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Beccariophoenix Alfredii Grove

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FishEyeAquaculture

After doing some yard week this weekend, I had to stop and really admire our little Beccariophoenix alfredii grove and thought I would share. I took a chance and planted these palms (22’ spacing) back in early December.  They really needed some help in the iron department, which isn’t uncommon for this species, but the cool weather wouldn’t allow for any uptake...but all that changed a couple weeks ago.  After I get around to taking down a Black Cherry or two, more alfredii will be added for sure

Big shout out to @Mike Evans for not only the palms, but also for having the patience to answer what I feel like are never ending questions....thank you sir!!!

 

4FD65A07-BBCF-483A-BB48-1B2D81505645.jpeg

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Josh76

Congrats - that is going to look absolutely incredible in 10 years or so :greenthumb:

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RedRabbit

Nice job, I agree they'll look great when they're older.

I think 9b plants are going to struggle out in the open like this in Dade City. You're probably going to need to give these guys a lot of winter protection. 

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GottmitAlex

Ok i didn't get why your Alfies need protection In Florida. I see now Dade city is in a 9b hardiness zone. Since it is in Florida, a wet 9b, I imagine. Wish you the best. My biggest quirk with the Alfies in cali 10b, is they are very, very slow. Decade or more slow. Coconuts, after 1.5 years rise above the tallest 5-year old  alfie leaflets. 

I love alfies. Buy they're the next CIDP's.

I pray they replace CIDP's.

In the photo:  guess which one is the 5 year old alfie and which ones are the 1.5 year old cocos?

 

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Edited by GottmitAlex

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GottmitAlex
2 hours ago, Josh76 said:

Congrats - that is going to look absolutely incredible in 10 years or so :greenthumb:

Rooting for it!

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Merlyn

Record lows there are only about 1F lower than the Orlando area, as are the average lows and highs throughout the year.  Unless Dade City gets more frequent or worse cold fronts than Orlando, they should grow pretty well there!  I bet they'll start looking really impressive by next summer, when they get to 5-7' tall with that graceful drooping rachis.  :D 

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GottmitAlex
25 minutes ago, Merlyn2220 said:

Record lows there are only about 1F lower than the Orlando area, as are the average lows and highs throughout the year.  Unless Dade City gets more frequent or worse cold fronts than Orlando, they should grow pretty well there!  I bet they'll start looking really impressive by next summer, when they get to 5-7' tall with that graceful drooping rachis.  :D 

Agreed. It is the east coast( even LA)  9a which is the alfie killer. Too wet and too humid.

I alluded to 9b in the east coast, but with with certain protection and sometimes, none, they'll do fine. Here again, humid 9A is the issue. Even under canopy.

Edited by GottmitAlex

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pj_orlando_z9b

Looking good. I'm not sure they'll be 5-7 feet in a year given their growth rate. Central Florida and south along the peninsula luck out in that our dry season happens to be Nov thru Apr when the coldest air arrives.  Here is mine when planted Mar 2018 and 1 year later. 

20190429_005554.jpg

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waykoolplantz

Curious why you spaced it out like a orange grove ?

i can see if you plan on selling them...out in the open like that they sure ain’t gonna develop a microclimate.

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Merlyn
10 hours ago, pj_orlando_z9b said:

Looking good. I'm not sure they'll be 5-7 feet in a year given their growth rate. Central Florida and south along the peninsula luck out in that our dry season happens to be Nov thru Apr when the coldest air arrives.  Here is mine when planted Mar 2018 and 1 year later. 

That's true, I wasn't looking at the diameter of the base.  I planted mine last summer from 5-6' tall and they are now 5-7' tall overall.  They didn't grow much for the first 2 months and had just started really moving when it got cold in the fall.  The ones in the original post will probably have to grow about 6 or 8 new fronds before they get to 6 feet tall.  That's based on the size of the oldest lower fronds on mine being about the same size as the ones in the original photos.  That's all guesswork, but by the end of next summer they'll have 2 full growing seasons.  If they root in quickly then fertilizer and water will help them move fast.  I'll just be overly optimistic on growth rate and a warm winter.  :D 

Edit: I should add that they already look great, even though they are pretty small!  :D 

Edited by Merlyn2220
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pj_orlando_z9b
41 minutes ago, Merlyn2220 said:

