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ActualTrachycarpus

Massive Queen Palm for Chicago?

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ActualTrachycarpus

 

I was recently at a greenhouse oh an hour or so from where I live in Chicago, and found that they had a 10 foot Syagrus Romanzoffiana in a large pot. The price tag on it was only $90 or so,  which is extremely cheap (for where I live at least) I have always wanted to own a large palm considering since there are no palms around where I live. I was thinking about making the purchase in mid to late April, and checked the predicted forecast online: (It would stay in the same pot until the first frost, and then I would take it to be stored in a greenhouse)

https://www.accuweather.com/en/us/chicago-il/60659/april-weather/60659us?monyr=4/1/2019&view=table

It says that the highs will be low 60s and the lows in the low 40s. Is that safe for a matured queen palm in a pot? Another concern I have is transportation (to bring it home and to bring it to a greenhouse in the fall). I have a Volvo wagon which can fold down the passenger and the right back seat which is most likely long enough to hold the plant, or I could rent a truck from my local Home Depot.

The reason I am asking all of this is because this could be a stupid purchase. Any thoughts?

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sashaeffer

Go for it!   I'm in Omaha and have 5 queens in pots that just over winter in garage and do fine.

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ActualTrachycarpus
2 minutes ago, sashaeffer said:

Go for it!   I'm in Omaha and have 5 queens in pots that just over winter in garage and do fine.

How large are they?

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sashaeffer

oh, 6-9 feet

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sashaeffer

Don't know who he was but years ago there was a guy on here from Chicago that had a condo? along what ever that waterway is that goes through the city.  He had property that a private pool that looked over the canal or what ever it's called. He had 5/6 queen palms in 20 gallon concrete containers that he would arrange around his pool and in the fall he would rent a appliance dolly and he and two other buddies would move them into "his" side of the garage and lean them at a angle against one another so they could clear the ceiling in the garage. He said his wife was NOT going to give up her side of the garage lol, so he had to park outside for all your severe winters.

Those pictures were part of my inspiration to have as many as I do now.

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ActualTrachycarpus

Is your garage heated? Mine is not however for this entire month of December its been like 45, 50 degrees, and I think the lowest it gets on really cold days is 30.

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sashaeffer

I do have a wall mounted propane fueled heater but don't use it often as garage, doors and ceiling above are all well insulated. It never drops below freezing when heater off.

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ActualTrachycarpus

Ok mine is pretty well insulated as well, so I think I might try one. I am actually north of Chicago but I am the about usually the same temperature as them. Thanks for sharing!

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sashaeffer

You bet! good luck and be sure to post pics if you get it.

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Xerarch

Your average temps of 60/40 will be fine for the queen, but those are averages, you won’t be done with frosts in Chicago until well past that, you might need to take it in and out a few times until your chance of frost has passed. 

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ActualTrachycarpus
24 minutes ago, Xerarch said:

Your average temps of 60/40 will be fine for the queen, but those are averages, you won’t be done with frosts in Chicago until well past that, you might need to take it in and out a few times until your chance of frost has passed. 

Your right. I want to play it conservatively with such a large palm, however we have had a kind of mild winter so far (November was cold but Decembers been 50s, 40s, and 30s, which is mild for us) Who knows how January and February will go :wacko: 

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NC_Palms

What's your plan for the queen? Are you going to keep it in a pot and bring it inside in the winter or are you up for some extreme zone pushing :indifferent: 

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ActualTrachycarpus
13 hours ago, NC_Palms said:

What's your plan for the queen? Are you going to keep it in a pot and bring it inside in the winter or are you up for some extreme zone pushing :indifferent: 

Well there is no way I am going zone push a queen, especially one of this size in Chicago. I am going to keep it in a pot and either overwinter in my garage or put it into a greenhouse.

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sashaeffer
2 hours ago, ActualTrachycarpus said:

Well there is no way I am going zone push a queen, especially one of this size in Chicago. I am going to keep it in a pot and either overwinter in my garage or put it into a greenhouse.

Mike Page (coconut mike) in Montreal has quite a collection of cold hardy and semi cold hardy palms on his property and one of them(years ago) was a queen that he would over winter until it got to I think it was 18ft tall at which point he couldn't protect it anymore so offered it up for FREE if you dug it out. Not sure if anyone took him up on it or not but was impressive to see. Last pic he posted was late in the season after a snow fall.

