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Axel Amsterdam

Is this regular speed of young brahea armata?

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Axel Amsterdam

Small armata's in Montpellier South of France (trithrinax camestris on the right). the images are taken from street view in 2008 and in 2018.  10 years of difference 

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Axel Amsterdam

San Remo Italy, 2011 and 2019. 

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Axel Amsterdam

Cannes, 2014 and 2019

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sonoranfans

they look to be having some struggles.  In the first two pics, the crowns seemed to thin some vs when planted. and they shouldnt be planted in grassy areas as they like a nice deep dry cycle.  They are not fast, but the crowns are either over trimmed or they aren't really happy.  A happy armata just starting to trunk should have ~25-30 leaves, these do not.  It is a desert palm so maybe the environment isnt ideal.

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DoomsDave

They are slow, that much I can tell you, @Axel Amsterdam.

I'll defer to @sonoranfans regarding precise details on culture, but old plants here (70+ years) often aren't much more than about 15 or 20 feet tall. This climate here is a lot like that in your pictures.

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Axel Amsterdam

Thanks, i get the point about desert vs med climates but it seems to be mostly a problem of small armata’s around the mediteranean because bigger ones nearby can look like this: 

72B8461B-92FC-4018-93DF-856410A89AF0.jpeg

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sonoranfans
34 minutes ago, Axel Amsterdam said:

Thanks, i get the point about desert vs med climates but it seems to be mostly a problem of small armata’s around the mediteranean because bigger ones nearby can look like this: 

72B8461B-92FC-4018-93DF-856410A89AF0.jpeg

that one looks great, I suppose ti could depend on root development, they like to develop deep roots.   that one is a fattie, its happy!

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Axel Amsterdam

Do u have any examples of the growth rate of young armata in your former location? Or perhaps someone in CA/AZ?

Edited by Axel Amsterdam

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sonoranfans

ok I do have some pics about 6 months to a year in the ground from a 24" box to 4 years later established.  

armatas2009n2.jpg

armatas2009.jpg

armatas2005.jpg

armatasFall2005b2.jpg

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sonoranfans

first two pics are 2009 different angles, second 2 pics are in 2005, 4 years earlier.

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Kim

I've seen Brahea armata growing in habitat in Baja California, Mexico. They tend to inhabit canyons and washes that are dry a good part of the year, then flood for a short time in the rainy winter season. The thinking is the roots tap into water deep underground in these sandy, rocky canyons and washes.  So if there is a water table underground to tap into, they will do much better than those depending only on surface irrigation. I have not successfully grown this palm myself, only sharing an observation.

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Axel Amsterdam

Thanks for the pics, they certainly grew a beautiful full crown in 4 years. Trunkwise they dont seem to have grown much but perhaps it only seems so in the pic from a distance. 
 

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Merlyn2220
1 hour ago, Kim said:

The thinking is the roots tap into water deep underground in these sandy, rocky canyons and washes.  So if there is a water table underground to tap into, they will do much better than those depending only on surface irrigation.

That seems like a reasonable guess, given my limited experience.  I planted a pair of Nitida seedlings that I bought from TCHP last fall.  I planted them on 5/3 and then changed my mind and transplanted them on 10/3.  They were just barely pinnate when I planted them.  In the 5 months in the ground they had each grown several fairly thick, deep roots.  I didn't expect that, so I actually snapped the roots off about a foot below ground.  Most smaller seedlings don't grow big, deep roots like that so quickly.  At least not out of the ones I've planted & transplanted like L. Chinensis, Bottles/Spindles and Pindos.  Maybe others do, but it seemed unusually quick root growth considering the lack of above-ground growth.

Edited by Merlyn2220

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Pal Meir

A botted Brahea armata as seedling in 1986 and 21 years later in 2007 with unbelievably slow growth:

1462039952_Braheaarmata1986N12-0133.thumb.jpg.8382edbb5826a0e99ef592e3f4355f3b.jpg

The same palm:

275314637_Brahea2007-12-23.thumb.jpg.7c559b98ec8bcbc98eb97b847a4d3180.jpg

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sonoranfans
14 hours ago, Axel Amsterdam said:

Thanks for the pics, they certainly grew a beautiful full crown in 4 years. Trunkwise they dont seem to have grown much but perhaps it only seems so in the pic from a distance. 
 

trunk got 3x as fat but only grew a foot or two in bud height.  Overall they went from 3 1/2'(water fall feature on the right is 4') to about 11' overall.  The real difference is the number of leaves and I trimmed NOTHING that wasnt dead.  Funny if you trim 10 leaves off it looks like a bigger trunk but it isnt.  The ones in baja dont hold this many leaves.  These two have 30-35 leaves at the time, very hard to count with that many.

15 hours ago, Kim said:

I've seen Brahea armata growing in habitat in Baja California, Mexico. They tend to inhabit canyons and washes that are dry a good part of the year, then flood for a short time in the rainy winter season. The thinking is the roots tap into water deep underground in these sandy, rocky canyons and washes.  So if there is a water table underground to tap into, they will do much better than those depending only on surface irrigation. I have not successfully grown this palm myself, only sharing an observation.

