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PalmatierMeg

Hurricane Irma in a Rage

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PalmatierMeg

Yesterday when Irma rotated its howling winds to the east, we were able to open the garage side door on the west end of the house without being instantly flattened. The roar was deafening and rain flew in sideways torrents. Already we could see that our Garden Lot was already damaged almost beyond belief and we could see only a few dozen feet at best. Of course, I had to take photos. Enjoy from the comfort of your easy chair.

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doranakandawatta

Oh My God,

I don't enjoy so much since I share your sadness and stress you must have had facing this catastrophe. 

Having experienced the tsunami on the south coast of Sri Lanka, I know the feeling. 

But: you' re safe, your house too, your garden will recover ( for some plants) or offer you new spaces (the good side of the bad thing).

I hope you'll be fine  soon.

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Gonzer

Everything'll be cool Meg, hang in there.

 

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Tracy
5 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

Yesterday when Irma rotated its howling winds to the east, we were able to open the garage side door on the west end of the house without being instantly flattened. The roar was deafening and rain flew in sideways torrents. Already we could see that our Garden Lot was already damaged almost beyond belief and we could see only a few dozen feet at best.

As others have mentioned, the good news is that you are safe, still had a house to look out of, and at 15' elevation, that the storm surge wasn't such that it was on your doorstep.  I don't mean to downplay your garden losses, but prefer to see the glass half full rather than half empty.  In your photos, it looks like a tree was down, but your palms seemed to be still standing, albeit wind battered!

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DoomsDave

Meg!

You go, dear.

Yes, the palms will perk right up. Tipsy ones can be righted, staked, and grow straight, or left and allowed to be curvy conversation pieces.

Let us know what happens!

 

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Palm Tree Jim
14 hours ago, Tracy said:

As others have mentioned, the good news is that you are safe, still had a house to look out of, and at 15' elevation, that the storm surge wasn't such that it was on your doorstep.  I don't mean to downplay your garden losses, but prefer to see the glass half full rather than half empty.  In your photos, it looks like a tree was down, but your palms seemed to be still standing, albeit wind battered!

What Tracy said......

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doranakandawatta
3 hours ago, Palm Tree Jim said:

What Tracy said......

Yes, some good news,
But now I am worrying for Palmtalkers from the Keys, It seems to me that we saw in the past some Palmtalk members having wonderful gardens there ...

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PalmatierMeg

Flooding in our garden lot finally receded so we could get to it. Massive damage, esp. to hardwood trees. Some of those trees managed to fall on and damage or crush palms. The snakewood tree absolutely shattered and clobbered 3-4 large silver Bizzies - a lot of broken fronds. How do Bizzie growing points respond to storm damage? Can they be killed by the stress of being hammered by falling debris?

But overall, the palms, other than many broken fronds, responded so much better than hardwood trees. Where I ran into problems was that the ground was so saturated and soft that some palms leaned over. Unfortunately, the really large ones can't be saved. The dwarf red spicata coconut keeled over onto a neighboring Sabal. It is huge and must be taken out. Another large coconut atop the berm also has to go. In the back yard jungle, one of the Kentiopsis oliviformis is leaning at a 45 degree angle. But I am paying to have that one winched upright and staked. Just below that a picabeen is leaning over the canal and will be yanked out. The mutant african oil and a Howea forsteriana will be righted and staked.

Last night we were cutting up a eucalyptis that had fallen & partially blocked the street when a young Cuban couple who own their own landscape business and were checking absentee client properties pulled up & handed me their business card. We waved them over for an estimate on cutting up/removing fallen trees and staking up survivors. We scheduled them to start work on the damage on Thursday. That will help raise our spirits. We are paying out of pocket because the deductible on our homeowner's policy is $13,000.

We also started removing the potted plants from the garden house. I'd like to uncover the windows for the small cacti but tree branches block the way to the larger side windows. Later today we will moved potted palms out of the house and onto the back lanai.

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DoomsDave
10 minutes ago, PalmatierMeg said:

Flooding in our garden lot finally receded so we could get to it. Massive damage, esp. to hardwood trees. Some of those trees managed to fall on and damage or crush palms. The snakewood tree absolutely shattered and clobbered 3-4 large silver Bizzies - a lot of broken fronds. How do Bizzie growing points respond to storm damage? Can they be killed by the stress of being hammered by falling debris?

But overall, the palms, other than many broken fronds, responded so much better than hardwood trees. Where I ran into problems was that the ground was so saturated and soft that some palms leaned over. Unfortunately, the really large ones can't be saved. The dwarf red spicata coconut keeled over onto a neighboring Sabal. It is huge and must be taken out. Another large coconut atop the berm also has to go. In the back yard jungle, one of the Kentiopsis oliviformis is leaning at a 45 degree angle. But I am paying to have that one winched upright and staked. Just below that a picabeen is leaning over the canal and will be yanked out. The mutant african oil and a Howea forsteriana will be righted and staked.

