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DoomsDave

What palms best survived the Hawaii eruptions?

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DoomsDave

We all watched in horror last year when the mighty Mauna Kea (Mauna loa?) erupted down onto the southern portions of the Big Island, including Leilani estates, and damaged or destroyed much property there. Thankfully, I haven't heard of any human casualties (death or injury) though I know many lost property.

I recall that some Palm Talkers had gardens with lava flows and, presumably, the accompanying releases of gas, near their gardens, but that some palms survived and others didn't.

Anyone discern any patterns as to what genera or species seemed to survive better or worse than others?

This might be useful in another context.

Aloha, mahalo, all the best!

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Patrick

I know this is not helpful, but hopefully mildly amusing:

None of my palm trees survived the lava, nor the Monkeypods, Cordyline or Mango.

 

;P

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The Silent Seed

Patrick - While I'm sorry to hear about your loss, I actually do find that helpful. It'll be interesting to hear what DID die, so people can perhaps learn what to avoid planting in the future?? Just a thought. 

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mike in kurtistown

Some geographic corrections - Mauna Kea has not erupted for something like 20,000 years. Mauna Loa has been quiescent since about 1984. The eruption was from Kilauea, the lava breaking out of the crater into lava tubes reaching for miles underground into the Lower East Rift Zone in the eastern part of Leilani Estates and Kapoho, where they emerged onto the land surface.  An earlier breakout into a rift zone south of the crater several decades ago destroyed Royal Gardens and other subdivisions around Kalapana. Now, Kilauea is no longer erupting, for the first time in over 30 years.

I'll leave detailed info about the effects to others like Kim Cyr, who has posted on this topic. But I did pay a visit to Bo Lundkvist's old garden, now owned by Karolyn Lundkvist, a few weeks ago (the property is up for sale). The lava and fumes were very close to the garden. While it has grown a little weedy, almost all that I remember is still there, growing and looking OK. I posted some pics on Facebook, could do it here too, if there is any interest. But I thought I remembered a grove of Marojejyas near some other groves, but couldn't find it. Also, there is a grove of Lemurophoenix palms in which, while they are still there and pushing leaves, the palms look somewhat small and bedraggled (how's that for a palm descriptive term?).

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Patrick

Thanks Santoury. I appreciate the sentiments.

 

we were right in the middle of the lava river

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DoomsDave
20 minutes ago, mike in kurtistown said:

Some geographic corrections - Mauna Kea has not erupted for something like 20,000 years. Mauna Loa has been quiescent since about 1984. The eruption was from Kilauea, the lava breaking out of the crater into lava tubes reaching for miles underground into the Lower East Rift Zone in the eastern part of Leilani Estates and Kapoho, where they emerged onto the land surface.  An earlier breakout into a rift zone south of the crater several decades ago destroyed Royal Gardens and other subdivisions around Kalapana. Now, Kilauea is no longer erupting, for the first time in over 30 years.

I'll leave detailed info about the effects to others like Kim Cyr, who has posted on this topic. But I did pay a visit to Bo Lundkvist's old garden, now owned by Karolyn Lundkvist, a few weeks ago (the property is up for sale). The lava and fumes were very close to the garden. While it has grown a little weedy, almost all that I remember is still there, growing and looking OK. I posted some pics on Facebook, could do it here too, if there is any interest. But I thought I remembered a grove of Marojejyas near some other groves, but couldn't find it. Also, there is a grove of Lemurophoenix palms in which, while they are still there and pushing leaves, the palms look somewhat small and bedraggled (how's that for a palm descriptive term?).

Thanks for the corrections!

I recall that @Kim @Justin and @bgl had all mentioned palms that seemed to come through the eruption much better and worse than others.

Just curious to know any further details.

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bgl

Adding to Mike's detailed and excellent comments, there are two Marojejya darianii groves in my old garden. Don't have the specific numbers at hand, but there are about 10-15 individuals in each of these groups and they all look perfectly fine. I have seen them recently. Fissure 11 and 12 were about 900 ft away from my old garden but they didn't last very long and didn't have much of an impact. I hiked back there after they had stopped erupting and in that general area, which I used as a nursery for quite a few years (leased the land from Kamehameha Schools) the jungle has aggressively taken back what I had cleared back then (with a D9 bulldozer).