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ActualTrachycarpus
6 hours ago, sashaeffer said:

Mike Page (coconut mike) in Montreal has quite a collection of cold hardy and semi cold hardy palms on his property and one of them(years ago) was a queen that he would over winter until it got to I think it was 18ft tall at which point he couldn't protect it anymore so offered it up for FREE if you dug it out. Not sure if anyone took him up on it or not but was impressive to see. Last pic he posted was late in the season after a snow fall.

I have seen Mike's collection and I must say, that must of cost him a fortune! Queens seem to be very fast growing palms which could be a good thing for me or a nuisance. It seems to me when they defoliate can they come back pretty quickly if the heart is still alive.

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Merlyn2220

They sell queens in FL up to around 12' tall in pots, typically 15g or so is the maximum size.  But the local big box stores sell them in up to 30g pots for around $175.  They are fast growers in FL, but I'm guessing you'd have several years in 10-30g pots before really *needing* to plant it.  Just be aware that the growing spike gets very tall before it opens, so you'll need to keep that in mind for ceiling height.  And a 12' tall queen in a 30g pot is going to be really, really heavy.  :D

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oasis371

I have a few Queen Palms, Butias (Pindo palms), Washingtonias,  Date Palms (Phoenix canariensis), Sabals, Cycads, and others. 

The Queens definitely have the vertical dimension advantage! They are fast growers though!  I think my tallest may be taller than 15 feet.  They all overwinter in a minimally heated, detached garage in NJ/Zone 7 with a full southern exposure and a good expanse of glass on the south side.  Most of the largest palms end up in black plastic garbage cans with drainage.  I think my Butias are heavier but I use large dollies for those.  You can always start with smaller palms so you can enjoy them for more years before the height becomes an issue.  My tallest Queen is getting quite close to the top of my loft garage already. Go for it if you want it!

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ActualTrachycarpus
22 hours ago, Merlyn2220 said:

They sell queens in FL up to around 12' tall in pots, typically 15g or so is the maximum size.  But the local big box stores sell them in up to 30g pots for around $175.  They are fast growers in FL, but I'm guessing you'd have several years in 10-30g pots before really *needing* to plant it.  Just be aware that the growing spike gets very tall before it opens, so you'll need to keep that in mind for ceiling height.  And a 12' tall queen in a 30g pot is going to be really, really heavy.  :D

The spikes were pretty tall on the plants I saw at the greenhouse, however I can't remember how big they were (I didn't take any pictures of them, I didn't want to look weird) I am pretty sure they were 10' tall in 15 gal pots. When I get one I am going to bring an appliance dolly if they don't already have one. 

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PalmatierMeg

$90? Go for it! I know I would if I lived where you are. When I live in VA in the 80s I bought a sapling queen for a whopping $60, kept it outdoors from April to Oct., in our front FL room all winter. I had no idea how cold hardy they really are so treated it like a true tropical. It could have survived outside an extra couple months. Indoors I always had to be on the lookout for spider mites.

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ActualTrachycarpus
28 minutes ago, PalmatierMeg said:

$90? Go for it! I know I would if I lived where you are. When I live in VA in the 80s I bought a sapling queen for a whopping $60, kept it outdoors from April to Oct., in our front FL room all winter. I had no idea how cold hardy they really are so treated it like a true tropical. It could have survived outside an extra couple months. Indoors I always had to be on the lookout for spider mites.

I know it seems cheap. Hopefully I didn't read the label wrong and it is actually $920.00 instead if $92.00 :unsure:. Anyways my biggest issue is transportation. My plan is to lay it on its side in my car and tie in the trunk, and then I tie the fronds up and if it is too tall I open my truck and have the fronds stick out. Maybe this isn't the best plan? Another option is just to rent a pickup from menard's and take it that way.

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Merlyn2220

Being totally inside the Volvo wagon would probably be the best option  You could easily dessicate any fronds that are sticking out, especially if it's in the 40s when you are driving an hour back to your house!  Just make sure you evenly support the pot and the trunk, you don't want to snap off the trunk from the pot on a bumpy road.  I've transported plenty of large palms in my panel van, just by tying the fronds together and laying them flat.  If you do get a truck, make sure you wrap the fronds to protect them from freeze-drying on the road.

