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Eric in Orlando

big Corypha utan in Central Florida (Rockledge)

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Eric in Orlando

I came across this nice sized Corypha utan on Saturday. It is growing in Rockledge (just south of Cocoa) in a yard facing the western shore of the Indian River lagoon. It has some cold damage but I think more of the damage maybe from wind/salt spray from Hurricane Irma. There are Adonidia/Cocos/Hyophorbe/Veitchia nearby with minimal damage. A Livistona decora is to the right for scale.

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Eric in Orlando

DSC_3699.JPG

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Walt

I have a Corypha utan I bought in January of 2002 as a one gallon size. 16-1/2 years later this palm still hasn't started to develop a trunk (I suspect from not enough hours of sun, since I planted it under tree canopy). But I will say this, it's never been protected, and has only sustained minor cold damage, and that was in December of 2010. 

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Sabal Steve
58 minutes ago, Walt said:

I have a Corypha utan I bought in January of 2002 as a one gallon size. 16-1/2 years later this palm still hasn't started to develop a trunk (I suspect from not enough hours of sun, since I planted it under tree canopy). But I will say this, it's never been protected, and has only sustained minor cold damage, and that was in December of 2010. 

Walt, do you happen to have a pic.  I have one in a pot, that’s been growing outside, for a few years now.  I suspect that it will grow here (when planted), but I’m unsure how it will handle out low humidity.

 

7367E0F7-5230-45AC-81E5-01ED3B48040C.thu

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RedRabbit

Woah, nice find! 

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Eric in Orlando
9 hours ago, RedRabbit said:

Woah, nice find! 

My wife and I were driving the riverfront photographing the nice 1800s houses along there. The massive Corypha really stands out!

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Walt
16 hours ago, The Steve said:

Walt, do you happen to have a pic.  I have one in a pot, that’s been growing outside, for a few years now.  I suspect that it will grow here (when planted), but I’m unsure how it will handle out low humidity.

 

7367E0F7-5230-45AC-81E5-01ED3B48040C.thu

I bought my one gallon size C. utan the same day I bought a one gallon size Syagrus mauritiiformis (January of 2002). As I live in USDA zone 9b, I was concerned about freeze damage (and maybe death) of both palms. So I planted both palms in a area of my property that is lightly wooded, and runs about 3 degrees warmer on radiational cooling nights. As such, neither palm get full direct sun, but rather only broken sun --and still do to this day. IMO, from looking at photos I took 5-10 years ago (not shown here), I can hardly tell any difference in the growth between my C. utan then and now. It's definitely one of my slowest growing palm species. If I can dig up one of my older photos for comparison I will post it here.

I took the below photos this morning (7-30-18). Photo 1 shows my C. utan in lower left corner, with Syagrus mauritiiformis to the right.. Photo 2 is a closer view of my C. utan. Photo 3 a close up view of my C. utan. If I perchance to ever buy another C. utan, I will plant it in full sun.

Corypha utan S. mauritiiformis.jpg

Corypha utan.jpg

Corypha utan 1.jpg

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Sabal Steve

Thanks for the photos, and the story, Walt.  Seems like your Sabal Mauritiiformis has done pretty well.

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greysrigging

I have one in my back yard that is about 25 to 30 years old ( I can't remember when I planted it ) Fairly slow growing it seems with about 18' of trunk. My one grows in a general rain forest area with lots of competition. i think they do better as a stand alone feature specimen. Mine is looking a bit sad at the moment, it suffered a bit at the hands of Cyclone Marcus back in March. Those big fronds  ( 6' x 8' ) act like a sail in high winds. And they are spikey on the stems as well.so awkward to handle.

 

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This one is the best I have seen in an urban environment, just round the corner from home.

 

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Edited by greysrigging
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greysrigging

 

 

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Eric in Orlando

Wow, that tall specimen is awesome!

 

 

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Walt

Ok. I found a photo of my Corypha utan taken on 3-10-06, shortly after I planted it, after pot growing it for many years. That's almost 12-1/2 years ago. This photo just proves that my C. utan is a dud! This palm just doesn't want to grow. In fact, it looks bigger back in 2006 than it does today. Below a re post of the photo I posted above the other day, and then a photo from 2006. Mind you, I bought this palm as a one gallon size in January of 2002.