That's true, I wasn't looking at the diameter of the base.  I planted mine last summer from 5-6' tall and they are now 5-7' tall overall.  They didn't grow much for the first 2 months and had just started really moving when it got cold in the fall.  The ones in the original post will probably have to grow about 6 or 8 new fronds before they get to 6 feet tall.  That's based on the size of the oldest lower fronds on mine being about the same size as the ones in the original photos.  That's all guesswork, but by the end of next summer they'll have 2 full growing seasons.  If they root in quickly then fertilizer and water will help them move fast.  I'll just be overly optimistic on growth rate and a warm winter.  :D 

Edit: I should add that they already look great, even though they are pretty small!  :D 

I noticed mine has picked up growth speed in yr 2 for sure. I do notice I get slight browning on the tips. Nothing really detrimental or even too noticeable but I see it. Do you get that by any chance? And it is year round, not just winter. 

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FishEyeAquaculture
14 hours ago, RedRabbit said:

I think 9b plants are going to struggle out in the open like this in Dade City. You're probably going to need to give these guys a lot of winter protection. 

I must admit, this was my thinking at first as well.  But considering the following, I went for it;

1) Our property is at ~173' elevation.  Surrounding areas get pretty frosty, but we only get frost in the front lower part of the property

2) Per USDA map, we're 9b....cool 9b yes.  Lowest temps for Dade City, FL in the past 10 years is 1/18/18 @ 24° and 1/10/10 @ 26°

3) We have Zone 9b and Zone 10 plants in the ground here that are doing well, some for close to a decade.  Tabebuia impetiginosa, Tabebuia chrysotricha,  Dypsis lutescens,  Hyophorbe lagenicaulis (since 2010..and it sadly has the trunk scaring from cold nights to prove it),  and Jacaranda to name a few.  We did have a beautiful Chambeyronia macrocarpa in the ground (under canopy) for close to five years until a very large oak branch crushed it during Irma....it hung in there for four months until Jan 2018, when said weakened palm gave in to the low temps.

 

5 hours ago, waykoolplantz said:

Curious why you spaced it out like a orange grove ?

i can see if you plan on selling them...out in the open like that they sure ain’t gonna develop a microclimate.

Personally, I love the look of a palm tree farm...diagonal rows and rows of palms.  Honestly, planting out our property with field grown palms (of different species) has been the plan for us since we moved out here, but our main business (fish farm) has kept us busy.  I am hoping my wife and I will be moving forward with the 'dream' in the near future for two reasons; 1) Florida Greenbelt Law Benefits and 2) My oldest of three boys is 10.  In about 8 years, I expect him to come home one day in need of monetary funds...and I can look at him and say "you should go dig up a palm tree and sell it"

The grouping of alfredii in the OP will likely be there until I'm gone....my first babies!!!!  So, is this group for sale now....no., and likely never will be.  But since you never know what the future holds, you might as well try to plan for it.

Edited by FishEyeAquaculture
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sonoranfans

They will be fine in 9B, but I would protect them when small against a frost for a few years.  I also bought 3 from Mike in 2011, about half the size of these in the grove.  The one in sun is well over 20' tall two others initially in part shade are now 15-17' tall.  All were untouched in the 30 degree advective freeze two years ago this fall and none are protected by canopy for the last 3 years(the biggest never was).  They are seemingly bulletproof and grow at a medium pace once the roots are established(2 yrs).  those trees will, in 15 years, form a pretty dense grove at 22' spacing.  The adult leaves are near 20' long and will retain, a bit curved, to the horizontal.  these palms take up a large footprint as an adult, about the same as bismarckia, as wide or wider in crown, but not so rigid.  I am very happy to have planted three.  In 7-8 years those in full sun will be monsters, probably not quite trunking, but monsters nonetheless.

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Merlyn
1 hour ago, pj_orlando_z9b said:

I noticed mine has picked up growth speed in yr 2 for sure. I do notice I get slight browning on the tips. Nothing really detrimental or even too noticeable but I see it. Do you get that by any chance? And it is year round, not just winter. 

I've seen the same thing on all 5 of mine.  Each new spear has a long, wispy looking brown tip, regardless of how much water, heat, sun or fertilizer they get.  But this splits apart when the frond opens, and basically the last inch on each leaflet is brown.  The rest is a good, solid medium green.  The oldest leaves tend to get brown tips before the rest of the frond turns yellowish, but the newer fronds are all green.  Attached is a picture of one I just transplanted into a new bed, you can see the just opened frond is a lighter green but only the oldest lower fronds have dead tips.  I am giving them drip irrigation, two 1gal/hour drippers for 30-40 minutes per morning = 1-1.3 gallons per morning per palm.  

