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Palms That Are Hardy To Oregon

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PlantDad

I have lived in Oregon my whole life and have had a profound interest in growing palms and other exotic plants my whole life. I have been curious about what I can grow here. Oregon has many different climates.  I live in Keizer, Oregon, which is a cool Mediterranean climate. It is classified as zone 8b but I have never seen it get below 18 degrees. People grow Trachycarpus fortunei and there are some very large specimens around town. I am currently growing Butia capitata in a pot. In the neighboring city of Salem, Oregon I see tons of Trachycarpus fortunei and up in the hills of South Salem there are some very large specimens of Butia capitata growing in the ground with no winter protection to my knowledge. Salem seems to be a bit cooler than Keizer. Salem experienced a late freeze in april this year but Keizer's last frost was in late March if I could recall. Even though Keizer is considered to be zone 8b, I personally think one could get away with growing palms hardy to zone 9a here because the winters here are so mild, every year seems to be more mild, the 18 degree freeze was probably 5 or 6 years ago. Since then I have never seen it drop below 25 degrees. Does anyone have any suggestions on what palms I should try here because I am wanting to experiment to see what I can grow here. I am open to suggestion. Thank you

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Ben in Norcal

Seems like Trachys and Butia are a good start.  You should read/watch for the threads on Patric Schafer hybrids here, as my guess is many of those would have a shot.

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kinzyjr

@PlantDad

Apparently, it has gone below 0F in the past, so just be aware that it could happen again.

If 18F is going to be the benchmark temperature you are using, here are few suggestions.

  • Rhapidophyllum hystrix, Sabal minor - super cold hardy and seem to grow well enough in cooler climates to justify an attempt
  • Chamaerops humilis - With a ton of variants to choose from and a good degree of cold hardiness, you should be pretty safe with these
  • Chamaedorea radicalis, chamaedorea microspadix - gives you some smaller pinnate palms that can be protected in the event of a severe freeze
  • Phoenix canariensis/dactylifera/theophrasti - May or may not make it for a while - on that 9a/8b border regarding hardiness
  • Arenga engleri - a clumping palm that doesn't mind shade
  • Rhapis excelsa - may come back from the roots if it gets toasted

I'm certain others will make more suggestions, but this should get you started.

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Chester B

Things I grow:
 

Trachycarpus fortunei

Trachycarpus wagnerianus

Trachycarpus takil

Sabal minor

Serenoa repens "silver"

Butia capitata/odorata

Jubaea chilensis

Rhapidophylum hystrix

Chamaerops humilis "green" and "cerifera"

 

Things I am growing out to plant in the ground

Sabal uresana - not sure how they will do

Sabal causiarum - there is one in Seattle so it should do ok

Sabal mexicana - not sure how they will do

Sabal palmetto - I think these will make it, although others have failed in the past

Mule Palm - not sure how they will do

Livistona nitida - unlikely it will make it based on others experience

Trachycarpus princeps - will do fine

Chamaedorea radicalis - will do fine

Jubaea x Butia or Butia x Jubaea - I can't remember which but they should do just fine.

 

Other palms that I think will work:

Chamaedorea microspadix

Other Butia species

Butia or Jubaea hybrid palms

 

Our minimum temperatures in this part of the world make us think we can grow many more palm species, but it's our cool wet winters that do a lot of the palms in from things like fungus.   Plus we do lack the heat units and humidity that many palms need to thrive.   Sabals grow very slowly here.  Zone 8B in Austin Texas is far more conducive to growing palms than our PNW 8B. due to the heat and dryness in winter (compared to us).  All Phoenix species and Washingtonia species are off limits unless you have them in a great microclimate and protect them from winter moisture.  Also I don't think you get it in Keizer, but the cold east wind in winter can be tough on marginal palms.

The good news is that we still have lots of options.   Good luck and welcome to Palmtalk.

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Mr.SamuraiSword

Any washingtonia in the coastal banana belt?

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Chester B

Out along the Oregon coast you don't see too many palm trees believe or not.  Lots of large Cordylines and huge phormiums though.

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PlantDad
12 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

@PlantDad

Apparently, it has gone below 0F in the past, so just be aware that it could happen again.

If 18F is going to be the benchmark temperature you are using, here are few suggestions.