I have no doubt that in habitat the deep water is critical for them.  In my yard there was no deep source of water other than moist clay, the arizona desert has no such water unless near a wash and that is seasonal.  In order to grow these best, deep irrigation IS needed.  In arizona clay deep irrigation means running the drippers for 5 hrs at a slow rate((3) 2 gal /hr drippers per tree for 5 hrs 2x a week).   One guy I know runs his drippers for  12(?) hrs but at a slower rate 1 gph over night.  Phoenix zoo has a couple armatas, they are scrawny, undersized compared to these.  This is not the way they grow in habitat of course, but its the way to grow the biggest fullest armatas.  If you have heat and not too much humidity, they will grow.  These are what I miss most about my yard in arizona, they change color as you can see in the pics(no color adjustments on any of my pics) depending on whether you look into the sun(greenish) or the sun is at your back(more blue).  Late in the day before and after sundown they create a surreal effect of refcting the ambient light efficiently, they remain pretty bright after sunset for a while.  Bismarckias also do this in the desert sunset but they arent quite as illuminating with the light, not quite as reflective of blue light.

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sonoranfans
14 hours ago, Merlyn2220 said:

That seems like a reasonable guess, given my limited experience.  I planted a pair of Nitida seedlings that I bought from TCHP last fall.  I planted them on 5/3 and then changed my mind and transplanted them on 10/3.  They were just barely pinnate when I planted them.  In the 5 months in the ground they had each grown several fairly thick, deep roots.  I didn't expect that, so I actually snapped the roots off about a foot below ground.  Most smaller seedlings don't grow big, deep roots like that so quickly.  At least not out of the ones I've planted & transplanted like L. Chinensis, Bottles/Spindles and Pindos.  Maybe others do, but it seemed unusually quick root growth considering the lack of above-ground growth.

drought tolerant(includes desert palms) palms grow deeper roots.  In a drought, moisture always increases with depth to some degree as evaporation occurs off the soil surface.  I transplanted a 5 gallon brahea armata after 6 months in the ground and I was stunned as it had deep roots already from a 14" pot.  I cut them off at 3' depth and had no issues with the translant.  I dug out a dead bismarckia that had roots at 4' depth that I cut off at ~ 1/8" thick still, so they were deeper than that.  Part of how deep your roots grow has to do with how deep or shallow you water.  Frequent watering with short duration and lots of flowrate gives a shallow depth.   Without supplemental rain, the roots will grow to this depth and that is why many palm species in the tropics have shallow roots, the soil is only wet(rich) on top foot or so.  IF you over water and don't dry cycle the root depths many palms like brahea armata will rot and their roots die back.  So you do have influence on how deep roots grow for any palm.  If you water fast and short duration(hose or big sprinkler) in california or arizona desert, you will get shallow roots.  This is all soil drainage dependent of course.  If you really read the drip irrigation websites, they have a pretty good laymans explanation of the engineering involved in drip irrigation strategies and fully covering root zones in different soil drainages.  It does depend on your soil drainage and if you water with a hose in arizona the roots will be very shallow and most palms will look terrible, they wont grow healthy and big.   Drip irrigation is suitable for soils containing clay or lots of organics, its not good for high drainage sandy soils.  I went for all drip irrigation in arizona clay to none at all in florida sand.  I had to learn this as early on my florida palms didnt do so well when I tried to drip irrigate.

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CodyORB

I suspect that along with the lack of a deep water source or fertilizer, they can't escape the latitude. 40*N+ is pretty far out of the native range of 28-30*N and the decreased sunlight in winter (compounded by the cloudy climate) may play a role. Even the longer days in summer are countered by the lower UV index. I won't say this is the silver bullet, though, as Phoenix canariensis seems to do fine despite being native to a similar latitude to Brahea.

Edited by CodyORB
grammar
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Axel Amsterdam

Thanks for the insights re drip irrigation, i think that’s the most likely explanation for the slow growth in the first 10 years in the Med. Once they take off in the south of France they look fantastic. 

FA8DE869-84F7-4988-AB08-48D935821608.png

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Axel Amsterdam

There are two in that garden in Antibes France

Schermafbeelding 2020-10-21 om 14.01.38.png

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Axel Amsterdam

A famous square in Cannes also has some 

Schermafbeelding 2020-10-21 om 14.09.32.png

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Marius

This one that I grew from seed is four years old. 

80738AF1-E0D5-4009-BEAA-6D81607688FA.jpeg

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sonoranfans

beautiful armatas axel, love those fat trunks and inflorescences, fantasic indeed!  These palms take cold to ~15F and heat to 120F very well.  A sloped area is also going to be more of a challenge to water deeply due to runoff.  