 

Corypha utan.jpg

Corypha utan 3-10-06.jpg

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TexasColdHardyPalms

That one is a dud for sure Walt. 

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greysrigging

Well I thought mine was slow growing but that one of yours is really really slow growing ! Must be your coolish winters compared to its natural habitat. Where the stands are located in the Northern Territory they would almost never see days below 86f or nights below 55f.

 

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Walt
On 8/5/2018, 11:28:19, greysrigging said:

Well I thought mine was slow growing but that one of yours is really really slow growing ! Must be your coolish winters compared to its natural habitat. Where the stands are located in the Northern Territory they would almost never see days below 86f or nights below 55f.

 

I don't think it's my climate. My coldest month is January, and it averages high of 73F degrees and low 49F. My C. utan is a dud, pure and simple. I have other palm duds. I have a Copernicia alba that is hardly any bigger today than when I planted it 18 years ago. It still has no trunk, and is no more than one meter high to the tip of the highest frond.  Both palms get fertilized at least four times a year with 8-2-12 plus magnesium and minors. If you see what palms I'm growing, I then think you might agree -- this palm is a dud.

 

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Eric in Orlando

Your climate is warm enough for a C. utan. Sometimes individual palms are stubborn, don't give up on it. We have a Copernicia fallaensis grow like this, had healthy leaves but just never got any bigger. It was planted the same time (Sept. 1994) as a C. baileyana, both same size in 5 gal. pots. The C. baileyana is now about  15ft while the C. fallaensis is 6ft but the C. fallensis has finally started growing the last 2 years.

We also have a Borassus madagascariensis that has never grown, planted Aug. 2006, from a 25 gal. pot about 4ft tall. It never wants to hold more than 3-4 leaves.  I planted a Bismarckia in my mom's front yard back in 1998. It just sat there for many years not getting any bigger until about 8 years ago. Now it is growing at a good pace like Bismarckia usually do.

 

 

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TexasColdHardyPalms

There is a decent sized corpha in a guys front yard southwest of orlando near Celebration. 

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Walt
4 hours ago, Eric in Orlando said:

Your climate is warm enough for a C. utan. Sometimes individual palms are stubborn, don't give up on it. We have a Copernicia fallaensis grow like this, had healthy leaves but just never got any bigger. It was planted the same time (Sept. 1994) as a C. baileyana, both same size in 5 gal. pots. The C. baileyana is now about  15ft while the C. fallaensis is 6ft but the C. fallensis has finally started growing the last 2 years.

We also have a Borassus madagascariensis that has never grown, planted Aug. 2006, from a 25 gal. pot about 4ft tall. It never wants to hold more than 3-4 leaves.  I planted a Bismarckia in my mom's front yard back in 1998. It just sat there for many years not getting any bigger until about 8 years ago. Now it is growing at a good pace like Bismarckia usually do.

 

 

I just ordered 3 C. utan seedlings from Florabunda, along with about 10 other species palms. I told Jeff at Florabunda (phone call) about my dud C. utan. So, maybe out of three more I will have some luck. But, like I said, I have a C. alba that I bought about 19 years ago. I planted it in mostly full sun, but it would not grow. In fact, it actually started to decline, so I dug it up and re potted it.  The palm then started to grow again so I replanted it. Again, once in the ground it started to decline. Once again dug it up and repotted it. I now have it in a 15 gallon pot and it looks good. I will plant it once more, but in a different location. If it doesn't do anything now, too bad, as I'm not wasting any more time and energy on it.

Same thing happened to a Cocothrinax fragrans palm I bought in March of 2002. Once planted it started to regress, losing more and more fronds over a period of a couple of years. I dug it up and re potted it. It started growing well again, and I pot grew it for about a year, the replanted it in the same spot. Well, it started to decline again, so after a couple of years I dug it back up and repotted it in a 20 gallon pot. It totally recovered, but this time I re planted it in the ground, but in a totally different area of my property. I think it's been in the ground now five years and is holding its own. 

