Happy Spring to Everyone!
This will be the first post to evaluate the winter damage to my palms here in zone 8a on the westside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The winter overall was quite wet with soil moisture nearly constant from late November through January. Temperatures during this period were cool to moderate with only a few blasts of chilly air, with no days being below freezing. The absolute low I recorded at my weather station was 12F and I reached 15F about 4 times with several more lows between 17 and 20F. Winter was quite short lived thanks to an unusually mild fall with nights below 32 not really setting in until the beginning of December. Rainfall was consistent enough to maintain moist soil throughout the winter and off and on snow showers were a regular occupancy in December and January. One storm resulted in about a two to three inch accumulation while a dusting was received on a few occasions. Temperatures began to quickly warm up near the end of January and February became very springlike with day's mostly in the 60's and low 70's. One day reached a record high of 75F degrees for the day at the airport; on this day my weather station recorded 77F.
The newly planted palms which I posted last year were covered with Flower House collapsible greenhouses and were not otherwise heated. These greenhouses contained 1 Canary Island Date palm, 1 Pindo Palm, and 1 Sonoran Sabal palm. Unfortunately due to the consistently wet conditions this winter there was nearly continuous high humidity l, dew and wet soil in each of these greenhouses through the December and January time period until February began the warm up and drying out. I did open the doors to these greenhouses during the nicer days but dew and droplets of water coating the sides and top of the interior of the greenhouses was a mostly daily occurrence.
These conditions on shut the CIDP the hardest, the palm remained greeen until the warm up began at which time all the fronds began to show the damage and death from the chilly winter. By last week only the spear showed any green whatsoever. The spears all pulled due to rot and mold. There is still some green in the interior of the spear however I cannot tell if this is a new spear being generated at this time. I will cross my fingers that it will pull through.
The second palm, the Pindo Palm, made it through the winter without much damage at all. Some of the oldest fronds showed minimal damage and the spear is still solid and healthy and has begun to grow thanks to the recent late-Spring temps.
The third palm, Sonoran Sabal or Sabal uresana, survived the winter with only a little burn to the tips of the fronds and has begun to open its newest frond.
Overall I am excited about the condition of the Pindo and Sonoran palms and hope they will increase in their resilience to the chilly winter conditions. I think they would've done even better if it weren't for the constant wet conditions that prevailed for over two months of the chilly winter season. If I had been able to keep them drier and add additional heat to the greenhouses to offset the deepest low temperatures I believe the CIDP would have stood a much better chance and the other two would've come through the winter unscathed.
The above describes the condition of the new palms planted out last spring from 3-5 gallon sizes which were all planted in the back yard. I will append the review of my front yard palms, the Washingtonia filibusta and Sabal palmetto 'Birmingham', on the next post to this thread. I need to update and take a few more photos to capture their condition better.
In the meantime here are photos of the three palms discussed above.
So I am planning to plant a group of 8 7G sabal uresana's up here in Upstate SC. They will be planted in a linear line about 6-7ft space in between. I just wanted to ask you guys if this palm would be suitable. Is it cold hardy enough? Can it take the cold wet winters? Anyone around my area grow this palm?
Other palm options would be:
- Sabal Palmetto
- Sabal Birmingham
- Sabal Brazoriensis
Any other option that is hardy for my area?
I had a chance today to visit the field where we are growing our Sabal uresana and other palms. Here is a representative that measures 14' overall height. The palm to the left is S. causiarum.