported with some stakes and lines.  Don't mind the pile of fence parts and weedy mess, as I'm still dealing with storm cleanup... It did suffer some frond damage (I trimmed off all the brown, that's why there are some stubby fronds in the mix) in early 2018 with that awful hard freeze we had, but the christmas lights, thermo-cube, and frost cloth helped it pull through temps that killed nearly every local Washingtonia and many Butia. 

   

I have never seen a palm in the Tar Heel State as beautiful as yours. 

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Buggle
On 10/13/2018 at 6:32 PM, NC_Palms said:

I have never seen a palm in the Tar Heel State as beautiful as yours. 

It's even bigger now!!

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Buggle
On 10/11/2018 at 4:31 PM, Joe NC said:

Here it is October 2018...

5bbfb08a1917b_leanmule.thumb.jpg.f1bbd11

Slight lean from Florence, but I think it will give it character. I straightened it up as much as possible and now have it supported with some stakes and lines.  Don't mind the pile of fence parts and weedy mess, as I'm still dealing with storm cleanup... It did suffer some frond damage (I trimmed off all the brown, that's why there are some stubby fronds in the mix) in early 2018 with that awful hard freeze we had, but the christmas lights, thermo-cube, and frost cloth helped it pull through temps that killed nearly every local Washingtonia and many Butia. 

   

 Just in case you saw two weirdos parked in a car across your house staring at your front lawn, that was us, lol. So my mom and I got lost on our way from Tinga Nursery,  and I saw this palm. I had my mom slam on the breaks and back up. This mule palm is amazing! I know this person must be a palm nut like me. I searched for 'mule palm north carolina' and found this thread. I hope you're still here on this forum. I would love to know where you got this palm and how did you get it to grow so fast?? (also your other palms look great too, do you have other uncommon types?) I have 2 mules right now. Although I don't protect with heat. I had a smaller one from Mule Palm Nursery that did survive in the 2018 winter with complete defoliation. I also have 2 queen palms that survived the mild winter this year.

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Joe NC
3 hours ago, Buggle said:

 Just in case you saw two weirdos parked in a car across your house staring at your front lawn, that was us, lol. So my mom and I got lost on our way from Tinga Nursery,  and I saw this palm. I had my mom slam on the breaks and back up. This mule palm is amazing! I know this person must be a palm nut like me. I searched for 'mule palm north carolina' and found this thread. I hope you're still here on this forum. I would love to know where you got this palm and how did you get it to grow so fast?? (also your other palms look great too, do you have other uncommon types?) I have 2 mules right now. Although I don't protect with heat. I had a smaller one from Mule Palm Nursery that did survive in the 2018 winter with complete defoliation. I also have 2 queen palms that survived the mild winter this year.

Glad you bumbled across my mule palm in real life, and that it caused someone to slam on their breaks.  That mule has grown fast since it was put in the ground, but it was protected during extreme cold.  I grew it from strap leaf to 3 gallon size, which took a while, before planting out.  The downside of fast growth is that it seems vulnerable to high winds, and my days of protecting it are over.... I use to have many more palms but the awful 2017-18 winter and I00 inches of rain plus hurricane last summer took a toll on many (kind of discouraging actually).  The big pindo in front of the mule (looks terrible with 6 fronds) nearly died in the big freeze, another 2 that size didn't make it. Had a couple of jubaea hybrids of varying degree and size, one died from the cold, one from wet, one still lives.  It's a (jxb)xs and it was the small mule look alike that is the bookend to the big mule on the other side.  Lost a fat washingtona hybrid to the freeze.  Slowly replacing everything that proves weak with trachycarpus (there are at least a dozen around the house now) which thrive in my clay soil.  Well except for principes which finally rotted with all the rain last year.  The sad trachy out front was one of two uprooted by a falling tree in the hurricane, so I stuck it's mangled corpse where the principes was and it seems like it took, the other which had over 10 ft of trunk did not make it.  The shorter Sabal out front was purchased potted as an X texensis, which I assumed meant Brazoria.  It since grew like a rocket and now has 6 ft of thick trunk with pretty big seeds, so I'm guessing it's a mexicana, or just a regular palmetto. I also have a proper Brazoria, which has not grown like a rocket.  I have some silver chamerops, silver saw, and most surprisingly a Brahea super silver, which doesn't care about any wet or cold that has been thrown it's way.  Same can't be said for B. clara which I have killed 2 of.  There are a large amount of Sabal minor and needle palms scattered around the yard, which seed freely.  Next palmy experiment is a L nitida, wich I will protect until it's too big and spikey to deal with.  I lost many large trees in the hurricane, so I'm also experimenting with rediculous replacements, I have a coast redwood and Brazilian monkey puzzle in the ground now.  Also planted a bunch of native saplings in the wooded part of the yard out back, but that's way less exciting.