Last night we were cutting up a eucalyptis that had fallen & partially blocked the street when a young Cuban couple who own their own landscape business and were checking absentee client properties pulled up & handed me their business card. We waved them over for an estimate on cutting up/removing fallen trees and staking up survivors. We scheduled them to start work on the damage on Thursday. That will help raise our spirits. We are paying out of pocket because the deductible on our homeowner's policy is $13,000.

We also started removing the potted plants from the garden house. I'd like to uncover the windows for the small cacti but tree branches block the way to the larger side windows. Later today we will moved potted palms out of the house and onto the back lanai.

Ouch!

But, could be worse, as you know.

My experience is that palms banged up on the growing points come right back if they're let be and permitted to grow and heal. I had that experience in the removal of a large tree with palms growing under it. Both the guy who helped me and I dropped branches in unfortunate ways on unfortunate palms. The palms are all okay now, and comprise my Chambeyronea Cathedral. (Pictured below.) To be sure, the palms weren't Bizzies, but Bizzies are tough.

I'll bet, in a year or two, only the most discerning eye will even notice any damage.

IMG_2327.thumb.JPG.3d8770e16da31d7860395

 

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Palmaceae

I had a couple small palms crushed under falling debris, one is my Corypha umbraculifera, a banana tree fell square on it, but the bud is still underground so should come back, hopefully. The other was my very nice old man palm, but it should be ok. A couple Copernicia's also had falling tree limb damage.  I am spending today standing up palms and staking them, had to use the vehicle on a couple that I could reach. Those Carpentaria's sure stand up to the wind very well, one looks like it never went through 100mph winds. Yesterday I chopped up the Kapok tree that fell and others.  All my coconut palms are leaning more than normal, i would have thought they would have fared better.  The palms held up well, but as Meg said the hardwood trees not so much.

Edited by Palmaceae
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Zeeth

The storm lost a lot of steam by the time it got up to my place. I ended up with 1 leaning coconut, a leaning B. fenestralis (that I propped back up) and a leaning juvenile Bismarckia. Other than that the garden was relatively unscathed except for some Plumerias that lost branches. 

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waykoolplantz

my biggest talipot down

talipot down.jpg

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DoomsDave
50 minutes ago, waykoolplantz said:

my biggest talipot down

talipot down.jpg

OUCH!

Maybe prop it back up again? Or not . . . . (ouch) That poor thing looks almost totally uprooted.

Ouch. :crying:

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doranakandawatta
49 minutes ago, waykoolplantz said:

my biggest talipot down

talipot down.jpg

Will you try to keep it that way and see if the crown will grow upwards ?

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PalmatierMeg
1 hour ago, waykoolplantz said:

my biggest talipot down

talipot down.jpg

A talipot is probably worth the expense of winching it upright and staking it, assuming the trunk didn't break away from the basal plate. What a shame. Those leaves are dozens of sails.

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Cindy Adair

I remember that beauty Mike! Hope it can be saved and also hope that was the worst of your damage?

Meg and everyone I am so very sorry for your losses!

Great photos although you are much braver than I was opening that door!

I worry even more about those in the Keys who are still in such a dire situation as far as even getting food, water and basic shelter. 

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BS Man about Palms

Wow! Meg, amazing "Action" shots and glad so many things look like they will come back...

WOW MIKE!!! any other big hits? Hows that Lodoicea? 

 

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Kim

Once visiting a tropical botanical garden that had been ravaged by a cyclone, the docent explained that many plants bloomed for the first time in memory due to more sunlight coming into the floor of the garden. In destruction there can be renewal. I hope all of you in Florida seeing the wreckage in your homes and gardens today can find the potential in the rays of sunshine ahead of you. Cry, wipe the tears, and go on to the next steps. Florida is not for wimps.

That Corypha is a crying shame.

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NatureGirl

We got hit hard over hear on the East Coast with the NE winds. I won't be offering anymore Dypsis pembana seeds - LOL!

IMG_0847.JPG

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Zeeth

Here's how the hurricane affected us in Palmetto (featuring my fiancée):

On a more serious note, I did have some plants affected. 

Some bananas fell and broke some fronds on this Tahiti Red Dwarf coconut:

IMG_0325.thumb.JPG.b6515ffda20b2957d8109

The coconut on the right took on quite a lean. I staked it as best as I could but I had problems keeping it completely upright. 

IMG_0328.thumb.JPG.249be72536724c82196d6

My B. fenestralis was leaning at about a 45˚ angle before staking it. Here it is post-staking.

IMG_0329.thumb.JPG.4475cb59332843688e6d0

This Bismarckia is leaning a bit, but not enough to worry about staking it. 