  • Rhapidophyllum hystrix, Sabal minor - super cold hardy and seem to grow well enough in cooler climates to justify an attempt
  • Chamaerops humilis - With a ton of variants to choose from and a good degree of cold hardiness, you should be pretty safe with these
  • Chamaedorea radicalis, chamaedorea microspadix - gives you some smaller pinnate palms that can be protected in the event of a severe freeze
  • Phoenix canariensis/dactylifera/theophrasti - May or may not make it for a while - on that 9a/8b border regarding hardiness
  • Arenga engleri - a clumping palm that doesn't mind shade
  • Rhapis excelsa - may come back from the roots if it gets toasted

I'm certain others will make more suggestions, but this should get you started.

Thank you for your suggestions

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PlantDad
8 hours ago, Mr.SamuraiSword said:

Any washingtonia in the coastal banana belt?

yes there are washingtonia. i have seen them in Coos Bay, Oregon zone 9a, i am not sure if they are pure species or filibustas, but i know of one specimen that i have seen and i saw only about 2 years later and it had grown so much. Because of this growth rate and my understanding of washingtonia requirements and the climate of Coos Bay, i am lead to believe that it is a filibusta. I have also seen some good sized specimens in Charleston, Oregon.  

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PlantDad
7 hours ago, Chester B said:

Out along the Oregon coast you don't see too many palm trees believe or not.  Lots of large Cordylines and huge phormiums though.

I have seen some huge cordyline especially farther south. Brookings Oregon is a place i wanna go but havnt. check this out :

http://www.hookedonpalms.com/medfordsooregonareas/palmsincurrycounty.html

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PlantDad
11 hours ago, Chester B said:

Things I grow:
 

Trachycarpus fortunei

Trachycarpus wagnerianus

Trachycarpus takil

Sabal minor

Serenoa repens "silver"

Butia capitata/odorata

Jubaea chilensis

Rhapidophylum hystrix

Chamaerops humilis "green" and "cerifera"

 

Things I am growing out to plant in the ground

Sabal uresana - not sure how they will do

Sabal causiarum - there is one in Seattle so it should do ok

Sabal mexicana - not sure how they will do

Sabal palmetto - I think these will make it, although others have failed in the past

Mule Palm - not sure how they will do

Livistona nitida - unlikely it will make it based on others experience

Trachycarpus princeps - will do fine

Chamaedorea radicalis - will do fine

Jubaea x Butia or Butia x Jubaea - I can't remember which but they should do just fine.

 

Other palms that I think will work:

Chamaedorea microspadix

Other Butia species

Butia or Jubaea hybrid palms

 

Our minimum temperatures in this part of the world make us think we can grow many more palm species, but it's our cool wet winters that do a lot of the palms in from things like fungus.   Plus we do lack the heat units and humidity that many palms need to thrive.   Sabals grow very slowly here.  Zone 8B in Austin Texas is far more conducive to growing palms than our PNW 8B. due to the heat and dryness in winter (compared to us).  All Phoenix species and Washingtonia species are off limits unless you have them in a great microclimate and protect them from winter moisture.  Also I don't think you get it in Keizer, but the cold east wind in winter can be tough on marginal palms.

The good news is that we still have lots of options.   Good luck and welcome to Palmtalk.

Thank You

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PlantDad

what is the coldest temperature that your palms have been exposed to?

Also where do you purchase your palms?

Edited by PlantDad

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PlantDad

566424216_YoungCanaryIslandDatePalmAtRainTreeTropicalSummer2017.thumb.JPG.604148ac675cefc6ca50fc2690917138.JPG

Young canary island date palm at Rain Tree Tropical Nursery in Silverton, Oregon. They protect it during the winter with a custom made greenhouse erected over the top of it. Hopefully it will be hardy enough to be unprotected sooner than later because it is going to become very hard to protect as it grows larger. It is a baby and its fronds are already like 8 feet long. 

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Chester B
57 minutes ago, PlantDad said:

what is the coldest temperature that your palms have been exposed to?

Also where do you purchase your palms?

12F, but that was three years ago. -Top 5 worst winters of all time.  Usually don't go below 25F, and that's only like 3 nights a year.

I buy big palms at Palmscape in Boring - talk to Jaime.  He really only sells Trachycarpus fortuneii, waggies, Chaemerops, butias and jubaeas but occasionally  will have something different.   There is another smaller palm dealer in Woodburn which is much closer to you called Oregon palm nursery, I can't really vouch for him as I haven't been there yet.  The rest of my palms I get mail order.

