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Palm’s Throughout Destin Florida

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Spent Spring Break in Northwest Florida Surrounded by none other than Sabel Palmetto’s . An a few beautiful windmill palms 

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Mr.SamuraiSword

Nice!! Love that Washingtonia growing in the water.  

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Estlander

Destin is loaded with all kinds of 9A palms, not just Sabals. Windmills are actually very hard to find and look like crap. In some places W. Robustas and P. Sylvestris are equalling the number of Sabals. 
Also plenty of Queens if you know where to look. 

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Manalto

It seems that, on the upper Gulf Coast, bottom temperatures drop off quickly as you go inland (9A to 8B), away from the modulating effect of the Gulf. They can grow Bismarckias and other more tender plants that I can't, just 30 miles inland.

Nice palm shots!

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HoustonTropical
9 hours ago, Manalto said:

It seems that, on the upper Gulf Coast, bottom temperatures drop off quickly as you go inland (9A to 8B), away from the modulating effect of the Gulf. They can grow Bismarckias and other more tender plants that I can't, just 30 miles inland.

Nice palm shots!

Thanks Manalto just out here enjoying the sea breeze 

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HoustonTropical
18 hours ago, HoustonTropical said:

Spent Spring Break in Northwest Florida Surrounded by none other than Sabel Palmetto’s . An a few beautiful windmill palms 

2C2017BF-5D0F-40BC-9BB7-3E84126428D2.jpeg

E4713D62-F89B-437C-BA61-C36C489F2A89.jpeg

D7936DD2-B80D-4978-A95B-EABAA60E66C5.jpeg

204A8C0B-98C3-4089-8D35-115B7BCF5B32.jpeg

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Edited by HoustonTropical
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Jcalvin
17 hours ago, Manalto said:

It seems that, on the upper Gulf Coast, bottom temperatures drop off quickly as you go inland (9A to 8B), away from the modulating effect of the Gulf. They can grow Bismarckias and other more tender plants that I can't, just 30 miles inland.

Nice palm shots!

Noticed that as well. We’ve been vacationing in the Destin area for about 25 years during spring and summer. I’ve seen a lot of changes. 25 years ago all you’d see are a few robustas and Sabals. Now one can see a bigger variety, though I do miss the time where it wasn’t as popular of a tourist area. 

 

Going inland, the temperatures drop dramatically- even around the bay. I’d dare say that just 3 miles inland sees 8b temperatures. 

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Manalto
8 hours ago, Jcalvin said:

 

Going inland, the temperatures drop dramatically- even around the bay. I’d dare say that just 3 miles inland sees 8b temperatures. 

I'm new in the region so I didn't realize the change was so abrupt.

I confess to a fair amount of zone envy, lusting after those 9s - but, alas, they get hammered when Canada decides to mess with us.

The downside for the coastline, of course, is the storms. Dauphin Island, especially the west end, routinely gets scrubbed clean of interesting palms (and everything else) in Gulf storms.

 

Edited by Manalto
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Matthew92
8 hours ago, JLM said:

Found something interesting while searching for different palms around the Destin area!

https://www.google.com/maps/@30.389537,-86.4571378,2a,75y,323.91h,105.35t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sX5J7tuhpqAUAAAQZLDXbrA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Yes I've watched that place over the years. Since 2007 they've had queens, bismarkia's, royals, P. canariensis, P. reclinata hybrids and even Royals! In the worst winters (2010, 2014, 2015) most of those died (Phoenix canariensis were severely damaged and were very slow to come back). Jan 2018 Caused caused severe foliage damage (reclinata killed to ground queens over half browned). But it looks like the last 2 winters have been warm enough to allow what is there to do decently well. I think the photo above is older: here's what that front sign area looked like this past Septemberdestin.thumb.PNG.5cac03cece440175f15fcf1d0509b18a.PNG

Also, here's a thread back from the 2018 winter where I posted some pictures of what the palms looked like there after Jan 2018. 

 

 

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Estlander
3 hours ago, Matthew92 said:

Yes I've watched that place over the years. Since 2007 they've had queens, bismarkia's, royals, P. canariensis, P. reclinata hybrids and even Royals! In the worst winters (2010, 2014, 2015) most of those died (Phoenix canariensis were severely damaged and were very slow to come back). Jan 2018 Caused caused severe foliage damage (reclinata killed to ground queens over half browned). But it looks like the last 2 winters have been warm enough to allow what is there to do decently well. 

 

Not sure if that area near The Palms gets colder than the rest of Destin, or what’s going on. But the P. Reclinata hybrids at Destin Commons and a couple of miles East from there on Hwy. 98 were all fine after January 2018. 
Also, all the Queens had minimal(cosmetic damage on older fronds) or no damage in Destin and near me in Sandestin.  My Queen had absolutely no damage either. 