IMG_0330.thumb.JPG.e5ac1c75e123a56659e0a

The B. alfredii I planted at my fiancée's parents house in Palm Bay got knocked down. It's staked up now though so it should be fine.

21616787_1851943224830894_1532214592_o.j

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PalmatierMeg

Treecutters started this afternoon on my mess. The B. alfredii I had hoped to save had trunk ripped right off the basal plate so it's a goner. They think they might be able to save the large coconut on the berm. let them harvest all the coconuts for themselves and they were thrilled. We also let them have the harvey lemons on the tree that has to go. Never hurts to be gracious to the people working for you.

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Palmaceae

I spent most of the day yesterday, after going to work in the morning, standing up my palms with 2x4's.  Went to work today so not doing anything in the yard tonight. Still don't have power.  After all the work in the yard the past couple days, and some of my medical issues, don't know how much longer I can do this, getting too old for this ;)! Getting to the point that I may have to hire someone to help.

Edited by Palmaceae

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PalmatierMeg
16 hours ago, Palmaceae said:

I spent most of the day yesterday, after going to work in the morning, standing up my palms with 2x4's.  Went to work today so not doing anything in the yard tonight. Still don't have power.  After all the work in the yard the past couple days, and some of my medical issues, don't know how much longer I can do this, getting too old for this ;)! Getting to the point that I may have to hire someone to help.

Take care of yourself, Pastor Randy. We're at that point. Tim has fatigue and shortness of breath issues, so can't work outside in the heat for long without a rest. Those huge tropical hardwoods would take the rest of our lives to cut up.

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Palmaceae
16 minutes ago, PalmatierMeg said:

Take care of yourself, Pastor Randy. We're at that point. Tim has fatigue and shortness of breath issues, so can't work outside in the heat for long without a rest. Those huge tropical hardwoods would take the rest of our lives to cut up.

Thanks Meg, you guys take care too.  Still do not have power so that does not help either.

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Jdiaz31089
On 9/12/2017, 11:09:28, waykoolplantz said:

my biggest talipot down

talipot down.jpg

The Montgomerty Botanical Center had one of these fall over also! They staked their back up I believe. 

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sur4z
23 hours ago, Zeeth said:

Here's how the hurricane affected us in Palmetto (featuring my fiancée):

On a more serious note, I did have some plants affected. 

Some bananas fell and broke some fronds on this Tahiti Red Dwarf coconut:

IMG_0325.thumb.JPG.b6515ffda20b2957d8109

The coconut on the right took on quite a lean. I staked it as best as I could but I had problems keeping it completely upright. 

IMG_0328.thumb.JPG.249be72536724c82196d6

My B. fenestralis was leaning at about a 45˚ angle before staking it. Here it is post-staking.

IMG_0329.thumb.JPG.4475cb59332843688e6d0

This Bismarckia is leaning a bit, but not enough to worry about staking it. 

IMG_0330.thumb.JPG.e5ac1c75e123a56659e0a

The B. alfredii I planted at my fiancée's parents house in Palm Bay got knocked down. It's staked up now though so it should be fine.

21616787_1851943224830894_1532214592_o.j

You are lucky to still have your pool screening...during hurricanes Jeanne and Francis everyone lost theirs.

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Zeeth
13 minutes ago, sur4z said:

You are lucky to still have your pool screening...during hurricanes Jeanne and Francis everyone lost theirs.

Yeah we figured the whole cage was going to go flying with the initial predictions. Irma weakened so much by the time it got to us that we only lost part of 1 panel. We were really lucky with how little damage we got.

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DCA_Palm_Fan

It just makes me cringe seeing all this damage all over.  So sorry to hear and see everyone's damage, but very thankful that everyone is OK! 

   We have about the same damage in the area here as  zeeth does.  The hardwoods definitely took it much harder (lots of splits and uproots all over) but even the palms look ratty.  worst hit were royals and queens.  Some royals only left with 1-3 fronds on them.  Lots of awnings ripped off, fences blown down, and things of that nature.  The worst thing that I saw was the next morning driving back to my new place (we were evacuated as we are literally on Tampa Bay right next to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge) and that was a large overhead highway sign that was snapped off 1/2 way up. I don't know what official winds were here but Im certain that there were gusts near 100mph.    I just went to Gizelle Kopsick Palmetum downtown Saint Petersburg today, and lots of similar palm damage there.  The very tall Talipot looked just fine.  One of the smaller (still large) ones was leaning.  The tall coconuts there and most other places are missing fronds on their north sides. They appear to have just snapped off.   One very tall Phoenix Dactylifera snapped off 1/2 way up.  Lots of very tattered and broken palm fronds and a lot of dioons and encephalartos (sp?) got blown over.   