Here's a pic of my big butia from earlier in the year.  It's flowering now for the first time.  It's about 10' to the top frond and I have never protected it.

 

Butia 6.jpg

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Chester B

The big box stores also bring in smaller palms at reasonable prices around the end of May in the Portland area. I went to HD in Keizer last year and didn’t see any. 

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mdsonofthesouth

Is that a variegated yucca gloriosa I see in the bottom right? I just bought a baby clump this spring thats doing quite well! At least they are naturalized and a fall back if trunking palms prove to be too much for me. 

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Chester B

Yes I have many of them.  They are mistakenly sold as Y. filamentosa at the big box stores every year.  They grow surprisingly quick, first they obtain width and once they do that they start to grow up.  Tough to see but it has a small trunk starting now.

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PlantDad
19 hours ago, Chester B said:

12F, but that was three years ago. -Top 5 worst winters of all time.  Usually don't go below 25F, and that's only like 3 nights a year.

I buy big palms at Palmscape in Boring - talk to Jaime.  He really only sells Trachycarpus fortuneii, waggies, Chaemerops, butias and jubaeas but occasionally  will have something different.   There is another smaller palm dealer in Woodburn which is much closer to you called Oregon palm nursery, I can't really vouch for him as I haven't been there yet.  The rest of my palms I get mail order.

Here's a pic of my big butia from earlier in the year.  It's flowering now for the first time.  It's about 10' to the top frond and I have never protected it.

 

Butia 6.jpg

wow that is a beautiful Butia. Do you have any tips for growing Butia capitata because my butia in has went though a hard time and almost lost all of its leaves, i was never able to fully diagnose what it was but i think it was at least partially due to the pH being too high, since then i have decreased the pH and fertilized, it has been recovering nicely and has gotten a few new leaves. How fast do they put out new leaves? What types of fertilizers and specific nutrients do Butia appriciate the most? How old is your Butia?

Did you know that most of the Butia capitata palms available in the united states are actually Butia odorata. Butia odorata are actually hardier than butia capitata. There is a difference in the fruit shape and size between capitata and odorata so i would recommend looking the comparison up. A lot of people that show fruit on their Butia "capitata" resemble Butia odorata fruit so that is an indication.

Thank you for your info about where you get your palms, i will have to check it out. I personally have been to the Oregon Palm Nursery and i really like it. He has so many sizes of palms to choose from so you are not just stuck with bigger specimens that are expensive. The owner has so many Trachycarpus fortunei and they readily drop seed and produce new seedlings. He is the place to go for that type of palm because he will sell the to you for cheap. He also has a greenhouse full of all types of succulents with some less common and rare ones, along with other tropicals like bananas. I would highly recommend checking the place out.

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Darold Petty

PlantDad;  Welcome to Palmtalk !  I have a good crop of seedling sized Chamaedorea radicalis, send me a PM and I will mail some to you !  :)  

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Chester B
15 hours ago, PlantDad said:

Do you have any tips for growing Butia capitata because my butia in has went though a hard time and almost lost all of its leaves, i was never able to fully diagnose what it was but i think it was at least partially due to the pH being too high, since then i have decreased the pH and fertilized, it has been recovering nicely and has gotten a few new leaves. How fast do they put out new leaves? What types of fertilizers and specific nutrients do Butia appriciate the most? How old is your Butia?

Full sun, well draining soil and plant in a protected spot from the cold east wind in winter (If you get it down there).  As far as fertilizers I only use Palmgain about once a month.  As it gets bigger the fronds get bigger so they take longer, but I would say up to 6 fronds a year.  I planted it almost exactly 3 years ago and it has at least doubled in size. Here's after I first planted it.

174895069_Butia4.thumb.jpg.d7aeaefbd9ee2c8d1e3d524b30636433.jpg

15 hours ago, PlantDad said:

Did you know that most of the Butia capitata palms available in the united states are actually Butia odorata.

Yep.

 

15 hours ago, PlantDad said:

Thank you for your info about where you get your palms, i will have to check it out. I personally have been to the Oregon Palm Nursery and i really like it. He has so many sizes of palms to choose from so you are not just stuck with bigger specimens that are expensive. The owner has so many Trachycarpus fortunei and they readily drop seed and produce new seedlings. He is the place to go for that type of palm because he will sell the to you for cheap.

