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HELP! Cold hardy alternative to royal, queen,cocos palm zone 8a

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climate change virginia

Hey I was wondering if there was a VERY HARDY alternative to the royal palm, queen palm, coconut palm, or foxtail palm that is fast growing, self seeds like a Washingtonia, and can take temps down to 7-10f. Requirements must be pinnate/feather leaf, grows to around 30-50 feet, slim trunk, preferably easy root system, and NON CLUMPING. I prefer feather over fan but that's my opinion all plants are beautiful. One more thing must be able to take 10f with minimal damage. Don't tell me a pindo those things take forever to grow. We are technically zone 7 but we haven't gone below 10f since the artic blast of 2013-2014. Thanks.

Edited by climate change virginia

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Chester B

No such beast.  In your climate I think the chance of having any trunking palm survive outdoors long term is unlikely.  Stick with Trachycarpus fortunei and go from there.

Butia and Jubaea and hybrids of the two are the most cold hardiest pinnate palms and neither grows fast, and in the case of Jubaea painfully slow.  If you want pinnate my suggestion is to have a nice potted palm and plan on bringing it inside.  As well most palms outside the tropics are pretty slow from seed,  so you will see people on here always say "buy the biggest palm you can afford".

 

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climate change virginia
13 minutes ago, Chester B said:

No such beast.  In your climate I think the chance of having any trunking palm survive outdoors long term is unlikely.  Stick with Trachycarpus fortunei and go from there.

Butia and Jubaea and hybrids of the two are the most cold hardiest pinnate palms and neither grows fast, and in the case of Jubaea painfully slow.  If you want pinnate my suggestion is to have a nice potted palm and plan on bringing it inside.  As well most palms outside the tropics are pretty slow from seed,  so you will see people on here always say "buy the biggest palm you can afford".

 

could I try Butia eriospatha

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Fusca

Agree, too many conditions to meet.  A Chamaedoea radicalis fits some of the requirements.  It's tough and easy to protect in bad winter temps below 14F because it won't get taller than 10'.  Someone in Maryland is growing one outdoors with protection in winter.  It's not fast but will go from seed to flowering in 2 years.  Not clumping but also requires a male and female palm to set viable seed.  Butia eriospatha might be an option but it won't grow fast either.  I don't recall but it might be the most cold hardy Butia.  It will be harder to protect as it gets larger.  My B. odorata hasn't flowered yet in 6 years from a 10-gal plant and has probably doubled in size.

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Chester B
16 minutes ago, climate change virginia said:

could I try Butia eriospatha

You can always try.  They don't grow fast though, I see no difference between them and regular Odorata, to be honest they pretty much seem the same except for their flowers.    I don't get cold enough to test one versus the other in that respect.  I would protect the crown in wet winter events.

I just shot a video for you to watch of mine:

 

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PalmatierMeg
49 minutes ago, Chester B said:

No such beast.  In your climate I think the chance of having any trunking palm survive outdoors long term is unlikely.  Stick with Trachycarpus fortunei and go from there.

Butia and Jubaea and hybrids of the two are the most cold hardiest pinnate palms and neither grows fast, and in the case of Jubaea painfully slow.  If you want pinnate my suggestion is to have a nice potted palm and plan on bringing it inside.  As well most palms outside the tropics are pretty slow from seed,  so you will see people on here always say "buy the biggest palm you can afford".

 

This^

No pinnate palm meets all your requirements and grows 30-50' tall. Maybe a Butia will eke out a stunted existence if you protect it diligently every winter. Same for Cham rad. But I wouldn't bet the rent on it. Fan palms don't get the love but they can be hardier than any feather palm.

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climate change virginia
14 minutes ago, PalmatierMeg said:

This^

No pinnate palm meets all your requirements and grows 30-50' tall. Maybe a Butia will eke out a stunted existence if you protect it diligently every winter. Same for Cham rad. But I wouldn't bet the rent on it. Fan palms don't get the love but they can be hardier than any feather palm.

Could I just try a pindo without protection and live with it being short.

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climate change virginia
24 minutes ago, Chester B said:

You can always try.  They don't grow fast though, I see no difference between them and regular Odorata, to be honest they pretty much seem the same except for their flowers.    I don't get cold enough to test one versus the other in that respect.  I would protect the crown in wet winter events.

I just shot a video for you to watch of mine:

 

thanks for the vid the palm looks very healthy :)

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climate change virginia

Don't get my wrong I LOVE fan palms but I just like feather palms and I think I will go with what all of you said and grow a butia. I havent grown anywhing cold hardy that might seed too much and then we will have an environmental issue on our hands. Thanks :).