The Queen that’s by the Track, which again is very close to The Palms, had the most damage of any in the area. 
I know 3 Queens within a mile radius of where I am that have been there since 2006 and before that. Two of them are below. 
Can’t say I’ve seen P. Canariensis damaged here. It takes temps a few degrees below 20F to damage them. Hasn’t been that cold here since who knows when. 

Different plants and their size are a good indicator of past temps. There are so many large Yucca Elephantipes around Destin. They wouldn’t be here if even P. Canariensis gets severe damage.  
 

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Edited by Estlander
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Estlander
13 hours ago, JLM said:

Found something interesting while searching for different palms around the Destin area!

https://www.google.com/maps/@30.389537,-86.4571378,2a,75y,323.91h,105.35t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sX5J7tuhpqAUAAAQZLDXbrA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

JLM, If you ever wanna try something interesting in your yard like Arenga Engleri or Phoenix Reclinata Hybrids, or pure Phoenix Canariensis, then I have some extra ones I can give you. 
My P. Reclinata are from a local plant below I picked seeds from in 2018. 
 

ADCB735B-DFC8-4BC1-AEE3-510931FC2405.jpeg

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Estlander
45 minutes ago, Estlander said:

Different plants and their size are a good indicator of past temps. There are so many large Yucca Elephantipes around Destin. They wouldn’t be here if even P. Canariensis gets severe damage.  
 

 

 

 

 

Another good example of Destin’s temps from back in, 2014 and 2018 is this Arenga Engleri.
I’m not sure when it was first planted, but It shows up on Google Maps images from 2011 as almost the same size plant as on a picture I took this winter. If Destin had experienced P. Canariensis damaging temps in those years, then surely that A. Engleri wouldn’t be here either, or would be a very small plant from having been cut back to the roots in the past winters. 

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2F33488C-44AD-4B11-8EF2-D0EFBAE158D0.jpeg

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Estlander

Here’s the Queen now that’s on a neighboring street from me that’s on Google images from 2007. Still here and looking beautiful. 

0F90F0FD-2A6A-4120-89CA-6FCD5C77ED57.jpeg

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Matthew92

@Estlander Yes Jan 2018 was indeed 9a for Destin- but was still a solid hard freeze for all locations. Maybe I should have clarified that of those bad winters I mentioned that 2014 was where some of the more hardy marginal palms (i.e. large Phoenix) were pushed to their limit. Much of Destin got below 20 degrees. As I've said before, there were Washingtonia 100% defoliated near the ocean in areas, as well as numerous large Phoenix (canariensis and dactylifera) that were anywhere from 50 to 100% defoliated. For some reason, the page on wunderground doesn't have it anymore, but it showed the low in Destin was 19 degrees in early Jan 2014 on the coldest night. As I recall, that station is somewhere in Destin proper, but has otherwise been consistent with your observations @Estlander and did not record sub-20 degrees in any of the other winters 2006 to present.

Here are some streetview pictures showing the still rough condition of some of these palms in 2015 (unfortunately there are no streetview images I could find from 2014). Most all the palms in the area that were severely damaged in 2014 didn't recover a full canopy that year, and then 2015 (low 20's in destin, upper teens on mainland) further damaged and/or prevented those palms to continue recovering a full canopy as quickly as they should have.

Here are how the Destin Commons Phoenix clumps looked like in March 2015. 

I remember after Jan 2014 these were 100% defoliated and I was worried if some of the stems were going to come back at all.

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This Phoenix canariensis which is about halfway between Destin Commons and Silver Sand I vividly remember was about 100% defoliated in Jan 2014. Seen here in March 2015, the leaves that are there aren't much more than what was regrown after Jan 2014.

1165559375_Destinphoenix32015.thumb.PNG.6b6a9dac6ed5311b15d99890a344129c.PNG

Even many of the Phoenix dactyliferas at Destin Commons were 85% browned or more in Jan 2014- with some subsequent damage occuring in Jan 2015. Here are the ones out front still with damage and recovering in May 2015. The only ones that didn't have damage at Destin Commons were in the area by the movie theater closely surrounded by all the buildings and pavement.

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Also here's a large P. canariensis close to the ocean (due south of the Commons) that was very healthy with a full canopy before the 2014 and '15 winters.

From my recollection, this was close to 100% defoliated after Jan 2014 as well.

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Here's how it looks more recently with a fully recovered canopy.

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Also here's a capture of one of the Washingtonia that experienced about 100% defoliation in Jan 2014. This one is still very much browned seen here in March 2015.

