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Keys6505

Different palm suggestions for Houston

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Keys6505

Hi all,  I'm new to the site and new to palms in general and was hoping that some of you would lend your expertise.  I recently moved from NJ to TX and have a lot of interest in boosting my new palm collection.   I live in League City which is about halfway between Houston and Galveston.  I'm rated 9a but I averaged out the lowest temp in League City each winter over the last 10 winters (based on available online data) and I got 29.5 degrees which would be closer to a high 9b if I'm not mistaken(?).  The lowest temp recorded here over that span was 20.3.  My first order of business when I arrived was completely re-doing my yard with a pool and all new landscaping so I jammed as many palms into the budget as I could.  I currently have 2 Queens, 2 Bismarks, 5 Livistona Chinensis, a Mule, a Phoenix Roebellini, a Phoenix Rupicola, a Canariensis, an Everglades Palm, and an Arenga Engleri.  The yard is filling up fast so I'd like to use whatever space I have left for some rarer palms that wouldn't be typically found at the local garden centers.  My not-so-scientific method for this was going on the Trebrown website (not sure if it's reputable or not) and pulling out everything that said 9a and start hunting.  I was just about to place an order on a bunch of starter plants but as I began reading about each individual palm's needs I started second guessing myself and figured I'd ask the experts before I spend 5 years nursing a plant that's doomed to drop dead the second I put it in the ground. 

Here is what I WAS going to order:  Becchariophoenix Alfredii (this is #1 on my want list),  Ceroxylon Quindiunense, Chamadorea Arenbergiana, Dypsis Ambositrae, Dypsis Heteromorpha, Dypsis Onilahensis, Geonoma Undata, and a Ravenea Sambiranensis. 

My ultimate goal is to have these in the ground and not have to baby them unless we get some sub-25 degree weather, which according to the data I found has only happened here twice in the last 10 years.  I am very familiar with winter protection if/when necessary from my years of growing tropicals in 7a.  I also have some wildly overgrown oleander hedges that I have yet to trim so I can create some shaded spots if necessary.  

So I'm hoping that someone might be willing to let me know if any of the palms I was going to buy are a good idea?  And are there any other suggestions?  I'm more into fronds than fans.  Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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ahosey01

Hyphaene coriacea comes to mind.  Also nothing says tropical like a big multi-trunked Phoenix reclinata.  Also Caryota species.

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Jeff985
1 hour ago, Keys6505 said:

Hi all,  I'm new to the site and new to palms in general and was hoping that some of you would lend your expertise.  I recently moved from NJ to TX and have a lot of interest in boosting my new palm collection.   I live in League City which is about halfway between Houston and Galveston.  I'm rated 9a but I averaged out the lowest temp in League City each winter over the last 10 winters (based on available online data) and I got 29.5 degrees which would be closer to a high 9b if I'm not mistaken(?).  The lowest temp recorded here over that span was 20.3.  My first order of business when I arrived was completely re-doing my yard with a pool and all new landscaping so I jammed as many palms into the budget as I could.  I currently have 2 Queens, 2 Bismarks, 5 Livistona Chinensis, a Mule, a Phoenix Roebellini, a Phoenix Rupicola, a Canariensis, an Everglades Palm, and an Arenga Engleri.  The yard is filling up fast so I'd like to use whatever space I have left for some rarer palms that wouldn't be typically found at the local garden centers.  My not-so-scientific method for this was going on the Trebrown website (not sure if it's reputable or not) and pulling out everything that said 9a and start hunting.  I was just about to place an order on a bunch of starter plants but as I began reading about each individual palm's needs I started second guessing myself and figured I'd ask the experts before I spend 5 years nursing a plant that's doomed to drop dead the second I put it in the ground. 

Here is what I WAS going to order:  Becchariophoenix Alfredii (this is #1 on my want list),  Ceroxylon Quindiunense, Chamadorea Arenbergiana, Dypsis Ambositrae, Dypsis Heteromorpha, Dypsis Onilahensis, Geonoma Undata, and a Ravenea Sambiranensis. 