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TonyDFW

Here is one growing in Dallas Texas USDA zone 8b the last image is from 2020

0B1F5FA9-ACC4-4AFF-AF58-E5A4E77B80B4.jpeg

088E18BA-889F-4957-8929-9F336572AD0F.jpeg

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sonoranfans
10 hours ago, TonyDFW said:

Here is one growing in Dallas Texas USDA zone 8b the last image is from 2020

0B1F5FA9-ACC4-4AFF-AF58-E5A4E77B80B4.jpeg

088E18BA-889F-4957-8929-9F336572AD0F.jpeg

Looks like a happy palm Tony!   Looks as fast as mine were.  I did have one small one 1' tall initially that grew in the side yard but didnt take the before pic which was similar to yours.  Looks like armatas like texas just fine.  The campanion plants around it also look like they have the same culture preferences as the armata.  I have a couple questions: Is that about 4-5' overall?  Did you ever see foliage burn in the winter with that one and how low did it go?

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TonyDFW

The tip of the fronds in the last image are 7 feet tall. This plant has gone through 13F as a young plant. Several fronds burned off but not all. The last emerging leaf siding pull out. My larger armatas just had older fronds burn. 

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DoomsDave
On 10/21/2020 at 7:25 PM, TonyDFW said:

Here is one growing in Dallas Texas USDA zone 8b the last image is from 2020

0B1F5FA9-ACC4-4AFF-AF58-E5A4E77B80B4.jpeg

088E18BA-889F-4957-8929-9F336572AD0F.jpeg

Dang that garden is turning into a righteous holy site!

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TexasColdHardyPalms

After growing armata for several years from seed and in the ground we have concluded that they need a lot of water to grow at a reasonable pace.  They are exceptionally drought tolerant and seem to go into stasis until the plant sees that there is no impending hardship ahead.  In the ground they can handle more water than a butia and start growing at a decent rate. 

Fun fact butia and jubaea are actually more drought tolerant than armata.  The South American and Australian palms are incredibly resilient. 

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sonoranfans
1 hour ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

After growing armata for several years from seed and in the ground we have concluded that they need a lot of water to grow at a reasonable pace.  They are exceptionally drought tolerant and seem to go into stasis until the plant sees that there is no impending hardship ahead.  In the ground they can handle more water than a butia and start growing at a decent rate. 

Fun fact butia and jubaea are actually more drought tolerant than armata.  The South American and Australian palms are incredibly resilient. 

Well butia is not more dessication conditions tolerant than armata.  Armatas take the dry heat and intense desert sun and they dont dessicate leaves, butias aways showed hot season damage(~20% leaves partly dessicated) in my arizona garden).  I would call that dessication tolerance, low humidity hot sun conditions and armata is far better than butia at that.  

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TexasColdHardyPalms

@sonoranfans I completely agree. Asthetically speaking Armata will look just fine until it dies.  Butia will show stress visually but I assure you they will survive and thrive on significant less water than armata. Both plants do very well for us. 

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Axel Amsterdam

I live in a cool and wet climate in Amsterdam, especially during autumn and winter.
Luckily my 2 armata’s never suffered spear loss. I always pour kitchensalt in the growing point before winter and so far so good. The armata seems surprisingly salt tolerant. 
Here it is, not as impressive in terms of fronds like in hot climates, but consistently growing without shelter since 2016 in Amsterdam. 

5B4800FD-AB93-4BAB-BAAF-E3F0EBC1DA13.jpeg

Edited by Axel Amsterdam
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sonoranfans
22 hours ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

@sonoranfans I completely agree. Asthetically speaking Armata will look just fine until it dies.  Butia will show stress visually but I assure you they will survive and thrive on significant less water than armata. Both plants do very well for us. 

I dont doubt this is your experience in texas as the butias take long cool winters better.  Its not true in the arizona desert.  I planted out 6 armatas and 4 butia and before I got the watering right 2 butias died, no damage to armatas.  Waxy leaves prevent leaf transpiration(water losses) in the desert and the armata on low water just grows slowly with a smaller crown.  Butias in direct desert sun are generally not happy palms, my (2) small ones died.  Leaf transpiration water losses dominate in the desert, but not in relatively humid texas I expect.  From a 5 gallon size the armatas with small roots just chug forward.  With butias, you need shade netting on a small palm like that.  Again, I am talking of palms in the ground, not potted ones.  Potted palms often behave differently than palms in the ground, and armatas dont like pots at all.  All mine looked pretty stunted before I planted them.  Butias are very growable in pots in my experience.  So if you are comparing pots to pots I can agree that aramatas do poorly in pots an butias do better.

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Cikas
On 10/21/2020 at 1:24 AM, CodyORB said:

I suspect that along with the lack of a deep water source or fertilizer, they can't escape the latitude. 40*N+ is pretty far out of the native range of 28-30*N and the decreased sunlight in winter (compounded by the cloudy climate) may play a role. Even the longer days in summer are countered by the lower UV index. I won't say this is the silver bullet, though, as Phoenix canariensis seems to do fine despite being native to a similar latitude to Brahea.

Winters in Mediterranean are not really cloudy. There is a lot of sunshine even in winter. Also UV index in Mediterranean is very high. 

SolarGIS-Solar-map-Europe-en.png

Edited by Cikas
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