Now I just have to finish digging and grading the new bed and kill off the "wide variety of native and imported hardy perennials" that are growing in the new bed...a.k.a. weeds.  :D:D:D 

20190401_083918.jpg

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JT in Japan

I wonder if I can ask for an informed opinion re: Becc Alfies. I found a single pot of seedlings this spring, and I'm almost certain they are not Alfies, though that is the way the pot is labelled. Any ideas? (other likely option is Butia Odorata...)

Thanks,
JT

IMG_1584.JPG

IMG_1592.JPG

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mike in kurtistown

I thought I would give you folks some encouragement about this species. The two large palms pictured are Beccariophoenix alfrediis planted out from 2, 3, or 5-gal pots in November 2012, don't remember which. The old 5-gal orange bucket for scale again. Would look better if I would clip the older fronds, but I like palms to clean themselves naturally. And moisture is no problem. These are on the always humid windward side of Hawaii Island (12-month growing season). We had 250 inches of rain here in 2018. (That's 6.35 m for non-USA folks.)

908809691_Beccariophoenixalfredii_pair_MLM_043019.thumb.JPG.86b2450f4b3c053036c6398aaf0f4ea7.JPG

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pj_orlando_z9b

Those look great. They also look like they have some brown tips on the ends of the fronds? Does anybody know if that is normal for this species or if something is causing it? Here is mine and it appears the larger ones at Leu Gardens have the same. I'll look closer next time I'm there. 

20190429_183626.jpg

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Merlyn

I zoomed in on my photos of those two palms from November 2018 and yep, brown tips on many of the leaflets.  I suspect it's because the new spear has a wispy brown tip, regardless of how much water it gets.  I'll have to look at my other 4 tomorrow and see if they are all the same on new fronds.

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FishEyeAquaculture

Yes, mine show it as well. Never really paid much attention to it.  Pictured below is the tip of the newest leaf from one of my oldest alfredii, planted around August 2018

1A71D75B-C0DF-44A7-B201-99950CE8C40A.jpeg

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Fusca
On 4/30/2019 at 12:57 AM, JT in Japan said:

I wonder if I can ask for an informed opinion re: Becc Alfies. I found a single pot of seedlings this spring, and I'm almost certain they are not Alfies, though that is the way the pot is labelled. Any ideas? (other likely option is Butia Odorata...)

Thanks,
JT

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I believe that B. alfredii are adjacent germinators and Butia are remote germinators.  It's hard to tell from the first photo, but it looks like your seedlings are remote germinators and Butias do bulge out at the base like that.

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Merlyn

I took photos of my B. Alfredii this morning, all of them have the same brown tips on each leaflet.  The new spears some up with a brownish sheath on them, and it looks like the leaflet tips may end up getting damaged when the sheath peels off.  That might explain it.  I wonder if snipping off the initial brown tip, right before the spear opens, would let the leaflet tips open up green?  The brown tips don't bother me, but it is interesting.

P1050006 cropped.JPG

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palmsOrl
On 4/28/2019 at 10:51 PM, Merlyn2220 said:

Record lows there are only about 1F lower than the Orlando area, as are the average lows and highs throughout the year.  Unless Dade City gets more frequent or worse cold fronts than Orlando, they should grow pretty well there!  I bet they'll start looking really impressive by next summer, when they get to 5-7' tall with that graceful drooping rachis.  :D 

Yeah, but not being in the heat island, Dade City gets well colder than Orlando, even if historical averages and records do not reflect it yet.

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FishEyeAquaculture
19 hours ago, palmsOrl said:

Yeah, but not being in the heat island, Dade City gets well colder than Orlando, even if historical averages and records do not reflect it yet.

I agree.  My wife and I moved out here during the horrible winter of 2009/2010.  After spending the majority of my life in Cocoa Beach, you can bet I had questioned the "arctic"  location that we decided to make our homestead.  Turns out, the geographic location and micro-climate of our property is no different than that of North Tampa/Lutz...but just down the road about a quarter mile where the elevation is close to 100' lower, it's a completely different story.

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Merlyn

I'm also "just outside the urban heat island" NW of Orlando, and typically 3F or so colder than Lake Mary / Sanford on cold fronts.  It snowed at my place in the winter of 2009-2010, at around 7am.  I don't remember when, but I took pictures and video!

