Finally got nice enough weather to plant my 15gal windmill. My needle planted a few weeks back seems to be liking its new spot too! Sorry if I seem too excited, but it is our first day in the 70s since September!
I’m thinking about trying Trachycarpus Fortunei again this year. I’ve tried 3 before. The first winter had a low of about 12° in which 1 spear pulled (but made a full recovery), 1 died, and 1 was fine. I mulched the bases and wrapped them all in burlap for that winter. The more damaged ones were planted out in the open and the one that was fine was planted in the open but next to an evergreen shrub on the Northwest side. The next spring/summer I added a Wagnerianus. The next winter was much harsher with a low of 5° and ice storms. I was preoccupied and pretty depressed during that period and didn’t have the motivation to protect any of them. They all croaked (I even had a Sabal minor ‘McCurtain’ that bit the dust after almost no damage the previous winter).
Anyways, I’m hoping to try a Fortunei again this year. I’m thinking about doing somethings different to insure success. I’m getting my Fortunei from Plant Delights in a cultivar called ‘Greensboro’ which is reported to be a hardier strain. I’m also thinking of planting it closer to my house on a Southwest wall with a stone/concrete (not entirely sure what the material is to be honest) foundation.
I’m curious to know what are the experiences y’all have had with Fortunei in the Mid-Atlantic zone 6-8. I’ve seen huge specimens grown in DC and the surrounding areas. Especially at the home of some guy named Panama John. I saw a huge windmill in Alexandria, VA (zone 7a) online which has to be about 2 stories tall. If Fortunei’s can grow in DC and Northern VA, they should be able to grow in the Southeastern Baltimore region. Their climates should be roughly the same (Though being slightly further north, Baltimore could even be a little warmer due to the influence from the Chesapeake Bay as during winter storms, my area is usually below the freezing line and gets a wintry mix or rain).
So for my area (For the past 20 years, 6 Winters have been 7b, 1 has been 7a, and 14 have been 8a), what precautions would I need to take to aid a Fortunei? My native soil doesn’t drain the best and is usually soaked for a day after a rainfall (I’m going to do the Soil mason jar test on my soil for a more accurate picture). I was thinking about putting a huge bucket over the palm during freezing precipitation. Would I need to apply heavy protection to the palm? I’ve heard they don’t like being overprotected so I don’t want to smother them. Do they get hardier with age? (I’ve heard the younger ones are wimpy). Sorry for all the questions, I’m just in a pickle haha.
Cheers from Massachusetts!
My garden is outside of city heat island, about 30 km to the east from Zagreb at weekend house in rural area and the garden is one or two degrees Celsius colder than the city. There are not many palm species but few thrive and some strugle from year to year.
Trachycarpus princeps, geminisectus, ukhrulensis, princeps hybrid/new form, ‘Nova’ and all Chamaerops are pasive protected with heavy mulching with pine straws and for some species with some cover against snow and rain during winter.
Same garden under snow two winters ago
Here are included pictures from previus winters, January 2017 and February 2018.
Hi. Arrange species of the genus Trachycarpus from the most resistant to frost to the least resistant judging from your experience.