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Even past Miramar Beach to the east at Grand Boulevard damage was still consistent with what was seen further west.

This again is March 2015. Also you can see the Washingtonia in the background have some brown.

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Even at the Sandestin Hilton P. sylvestris were heavily damaged enough to where they had to replace them a year later.

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Still @Estlander many of your pictures of your zone pushing palms are quite impressive. My theory that explains some of it is many of the ones you posted in your area are amidst good tree canopy surroundings. Many of the ones I've posted are in open developed areas where the north wind can come through unabated. I don't think that explains all of it (hardier genetics on some of those individual palms I think come in to play also), but I definitely think that is the case for many of those heavily forested, tucked-back-in areas of Santa Rosa Beach such as where your house is.

The past two winters have been Amazingly mild (actually mild enough for queen palms to survive on the mainland). It will be interesting to see what the next winters bring...

Edited by Matthew92

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Estlander

@Matthew92 I don’t deny that some 9A palms never get any damage in brutally bad winters in Destin. I have seen browning on lower fronds and leaf tips etc. But I have never seen a 100% defoliation and canopy freezing to paper brown and such. 

I have never even seen a less leaf hardy palms like L. Chinensis defoliate here. Back in 2014 when we had that nasty winter, I lived in a complex in Sandestin with several large L. Chinensis. The  crowns looked a bit beat up on those with damage to leaf tips, but no defoliation or severe damage.

Also, I lived in Fort Walton Beach(warm 8B) from 2004-2012 and even there, during those years, I never saw any 100% defoliated W. Robustas or P. Canariensis. 
The pic below is from Uptown Station in Fort Walton Beach. They’re the largest P. Canariensis in that town that I have been checking out for a long time. 
 

B72FB58F-75B5-4332-AA1A-097E94CB16E0.jpeg

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Estlander
2 hours ago, Matthew92 said:

The past two winters have been Amazingly mild (actually mild enough for queen palms to survive on the mainland). It will be interesting to see what the next winters bring...

But yeah, the past two winters have been amazing. My Nicolai Strelizia has grown huge as a result, and is getting ready to flower. 

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Mr.SamuraiSword
On 3/22/2020 at 7:17 AM, Matthew92 said:

Yes I've watched that place over the years. Since 2007 they've had queens, bismarkia's, royals, P. canariensis, P. reclinata hybrids and even Royals! In the worst winters (2010, 2014, 2015) most of those died (Phoenix canariensis were severely damaged and were very slow to come back). Jan 2018 Caused caused severe foliage damage (reclinata killed to ground queens over half browned). But it looks like the last 2 winters have been warm enough to allow what is there to do decently well. I think the photo above is older: here's what that front sign area looked like this past Septemberdestin.thumb.PNG.5cac03cece440175f15fcf1d0509b18a.PNG

Also, here's a thread back from the 2018 winter where I posted some pictures of what the palms looked like there after Jan 2018. 

 

 

Im seeing some Chinese fans and Chamadorea still there on streetview. 

Chamadorea

https://www.google.com/maps/@30.3897341,-86.4562663,2a,43.2y,232.97h,89.87t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sdklcNMCPNvgAAAQZLDLc-g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com/maps/@30.3896362,-86.4562738,2a,16.4y,80.25h,87.2t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sIWEu6afuCLQAAAQZLDUYUA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

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Mr.SamuraiSword
On 3/24/2020 at 10:03 AM, Estlander said:

@Matthew92 I don’t deny that some 9A palms never get any damage in brutally bad winters in Destin. I have seen browning on lower fronds and leaf tips etc. But I have never seen a 100% defoliation and canopy freezing to paper brown and such. 

I have never even seen a less leaf hardy palms like L. Chinensis defoliate here. Back in 2014 when we had that nasty winter, I lived in a complex in Sandestin with several large L. Chinensis. The  crowns looked a bit beat up on those with damage to leaf tips, but no defoliation or severe damage.

Also, I lived in Fort Walton Beach(warm 8B) from 2004-2012 and even there, during those years, I never saw any 100% defoliated W. Robustas or P. Canariensis. 
The pic below is from Uptown Station in Fort Walton Beach. They’re the largest P. Canariensis in that town that I have been checking out for a long time. 
 

 

You posted about those a while. back, those are big, especially the big one. when were those planted?

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Estlander
53 minutes ago, Mr.SamuraiSword said:

You posted about those a while. back, those are big, especially the big one. when were those planted?

I’m not sure when those P. Canariensis were planted there. I’m guessing when the shopping complex was built. 
I moved there in 2004 and they were there at that time.