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NC_Palms
21 hours ago, Joe NC said:

Next palmy experiment is a L nitida, wich I will protect until it's too big and spikey to deal with. 

There's a Livistona at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher.  I think it may be L. chinensis but I am not sure. 

IMG_2153.thumb.jpg.370df5fee137e7bfe10232643cedb2c7.jpg

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Buggle
On 3/22/2019 at 9:42 PM, NC_Palms said:

There's a Livistona at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher.  I think it may be L. chinensis but I am not sure. 

 

Do they still have this date palm?

DSCN2832.JPG

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Buggle
On 3/22/2019 at 12:03 AM, Joe NC said:

Glad you bumbled across my mule palm in real life, and that it caused someone to slam on their breaks.  That mule has grown fast since it was put in the ground, but it was protected during extreme cold.  I grew it from strap leaf to 3 gallon size, which took a while, before planting out.  The downside of fast growth is that it seems vulnerable to high winds, and my days of protecting it are over.... I use to have many more palms but the awful 2017-18 winter and I00 inches of rain plus hurricane last summer took a toll on many (kind of discouraging actually).  The big pindo in front of the mule (looks terrible with 6 fronds) nearly died in the big freeze, another 2 that size didn't make it. Had a couple of jubaea hybrids of varying degree and size, one died from the cold, one from wet, one still lives.  It's a (jxb)xs and it was the small mule look alike that is the bookend to the big mule on the other side.  Lost a fat washingtona hybrid to the freeze.  Slowly replacing everything that proves weak with trachycarpus (there are at least a dozen around the house now) which thrive in my clay soil.  Well except for principes which finally rotted with all the rain last year.  The sad trachy out front was one of two uprooted by a falling tree in the hurricane, so I stuck it's mangled corpse where the principes was and it seems like it took, the other which had over 10 ft of trunk did not make it.  The shorter Sabal out front was purchased potted as an X texensis, which I assumed meant Brazoria.  It since grew like a rocket and now has 6 ft of thick trunk with pretty big seeds, so I'm guessing it's a mexicana, or just a regular palmetto. I also have a proper Brazoria, which has not grown like a rocket.  I have some silver chamerops, silver saw, and most surprisingly a Brahea super silver, which doesn't care about any wet or cold that has been thrown it's way.  Same can't be said for B. clara which I have killed 2 of.  There are a large amount of Sabal minor and needle palms scattered around the yard, which seed freely.  Next palmy experiment is a L nitida, wich I will protect until it's too big and spikey to deal with.  I lost many large trees in the hurricane, so I'm also experimenting with rediculous replacements, I have a coast redwood and Brazilian monkey puzzle in the ground now.  Also planted a bunch of native saplings in the wooded part of the yard out back, but that's way less exciting.

Oh no, say it isn't so :-( I've only lived here for 2 years, but I had a small mule survive that bad winter and I don't use heat, so hopefully your mule will do well although in bad winters all the leaves fry. Your mule would have done fine this winter without protection. My 2 didn't lose any leaves.

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NC_Palms
On 3/28/2019 at 8:03 PM, Buggle said:

Do they still have this date palm?

DSCN2832.JPG

I was just at the aquarium a few weeks ago and I didn't see it. There are some CIDPs scattered around Kure and Carolina Beach though. 

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Joe NC

I see a spathe poking out of my NC mule.....

20190628_192810.jpg

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Zeeth
On 10/13/2018 at 5:16 PM, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

That part of Louisiana averages 60-65" of rain spread evenly thought the entire year, unlike Fl which has a Winter reprieve.  All the queens died, and a lot of washingtonia died this year as well.  It was pretty brutal for them.  I saw 100% mortality on Mules and Livistona Decora as far south as Franklin, LA while driving around there the last month or so. There were a few queens that lived in Franklin though, which I thought was very odd.

I would love to have rainfall averages like that

178479176_ScreenShot2019-06-28at21_41_47.thumb.png.21316bdd3c1f823f17bcbe3d6b08ab42.png

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Joe NC
On 10/11/2018 at 4:31 PM, Joe NC said:
On 10/12/2017 at 12:23 AM, Joe NC said:
 
On 5/22/2017 at 4:48 PM, Joe NC said:

WP_20161007_028.thumb.jpg.3e30f639e1520a      

This is a photo last year sometime pre-hurricane Matthew.  It is already bigger now. 

IMAG0346.thumb.jpg.6577600be56c72f2ab005

Here it is October 2018...

5bbfb08a1917b_leanmule.thumb.jpg.f1bbd11

Slight lean from Florence, but I think it will give it character. I straightened it up as much as possible and now have it supported with some stakes and lines.  Don't mind the pile of fence parts and weedy mess, as I'm still dealing with storm cleanup... It did suffer some frond damage (I trimmed off all the brown, that's why there are some stubby fronds in the mix) in early 2018 with that awful hard freeze we had, but the christmas lights, thermo-cube, and frost cloth helped it pull through temps that killed nearly every local Washingtonia and many Butia. 