But back to the palms: most palms actually did very well during the eruption and in most cases it made absolutely no difference. Lemurophoenix took a hit but the larger ones are now recovering. Smaller ones (1G, 2G) are GONE. Well, not quite - I have one little brave survivor that will definitely be fine. Sadly, I lost all my Dictyocaryum lamarckianum (had about ten of them, 6-10 ft tall). Totally toasted. :crying: Just in general it would seem that some rainforest palms had a hard time with the gases from the eruption but proximity and wind direction were extremely crucial. My old garden was much closer to "the action" and was certainly quite affected with some of the palms. My garden is about 3/4 of a mile from Fissure 8, the most active one, but 98% of the time the air at my place couldn't have been fresher because of the trade winds coming in from the northeast. All the air and gases from F8 was pushed south (the other direction). As a matter of fact, I had better air, being less than a mile away, than they had in Kona, more than 100 miles away.

And finally: Clinostigmas, Tahinas, all the big Dypsis, Marojejya, Carpoxylon, Pelagodoxa, Calyptrocalyx, Cyrtostachys and many others - didn't faze them one bit! :)

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Kim

Dave, my garden was lucky to have avoided the flow. My house is roughly 1/2 a mile from the flow, 3/4 of a mile from Fearsome Fissure 8. Being upwind from the spewing monster was an advantage; while the garden and roof received a sprinkling of tephra, it was nothing compared to the heavily-covered rooftops downwind of the main fissure.  Things could very easily have been different, as they were for Patrick and many others further downslope.

Dead palms: Dictyocaryum lamarckianum, 6 out of 7 dead. Dypsis mirabilis, 12 out of 13 dead. One Socratea exhorriza out of 3 died. All the larger Dypsis were fine, even the relatively slender D. onilahensis.  As has been mentioned, Lemurophoenix were damaged, but recovering. New Caledonia palms sailed through admirably, only a few fronds with burnt-looking tips. Bentinckia condapanna -- eruption? What eruption? Various Licuala too. Welfia regia, Areca catechu 'dwarf', many Pinanga unscathed. Generally speaking, slender palms had a hard time of it, such as the D. mirabilis and D. procera, though other slender palms such as Pinanga (sylvestris and philippinensis) were fine, as well as Hydriastele rheophytica. I lost 3 Reinhardtia latisecta, but just today discovered 2 new leaves emerging from the base of one of them. So go figure...? 

Ferns, bananas and gingers are all doing exceedingly well, seeming to have benefitted from the acid rain. Avocados are fine but not flowering or producing. All mosses died immediately and only now are barely beginning to reappear. I read that they are considered the "canary in the coal mine" as far as air quality is concerned.

Nobody really knows how long Kilauea will remain "asleep" but based on the unprecedented volume of lava that was expelled and the emptying and subsequent collapse of both the main crater and the long-erupting Pu'u O'o vent, it could very well be decades before we see another eruption. Or? ...maybe only five years...  Life on a volcano, always interesting. 

I wonder how our friends in Guatemala are doing following their eruption of about the same time?

 

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Justin

Pretty much anything with a blue crownshaft had a hard time - Socrateas, Wettinias, Dictyocaryums all pau, except for one Dictyocaryum that was under a large Banyan tree.  Lemurophoenix probably would have died if the eruption lasted another month, but all of mine appear well down the road to recovery by now.  Many of the other palms (Dypsis, Pinanga especially) had no issues whatsoever, and actually seemed a little happier.  The bamboo was very happy, as were the Ohias.

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redant
On 9/3/2019 at 6:39 PM, bgl said:

Adding to Mike's detailed and excellent comments, there are two Marojejya darianii groves in my old garden. Don't have the specific numbers at hand, but there are about 10-15 individuals in each of these groups and they all look perfectly fine. I have seen them recently. Fissure 11 and 12 were about 900 ft away from my old garden but they didn't last very long and didn't have much of an impact. I hiked back there after they had stopped erupting and in that general area, which I used as a nursery for quite a few years (leased the land from Kamehameha Schools) the jungle has aggressively taken back what I had cleared back then (with a D9 bulldozer).