As an experiment on my upper photo in my last post, I took some scissors and snipped off the big curved brown tip sheath in the center of the photo, down to where it turns yellowish at the ends of the leaflets.  I left the taller spear alone, so I can see on the same plant if it makes a difference to the browning of the leaflet tips.  It will probably open in a week or two, given it's current rate of growth.  I'll post photos later.

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sonoranfans

browning of the leaflet tips could be water logged soil.  These alfrediis don't want a continually wet heavy organics(or clay) soil, they like good drainage so they can grow large, deep root systems.  I treat mine like my bismarckias, a drought resistant palm like alfredii.   Their native habitat is only a few thousand feet elevation apart on upper plains of madagascar and both grow in lateritic soils.

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Merlyn

It's unlikely that any of the FL or HI palms are in clay soils, I know mine are in very sandy soil with about 30% organics.  MB Palms grew his in fairly rich soil, a mix of sand, pine bark and lake sediment (I think).  The only nutritional issue that Mike mentioned was giving them a little extra iron to avoid deficiencies.  

The habitat photos on Palmpedia show them growing along streams and riverbanks, so I'd be surprised to hear that they had a problem with lots of water.  As Mike in HI said, his are fine with 250 inches of rain last year!  Yikes!  We see 50-60" or so.

Every photo on Palmpedia shows brown tips on the leaflets, so I'm inclined to think it's a characteristic of the palm.  I did see some browned tips last summer when a dripline valve failed on me, but that looked totally different.

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FishEyeAquaculture
On 5/2/2019 at 3:18 PM, Merlyn2220 said:

It's unlikely that any of the FL or HI palms are in clay soils, I know mine are in very sandy soil with about 30% organics. 

Our property here in Dade City is a Florida anomaly, it is mostly clay-rich soil.

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Bill H2DB

Here's pics of my 2 B. Alfredi's taken this morning.

Soil is medium coarse , well drained , sand with coquina rock underlayment , and is first remnant dune 

to the West of the ICW .   Supports large Live Oaks , Magnolia , Cedar ( Juniper ) etc. .   Not much browning of the tips

in the new growth .

 

B._Alfredii_5-5-19_d.jpg

B._Alfredii_a_5-5-19.jpg

B._Alfredii_b_5-519.jpg

B._Alfredii_c_5-5-19.jpg

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Merlyn
1 hour ago, Bill H2DB said:

Soil is medium coarse , well drained , sand with coquina rock underlayment , and is first remnant dune to the West of the ICW .   Supports large Live Oaks , Magnolia , Cedar ( Juniper ) etc.   Not much browning of the tips in the new growth .

B._Alfredii_a_5-5-19.jpg

B._Alfredii_b_5-519.jpg

There's an interesting difference between mine and yours!  It looks like yours maintain a green sheath on the new frond as it starts to open.  It also looks like they start opening a lot shorter.  Mine don't start opening the spear until the tip of the spear is at (or close to) the maximum OA height of the palm.  So in mine if the palm is 6' overall, the spear doesn't start opening until it's around 5.5' or more.  I'll have to look and see if that's common to all 5 of mine.  The wispy sheath part is browned by the time it gets that tall, but might already be browned shorter.

Maybe once mine are fully rooted in they won't have browned tips.

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FishEyeAquaculture

This deserves an update!

Since being planted at knee to waist high, the specimens pictured in the first post are now right at my head height, with some over my head (~6').....in only 20 months!!!!!!!

They've been through: 

  • couple Tropical Storms
  • frost on several occasions (light to heavy) 
  • 32F-35F multiple times
  • Below 32F a handful of mornings (lowest is 27F)

B. alfredii 12-10-20.jpg

*three smaller specimens in the back are more recent additions to this grouping (added in Feb2020)

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Mike Evans

Great job Johnathan!  Good to see them get through the cold times.  Keep us updated in the future.

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awkonradi
3 hours ago, FishEyeAquaculture said:

This deserves an update!

Yes, we did deserve an update!  Thank you!

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Merlyn

Wooohooo!!!   I guess I wasn't too far off, I predicted 5-7' tall over this past summer.  :D  Mine also made it through the latest freeze fine, with a 28F low with medium frost.  No apparent damage to any of them, at least not yet.  The biggest one is just downhill from a roof downspout, and seems to like the extra water.  It's now 13' tall and encroaching on the walkway.  You can see the burn on the Bottle palm frond in the foreground, and nothing on the Alfie!