Palmscape is a bigger operation, and he is more involved with selling wholesale to nurseries and landscape contractors.  But you can still buy from him, he's been generous with me over the last few years.  Last time I was there he has a multi headed Yucca rostrata that has to be 8'+, it's pretty awesome but $$$.  

With all the palms in commercial plantings around here it is pretty easy to get seedlings or seeds.  I grabbed one seed stalk and now have about 300 Trachys.  Some I planted and I've been giving away the rest to anyone I know who wants 1 or 10.

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Chester B

In flower

Butia flower 1.jpg

Butia flower 2.jpg

Butia 7.jpg

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NorCalKing
On 7/23/2019 at 11:01 PM, PlantDad said:

It is classified as zone 8b but I have never seen it get below 18 degrees.

Lol, yeah ok. It's nice you've never seen it below 18° weather stats say otherwise. I wish you luck with 9A palms.

 

Screen Shot 2019-07-26 at 10.57.30 AM.png

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NorCalKing
On 7/24/2019 at 8:15 PM, PlantDad said:

Brookings, Oregon is the mildest place in Oregon, it is zone 9b. Anyone interested look at this:

http://www.hookedonpalms.com/medfordsooregonareas/palmsincurrycounty.html

Again not trying to be an ass, but that website is completely misleading. You are not growing true oranges inground in a location that has an average daily high July/Aug of only 68°. Lemons? sure. Sweet Oranges? Never going to happen. At least nothing edible. Impossible to get the brix level high enough in that climate. Growing Oranges there is a cool novelty but, not really practical.

https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=18945

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PlantDad

how easy are trachycarpus to grow form seed? and how to you germinate them, the process? 

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PlantDad
12 hours ago, Darold Petty said:

PlantDad;  Welcome to Palmtalk !  I have a good crop of seedling sized Chamaedorea radicalis, send me a PM and I will mail some to you !  :)  

Hi i would love some chamaedorea radicalis. I was actually searching for some. Thank you so much. The address that you can send them to is my girlfriend's, she will give them to me when she gets them. The way you would right the address is: Tanner Davidson C/O 2175 Maplewood, Drive South, Apartment 207 Salem, OR 97306. My girlfriend's mailman will send it back to you if you dont make sure to put the C/O part. I look forward to getting them. And thank you again.

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Chester B

Trachys are easy to grow from seed as long as it’s fresh. I just put them in a pot with damp soil and it takes about two weeks for them to sprout. You can also try the baggie method which uses a ziplock bag and damp material. 

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zoli

Another problem with growing palms outdoors in Oregon, besides the persistently cold and wet winter weather, is that even our summers are relatively cool. In the middle of July, for example, we regularly drop into the low 50s on many nights, which is cold, relatively speaking. Even on days when we get into the upper 80s, humidity levels often drop into the low 30s, which limit our options even further. In other words, even our summers are arguably suboptimal for most palm species. The problem is further exacerbated by the fact that we tend to warm up really slowly even on warmer days. For example, if the forecast calls for a high of 71, it'll pretty much take the whole day to hit the upper sixties and a few hours later the evening winds hit and we're back in the 50s or even the upper 40s. Palms love heat and the Northwest simply has a tough time providing it. It's a wonderful climate for gardening in general, but in my experience, zone pushing in Oregon quickly becomes a full time job with minimal payoffs. 

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Chester B

All good points Zoli. Perhaps there is something to be said for our stability in the weather. No real extremes like other areas that can be in the 40s one day and into the 80s the next.   Plus the very gradual change between the seasons and the lack of any real winter. 

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zoli

Thanks. I definitely agree about stability. Temperate climates are generally known for swinging into the extremes, at least in the Northern Hemisphere.  Oregon's pretty atypical in that sense, as it tends to be far more predictable and measured.

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PlantDad
On 7/26/2019 at 10:40 PM, Chester B said:

Trachys are easy to grow from seed as long as it’s fresh. I just put them in a pot with damp soil and it takes about two weeks for them to sprout. You can also try the baggie method which uses a ziplock bag and damp material. 

Thank you for that information, i am going to have to find a fruiting one and ask the owner if i can take some seeds. Did you know that you can grow date palms from store bought dates and you can grow coconut palms from store bought coconuts. I would watch videos of it on youtube. Youtube is where i found videos on how to do it.

