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veeman55

Is there a USDA Frost Free Zone 12 in California?

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veeman55

Seeking a frost free zone 12 in California.

There must be a well protected area hiding on the side of a hill facing south thats protected from cold winds and exposed to fohn type winter winds and sunshine. Not too humid or wet even in winter.

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kinzyjr

There are a few locations that are noted as zone 11, but none that I know of that are zone 12.

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RedRabbit
1 hour ago, kinzyjr said:

There are a few locations that are noted as zone 11, but none that I know of that are zone 12.

Likewise. I’m guessing La Jolla, Coronado, or Avalon are probably the closest but they’re still some form of zone 11.

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GottmitAlex

Malibu is a solid zone 10b.

 

 

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Jimbean

Zone 12 would be fully tropical, and will be much further south in Baja California

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Silas_Sancona
20 minutes ago, Jimbean said:

Zone 12 would be fully tropical, and will be much further south in Baja California

Agree w/Jim.. this zone, -at least currently-, doesn't exist anywhere in U.S. CA. Have to go to the far southern end of Baja Sur ( La Paz, Cabo Pulmo, Cabo San Lucas, ) Even there, i'm somewhat on the fence about referring to the climate as a " Puerto Rico ( or similar )- like zone 12 " since there is often strong influence from the mild.. but still cooler, compared to the Caribbean/Atlantic, Pacific. Todo Santos, while at a " tropical " latitude, is often milder compared to La Paz or Cabo due to where it is located, even though the distance between it and La Paz is relatively short.

Very dry as well, even during their "rainy" season compared to islands in the Caribbean/ zone 12 regions of Mexico and Central America.

While there are zone 11 areas in California, plenty of stuff one could grow to perfection in other zone 11 areas that would often struggle or flat out refuse to grow in CA's version of the same zone.  If, in the future, areas of the state did warm enough to be considered zone 12, you'd likely see similar issues, even if you could still grow more things..

The day dream of a steamy, wet and lushly tropical zone 12, or 13.. in California?.. Maybe in 9-20 Thousand years, at the absolute minimum, if we stay Ice Cap free and the wet tropics expand considerably toward the poles. Imagine  San Diego's current climate would likely be somewhere near Anchorage, Alaska in that case.

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CodyORB

The very tip of Point Loma could potentially get you an 11b-ish microclimate, though it's taken by the submarine base. The WU station on NAS North Island (Coronado) regularly records 43F as the annual low, a solid 11a.

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CodyORB

Adding on to @RedRabbit's suggestion of Avalon, the airport (https://www.wunderground.com/history/monthly/us/ca/avalon/KAVX) there has steady 45F-ish annual lows (borderline 11b), at an elevation of 1600 feet on the east part of the island more exposed to continental temp swings. A sea-level area on the west coast of the island would be in contention for the closest 12 climate in CA (and at 33.5* latitude!)

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bubba

Lowest recorded temperature at the Avalon dock was 32 F. according to Desmond Muirhead

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Ben Weston beach would be as close as you could get I'd imagine.  Still couldnt grow a coconut there though, lol. 

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chinandega81

When the LA basin gets widespread 30s on cold mornings I notice Avalon is usually similar or colder. I would imagine a south facing slope of the urbanized foothills of the Hollywood Hills would be the warmest spot in Socal regarding coldest low temps. With that said, people in Mid City have frost ocassionaly on their cars and they are in the heart of the urban heat island. Downtown LA is probably the absolute warmest location taking everything into consideration. I never have seen frost there and it is usually 2 or 3 degrees earmer than adjacent urban neighborhoods on cold mornings.

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mnorell
On 9/29/2020 at 5:26 AM, bubba said:

Lowest recorded temperature at the Avalon dock was 32 F. according to Desmond Muirhead

Bubba, that is amazing to me that you have that book, it is not very easily found, though I have had it in my library for decades and it is very level-headed! Though it sounds like Muirhead was quite a character...he designed a lot of the country clubs/golf-courses here in Rancho Mirage and neighboring Palm Springs and he talks a lot about California's cold weather, including the rash of very bad freezes that weirdly hit Palm Springs repeatedly for several years in the early '60s. And that 32-degree Avalon statistic is also quoted in the out-of-print book Weather of Southern California, which is a nice, compact handbook to understand California's weird and diverse weather patterns, if you can get your hands on a copy.

The problem in California is finding a place with a north-facing shoreline where the occasional Alaskan storm and import of really cold arctic air pouring out of the Great Basin every dozen years or so can be avoided. Even then the ocean is just so chilly (average is about 56F in January) that it is very hard to find any sort of consistent warmth such as you can find in favored areas of Florida. Only Avalon and the Pebble Beach-Pacific Grove areas really fill the bill for such a situation, with parts of La Jolla and perhaps Point Loma getting some of that effect. Avalon has an average of about 53/64 in its coldest December stretch, which is one of the few places (even the warmest microclimates of the L.A. UHI can't do it) that can claim an average low of 50+ in the winter months, in all of California. Many people who haven't lived in California, or who are newcomers or brief visitors, don't realize that the combination of the high latitudes of the state, the varied topography, as well as the ubiquitously frigid Alaskan current, combine to make a warm-temperate or cool-temperate (as opposed to typically "subtropical") climate throughout the state, even if a "mostly frost-free" designation can be assigned to many locations therein.

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GottmitAlex

What a predicament... 

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bubba

Michael,

I found this “gem” at a flea market sale somewhere between mile marker 80 and 90 in the Keys. I later spent time with him after he spoke at a golf course he primarily designed in our area (but did not receive appropriate credit). Although he was older, there is no doubt that he was an out of the ordinary and eclectic character of great intelligence with a myriad of interests.

I brought his book to our course and had him autograph it. I think about the amazement he would express regarding the La Quinta, Corona, Tijuana and numerous other Cocos nucifera specimens growing at this time in California! Tip of the hat!

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mnorell

Bubba, that's amazing to me that you got to meet him. He sounds like a very interesting guy. He certainly wrote a very good, concise book on palms, with some wonderful echt-1960 line-drawings.

And I agree he would have been more than surprised to know that several coconuts have been successfully grown in the desert and a few other choice microclimates in SoCal. But even then, as pertains to this thread, no zone 12s to be found!

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