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How far north...Mule palm

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NC_Palm_Enthusiast
2 minutes ago, Joe NC said:

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? 

Thanks for the info! Since I'm not down at the beach house all that often I may opt for a palm that's a little more cold hardy, just in case I can't be down there when it needs protection from the elements. I'm thinking a bujubia or jubutia might be a safer bet, but will still stand out among the more typical butia and palmetto around.

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Joe NC

Pre-storm update.  I might add a couple more straps just in case.  It mostly has grown out of the lean from 2018.

20200802_163354.thumb.jpg.3bae66cc1a26816b1c152f10ba9e62d2.jpg

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Manalto
10 hours ago, Joe NC said:

Pre-storm update.  I might add a couple more straps just in case.  It mostly has grown out of the lean from 2018.

20200802_163354.thumb.jpg.3bae66cc1a26816b1c152f10ba9e62d2.jpg

Fingers crossed that all goes well. That palm is a stunner and well placed in the landscape.

Edited by Manalto
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Allen
6 hours ago, Manalto said:

Fingers crossed that all goes well. That palm is a stunner and well placed in the landscape.

Good luck. That trunk is getting up there!  Just don't forget and hook up the boat and drive off!   That might make a good Youtube video.

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Joe NC
On 8/2/2020 at 5:05 PM, Joe NC said:

Pre-storm update.  I might add a couple more straps just in case.  It mostly has grown out of the lean from 2018.

20200802_163354.thumb.jpg.3bae66cc1a26816b1c152f10ba9e62d2.jpg

I added more straps.  Palm survived the hurricane without moving an inch.

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necturus

This is a really nice mule. Wish all of them looked liked that. Pretty thick too.

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Joe NC
2 hours ago, necturus said:

This is a really nice mule. Wish all of them looked liked that. Pretty thick too.

It came from Plant Delights in Raleigh as a strap leaf.  I have no idea of the original source, or if there is any consistency in form between sources.

The base of the trunk is getting real beefy for sure.

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DAVEinMB

@Joe NC sorry if you've already answered this but what temperatures has it been exposed to without protection?

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Joe NC
13 hours ago, DAVEinMB said:

@Joe NC sorry if you've already answered this but what temperatures has it been exposed to without protection?

Since it has outgrown my protection measures, it hasn't really been tested.  I think the lows in 2019 were 18 or 19, and this past 2020 winter was a solid z9 here.  It was partially exposed to 17F,  I did have lights around the trunk, but my wrapping blew open so I don't know how much protection that really offered.

I will probably at least try to wrap the trunk with lights and protect as much as I can, when the next polar vortex shows. 

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Joe NC
On 8/4/2020 at 7:35 PM, necturus said:

This is a really nice mule. Wish all of them looked liked that. Pretty thick too.

I went out and put a measuring tape on it.  The fattest part at the base is a little over 2' in diameter.20200809_095409.thumb.jpg.658d2fd6f4db48c99e0e831fe57aa023.jpg

Edited by Joe NC
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