My ultimate goal is to have these in the ground and not have to baby them unless we get some sub-25 degree weather, which according to the data I found has only happened here twice in the last 10 years.  I am very familiar with winter protection if/when necessary from my years of growing tropicals in 7a.  I also have some wildly overgrown oleander hedges that I have yet to trim so I can create some shaded spots if necessary.  

So I'm hoping that someone might be willing to let me know if any of the palms I was going to buy are a good idea?  And are there any other suggestions?  I'm more into fronds than fans.  Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Welcome to the area. Beccariophoenix alfredii is a good choice. Majestys are another good choice for this area and they are cheap and easy to find. Archontophoenix cunninghamiana is another one that I like. Foxtails do well here for 10-15 years at a time but they not exactly rare. If you’re interested in trying a royal, Jimbo’s nursery in Santa Fe has some small ones for $25. D. Decaryi is becoming more available here and reasonably priced. Joseph’s in Pearland has some with a little trunk for $90. 

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ahosey01

Also no question if I was you I’d try Ravenala madagascarensis.  Strictly speaking not a palm... close enough but ridiculously cool.

Edited by ahosey01

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hbernstein
9 hours ago, Keys6505 said:

 

I don't think that Ceroxylon will survive at all in your climate. Another good species would be Nannorrhops: drought tolerant, likes moisture, rain tolerant, cold tolerant, extremely heat tolerant.

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Chester B

Might want to read these couple of threads.  I'm in zone 8B so can't give you any advice based on actual experience.

 

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ahosey01
3 hours ago, hbernstein said:

I don't think that Ceroxylon will survive at all in your climate. Another good species would be Nannorrhops: drought tolerant, likes moisture, rain tolerant, cold tolerant, extremely heat tolerant.

I think Ceroxylon wants like consistent 60-80 degree temps with a relatively consistent level of cloud cover.  Not speaking from experience, though, just the literature.

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Yea Ceroxylon won't make it neither will parajubaea for you.  Alternatives palms would include brahea brandegeeii, super silver, edulis, paurtis palm, allogoptera areranria, arenga engleri, rhapis, many livistonas, sabal causarium, bismarckia, mule palms.  Foxtails will get 6-8' of trunk before they perish and triangle palms would survive for a decade or so. 

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Also forgot sabal mauritiformis (which are gorgeous) nannorhorps, medemia argun, hyphaene coriacea.

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Keys6505

Hi all, thanks for the input.  You gave me a lot to digest.  I haven't placed my order yet but I have tweaked it, eliminating the Ceroxylon.

Jeff, I took a ride to Joseph's earlier today and saw the Dacaryi's that you mentioned.   I wanted to read a little more about them before I bought one but I'm sure it will happen.  I would have hit Jimbo's too had they been open.  Joseph's also had these Caryotas there for $70 but no ID other than "Fishtail Palm".  Can anyone tell me what kind they are so I can read up on them as well?

I did end up buying a small Foxtail today as TCHP mentioned.  A small Bottle Palm as well.  I didn't even really want the Bottle since I can't plant it out but the wife greenlit it so who am I to say no?

Any more suggestions would be appreciated.  I did want to also ask where people get their high/low thermometers from?  I see cheap ones online but the cheap amazon Bluetooth thermometer I bought this past winter didn't work so great.

20200802_104445.jpg

20200802_104453.jpg

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OC2Texaspalmlvr

@Keys6505 Welcome to palm talk and highdy ho neighbor haha. Are you east League City or on the west side ? I also moved here about 6 years ago and I can tell you all the palms that wont make it during our 10 year freezes =( The caryota in the pics could be mitis, but for some reason those seem to be planted as multiples not the actual clustering type. I have a B.Alfredii that I could be willing to part with also some sabals that I have germinated from seed =) Tons of information here , and great people to boot. 

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Xenon

You probably can get away with a lot of neat understory stuff fron northern Indochina like Chuniophoenix, Guihaia and maybe Kerriodoxa and the hardliest Licuala like L. fordiana and L. spinosa, Lanonia dasyantha, etc especially if you're willing to protect below mid 20s. Also, Geonoma schottiana and Lytocaryum. 