But back to the palms: most palms actually did very well during the eruption and in most cases it made absolutely no difference. Lemurophoenix took a hit but the larger ones are now recovering. Smaller ones (1G, 2G) are GONE. Well, not quite - I have one little brave survivor that will definitely be fine. Sadly, I lost all my Dictyocaryum lamarckianum (had about ten of them, 6-10 ft tall). Totally toasted. :crying: Just in general it would seem that some rainforest palms had a hard time with the gases from the eruption but proximity and wind direction were extremely crucial. My old garden was much closer to "the action" and was certainly quite affected with some of the palms. My garden is about 3/4 of a mile from Fissure 8, the most active one, but 98% of the time the air at my place couldn't have been fresher because of the trade winds coming in from the northeast. All the air and gases from F8 was pushed south (the other direction). As a matter of fact, I had better air, being less than a mile away, than they had in Kona, more than 100 miles away.

And finally: Clinostigmas, Tahinas, all the big Dypsis, Marojejya, Carpoxylon, Pelagodoxa, Calyptrocalyx, Cyrtostachys and many others - didn't faze them one bit! :)

Just wondering if the fact that your old property is one of the finest palm collections in the world has been a positive or negative force in the selling of the house? I wonder sometimes about my place, most people would just see to much work.

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Really full garden
On 9/3/2019 at 9:22 PM, Kim said:

Dave, my garden was lucky to have avoided the flow. My house is roughly 1/2 a mile from the flow, 3/4 of a mile from Fearsome Fissure 8. Being upwind from the spewing monster was an advantage; while the garden and roof received a sprinkling of tephra, it was nothing compared to the heavily-covered rooftops downwind of the main fissure.  Things could very easily have been different, as they were for Patrick and many others further downslope.

Dead palms: Dictyocaryum lamarckianum, 6 out of 7 dead. Dypsis mirabilis, 12 out of 13 dead. One Socratea exhorriza out of 3 died. All the larger Dypsis were fine, even the relatively slender D. onilahensis.  As has been mentioned, Lemurophoenix were damaged, but recovering. New Caledonia palms sailed through admirably, only a few fronds with burnt-looking tips. Bentinckia condapanna -- eruption? What eruption? Various Licuala too. Welfia regia, Areca catechu 'dwarf', many Pinanga unscathed. Generally speaking, slender palms had a hard time of it, such as the D. mirabilis and D. procera, though other slender palms such as Pinanga (sylvestris and philippinensis) were fine, as well as Hydriastele rheophytica. I lost 3 Reinhardtia latisecta, but just today discovered 2 new leaves emerging from the base of one of them. So go figure...? 

Ferns, bananas and gingers are all doing exceedingly well, seeming to have benefitted from the acid rain. Avocados are fine but not flowering or producing. All mosses died immediately and only now are barely beginning to reappear. I read that they are considered the "canary in the coal mine" as far as air quality is concerned.

Nobody really knows how long Kilauea will remain "asleep" but based on the unprecedented volume of lava that was expelled and the emptying and subsequent collapse of both the main crater and the long-erupting Pu'u O'o vent, it could very well be decades before we see another eruption. Or? ...maybe only five years...  Life on a volcano, always interesting. 

I wonder how our friends in Guatemala are doing following their eruption of about the same time?

 

Kim , my garden suffered no long term effects from our major eruption of Fuego Volcano. I had some spotting on a few large leafed palms , but really not noticeable. I was lucky that the prevailing winds kept the worst away from me. About a mile north of me is ground zero and it is like a lunar landscape . A few mature coconuts are struggling to grow.I see no signs of the native Chamaedorea tepejilote returning yet.

Life has returned to normal and there is a good possibility that LaReunion Golf Club will reopen with nine holes that were not affected by the pyroclastic flow.

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bgl
On ‎9‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 3:35 AM, redant said:

Just wondering if the fact that your old property is one of the finest palm collections in the world has been a positive or negative force in the selling of the house? I wonder sometimes about my place, most people would just see to much work.

Really no way to know, but I do believe that a larger property (my old garden is five acres) with need for continuous and extensive maintenance will in all likelihood be of interest only to a limited number of potential buyers so in that sense it's a negative. I seriously doubt the unusual palms will make any difference, one way or another. People who are interested in a property like this may or may not be "palm people". They may simply be people who like the tropical ambience, unusual palms or not.

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