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Estlander
2 hours ago, Mr.SamuraiSword said:

Right! And another example that 2014 or 2015 winter really wasn’t cold enough in Destin to defoliate W. Robusta and P. Canariensis is this L. Chinensis, which is a few steps from The Palms entrance gate.

Didn’t even get cold enough to do more than light damage to older fronds. 19F would have done way more than that. 

First pic is from March 2015, second from September 2019. 
And January 2018 was a ‘nothing burger’ here compared to New Orleans, Houston, Charleston SC. Only recorded 23.9F in my yard on the coldest night. 
Sure, some parts of town may have gotten a bit colder, but not much. 

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A6708607-222B-4B17-9574-1EEE256F9538.jpeg

Edited by Estlander
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sipalms

Not sure how to quote it from the original post... but man is that a beautiful Queen with the fronds hitting the ground - looks like the originals from Nth. Argentina.

It must get zero wind or something?

Capture5.JPG.74dd947112a90d5a670cfd74746060d0.JPG

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Matthew92
On 3/24/2020 at 1:03 PM, Estlander said:

@Matthew92 I don’t deny that some 9A palms never get any damage in brutally bad winters in Destin. I have seen browning on lower fronds and leaf tips etc. But I have never seen a 100% defoliation and canopy freezing to paper brown and such. 

I have never even seen a less leaf hardy palms like L. Chinensis defoliate here. Back in 2014 when we had that nasty winter, I lived in a complex in Sandestin with several large L. Chinensis. The  crowns looked a bit beat up on those with damage to leaf tips, but no defoliation or severe damage.

Also, I lived in Fort Walton Beach(warm 8B) from 2004-2012 and even there, during those years, I never saw any 100% defoliated W. Robustas or P. Canariensis. 
The pic below is from Uptown Station in Fort Walton Beach. They’re the largest P. Canariensis in that town that I have been checking out for a long time. 
 

 

Those canariensis at Uptown Station were almost completely defoliated in 2014... Here they are in May 2014 with new growth just starting.

1153580919_canariensisuptown2.thumb.PNG.68cf8dce21014342d032229ac19eff72.PNG

 Here's how they looked in April 2015 after another rough winter. I'm surprised they've come back as well as they have since since they went so long without a full crown.

2113422228_Canariensisuptown.thumb.PNG.cb8c01f165b3206efa8e00e8b5d5d77e.PNG

Also here are more P. canariensis in Destin that were mostly defoliated in Jan 2014. Again, the only streetview available is from April 2015. But the lack of a full crown and even some light damage from Jan 2015 tells the story.

sunsations.thumb.PNG.fdfa3209523b2a6e34556386a233ef9c.PNG

Yes @Estlander like I said about some of the P. Dactyliferas surviving somewhat unscathed in Jan 2014 in Destin Commons by the movie theater surrounded by tall buildings and lots of concrete- there are a fair amount of such planting that did escape much less damage in 2014-2015 winters. But the bottom line is, most of the large Phoenix, W. robusta, and L. chinensis all across the coastal Panhandle region that weren't in special microclimates on average had between 50 to 100% defoliation areas in Destin and all across the coastal Panhandle region. Even down to Rosemary beach there were P. dactylifera's killed (someone here on Palmtalk posted this including pictures, but at the moment I can't find the thread). I think also for you Estlander, since you live in one of these unique microclimates in Santa Rosa Beach (which I suspect is due to a higher density forest still existing around there) your perspective tends to be different from the majority of those in the area that get the arctic air more unabated.

I think a good reminder and informative read for people wanting to plant and invest in palms in the Coastal Panhandle can be found in this thread. Most of the posts by Alicehunter2000 are from his yard in Seacrest Beach, and other observations from various users are consistent with what I have posted in this thread. Reading it again even reminded me of how bad that winter was.

 

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Estlander

@Matthew92 The cold damaged Phoenix palms in your pics are so heavily over pruned that it’s hard to know the true extent of damage they suffered.
For some reason they think it’s a good idea to severely over prune palms here before winter, thus making them more stressed and susceptible to problems. Some of them they even prune back to just the spear. 

So many palms here have spent too many years being severely over pruned that it’s no wonder some of them occasionally give up the ghost. 

Of course, some of the palms could have been pruned after the freeze as well, again making it hard to determine what is freeze damage or what is the result of over pruning. When they prune the damaged fronds off after a freeze, they take more off than just the unsightly stuff, leaving you perhaps with the impression that the damage was more severe than it really was. 

I never denied that in bad winters palms do take some cosmetic/moderate damage here, which is what I consider to be the case in pics you’ve posted and having witnessed myself. 
But 100% defoliation to me is the whole crown frozen to paper brown, no green left. 
 