Copernicia alba is an underrated palm for Houston. The Cuban stuff will need protection below high 20s but should do well otherwise. The easiest to protect would be the smaller species like C. macroglossa but really any of them are fine since they grow so slow. Also Coccothrinax crinita and Thrinax. 

For pinnate palms, Pseudophoenix sargentii should be fine most winters and stays small enough to protect.  Acrocomia aculeata grows super fast but is spiny. A. totai is hardier.  Attalea will burn heavily below high 20s but before the trunking stage, should come back from the ground even after low 20s.  There are a lot of dwarf Syagrus and Allagoptera spp. (not my favorites) that should be mostly hardy and easy to protect. 

Edited by Xenon
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TexasColdHardyPalms

@Xenon mentions more good choices except guihaia. You'll never find one and they are ultra slow. They do just fine in dallas/ft worth winters. 

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Keys6505
On 8/2/2020 at 9:09 PM, OC2Texaspalmlvr said:

@Keys6505 Welcome to palm talk and highdy ho neighbor haha. Are you east League City or on the west side ? I also moved here about 6 years ago and I can tell you all the palms that wont make it during our 10 year freezes =( The caryota in the pics could be mitis, but for some reason those seem to be planted as multiples not the actual clustering type. I have a B.Alfredii that I could be willing to part with also some sabals that I have germinated from seed =) Tons of information here , and great people to boot. 

I'm on the west side, but just barely.  I'm in Centerpointe, so really the first neighborhood after 45.  A lot of mature Queens and Roebellini's in here so I figure I have a shot with some of these.  My neighbor even has some decent sized Bismarcks and Rhapis.    I passed on the Caryota, but did grab the last Royal from Jimbo's that Jeff mentioned above.  I know that one is already on borrowed time, but it was only $25 and it's small enough that I can just flip a garbage can over it when needed this winter.  Is there any other nurseries that sell palms here that you'd recommend?  Since they're outside it's pretty much the only thing I feel comfortable taking my kids to on the weekends because of the 'rona, so they get to get out of the house and I get to blow money on palms that might die in 3 months!

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Jeff985
7 hours ago, Keys6505 said:

I'm on the west side, but just barely.  I'm in Centerpointe, so really the first neighborhood after 45.  A lot of mature Queens and Roebellini's in here so I figure I have a shot with some of these.  My neighbor even has some decent sized Bismarcks and Rhapis.    I passed on the Caryota, but did grab the last Royal from Jimbo's that Jeff mentioned above.  I know that one is already on borrowed time, but it was only $25 and it's small enough that I can just flip a garbage can over it when needed this winter.  Is there any other nurseries that sell palms here that you'd recommend?  Since they're outside it's pretty much the only thing I feel comfortable taking my kids to on the weekends because of the 'rona, so they get to get out of the house and I get to blow money on palms that might die in 3 months!

If you haven’t already planted that royal, I’d wait. A mature royal can survive temps down to 24 degrees, but a small one like that would struggle in the low 30’s. I have a larger one in the ground, but the two little ones I bought from Jimbo’s are in pots. I’ll give them a year or two to grow before putting them in the ground. If you’ve already planted it, it’ll be okay, you’ll just have to protect it at temperatures you wouldn’t have to worry about if it was bigger. As for nurseries, one of my favorite is flamingo gardens in Galveston. They have some stuff you won’t find anywhere else around here, and the best prices on large roebeleniis. Maas, in Seabrook has some cool stuff but they’re kinda pricey and no palms you can’t find everywhere else. Just some cooler companion plants. Caldwell’s in Rosenberg is another cool place with a lot of stuff, but again some of it’s expensive. Some of it’s not though. The Arbor Gate in Tomball is a good place with reasonable prices. If you’re wanting a larger royal, you can drive three hours to Corpus Christi and pick up a 15 gallon for about $150. @Mr. Coconut Palm lives down there and can point you in the right direction. I’d encourage you to visit Corpus anyway. Much nicer beaches than Galveston. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can drive couple more hours to Tree of Life nursery in San Benito. They have 15 gallon royals for $100 and huge foxtails for around $150 if I’m remembering correctly. If you’re interested in a king, the Houston Garden Center in Katy had 2 left the last time I was there. 

