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quaman58

Becarriophoenix cold tolerance

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quaman58

Hi all,

I was wandering around the yard the other day looking at any residual damage that was still apparent from a nasty cold spell this past February. It then occurred to me that it was a great opportunity to document the difference in cold tolerance between all 3 species of Becarriophoenix. Actually, there were no real surprises, but here's the results. We had at least one night where the temperature dipped down to about 29 degrees F. First up, next door neighbors B. alfredii. This is a big palm in an exposed location, but there was zero discernible damage:

IMG_1238.JPG

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quaman58

Next came B. madagascaiensis. In both specimens (up to about 16 feet tall), the newest opened spears suffered a fair amount of burn. But again, it was limited to new growth only. Both palms are in very exposed areas of the yard, so there's no real protection:

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IMG_1266.JPG

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quaman58

The B. fenestralis is in a somewhat more protected area, but still suffered the most damage. However the damage is pretty localized, like it was as a young-ish palm during a brutal, extended freeze back in 2007. Now, as back then, there are very hard borders between damaged and undamaged foliage. And it seems to push right through it, despite the cosmetic damage. Thanks for looking!

IMG_1242.JPG

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Stevetoad

Great way to show how each one tolerates the cold differently. I think I need to come for a tour soon. It has to have been a few years now. 

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GottmitAlex

Thank you for this information. I have one Alfie growing in between five coconuts. It's the slowest of the bunch, however it never gets spots nor Santa Ana wind damage. 

 

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sonoranfans

Great information Bret!  One cultural hypothesis is that the higher elevation high plains Alfredii(3500 ft) is going to see more cold in madagascar than the fenestrailis(550 ft) which sees a wet coastal influence.  Madagascariensis also sees a wetter climate but also about 3000' elevation, similar to Afredii.  So one might guess that the Alfredii and Madagascariensis are similar in cold hardiness, but alfredii will be more drought tolerant and have less mineral deficiencies as it is adapted to sandy feralitic soils.  For desert growers, the alfredii will be superior to the others and it will have a similar cold tolerance to madagascariensis, though it sees perhaps a few degrees lower in a dry cold.  Dry colds tnd to be short in duration so even though a palm may experience a lower temp the duration will be shorter in habitat due to dry cimate.  I found this link, Dransfeld et al, on the discovery of alfredii and discussion of the contrast in habitat with madagascariensis.  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237436046_A_New_Species_of_Beccariophoenix_from_the_High_Plateau_of_Madagascar

 

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sonoranfans

As far as frost tolerance, my alfredii seedling in the ground for 3 months was hammered by 28F plus heavy frost then 29F the following night in Dec 15-16 2010 2 nights in a  row.  I thought it was dead, little green left including exposed spear which was destroyed.  By late march 2011 it had put some green out.  ALso pictured, jan 2020 pic of the same palm.  I recall the experience of the forum at this time was that young ones were susceptible to frost in the southeast, but also did very well down into the low-mid 20's in the drier climate in CA.

BAJan2020.jpg

alfrediiburnJan2011.jpg

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quaman58
10 hours ago, Stevetoad said:

Great way to show how each one tolerates the cold differently. I think I need to come for a tour soon. It has to have been a few years now. 

Steve,

 

That would be great, you're most welcome anytime!

 

Bret

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quaman58
21 minutes ago, sonoranfans said:

As far as frost tolerance, my alfredii seedling in the ground for 3 months was hammered by 28F plus heavy frost then 29F the following night in Dec 15-16 2010 2 nights in a  row.  I thought it was dead, little green left including exposed spear which was destroyed.  By late march 2011 it had put some green out.  ALso pictured, jan 2020 pic of the same palm.  I recall the experience of the forum at this time was that young ones were susceptible to frost in the southeast, but also did very well down into the low-mid 20's in the drier climate in CA.

BAJan2020.jpg

alfrediiburnJan2011.jpg

Wow Tom,

 

That thing really recovered! Such a great palm..

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Firepalm

Thanks for sharing this info Brett.  I guess it is mostly what would be expected (Alfredii being the toughest of the three).  In Oceanside, I don't have a lot of damage from last winter's cold, but got hammered by the 102-104 temps from a few weeks back.  Have a Ceroxylon Amazonicum that might be toast from the extended heat even with heavy watering.

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Merlyn2220
13 hours ago, quaman58 said:

 It then occurred to me that it was a great opportunity to document the difference in cold tolerance between all 3 species of Becarriophoenix. Actually, there were no real surprises, but here's the results. We had at least one night where the temperature dipped down to about 29 degrees F. First up, next door neighbors B. alfredii. This is a big palm in an exposed location, but there was zero discernible damage:

That seems to be about the same as expected, I had notes on B. Alfredii as undamaged at 28F Orlando, moderate burn at 26F Orlando, ok @ 2009 Leu Gardens extended 29F freeze, and I had sonoranfans' freeze above noted as "barely pinnate seedling severely burned @ 2 nights ~28-29F with heavy frost but recovered."  

About how long was your 29F freeze duration?  Here in January 2018 we had a night forecasted for around 29-30F, but the skies cleared around 6AM and it dipped to 25-26F for about 1 hour.  The local nurseries hadn't put their sensitive plants up that night, and it looked like someone took a blowtorch to the whole place.  If your 29F was very short duration then Madagascariensis and Fenestralis might be more badly damaged in a 3-4 hour freeze.  Or if your 29F was really cold most of the night then that's good news for zone-pushers!

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quaman58

As far as I can tell, it was a one night event, so probably a 5-6 hour stretch. But the results were visible within 24 hours.

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