Some damage is ok. Palms do take some damage in bad winters pretty much all over Florida with the exception of the Keys maybe. 
In 9B Florida, 9B palms take some damage in bad winters, the same in 10A.
In California, Australia, New Zealand and South America zones are more stable and extremes much rarer or don’t happen at all. In Southeast that is not the case unfortunately. 

Edited by Estlander

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dalmatiansoap
17 hours ago, sipalms said:

Not sure how to quote it from the original post... but man is that a beautiful Queen with the fronds hitting the ground - looks like the originals from Nth. Argentina.

It must get zero wind or something?

Capture5.JPG.74dd947112a90d5a670cfd74746060d0.JPG

Absolutely agree it's a beautiful!

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mdsonofthesouth
18 minutes ago, Estlander said:

@Matthew92 The cold damaged Phoenix palms in your pics are so heavily over pruned that it’s hard to know the true extent of damage they suffered.
For some reason they think it’s a good idea to severely over prune palms here before winter, thus making them more stressed and susceptible to problems. Some of them they even prune back to just the spear. 

So many palms here have spent too many years being severely over pruned that it’s no wonder some of them occasionally give up the ghost. 

Of course, some of the palms could have been pruned after the freeze as well, again making it hard to determine what is freeze damage or what is the result of over pruning. When they prune the damaged fronds off after a freeze, they take more off than just the unsightly stuff, leaving you perhaps with the impression that the damage was more severe than it really was. 

I never denied that in bad winters palms do take some cosmetic/moderate damage here, which is what I consider to be the case in pics you’ve posted and having witnessed myself. 
But 100% defoliation to me is the whole crown frozen to paper brown, no green left. 
 
Some damage is ok. Palms do take some damage in bad winters pretty much all over Florida with the exception of the Keys maybe. 
In 9B Florida, 9B palms take some damage in bad winters, the same in 10A.
In California, Australia, New Zealand and South America zones are more stable and extremes much rarer or don’t happen at all. In Southeast that is not the case unfortunately. 

 

I never understood this mentality...I don't prune thing til it's completely brown.

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Estlander
On 3/25/2020 at 8:37 PM, Mr.SamuraiSword said:

You posted about those a while. back, those are big, especially the big one. when were those planted?

Not sure if you've seen this one. I posted it once a while back. Again, not sure when it was first planted, but probably in the late 80's, or early 90's. At least they don't over prune that one. It always has a nice full crown.

can.JPG

Photo Jul 15, 4 23 49 PM.jpg

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Estlander

@Matthew92 Regarding that thread about the 2014 Polar Vortex you quoted. Much of the stuff in Alicehunter2000’s yard was still going through transplant shock and hadn’t acclimated yet. All the 9A stuff he had just recently planted and had frond damage made a nice recovery and I’m sure sailed through January 2018 without any kind of damage. 

His Bismarckias(9B palm) did great and didn’t even defoliate. The largest one only had a tarp over it for protection. 

He said he briefly dropped to 19.7F on one morning, which is basically 20F in my book. 
He also stated that Panama City Beach stayed warmer than his area.

As you know then his area on 30A no longer gets the slight added protection from the Bay to the north and gets a bit colder than Destin and parts of PC and PCB. 

To be honest, I’m not even sure what we’re arguing about. :D The fact is that Phoenix Canariensis/Dactylifera/Sylvestris,  Livistona Nitida/Decora/Chinensis/Saribus and W. Robusta do great and don’t die even in the worst winters here and are part of the landscape. Should the 80’s ever make a comeback, then that’s a different story. 

Yes, Queens are iffy for the most part, but seem to do great in small warmer pockets around these parts longer term. 

 

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Matthew92
On 3/28/2020 at 5:07 PM, Estlander said:

@Matthew92 Regarding that thread about the 2014 Polar Vortex you quoted. Much of the stuff in Alicehunter2000’s yard was still going through transplant shock and hadn’t acclimated yet. All the 9A stuff he had just recently planted and had frond damage made a nice recovery and I’m sure sailed through January 2018 without any kind of damage. 

His Bismarckias(9B palm) did great and didn’t even defoliate. The largest one only had a tarp over it for protection. 

He said he briefly dropped to 19.7F on one morning, which is basically 20F in my book. 
He also stated that Panama City Beach stayed warmer than his area.

As you know then his area on 30A no longer gets the slight added protection from the Bay to the north and gets a bit colder than Destin and parts of PC and PCB. 