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TexasColdHardyPalms

I have a 15g b. Alfredii that I can bring down to houston in a few weeks. Its $150.

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necturus

Do you only have one, haha? I’d buy one.

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Jeff985
30 minutes ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

I have a 15g b. Alfredii that I can bring down to houston in a few weeks. Its $150.

Pics?

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Collectorpalms

The thing about Texas is we average zone crushing lows every 20 years or so. That area got into the single digits in the 1980s. I suggest planting the hardiest texas palms and limiting your expectations. We have long duration hard freezes that Florida doesn’t have. Even queens and Pygmy were killed just a couple years ago. 

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Jeff985
9 hours ago, Collectorpalms said:

The thing about Texas is we average zone crushing lows every 20 years or so. That area got into the single digits in the 1980s. I suggest planting the hardiest texas palms and limiting your expectations. We have long duration hard freezes that Florida doesn’t have. Even queens and Pygmy were killed just a couple years ago. 

If you’re wanting a zero risk palm you can just throw in a hole and 50 years later it’s still standing, then I’d agree. But how boring is that. And you still have the risk of them dying from something else. LB and fusarium are pretty common here. Like you said these things happen every couple decades. I can get a lot of enjoyment from a royal or a foxtail during that time. $50 for a foxtail I can enjoy for 15 years seems like a pretty good deal. I have neighbors who spend thousands on fireworks every year and that only lasts a couple hours. If you never have any plants die you’ll run out of room at some point. Then what? Find a new hobby. Yes, Houston lost a few queens and pygmys in 2018 but in the area we’re talking about it was a really low percentage and the ones that died were likely weak prior to the freeze. The thing about those hard freezes is they’re pretty rare. They’re anomalies. A lot of ingredients have to line up at just the wrong time for it to happen. On any given year the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of it not happening. The next one could be this winter, or it could be 50 years from now. My 30 year low is 22 degrees. There are plenty of plumerias, ficus elastica, majestys, pygmys, queens that survived it... Plant whatever you want, within reason. Just don’t spend more than you can afford. 

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Chester B
4 hours ago, Jeff985 said:

If you never have any plants die you’ll run out of room at some point.

Gardeners call that "Opportunity"!

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OC2Texaspalmlvr
On 8/12/2020 at 7:27 PM, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

I have a 15g b. Alfredii that I can bring down to houston in a few weeks. Its $150.

That is a helluva price!!! Next your gonna say you have a JxS available =) 

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OC2Texaspalmlvr
On 8/10/2020 at 9:22 PM, Keys6505 said:

I'm on the west side, but just barely.  I'm in Centerpointe, so really the first neighborhood after 45.  A lot of mature Queens and Roebellini's in here so I figure I have a shot with some of these.

Your definitely not far from me im right behind the HEB off south Shore. As far as queens and pygmies go let your neighbors grow them. Space is too precious for those common palms haha. I would definitely try a Bismarkia and a Mule palm. Both are basically bullet proof for this area and not too common yet. Both can be bought at Lowes for a good price. For the most part im growing palms from seed so if i lose them in some freak cold one year all I really lost was time. As far as places to get palms @Jeff985 named them all. He is our local palm hunter !!! 

T J 

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Keys6505

Have you guys tried or do you have any opinions on Palm Professionals in Sugarland?  That's where I bought a bunch of my bigger stuff from after the pool went in.  They have some oddball stuff too, but most of their palms are semi-mature so they aren't cheap.  They have 1 year health warranties but I'm guessing that doesn't cover hurricanes.:crying:

Also, are there any public places around the city that you know of that would have species outside the usual stuff where seed could be collected?

Edited by Keys6505

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OC2Texaspalmlvr

Definitely dont know of any out of the norm stuff that is seeding that you can get too. Maybe Galveston, but our problem is the every 10year or so freeze that kills all the rare palms =( I buy alot of seeds from people on here to get the rare stuff for this area. 