695610775_P1070101Alfredii.thumb.JPG.b9d4f9a52d19a77f810c5575c2d30aa6.JPG

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willo68

Got home last night after being gone for 2 days for work and mine was partially blown over. No cold damage but half way over. Surprising since its been on the ground for about 3 or 4 years and its about 6 feet tall and been through a few storms here.

 

 

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chad2468emr

Awesome pics! So glad this thread was updated so I could read through it. Tons of great looking palms and good info. 

Good to know these guys handle frost alright! mine is in a 20ish gal pot and HEAVY AS ALL H###. It had a THICK root ball when I planted it, and moving the thing inside almost broke me last week haha. I’d actually read somewhere they were pretty frost-sensitive but @Merlyn seems to have had a pretty serious freeze in his neck of the woods and that one looks just fine, and I’m sure Dade City saw cooler temps than I saw in Kissimmee and @FishEyeAquaculture’s specimens look great too. Next freeze (ugh) I might leave mine outside and see how it does. 

Edited by chad2468emr

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sonoranfans
56 minutes ago, chad2468emr said:

Awesome pics! So glad this thread was updated so I could read through it. Tons of great looking palms and good info. 

Good to know these guys handle frost alright! mine is in a 20ish gal pot and HEAVY AS ALL H###. It had a THICK root ball when I planted it, and moving the thing inside almost broke me last week haha. I’d actually read somewhere they were pretty frost-sensitive but @Merlyn seems to have had a pretty serious freeze in his neck of the woods and that one looks just fine, and I’m sure Dade City saw cooler temps than I saw in Kissimmee and @FishEyeAquaculture’s specimens look great too. Next freeze (ugh) I might leave mine outside and see how it does. 

Oh yeah they can be frost sensitive but not above freezing temps which is what most people report.  And they are more sensitive at small sizes as many palms are.  Here is what happened to mine in 2010 28F plus frost.  the pic is in early spring after it pushed out a few inches of new green as you can see.  In december it lost the spear, dead to the ground and had a little green left on older leaves.  It is alive and 25' tall today.

alfrediiburnJan2011.jpg

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chad2468emr
44 minutes ago, sonoranfans said:

Oh yeah they can be frost sensitive but not above freezing temps which is what most people report.  And they are more sensitive at small sizes as many palms are.  Here is what happened to mine in 2010 28F plus frost.  the pic is in early spring after it pushed out a few inches of new green as you can see.  In december it lost the spear, dead to the ground and had a little green left on older leaves.  It is alive and 25' tall today.

alfrediiburnJan2011.jpg

Do you think size of the plant as something to do with that? Mine is just a bit smaller than @Merlyn’s pictured above, and I know he had temps below freezing if I’m not recalling comments on the freeze watch thread inaccurately. I’d imagine a palm this size would suffer MUCH more than a palm that us large and a bit more off the ground. 

On that note, how’s your 25 footer do in the cold? At what size did frost stop becoming an issue? I’d also love to see a pic so I can dream about how large mine could be in ten years haha. I rarely get to see large specimens and have only ever seen 1 in person that was trunking over at MB Palms, south of Orlando. 

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RedRabbit

Thanks for the update @FishEyeAquaculture, your BA grove looks great!

For those who just experienced a freeze, it’s worth checking the center spear for damage next week. A few of us have noticed that when these take cold damage it’s usually to the emerging spear, though I’m not clear why this is the case. 

Edited by RedRabbit

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Merlyn
2 hours ago, sonoranfans said:

Oh yeah they can be frost sensitive but not above freezing temps which is what most people report.  And they are more sensitive at small sizes as many palms are.  Here is what happened to mine in 2010 28F plus frost.  the pic is in early spring after it pushed out a few inches of new green as you can see.  In december it lost the spear, dead to the ground and had a little green left on older leaves.  It is alive and 25' tall today.

The largest one in the picture I posted earlier was only about 10' from the house, on the SE side and very protected from the wind.  I didn't notice any bronzing on it today.  The other 3 in the back yard are about 10' tall each and had no apparent issues either.  The front yard one does have a bit of bronzing on the tops of the leaves, but definitely not too bad.  It's at the level of, "yeah that doesn't look quite green to me."  This was my temperature profile in the back yard, I don't have a sensor up front:

529156717_Christmasfreeze2020.thumb.jpg.75cc278205bb8d7aa7c60c3254a33f4e.jpg

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