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RJ
3 hours ago, ActualTrachycarpus said:

I know it seems cheap. Hopefully I didn't read the label wrong and it is actually $920.00 instead if $92.00 :unsure:. Anyways my biggest issue is transportation. My plan is to lay it on its side in my car and tie in the trunk, and then I tie the fronds up and if it is too tall I open my truck and have the fronds stick out. Maybe this isn't the best plan? Another option is just to rent a pickup from menard's and take it that way.

Bring a garbage bag to put the pot in, then tie the bag up around the trunk of the palm, This will keep dirt from coming out all over your car. I have done this several times with palms with good results. Sometimes for up to 6 hours at a time. :)

 

 

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ActualTrachycarpus
1 hour ago, Merlyn2220 said:

Being totally inside the Volvo wagon would probably be the best option  You could easily dessicate any fronds that are sticking out, especially if it's in the 40s when you are driving an hour back to your house!  Just make sure you evenly support the pot and the trunk, you don't want to snap off the trunk from the pot on a bumpy road.  I've transported plenty of large palms in my panel van, just by tying the fronds together and laying them flat.  If you do get a truck, make sure you wrap the fronds to protect them from freeze-drying on the road.

Yeah the Volvo's front passenger seat folds down and maybe I can see if the palm is small enough to fit in the car (wouldn't want to hurt the center spear). I am also going to hold off on buying it until its spring just because it is still a risk. 

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sashaeffer
On 1/4/2019, 8:33:49, ActualTrachycarpus said:

I have seen Mike's collection and I must say, that must of cost him a fortune! Queens seem to be very fast growing palms which could be a good thing for me or a nuisance. It seems to me when they defoliate can they come back pretty quickly if the heart is still alive.

Queens I have don't grow all that fast. Maybe one new frond a summer. I think because of the climate, shorter growing season etc.

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ActualTrachycarpus
11 hours ago, sashaeffer said:

Queens I have don't grow all that fast. Maybe one new frond a summer. I think because of the climate, shorter growing season etc.

Well then that's a good thing, I can keep it in a pot. I think we both have similar climates except I believe you have hotter summers because you don't have a body of water next to you.

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Josue Diaz

So did you buy it?! Let's see photos!

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ActualTrachycarpus
5 hours ago, Josue Diaz said:

So did you buy it?! Let's see photos!

Well I haven't. Trust me, I would in a heartbeat, but the weather is just too cold :wacko:. It's too much risk in this weather, but I'll add some photos right as I get it! (Most likely late March early April)

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oasis371

Today, I saw several big, multiple trunked Queens and Adonidia (Manila Palms) for $20.00 and with 1/2 discount on all palms! They were being given away! They were at least 10 feet tall.  Passed them by as I have NO ROOM left, have no way to move them, and already have several tall Queens. Adonidia has been hit and miss for me, current specimen has been doing fine but Queens are definitely MUCH, MUCH cold hardier. Instead, I walked away with a gorgeous Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis)..., one of my favorite of "indoor" palms.

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ActualTrachycarpus
2 hours ago, oasis371 said:

Today, I saw several big, multiple trunked Queens and Adonidia (Manila Palms) for $20.00 and with 1/2 discount on all palms! They were being given away! They were at least 10 feet tall.  Passed them by as I have NO ROOM left, have no way to move them, and already have several tall Queens. Adonidia has been hit and miss for me, current specimen has been doing fine but Queens are definitely MUCH, MUCH cold hardier. Instead, I walked away with a gorgeous Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis)..., one of my favorite of "indoor" palms.

$20.00? The only thing around here where I live you can buy is a majesty palm or pygmy date. Where was this? 

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oasis371

 

Actual, that was $20.00 BEFORE the 40% discount (so $12.00 each)!

Like I said in my above posting..., I would have NO space for them.  The Adonidia (Manila) were tempting but my loft garage is already FULL to the rafters and Adonidia would never make it there.  My "cold" greenhouse houses Butias, Syagrus (Queens), Date Palms (P. canariensis), Sabals, and Cycads.  Adonidia would have to go into my tropical collection (basement), but the ceilings are not loft.  

Regarding Majesty and Pygmy Date, I just had to move them from my garage to the basement, as it really got cold. Those both can handle some chill but like take frosts..., also moved my Chinese Fan Palms (Livistona). 

We used to have a even wider variety of palms available from the so-called big box stores, but much few species being offered in recent years.  As you said, Majesty, Phoenix roebellini, Livistona chinensis, and Chamaedorea.   In the milder months, used to be as good a selection as you would find in the Miami area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NJ (Zone 7)

Edited by oasis371

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