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sashaeffer

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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ShadyDan

Wondering if anyone has a mule in the PNW could chime in? Or the UK? I have a (BxJ)xS in my greenhouse that I’m hoping to put in the ground in the spring.  

I live on a mild spot on Vancouver Island and there are a few nice Butia in my neck of the woods. I do not now of any mules growing in Canada so any tips from growers in similar northern climates would be appreciated! 
 

 

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Chester B

I just planted out my first mule this year but it’s quite small. I have a back up in the greenhouse that I want to grow on for a few years before that one goes out. A local nursery here has them but they are $200 for the same size people are paying $60 for at Lowe’s or Home Depot in Florida, so I’ve been hesitant to pull the trigger. The guy at the nursery feels like they won’t make it here in 8b but hasn’t tested them. 
 

I know @palmcrazy has had some for a few years in Olympia but they are not very big either.  He experienced spear pull when they were younger but they recovered.  
 

BananaJoe on Salt Spring Island BC has some smaller ones as well but they don’t seem to hardly grow for him. You can look up his YouTube channel for videos he has posted of them. 

Butia are still hardier but I would try it. 

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ShadyDan
1 hour ago, Chester B said:

I just planted out my first mule this year but it’s quite small. I have a back up in the greenhouse that I want to grow on for a few years before that one goes out. A local nursery here has them but they are $200 for the same size people are paying $60 for at Lowe’s or Home Depot in Florida, so I’ve been hesitant to pull the trigger. The guy at the nursery feels like they won’t make it here in 8b but hasn’t tested them. 
 

I know @palmcrazy has had some for a few years in Olympia but they are not very big either.  He experienced spear pull when they were younger but they recovered.  
 

BananaJoe on Salt Spring Island BC has some smaller ones as well but they don’t seem to hardly grow for him. You can look up his YouTube channel for videos he has posted of them. 

Butia are still hardier but I would try it. 

Thanks Chester, be interesting to see how yours does with all that nice summer heat you get there. 
 

 Yea I had to import mine from the states (don’t ask how much haha) as they are essentially nonexistent north of the border.

I’ve been to Joes place before on SaltSpring, I probably missed the mule amongst the 1,000s of other palms and cool stuff he has growing lol. 

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Palmsofengland

This is not my own photo but was taken by a member of the EPS FB in Abbotsbury, UK. I believe they could be much more widespread, but are incredibly difficult and expensive to source over here

936EB38F-5C96-46A8-ADD2-06D344230F27.jpeg

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DAVEinMB
6 hours ago, Palmsofengland said:

This is not my own photo but was taken by a member of the EPS FB in Abbotsbury, UK. I believe they could be much more widespread, but are incredibly difficult and expensive to source over here

936EB38F-5C96-46A8-ADD2-06D344230F27.jpeg

That's an interesting looking Mule

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RJ
On 11/28/2020 at 10:10 AM, DAVEinMB said:

That's an interesting looking Mule

That looks like a butia erospathia mule cross to me. 

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OC2Texaspalmlvr
On 11/28/2020 at 2:55 AM, Palmsofengland said:

This is not my own photo but was taken by a member of the EPS FB in Abbotsbury, UK. I believe they could be much more widespread, but are incredibly difficult and expensive to source over here

936EB38F-5C96-46A8-ADD2-06D344230F27.jpeg

How much shade is this palm grown in ? I like the look but it may just be deep shade grown. 

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Palmsofengland
1 hour ago, OC2Texaspalmlvr said:

How much shade is this palm grown in ? I like the look but it may just be deep shade grown. 

I haven’t visited it personally, but from other pictures online it definitely isn’t growing in deep shade as it is right by a path, with little shade coming from that side and no overhead cover as far as I can see. I would imagine that it gets sun for most of the day during summer bar the period that it is shaded by the trees behind it in the photo. I doubt it would grow too much down by the coast in the deep shade. Other members from the UK may know more however...

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RJ
4 hours ago, OC2Texaspalmlvr said:

How much shade is this palm grown in ? I like the look but it may just be deep shade grown. 

Those b. Ero mules are monsters. There is a batch of them over that Nigel had that are crossed with the Santa Catarina Queen Palm. 

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NBTX11
On 5/30/2017 at 11:49 AM, DCA_Palm_Fan said:

with full, heavy protection (something like a greenhouse built around it) you would probably be able to grow one.  Butia Capitata are hardier than Mules though, and they even struggle at times in zone 8A.    Beyond 8A even those need full winter protection.   If they were able to reliably grow in 7B, we would see them all over the mid Atlantic in coastal cities, and they are not there.  You don't begin seeing full healthy ones until Va Beach where they are hit or miss without protection.  Mules  I do not think would survive with no protection in Va Beach even.   So your key is going to be to provide full protection in every  winter of its life.  With that you will likely be very successful.   I remember a man who grew a windmill to 25 feet tall in northern Minnesota. He built a greehouse around it every year.  I belive he became too old for the work and the palm became too tall and he had to let it go.   Please do share your protection methods with us!  Can't wait to see what you do! 

I would like to hear more about how he did that, because essentially the ground freezes solid and hard as a rock there.  How was he able to keep the frigid ground from freezing the root system. 

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NBTX11

By the way, where is a good place to purchase mule palms from?

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OC2Texaspalmlvr
5 hours ago, RJ said:

Those b. Ero mules are monsters. There is a batch of them over that Nigel had that are crossed with the Santa Catarina Queen Palm. 

That is some good info, I like that look over my current mule which leans more on the Queen side. 

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RJ
1 hour ago, OC2Texaspalmlvr said:

That is some good info, I like that look over my current mule which leans more on the Queen side. 

:evil:

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EastCanadaTropicals
On 5/20/2017 at 10:31 PM, sashaeffer said:

I was thinking about trying it here in my 5B/6A climate.  I know people have had some luck with Butia's  but not me. I think we get too much moisture as no matter what I do they rot out.

I know someone in Montreal that has had success with butia.

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

20200802_163354.thumb.jpg.3bae66cc1a26816b1c152f10ba9e62d2.jpg

BEAUTIFUL PALM!!!!!!!!

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Joe NC
4 hours ago, climate change virginia said:

BEAUTIFUL PALM!!!!!!!!

Thanks.

No worries this winter so far. Last night and tonight are two of the coldest temps so far this year, 25F (Hopefully we stay above 20 for the rest of the winter...)

Preemptive wrap of Christmas lights around the trunk, to make it easy to at least protect that and the growth point if needed.  

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DCA_Palm_Fan
On 1/28/2021 at 6:23 PM, NBTX11 said:

I would like to hear more about how he did that, because essentially the ground freezes solid and hard as a rock there.  How was he able to keep the frigid ground from freezing the root system. 

He built large structures around it,  with insulating materials, and used heating for the interior and I believe some heating cables on / shallow in the ground around it to keep it from freezing within several feet.  It was a feat of pure determination to be sure.    The guys name on that online form way back then was "arctictropical".   

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EastCanadaTropicals

But would Jubaea x Syragus be hardier? Seems worth a shot.

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