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hbernstein

 

On 8/15/2020 at 2:43 PM, Chester B said:

Gardeners call that "Opportunity"!

In Florida and many parts of Texas, gardeners call that "hurricanes"!

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Collectorpalms
On 7/27/2020 at 9:49 PM, Keys6505 said:

Hi all,  I'm new to the site and new to palms in general and was hoping that some of you would lend your expertise.  I recently moved from NJ to TX and have a lot of interest in boosting my new palm collection.   I live in League City which is about halfway between Houston and Galveston.  I'm rated 9a but I averaged out the lowest temp in League City each winter over the last 10 winters (based on available online data) and I got 29.5 degrees which would be closer to a high 9b if I'm not mistaken(?).  The lowest temp recorded here over that span was 20.3.  My first order of business when I arrived was completely re-doing my yard with a pool and all new landscaping so I jammed as many palms into the budget as I could.  I currently have 2 Queens, 2 Bismarks, 5 Livistona Chinensis, a Mule, a Phoenix Roebellini, a Phoenix Rupicola, a Canariensis, an Everglades Palm, and an Arenga Engleri.  The yard is filling up fast so I'd like to use whatever space I have left for some rarer palms that wouldn't be typically found at the local garden centers.  My not-so-scientific method for this was going on the Trebrown website (not sure if it's reputable or not) and pulling out everything that said 9a and start hunting.  I was just about to place an order on a bunch of starter plants but as I began reading about each individual palm's needs I started second guessing myself and figured I'd ask the experts before I spend 5 years nursing a plant that's doomed to drop dead the second I put it in the ground. 

Here is what I WAS going to order:  Becchariophoenix Alfredii (this is #1 on my want list),  Ceroxylon Quindiunense, Chamadorea Arenbergiana, Dypsis Ambositrae, Dypsis Heteromorpha, Dypsis Onilahensis, Geonoma Undata, and a Ravenea Sambiranensis. 

My ultimate goal is to have these in the ground and not have to baby them unless we get some sub-25 degree weather, which according to the data I found has only happened here twice in the last 10 years.  I am very familiar with winter protection if/when necessary from my years of growing tropicals in 7a.  I also have some wildly overgrown oleander hedges that I have yet to trim so I can create some shaded spots if necessary.  

So I'm hoping that someone might be willing to let me know if any of the palms I was going to buy are a good idea?  And are there any other suggestions?  I'm more into fronds than fans.  Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Several years ago when I was planting my yard I looked up weather data For last 100 plus years, being a meteorologist. We are about 10 years overdue for a Gulf Coast palm killer freeze ( ones that will burn or kill almost everything except minors in zone 8b to 9a.) I did not live here in 1989, as they say in Texas I wasn’t born here but I hurried here, so if there is someone that did and had palms please chime in. I worked with a very knowledgable coworker that was about 70 that filled in the gory details. And my professor moved here in 1990 and saw the carnage on several plants. The average cycle was 20 years. Worst were 1989, 1985, 1983, 1962, 1951, 1949.  I missed some but the 70s were cold overall. So my only point, I feel better going into winter with some palms I can hope to survive worst case scenario. I zone push too!
On your list:

Queens, DEAD

Bismarks, DEAD

Livistona Chinensis, TOAST, Most likely DEAD

Mule, TOAST, Most likely DEAD

Phoenix Roebellini, Very DEAD 
Phoenix Rupicola, Very DEAD

Canariensis, WINNER!!

Everglades Palm, TOAST...Mulch well May re-sprout. 

Arenga Engleri.  same as Above.

The Following won’t grow here or will be well done Dead with one maybe exception.  Becchariophoenix Alfredii (this is #1 on my want list),  Ceroxylon Quindiunense, Chamadorea Arenbergiana, DypsisAmbositrae, Dypsis Heteromorpha, Dypsis Onilahensis, Geonoma ???, and a Ravenea Sambiranensis. 
 

Trunking palms that survived in College Station. Sabal Mexicana at the university, those may be gone now, a Filifera at the Bryan Courthouse, also gone now, two other Washingtonia filifera at two residential homes just south of the University in Bryan, May still be there. I don’t know any others.

