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maholla

Are my Queen Palms dead?

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maholla

New to Palm talk, so please excuse me if this is a redundant topic.  I live on the North side of Houston TX - and have, or had, seven queen palms in the 8-10 ft range that were in the ground in my yard for 3 full years.   In Jan 2017, we had a hard freeze, around 19 degrees, that lingered well into the next day.   All the queen palms took it very hard, with all losing all their fronds over 1-2 months.  I waited a couple of months, and saw nothing positive happening even though we had an extraordinarily warm Feb - in the upper 80's.  I'd read about stumping, cutting off a foot or so until you didn't see any rot.  I cut three - still about 8' tall - on two I saw cores in the middle of the trunk, while one looked like the cross section of any tree, with no cores obvious.  The two with cores had the cores pop up a few inches the first day, and  now, three weeks later , have maybe 18" growth and are starting to spread into fronds.   The trunk without visible separate cores is doing nothing.   I cut the remaining 4 about 10 days ago - all showed clear cores.   That day, two of the fresh cut trunks showed core growth pop up a few inches, and they already 10-15" tall and look like they are about to start spreading fronds.

My question is this - I have two trunks that had visible cores and one with no visible cores that are just standing there - the trunks are green, and very solid - no sign of rot or that they are dead - but no sign of any growth - so are they dead?   Is there anything I can do to encourage growth?  How long should I wait before I declare them dead?  

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again - mark

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Hammer
2 hours ago, maholla said:

New to Palm talk, so please excuse me if this is a redundant topic.  I live on the North side of Houston TX - and have, or had, seven queen palms in the 8-10 ft range that were in the ground in my yard for 3 full years.   In Jan 2017, we had a hard freeze, around 19 degrees, that lingered well into the next day.   All the queen palms took it very hard, with all losing all their fronds over 1-2 months.  I waited a couple of months, and saw nothing positive happening even though we had an extraordinarily warm Feb - in the upper 80's.  I'd read about stumping, cutting off a foot or so until you didn't see any rot.  I cut three - still about 8' tall - on two I saw cores in the middle of the trunk, while one looked like the cross section of any tree, with no cores obvious.  The two with cores had the cores pop up a few inches the first day, and  now, three weeks later , have maybe 18" growth and are starting to spread into fronds.   The trunk without visible separate cores is doing nothing.   I cut the remaining 4 about 10 days ago - all showed clear cores.   That day, two of the fresh cut trunks showed core growth pop up a few inches, and they already 10-15" tall and look like they are about to start spreading fronds.

My question is this - I have two trunks that had visible cores and one with no visible cores that are just standing there - the trunks are green, and very solid - no sign of rot or that they are dead - but no sign of any growth - so are they dead?   Is there anything I can do to encourage growth?  How long should I wait before I declare them dead?  

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again - mark

Hey Mark,

Welcome to PT.  Don't worry about redundant topics.  That is the name of the game around here.  What's old is new again.

Sorry your palms are struggling. You gave a great description, well detailed.   I would suggest posting up some photos. 

You will get much better perspectives once folks can really see the differences. 

Thanks.

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Upload pics.  The ones that aren't growing sound dead the way you described, but pics would be helpful.

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PalmatierMeg

Photos a must. A low of 19F sounds grim. Queens usually die at the low 20sF. If they are dead, I suggest you replace them with mule palms (queen x Butia odorata).

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maholla

Here's some pics.    I cut the three that showed no growth yesterday - and one shows signs of the palm heart growing an inch or two.   THe other two showed nothing, so I fresh cut them about 4" lower today, pics attached.  So I've attached 2 pix of fresh cut, one pic of one day growth, one pic of 2 week growth, and one pic of four week growth.

Hoping today's cuts yield another victory.  So far, stumping, or cutting has yielded growth or in 5 of 7 !!

palm 1 day after cut.JPG

palm 2 weeks after cut.JPG

palm 4 weeks after cut.JPG

palm fresh cut.JPG

palm other fresh cut.JPG

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CroToni
On 25/5/2017, 19:25:54, PalmatierMeg said:

Photos a must. A low of 19F sounds grim. Queens usually die at the low 20sF. If they are dead, I suggest you replace them with mule palms (queen x Butia odorata).

queens often survive lows below 20 degrees,lowest I have heard was 14 degrees.They really are a warm 8b palm,even though most people classify them as 9a+.