Here it is going into spring 2020.  No protection since the awful freeze in early Jan 2018 (low 11F, week below freezing).  It has been mild since then with the coldest it has had to deal with  was 19F in 2019, and 21F in 2020.  Some yellowing of fronds, but all around in good shape.  It seemed like it spent much of 2019 re-growing the root system that was damaged by being blown over in Florence, and no longer needed support by mid summer 2019. 

 

   20200302_120042.jpg.776cbc828b560e885d631a9269b9cc4a.jpg

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DAVEinMB

@Joe NC this thing puts a huge smile on my face

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Joe NC
17 hours ago, DAVEinMB said:

@Joe NC this thing puts a huge smile on my face

Thanks, it has been a zone push labor of love for sure.  However much less blood shed on protecting this one during its early years than the monster Washy hybrid I was tying up and wrapping. I sort of miss that one, but my hands, arms, legs, and face don't...

My protection efforts are now focused on a Jubutiagrus that is only a couple of years younger than this mule, but grows at a pace that seems slower than a Butia.  It is much easier to light and wrap a 4' palm than a 20'.  

I have some seedling hybrid Trachycarpus (wag x prin) on deck to eventually replace the mules when they fall to a polar vortex in the future.  Not as exciting but they look like they will turn in to attractive palms and will hopefully be bulletproof to the cold.  

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DAVEinMB
2 hours ago, Joe NC said:

Thanks, it has been a zone push labor of love for sure.  However much less blood shed on protecting this one during its early years than the monster Washy hybrid I was tying up and wrapping. I sort of miss that one, but my hands, arms, legs, and face don't...

My protection efforts are now focused on a Jubutiagrus that is only a couple of years younger than this mule, but grows at a pace that seems slower than a Butia.  It is much easier to light and wrap a 4' palm than a 20'.  

I have some seedling hybrid Trachycarpus (wag x prin) on deck to eventually replace the mules when they fall to a polar vortex in the future.  Not as exciting but they look like they will turn in to attractive palms and will hopefully be bulletproof to the cold.  

Well you're doin a hell of a job.  If nothing else you could always try to just protect the growing point the next time we get hit with a nasty winter. With how fast mules grow it may shrug at moderate to heavy defoliation. 

I'm in the same boat as far as zone pushing goes. I'll enjoy what I have for as long as I am able to keep them alive and then at that point decide if I want to roll the dice again or plant something more tried and true. My washy and Sylvester are already basically too big to protect - and both are incredibly hateful trees. I dunno how many times I stabbed myself yesterday trying to remove the Christmas lights I had wrapped around the Sylvester's crown. My neighbors likely think I'm a lunatic, yelling and cursing at trees in my back yard 

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Buggle
On 3/3/2020 at 9:43 AM, Joe NC said:

Thanks, it has been a zone push labor of love for sure.  However much less blood shed on protecting this one during its early years than the monster Washy hybrid I was tying up and wrapping. I sort of miss that one, but my hands, arms, legs, and face don't...

My protection efforts are now focused on a Jubutiagrus that is only a couple of years younger than this mule, but grows at a pace that seems slower than a Butia.  It is much easier to light and wrap a 4' palm than a 20'.  

I have some seedling hybrid Trachycarpus (wag x prin) on deck to eventually replace the mules when they fall to a polar vortex in the future.  Not as exciting but they look like they will turn in to attractive palms and will hopefully be bulletproof to the cold.  

Hey, we drove by there again, looking great! My mule palm survived 2018 with complete defoliation and some mulch. I have 4 now. You can get large sizes at Bloomin' Crazy Nursery in Leland.

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Joe NC
3 hours ago, Buggle said:

Hey, we drove by there again, looking great! My mule palm survived 2018 with complete defoliation and some mulch. I have 4 now. You can get large sizes at Bloomin' Crazy Nursery in Leland.

Thanks!

Strange enough I haven't been to that place in Leland yet.  I'll have to add it to the rotation.  I've also seen some huge ones for sale at that palm place off 17 in Hampstead, I've also never stopped in there but noticed them when driving by. 

 

 

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Buggle
On 3/12/2020 at 9:35 AM, Joe NC said:

Thanks!

Strange enough I haven't been to that place in Leland yet.  I'll have to add it to the rotation.  I've also seen some huge ones for sale at that palm place off 17 in Hampstead, I've also never stopped in there but noticed them when driving by. 

 

 

Cool, I'll have to check that out! 30 gallon mule palms are in at Bloomin' Crazy for $310, I just bought 2 :lol2: Now I'll have 6 lol.