To be honest, I’m not even sure what we’re arguing about. :D The fact is that Phoenix Canariensis/Dactylifera/Sylvestris,  Livistona Nitida/Decora/Chinensis/Saribus and W. Robusta do great and don’t die even in the worst winters here and are part of the landscape. Should the 80’s ever make a comeback, then that’s a different story. 

Yes, Queens are iffy for the most part, but seem to do great in small warmer pockets around these parts longer term. 

 

Regarding streetview photos from early 2015 and whether the palms were overpruned or if they were really that damaged: many of those (such as the Uptown Station P. canariensis and the Destin P. canariensis in front of the tourist shop) that were mostly browned after 2014 were "defoliated" in a visible sense since any remaining green was mostly hidden at the base of the crown behind the dead fronds. So for the Uptown Station P. canariensis in May 2014- that image showed pretty much all that was left and had grown back in the few months since the landscapers cut away the dead. After the 2014 winter and the initial pruning, those canariensis at Uptown actually were allowed to grow out for a little over a whole year during which the hard freeze in Jan 2015 gave them moderate damage after which very unfortunately the landscapers hacked them back to just a few or several less than full-length fronds pointing in the air. Again, I am surprised they recovered so well considering the trauma they went through and resulting lack of photosynthesis production (still are a far cry from full healthy specimens seen in California though- but I know part of that is due to climate and soil). I guess a lot of it will have to largely depend on my word in light of the missing photo evidence- but that is what I vividly remember. Actually a few years ago I did make a post regarding the P. canariensis at Uptown Station. I did have some good photos with it- but I foolishly used Tinypic to upload and most of them don't show anymore. But still the text gives a good account on those palm's performance during those winters.

As for the Polar Vortex thread: even though posts regarding AliceHunter2000's new palms comprised the majority of the thread, part of what I was referring to were several other posters who made observations on other palm's performance in the area that were consistent with what I have been showing. Even AliceHunter2000 said in one of the comments something to the effect that from what he saw in the area, virtually all queens had been killed with just a few damaged survivors here and there. Again- not negating the observations of the success stories of palms you've seen- but I think it's important to make it clear that those success stories were not the norm/average experience for the whole area even within the coastal microclimate.

To put it simply I think I have a more "glass half empty" view of the persistence of zone 9 palms in coastal Okaloosa/Walton counties whereas yours is more of a "glass half full" (which again I perceive may partly be due to your perspective of living within possibly best microclimate within an already moderated coastal region). For me, after witnessing over the years large investment Phoenix palms in homes and businesses become so brown (and even several die) they were an eyesore for 2 growing seasons during winters that were entirely within the area's assigned hardiness zone (and which weren't even as bad as many historical winters in this area as you mentioned), as well as homeowners planting palms such as queens, Phoenix roebelenni, Ponytail palms, Paurotis palms, etc... only to be horrendously damaged or killed multiple times across all regions of the area, such devastation of many of these marginal palms has given me a stark understanding of their fragility in this climate. That is why I've posted strongly in response to many of your posts because I felt that the full reality of growing such marginal palms here needed to be told as many of the amazing palms shown that did survive weren't the norm/average experience for the whole area even within the coastal microclimate after those winters, as well as some of the other plants in this thread mostly being a result of the abnormally mild winters in the recent short term. And also, I have a strong passion to emphasize a certain area's climate for what it is- which in NW FL's case is designated the same as much of the SE United States (temperate climate which in part is defined by a winter that gets regular hard freezes due to a lack of topographical features blocking arctic air masses directly from Canada). The recent hard freezes in the last 10 years (sans Jan. 2014) actually have been "fence-riders" in that just 2-3 degrees colder or a few more hours in the low 20's or below (which is not hard to ask at all) would have pushed past the tipping point for the marginal palms in the best microclimate areas we are talking about now that survived. That's how on the edge it is and shows how lucky we have been (especially since numerous historic freezes here were around 10 degrees colder than what we've been experiencing in the last 10 years) Even barely past that tipping point, damage would have been pretty much the same whether you're right at the coast or on the mainland. In Jan. 2014, the tipping point actually was reached to a degree as for the first time, there was not that much of a difference in damage on the mainland compared to the coast/beach areas (at least those areas outside microclimates such as found in interior Santa Rosa Beach). I believe these points are important to remember especially now during a small string of INCREDIBLY mild winters given (as even I experienced) many people quickly forget how seemingly harsh a regular one can be (not that I am implying you are unaware of that) by the time it comes back.

The outcome of my view is that I would not recommend planting a Majesty, Phoenix roebelenni, or Queen in the ground to a person who is new to the area and has a novice interest in palms and is wanting a relatively lasting, care-free investment in their landscape. However I certainly don't dis people like you for trying them because you know the nitty-gritty of hardiness specifics and want to experiment (like I did when I lived there), or if the homeowner is aware but has the money to replace in the short term.