I also in March of 2002 bought a small Sabal bermudana, and planted it. It's been a far slower grower than Sabal palmetto. Last year for the first time it put up one inflorescence (no seeds, though). So far this year no inflorescence. Also, no developed trunk yet.

On the other hand, I also bought a Syagrus schizophylla in March of 2002, and it's grown normally. It has maybe 5-6 feet of trunk today.

One thing I realize is I have relatively dry soil, and palms without constant irrigation grow far more slower. I've sold A. alexandrae palms to people with almost daily irrigation, and their palms blow past mine in size and thickness. I gave some Arch. alexandrae to a neighbor down the street from me, and she has a 3 acre pond in her back yard. She planted the palms only a few feet from the pond's edge. The palm must of tapped the higher water table as her palm grew big and fast compared to mine.

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Eric in Orlando

There is something about the sand here in Florida, seems there are just patches where you can't get things to grow easily. My mom lives very close to downtown Orlando. Her area is higher well drained and dominated by old Quercus virginiana. The front yard has patches of almost pure white beach sand and there are certain plants I could never get to grow there; hibiscus, jacaranda, bottlebrush, Washingtonia robusta, Livistona saribus, Arenga engleri, Caryota obtusa, Pandanus furcatus. That Bismarckia I previously mentioned just sat there for years before it finally started thriving. But other plants and palms grew fine.  The back yard never had any problems.

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redant

My yard is pure white talcum powder sand in most parts. I have been using horse manure to make things grow in this completely infertile soil, the changes have been dramatic.

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Moose

C. utan is not a fast grower. Mine sat like Walt's with little growth for several years. I don't have sugar sand based soil. When I started to mulch heavily, things picked up with this palm. Since Irma, it has put out 6 new leaves. They don't look very attractive after heavy winds. Talipot - same results. They are a pain to remove old brown fronds due to their size.

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Eric in Orlando

Ground alfalfa is another great product to put around for an organic feeding. Use it with a good palm fertilizer and it really seems to help with the uptake of nutrients and adds good humus to the soil. You get get large bags at a feed store. But get the ground not the pellets. It takes a long tome for the pellets to absorb water.

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greysrigging
15 hours ago, Moose said:

C. utan is not a fast grower. Mine sat like Walt's with little growth for several years. I don't have sugar sand based soil. When I started to mulch heavily, things picked up with this palm. Since Irma, it has put out 6 new leaves. They don't look very attractive after heavy winds. Talipot - same results. They are a pain to remove old brown fronds due to their size.

Indeed....I don't regard them as a fast grower. Darwin soils are notoriously poor and shallow and require extensive mulching and fertilizing to produce results. We have an extreme Wet/Dry monsoonal climate which tends to mask deficiencies in soil goodness while it is raining. Everyone's garden looks good after 60" of rain in 6 months. But they look a bit ordinary after 6 months of drought. My Corphya is relatively healthy looking but yes, it was trashed during Cyclone Marcus and growing in lots of competition with other palms in my poor soil doesn't help its appearance. I wonder if the seemingly stunted growth has something to do with the soil conditions in Florida ? Too sandy ? Too alkaline or acidic ? Lots of variables in healthy palm cultivation ?

Edited by greysrigging
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Moose
On ‎8‎/‎10‎/‎2018‎ ‎9‎:‎54‎:‎09‎, greysrigging said:

Indeed....I don't regard them as a fast grower. Darwin soils are notoriously poor and shallow and require extensive mulching and fertilizing to produce results. We have an extreme Wet/Dry monsoonal climate which tends to mask deficiencies in soil goodness while it is raining. Everyone's garden looks good after 60" of rain in 6 months. But they look a bit ordinary after 6 months of drought. My Corphya is relatively healthy looking but yes, it was trashed during Cyclone Marcus and growing in lots of competition with other palms in my poor soil doesn't help its appearance. I wonder if the seemingly stunted growth has something to do with the soil conditions in Florida ? Too sandy ? Too alkaline or acidic ? Lots of variables in healthy palm cultivation ?

Florida soils are variable. Not many areas have great soil. I have been heavily mulching for at least 10 years now, so the organic material has improved. The Corypha utan in my garden has to contend with penetrating the underlying limestone. It's starting to win that battle.

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