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Buggle
On 3/12/2020 at 9:35 AM, Joe NC said:

Thanks!

Strange enough I haven't been to that place in Leland yet.  I'll have to add it to the rotation.  I've also seen some huge ones for sale at that palm place off 17 in Hampstead, I've also never stopped in there but noticed them when driving by.

 

The GIANT mule palms are in, and giant taraw palms for some reason.

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donnacreation

My 'super' mule palms died the first winter at 23f.  I called Moultie Farms and told the owner their mules aren't cold hardy in zone 8a. However, that hasn't stopped them from marketing them to zone 8a.   I don't grow out of zone palms that require heroic measures to keep them from dying during winter.  I've learned to love sabal palmettos, which are cold hardy even growing in water in my location.  I also grow Butia palms, but I lost many in a terrible prolonged freeze with snow 3 yrs ago.  I've learned Butias that are heavily watered during the warm season grow quite fast with huge fronds.  I also rip out the emerging seed pods to make them grow faster.

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Turtlesteve
36 minutes ago, donnacreation said:

My 'super' mule palms died the first winter at 23f.  I called Moultie Farms and told the owner their mules aren't cold hardy in zone 8a. However, that hasn't stopped them from marketing them to zone 8a.   I don't grow out of zone palms that require heroic measures to keep them from dying during winter.  I've learned to love sabal palmettos, which are cold hardy even growing in water in my location.  I also grow Butia palms, but I lost many in a terrible prolonged freeze with snow 3 yrs ago.  I've learned Butias that are heavily watered during the warm season grow quite fast with huge fronds.  I also rip out the emerging seed pods to make them grow faster.

Bummer.  I have two of the same hybrid in the ground, but they haven't really been tested yet (I am protecting them for a couple years).  I'm guessing that the majority of them will die in 8a, but a few may survive due to chance and genetic variation.  

Steve

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donnacreation

Hi Steve,  I wish you luck with your mules.  Years ago I bought 2 Sylvester palms from Lowes and protected them with xmas lights and frost cloth.  They grew like crazy and after 2 yrs, they were too big to wrap.  They died the 3rd winter w/o protection.  Of course if we continue to have mild zone 9a winters like the past 2, your mules should flourish w/o protection.  If you're able to keep them protected from rogue polar vortexes and plant them in a warmer micro climate, you may be successful. I'm afraid we're way past due for a winter with some low temps in the teens. With continued winter protection until they're too big to heat and wrap, you may be successful.  Fingers crossed.

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NC_Palm_Enthusiast
On 3/12/2020 at 9:35 AM, Joe NC said:

Thanks!

Strange enough I haven't been to that place in Leland yet.  I'll have to add it to the rotation.  I've also seen some huge ones for sale at that palm place off 17 in Hampstead, I've also never stopped in there but noticed them when driving by. 

 

 

Joe, your mule is absolutely amazing! I sure hope it continues to flourish like it has been. Do you think I could get one to survive at my beach house up in Emerald Isle? Same hardiness zone, but soil is very sandy unlike your clay. If you do think it'd be worth a try, are there any nurseries or online sites you'd recommend I order from?

Edited by NC_Palm_Enthusiast

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Joe NC
15 hours ago, NC_Palm_Enthusiast said:

Joe, your mule is absolutely amazing! I sure hope it continues to flourish like it has been. Do you think I could get one to survive at my beach house up in Emerald Isle? Same hardiness zone, but soil is very sandy unlike your clay. If you do think it'd be worth a try, are there any nurseries or online sites you'd recommend I order from?

I just saw a 6-7' (ish) tall mule palm in Surf City, on Topsail Island.  I drove by it a couple times while there last week and it looked pretty new, so I don't know if it has survived a tough winter yet or not.  I'm sure with some effort on only the coldest nights you could get one to survive as long as you are willing and able to protect it.  There is some variability in hardiness, so I don't know if I got lucky with the one I have, or it just hasn't truly been tested yet. 

I think mine enjoys the clay?  It has grown very fast...  It does get some yellowing of the oldest fronds in the spring, but I don't know if that is only from the cold or lingering effects of my use of the wrong balanced fertilizer in the past (I'll admit I've used big box cheap 10-10-10, but I've learned from my mistakes...).   

I grew mine from a strap leaf seedling, but it sounds like you can get a larger ones around Wilmington at a couple places. (see above in the thread).  I have no experience with either place, and I am usually too cheap to buy marginal stuff that is a gamble at large sizes. 

I will also say that mine seems weekly rooted, and it has blown over multiple times to varying degrees in past storms.  I have some beefy ground screw anchors in by it now (hidden in the ground cover mess) that I use to add support to it when I know there is going to be high winds.  Might be something to consider at a beach house?  However it might root deeper in sandy soil and be more stable? 

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