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Matthew92

I think we've both made our points. I still stand by my observations- and yet I don't deny the microclimate of your area and those impressive survivors you have shown. If a person new to the area reads this and other posts regarding said marginal palm's performance in places like coastal Okaloosa and Walton counties- I hope they can have the knowledge to enjoy a Phoenix roebelenni, queen, Phoenix reclinata hybrid, majesty, etc... in this wonderful microclimate while understanding and being prepared for what will eventually happen given our susceptibility to arctic air. :)

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Estlander

@Matthew92 I agree that if you don’t live in at least 9B, not to plant P. Roebelenii, Majesty palms or Queens if you want them to be around long term, or are not willing or unable to provide them some serious protection in bad winters. They won’t live out their 50-80 year (or thereabouts) lifespans there. Even in Southeastern 9B they can be iffy, especially Majesties and Pygmy Dates. 

I do feel, however, that you’re a bit harsh in singling out NW Florida 9A areas as a terrible place to grow some 8B and 9A palms like P.Canariensis/Dactylifera/Sylvestris, W . Robusta, Livistona species etc. just because they may get some cosmetic damage in bad winters.
And in what universe is Destin considered a temperate climate? I thought it was humid subtropics? Even Washington DC is considered subtropics, and we’re worlds apart climatically. 
Southeast of FL and the Keys are considered tropical. Officially the tropics begins at 23.5 degrees. How is Destin at 30th latitude a temperate climate? 

I originally come from 59th latitude in Northern Europe, and climatically the area lies in the temperate climate zone and the transition zone between a maritime and continental. Pretty similar climate to inland Pacific Northwest, I would say. 
Let me tell you, Destin’s winters are NOT temperate. 
The panhandle may be influenced by continental climate during those Polar Vortexes, as that’s where they roll in from. But so are Orlando and pretty much all of Florida that’s connected to the North American continent.
Unless you’re an island like that Bahamas, which are at the same latitude as South Florida, you’re affected. To a lesser degree the further south you go, of course, but still affected.

When Miami is in the lower 40’s or lower, the Bahamas are in the 70’s. 

But surely your ‘glass half empty’ analogy then also applies to peninsular FL 9A locations like Gainesville, Ocala, Jacksonville, St.  Augustine etc. and not just to NW FL 9A, as these areas also experience the same temperatures in bad winters. 

Now, I know that some FL 9A areas do better during freezes or than others.
Jax Beach and St. Augustine, which I consider warm 9A,  are better protected than Destin, Gainesville or Ocala, as often the cold fronts curve and follow the coastline north before reaching those said places, thus sparing them from the worst. But 19/20F have happened there as well many times, and lower than that in historical freezes. 


 

Edited by Estlander
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Xenon
1 hour ago, Estlander said:

@Matthew92 I agree that if you don’t live in at least 9B, not to plant P. Roebelenii, Majesty palms or Queens if you want them to be around long term, or are not willing or unable to provide them some serious protection in bad winters. They won’t live out their 50-80 year (or thereabouts) lifespans there. Even in Southeastern 9B they can be iffy, especially Majesties and Pygmy Dates. 
 

Houston, New Orleans, and Jacksonville seem noticeably warmer than NW FL even far away from the coast. Queen palms are plentiful and to a lesser extent, P. roebelenii, as well as the occasional majesty. Seems like you get a queen killing freeze every 5 years or so. The lack of 15-20+ year old queens sounds a bit questionable for 9a imo (more like warm 8b or borderline 9a at best), the other palms you mentioned as "9A palms" are really more like 8b palms.  Comparing beachside Destin to Jacksonville Beach or Galveston is even more dramatic, Destin is struggling to grow queens while the latter areas have big Norfolk Island pines, abundant pygmy dates, and even the odd royal and foxtail palm. 

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Estlander
25 minutes ago, Xenon said:

Houston, New Orleans, and Jacksonville seem noticeably warmer than NW FL even far away from the coast. Queen palms are plentiful and to a lesser extent, P. roebelenii, as well as the occasional majesty. Seems like you get a queen killing freeze every 5 years or so. The lack of 15-20+ year old queens sounds a bit questionable for 9a imo (more like warm 8b or borderline 9a at best), the other palms you mentioned as "9A palms" are really more like 8b palms.  Comparing beachside Destin to Jacksonville Beach or Galveston is even more dramatic, Destin is struggling to grow queens while the latter areas have big Norfolk Island pines, abundant pygmy dates, and even the odd royal and foxtail palm. 