This was my 6th hurricane, 2nd in florida (matthew last year that barely missed fort lauderdale) and this ranks up there with the top 2 worst.  It was worse than what I went through with matthew as that only threw minimal hurricane force winds on land where I was.    When I finally got home Monday morning at 8 am and while it looked like a tree bomb has gone off we were very happy to find that the neighborhood did not flood, and that nothing major happened.  Palms are tattered and tired but they will recover in no time.  Surprisingly enough we had power.   Apparently from neighbors who stayed said it never went out. ( We decided to go because while 12 feet of surge wont get into our home, it sure would have destroyed the jeep. these buildings are solid poured concrete with hurricane strapped roofs and wont go anywhere)   It is my understanding that since we are on a small peninsula that sticks out about 1/2 mile into Tampa Bay on the run up to the sunshine skyway bridge, that were are connected to their power ( there are no overhead lines anywhere here) and that  the power to that bridge and the hospital are priority grids that are built to not go out.   For a time we were one of the only places outside of downtown Saint Pete, that had power in Pinellas county and we ended up hosting friends that lost thiers for a few days.   

All in all, this area dogged a huge bullet with it going east and keeping us out of the "dirty" side, and on the weaker side.  Well, what a welcome to Florida we got just 5 days after moving in.  LOL!   Thankfully it was not as bad as it could have been, and, this was not my first rodeo.   Hope that everyone stays safe and everyones much loved palms and gardens come back stronger than ever! 

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PalmatierMeg

I thought about you when it was heading our way. Glad your house came through fine. Evacuation and return are almost as brutal as the hurricane itself. Took our niece 27 hours to drive to Cape Coral from Atlanta (should take only 10-11 hours). The palms that look ratty now should recover their glory in less than a year. Their fronds are designed to break away in high winds to reduce their target crowns. Queens, all Syagrus really, are prone to break or uproot in hurricanes. Healthy royals hold their ground and sacrifice fronds to a storm. Our largest has been through Charley, Wilma and now Irma.

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Kris

Dear Friends,

The visuals are indeed painful.Very sorry to see what you have all gone through.Hope some of your favorite palms do make it.

Last year we experienced Vardha cyclone in chennai.Many old dicot trees in our city and parks did fall.But in our house only our date palm did bend,leaning towards our building structure but 4 months later its trying to realign itself and is pushing new fronds.So we spared that phoenix palm.

So in a haste do not cut down leaning palms,and fully uprooted palms too can be reinstalled.I hope our palm expert Ken Johnsen from Florida could guide you.

Love,

Kris.

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DCA_Palm_Fan
On 9/18/2017, 9:44:58, PalmatierMeg said:

I thought about you when it was heading our way. Glad your house came through fine. Evacuation and return are almost as brutal as the hurricane itself. Took our niece 27 hours to drive to Cape Coral from Atlanta (should take only 10-11 hours). The palms that look ratty now should recover their glory in less than a year. Their fronds are designed to break away in high winds to reduce their target crowns. Queens, all Syagrus really, are prone to break or uproot in hurricanes. Healthy royals hold their ground and sacrifice fronds to a storm. Our largest has been through Charley, Wilma and now Irma.

really?  wow. I suppose it never occurs to me that anyone would actually think about me lol.    Yeah, tshe beat up palms will be fine.  We have one very large / tall mature royal here on the property (I think its even the tallest tree period) and it basically sailed through the 100mph wind gusts.  It lost one (oldest) frond.   While we did not lose any actual trees there were large parts of some sea grapes and live oaks that came down.  Most of the queen palms look terrible. Some of them look like their tops got bend sideways.  A few of the Sabal Palmettos here took a beating too. They prune them 9-3 here (some more) and that really opens them up to more wind damage.  The ones near by that were left with mostly full crowns look untouched.   The Dypsis Lutescens here all got beaten badly.  Oddly enough, every single one of them shot up a new frond and opened it within 5 days.  All that said, our damage seems light compared to what you all got down there.  I feel so bad for those in SW FL and the Keys that took the brunt of this storm.    It even appears that some areas of the east coast may have gotten it worse than here. 

Fortunately we did not have to evacuate far.  We have very good friends that have a house in the non evac area near downtown just north.  They are 44' above sea level, the house is solid concrete, and their roof is rated for 150+ winds.  They have an ENORMOUS and very very old live oak on one corner of their property and that thing barely got touched at all. the largest limbs were 1-2 feet that fell. Its like the 100 mph winds just cleaned it out a bit.   It is so big that even during the highest gusts, the branches on the leeward side (opposite of where the wind was coming from) barely moved at all.  It also isnt over the house so it was not really a concern.  Its a very stout and strong tree for sure and its beautiful.      I hope that your recovery goes smoothly and quickly!  So glad  you and everyone affected remained safe!

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palmislandRandy
On 9/12/2017, 2:09:28, waykoolplantz said:

my biggest talipot down

talipot down.jpg

dang, that had gotten huge

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