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PlantDad

Oregon's general cooler weather patterns is why palms like trachycarpus fortunei thrive. They love cooler weather and actually can suffer in the extreme heat. That being said there are few palms that like cooler weather but are also hardy enough to be grown in Oregon. 

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Chester B

Look for seeds in December or January when they’re ripe. Seeds are still green right now. 

One decent flower stalk should provide you with hundreds of seedlings. I have about 300 on the go right now that I give out to everyone I know. 

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Love them palms
On 7/24/2019 at 9:09 PM, Chester B said:

12F, but that was three years ago. -Top 5 worst winters of all time.  Usually don't go below 25F, and that's only like 3 nights a year.

I buy big palms at Palmscape in Boring - talk to Jaime.  He really only sells Trachycarpus fortuneii, waggies, Chaemerops, butias and jubaeas but occasionally  will have something different.   There is another smaller palm dealer in Woodburn which is much closer to you called Oregon palm nursery, I can't really vouch for him as I haven't been there yet.  The rest of my palms I get mail order.

Here's a pic of my big butia from earlier in the year.  It's flowering now for the first time.  It's about 10' to the top frond and I have never protected it.

 

Butia 6.jpg

Funny since I,ve lived in mukilteo wa for 9years and I don't remember it getting any colder than 18-19 degrees in the winter and that is very rare.but then again I live close to the Puget sound so I don't know if that has anything to do with it.

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Chester B

I've recently set up temperature and humidity sensors in both my front and backyard (in the shade)  This palm is located in my front which is definitely a lot warmer and drier, 5-20F degrees on most days and around 5F at night.  It will be interesting to see the if there is a difference in the winter when we have more cloud cover.  I know this palm is in protected spot, and probably my best microclimate so now I'm skeptical that it has seen 12F.  That reading of 12F I took from my backyard which is cooler on average.  I know that day  they recorded a low of 18F at the airport which tends to be colder than me due to the proximity to the Columbia river gorge.  During that storm three years back we did have 3 consecutive days below freezing and this made it through.

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Darold Petty
On 7/26/2019 at 7:30 AM, Darold Petty said:

PlantDad;  Welcome to Palmtalk !  I have a good crop of seedling sized Chamaedorea radicalis, send me a PM and I will mail some to you !  :)  

This lot of seedlings sent today to Ore..GUN !!    PlantDad, the only negative about this species is that each stem holds only a few fronds, and thus has a sparse look.  Plant these in a group with each plant about 8-12 inches apart for a more full, bushy look.  This proximity will also enhance seed production.   Felco # 8 shears not included !  :D 

IMG_0180.JPG

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PlantDad

can you send them through mail?

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PlantDad
On 7/29/2019 at 1:47 PM, Darold Petty said:

This lot of seedlings sent today to Ore..GUN !!    PlantDad, the only negative about this species is that each stem holds only a few fronds, and thus has a sparse look.  Plant these in a group with each plant about 8-12 inches apart for a more full, bushy look.  This proximity will also enhance seed production.   Felco # 8 shears not included !  :D 

IMG_0180.JPG

thank you so much for sending them to me

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Chester B

I went to Raintree today. I was impressed with the large selection of plants and prices. He basically gave me these Chamaedorea microspadix for free so I grabbed 10. They are up to 5 feet tall and will be planted en masse in my garden.  Some even have seeds.  I also picked up a Sabal Louisiana and a nice Butia eriospatha so added in 3 more palm species to the collection. In spring I may go back for something special and maybe one of their large tree ferns.

I had a look at their big takils but in my opinion they were Trachycarpus nanital. Hairy, huge trunks, stiff fronds and lots of papery ligules. We discussed these palms and they were very receptive to my opinion and were going to do some further research on them. 

Overall it was a very nice afternoon and I enjoyed spending time talking things over with them.  Much more enthusiasm then you get at a typical nursery. I look forward to my next visit. Highly recommend to anyone in the local area. 

8100F1BB-9D96-4B54-8459-5A46F7526611.jpeg

D0DCE748-EA16-4EAE-BE66-A0C8D560D32B.jpeg

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zoli

I'll definitely pay these guys a visit. Thanks @Chester B. I've never heard of them before.

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RJ

@Chester B No picture of your Butia eriospatha ? :rolleyes:

 

One of my favorite pindo's. I have three now. I find these don't like my heat as much as other pindo's do. They still grow but slow down in the dog days of summer here. I bet they will love your climate. 

 

 

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