In Houston several Canaries and Filifera lived but have slowly gone into decline since then. I am sure Trachycarpus lived and possibly Butia. I just don’t know where they are. The taller canaries and Washington Filfera were Easy to spot 20 years ago from a distance.  Even the ones I saw have mostly died since. Even with recovery most didn’t last another 20-30 years due to diseases. Due to the fact we have gone 30 years without one of these freeze events, it’s easy to be complacent.
 

Seems like the old ones survived better in San Antonio to this day there are many.

Edited by Collectorpalms
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Jeff985
2 hours ago, Collectorpalms said:


Due to the fact we have gone 30 years without one of these freeze events, it’s easy to be complacent.

 

It sure seems like 2018 was one of those events. Sure it wasn’t as harsh as 1989, but if you look at annual lows over the last century you’ll see there has been a warming trend even when there is a hard freeze it’s not as bad as 1989 and earlier. Prior to 89 Houston would experience teens at least once a decade. Sometimes mid and lower teens. I’ve been looking at the weather records over the last century, trying to find a pattern, but during that time there hasn’t been a 30 year stretch like the last 30 years. Unless the decade we just wrapped up is a repeat of the 80’s, (2010, 2011, 2017 and 2018), and due to increased urbanization, warmer seas, a warming climate overall, those events just aren’t as bad. I really don’t know the answer and I don’t think anyone does. Could 1989 happen again? Anything is possible, but it seems to me that the odds of it are too low to live my life in fear of it. I’ll keep planting zone 9a-10a plants, and keep several hardier plants just in case. 

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Collectorpalms

Urbanization has prevented lower temperatures during calm wind events. Call it man made climate change, because it really is. It’s hotter in summer at night too. All the pavement and buildings. Just last night I was in the 70s but within 5 miles to the rural area east on me they were lower to mid 60s. They drop very quick at night with low dew points, but at my house near the University and with a 55ft hotel on my north side I stay warm, and gradually drop at night. When I moved here my house was almost the edge of town with open fields. That’s no longer the case. 

The killer freezes are the adjective events that have very strong winds in conjunction with teens and consecutive    hours at those temperatures. They can handle a quick dip, but not many hours with wind. Those events go deep into Mexico and Florida. Nothing stops them.

My observation as a meteorologist my lifetime is that the cold air seems to be confined to a smaller area making the jet stream more unstable. These are leading to “polar vortexes” that flash by pretty quick. Hit less areas and gone faster. 

Edited by Collectorpalms
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Jeff985

@Collectorpalms Those events used to bu much more frequent and more severe. You think 1989 was bad? Look at January 1930, January 1940, January 1949. Those are just the ones that were as cold or colder than ‘89. 1928, 1933, 1935, 1943, 1951, 1962, 1963 were all worse than anything we’ve seen in the last 30 years. And of course you know about the 70’s and 80’s. Going back 100 years, there is no period like The last 30 years. Not even close. You can enjoy it, or live in fear of a return to the ice age. If we go back to the 80’s at least I’ll have made the most of the warm years. 

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Collectorpalms
12 minutes ago, Jeff985 said:

@Collectorpalms Those events used to bu much more frequent and more severe. You think 1989 was bad? Look at January 1930, January 1940, January 1949. Those are just the ones that were as cold or colder than ‘89. 1928, 1933, 1935, 1943, 1951, 1962, 1963 were all worse than anything we’ve seen in the last 30 years. And of course you know about the 70’s and 80’s. Going back 100 years, there is no period like The last 30 years. Not even close. You can enjoy it, or live in fear of a return to the ice age. If we go back to the 80’s at least I’ll have made the most of the warm years. 

Frankly you can plant anything exotic you want and enjoy it while it lasts. I love to see people be different. Mine was the most notable yard around that everyone knew. My neighbors said palms wouldn’t grow here. The palms outlived them. Once i have a reputation, I don’t want to be devistated wrong. I might have 75-100 established palms. Although I haven’t counted. They have started to naturalize the area. 

Edited by Collectorpalms

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