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TexasColdHardyPalms

I disagree with CroToni. Queens are not zone 8B palms, 100% mid -zone 9A.  Repeated 8B-borderline 9A temps will absolutely kill them and is why their survival is limited to just north of Houston up to about the Woodlands. Queens as a whole will not survive long term in Conroe and this has been shown time and time again over the last 20 years. Sure there are one in 100 plants that are more cold tolerant, but in general there will be an almost 100% mortality rate on queens in an warm 8B/cold 9A zone (like round rock or Austin)

BTW - I don't know exactly where in Tomball Maholla is but if he is close to 249 then he is right about the same hardiness zone as the woodlands which is the absolute edge of long term queen survival.  

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PalmatierMeg

I, too, disagree. When I lived in N. VA (zone 7a) in the 1980s a local nursery started bringing up from FL juvenile queens (then called "princess palms") and planting them along the road on its property. They were quite the eyecatchers. But every winter, without fail, the moment lows hit the low 20sF those palms were toast overnight. Come spring the nursery shipped in more victims. Non cost science experiment for me.

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PalmatierMeg

For those that do not survive, I strongly suggest you look into replacing them with mule palms which are much hardier and IMO better looking than queens. They cost more but in the long run are well worth the investment if you want the look of tropical palms.

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maholla

Reporting back

As I mentioned - after it was 19 degrees and all my queen palms dropped their fronds - I read somewhere you can try cutting the trunk just below the rotten part.  I cut 7, and 3 bloomed heartily, and 2 others anemically sprouted.  The anemic two died when Harvey hit in August - afterwards I found they were rotten at the base of the sprouts.

I live in Inverness Estates right at the intersection of Highway 99 and FM 2920 - so, yes, I am essentially at the same level as the southern border of the Woodlands.

Given it just hit 19, and 4 of 7 died - I'd agree we are at the precise edge of their viability. I have neighbors with several queens that are 25 ft or so, and are probably around 9 yrs old.  They did just fine - so perhaps if you can get them past 5 yrs or so, they  will be a tad heartier.

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PalmTreeDude

I have seen Queens on Hilton Head Island, S.C. that seem to do fine, the island is classified as zone 8b (minimum low is around 19.5 degrees F), but I doubt it ever gets that cold often, maybe every few years on the coldest night, or the queens that I have seen there are in warm pockets on the island. I am sure they were defoliated many times. I also would not call them 8b palms, a solid or warm 9a sounds like the way to go. 

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CroToni
On 23/12/2017, 15:21:16, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

I disagree with CroToni. Queens are not zone 8B palms, 100% mid -zone 9A.  Repeated 8B-borderline 9A temps will absolutely kill them and is why their survival is limited to just north of Houston up to about the Woodlands. Queens as a whole will not survive long term in Conroe and this has been shown time and time again over the last 20 years. Sure there are one in 100 plants that are more cold tolerant, but in general there will be an almost 100% mortality rate on queens in an warm 8B/cold 9A zone (like round rock or Austin)

BTW - I don't know exactly where in Tomball Maholla is but if he is close to 249 then he is right about the same hardiness zone as the woodlands which is the absolute edge of long term queen survival.  

I just saw that you replied,and I have to say that European and US zones differ quite a bit here they survive snow(inland) and temps in the low 20's.

Lowest  temp. mine have ever seen was 20 degrees and they  just got tip damage,altought very severe tip damage.

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Trava

Poreč had one day with -8°(17,6°F) and two days with -7°C(19,4°F) and more than 20 days with temperatures bellow 30°F in february 2017.Had you a protection on your syagrus?How old- big is it?

Dubrovnik,Split,had only one day with -7°C and all Queens  are gone.

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Phoenikakias
1 hour ago, Trava said:

Poreč had one day with -8°(17,6°F) and two days with -7°C(19,4°F) and more than 20 days with temperatures bellow 30°F in february 2017.Had you a protection on your syagrus?How old- big is it?

Dubrovnik,Split,had only one day with -7°C and all Queens  are gone.

Mine all dead (3 in number) during the 2004 two days long snow storm with a min of 28 F and always during this couple of days barely above or blow 0 C. Plants were small thoug, that is without a trunk yet, just slightly the bigger than the size of 5 gal.

Edited by Phoenikakias
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Cikas
8 hours ago, Trava said:

Poreč had one day with -8°(17,6°F) and two days with -7°C(19,4°F) and more than 20 days with temperatures bellow 30°F in february 2017.Had you a protection on your syagrus?How old- big is it?

Dubrovnik,Split,had only one day with -7°C and all Queens  are gone.

Mine Queens survived last winter cold wave (early 2017.). We had minimum of - 5.4C (coldest in last 40+ years)  here in Trsteno (Dubrovnik). Alot of them survived in Dubrovnik. 

Edited by Cikas

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dalmatiansoap

I also have few survivals from last winter of the century. Lost all butias, armatas, lot of "bullet proof " plants but some Queen seedlings and juveniles somehow survived?!

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