Yes, and what happened to many of your Queens in Houston and New Orleans in January 2018? My 23.9F against your 18-19F :)  Not a single Queen here died. Only light damage to most of them. Mine had zero damage. 

There are at least 3 15+ year old Queens near where I am that I know of. 

But if you reread what I wrote, then you’ll see I did say that Queens are not a long term palm here, and can be grown longer term only in warmer pockets near water etc. 

Galveston is 9B, and Jax Beach very warm 9A, possibly even 9B now, so of course there’s no comparison. Houston, not so much, lol  Destin’s average temperatures are slightly higher than Houston’s as well. 

 

 

7E8A13B5-9B82-4611-B227-54C74C223F32.jpeg

AC60CFC0-8DE6-4E27-A4BF-CA219511E76E.jpeg

Edited by Estlander

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Estlander
29 minutes ago, Xenon said:

the other palms you mentioned as "9A palms" are really more like 8b palms

Their ultimate survivability rating may be in the 8B range, but despite that you don’t see too many Livistona Chinensis/Nitida/Decora, P. Dactylifera/Canariensis/Sylvestris, W. Robusta growing in the Southeastern 8B. 
That’s because they’re not bulletproof there. 8B Southeast is mostly Sabal/Butia/Eurofan country. It takes warm 8B+ to be able to grow them reliably. 

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Xenon
10 minutes ago, Estlander said:


There are at least 3 15+ year old Queens near where I am that I know of. 

There are hundreds, if not thousands of 15+ year old queens in Houston.  Plenty of 15+ year old pygmy dates as well. 
Doubt Destin can compete with a 28F mean avg minimum in the last 20 years. 
houstonavgmin.PNG.815bd18fee9faba0502ac0cc958c16c4.PNG

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Jeff985
15 minutes ago, Estlander said:

Yes, and what happened to many of your Queens in Houston and New Orleans in January 2018? My 23.9F against your 18-19F :)  Not a single Queen here died. Only light damage to most of them. Mine had zero damage. 

There are at least 3 15+ year old Queens near where I am that I know of. 

But if you reread what I wrote, then you’ll see I did say that Queens are not a long term palm here, and can be grown longer term only in warmer pockets near water etc. 

Galveston is 9B, and Jax Beach very warm 9A, possibly even 9B now, so of course there’s no comparison. Houston, not so much, lol  Destin’s average temperatures are slightly higher than Houston’s as well. 

 

 

7E8A13B5-9B82-4611-B227-54C74C223F32.jpeg

AC60CFC0-8DE6-4E27-A4BF-CA219511E76E.jpeg

Depends on where in Houston. January 2018 Hobby Airport bottomed our at 19. Central and southeast Houston was a little warmer. From central Houston to the south and east very few queens died. The ones that did were like due to secondary fungal infections. Lots of roebeleniis survived along with majestys. 

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Jeff985
5 minutes ago, Xenon said:

There are hundreds, if not thousands of 15+ year old queens in Houston.  Plenty of 15+ year old pygmy dates as well. 
Doubt Destin can compete with a 28F mean avg minimum in the last 20 years. 
houstonavgmin.PNG.815bd18fee9faba0502ac0cc958c16c4.PNG

You could take it back 30 years and it’s still 28 at Hobby. Bay front and inside the loop would be pushing 30 if not slightly above. 

Edited by Jeff985

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Estlander
40 minutes ago, Xenon said:

The lack of 15-20+ year old queens sounds a bit questionable for 9a imo (more like warm 8b or borderline 9a at best)

Queen is a California 9A palm. In the humid Southeast it’s very much a 9B plant. 
As you know New Orleans 9B lost quite a few of them in 2018, not to mention 9A Houston. 

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Jeff985

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Xenon
11 minutes ago, Estlander said:

Queen is a California 9A palm. In the humid Southeast it’s very much a 9B plant. 
As you know New Orleans 9B lost quite a few of them in 2018, not to mention 9A Houston. 

Losing a few is quite different from 99% wipeout. It sounds like you want to argue Houston is colder than Destin, but the many queen palms here and the figures don't lie. At this point, the central heat island of Houston is probably trending even warmer than downtown or lakeshore New Orleans. Central Houston has only seen below 25F once (2018) in the last 20 years and at one point had 10+ year foxtails and mango trees.  The airport data (Hobby) gets some urban effect but not as much as the central core of the city. 

houstonavgmin.PNG.d099083d6296a7b2bb1d7f1a48359719.PNG1011937775_neworleansmin.PNG.818cc3608ed48d2798a644b4e170d982.PNG

Edited by Xenon

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