Edited by climate change virginia

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climate change virginia
4 hours ago, Fusca said:

Agree, too many conditions to meet.  A Chamaedoea radicalis fits some of the requirements.  It's tough and easy to protect in bad winter temps below 14F because it won't get taller than 10'.  Someone in Maryland is growing one outdoors with protection in winter.  It's not fast but will go from seed to flowering in 2 years.  Not clumping but also requires a male and female palm to set viable seed.  Butia eriospatha might be an option but it won't grow fast either.  I don't recall but it might be the most cold hardy Butia.  It will be harder to protect as it gets larger.  My B. odorata hasn't flowered yet in 6 years from a 10-gal plant and has probably doubled in size.

would the butia capitata survive with no protection in zone 8a

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PalmatierMeg

True Butia capitata are rare. You may be thinking of Butia odorata, the most common Butia. I doubt either species has a chance in VA. I get the impression you want to get a boffo pinnate trophy palm you can stick in the ground, then walk away. That won't happen unless you are committed to protecting your investment from the vagaries of a Mid Atlantic winter. I lived half of my life in NO VA and I pity any Butia left to fend for itself through one. Your wallet won't thank you either.

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Ben in Norcal

Time to move, dude. :D

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climate change virginia

Thanks for everything I appreciate it. I will try a capitata maybe but from what you all are saying I will just stick to hardy palmate palms. Thanks. :)

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Butia wont survive 7-10f unless it's a once a decade event. If its followed up with a wet spring no butia will live through that without drastic measures. 

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climate change virginia
8 hours ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

Butia wont survive 7-10f unless it's a once a decade event. If its followed up with a wet spring no butia will live through that without drastic measures.

Oh its only a 15 year event when we get 7 degrees. That's why I am saying my temp never gets lower than 10 degrees but that was a 15 year event. Our early springs All of march to mid April are dry and the winter is VERY dry.

Edited by climate change virginia

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climate change virginia
23 hours ago, Chester B said:

wet winter events

we don't have those our winters are bone dry

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NorCalKing

I think you are visualizing a large tropical palm in a 7 zone. Sorry to burst the bubble, but that is simply not going to happen. And I'd love to hear what you consider "bone dry" winters?

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climate change virginia
9 minutes ago, NorCalKing said:

I think you are visualizing a large tropical palm in a 7 zone. Sorry to burst the bubble, but that is simply not going to happen. And I'd love to hear what you consider "bone dry" winters?

by bone dry winters i mean we rarely get rain and the air is below 40% humidity. Also I am technically zone 7 but our temps are like a COLD zone 8a

Edited by climate change virginia

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PalmatierMeg
2 hours ago, climate change virginia said:

we don't have those our winters are bone dry

You must not live in the same VA I grew up in. Mid Atlantic winters can be and usually are cold, damp, rainy occasionally snowy and often overcast and dreary. Early spring isn't much better. Any "dry season" in Va lasts 4-6 weeks in Oct and early Nov. 

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PalmTreeDude

The ONLY place where Butias will grow long term in VA is east of the Great Dismal Swamp, where I have seen quite a few good sized ones. I tried Butia FOUR times and each time eventually failed, I got a couple to live a few years then they died. I’m in Chesterfield County, VA. 

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climate change virginia

Urban heat from DC helps our winters stay warmer than it should be. With butias should I just throw 1000 seeds on the ground and see which ones are fit for survival.

Edited by climate change virginia

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PalmatierMeg
11 hours ago, climate change virginia said:

Urban heat from DC helps our winters stay warmer than it should be. With butias should I just throw 1000 seeds on the ground and see which ones are fit for survival.

If you want to feed squirrels and raccoons, sure. The lawnmower will take care of any that may survive to germinate. But I suggest you germinate them in compots or baggies indoors over winter, outdoors during warm seasons, then grow them for several years or more in pots to plantable size. Prepare to protect them over winter.

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climate change virginia
44 minutes ago, PalmatierMeg said:

If you want to feed squirrels and raccoons, sure. The lawnmower will take care of any that may survive to germinate. But I suggest you germinate them in compots or baggies indoors over winter, outdoors during warm seasons, then grow them for several years or more in pots to plantable size. Prepare to protect them over winter.

Thats why Im gonna put a chicken wire and plastic around it and water it when needed.  Whatever survives the cold survives and will be adapted. Charles Darwin called this survival for the fittest.

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Chester B
49 minutes ago, climate change virginia said:

Thats why Im gonna put a chicken wire and plastic around it and water it when needed.  Whatever survives the cold survives and will be adapted. Charles Darwin called this survival for the fittest.

Adaptation doesn’t work that fast. 

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PalmatierMeg

 

2 hours ago, climate change virginia said:

Thats why Im gonna put a chicken wire and plastic around it and water it when needed.  Whatever survives the cold survives and will be adapted. Charles Darwin called this survival for the fittest.

Why am I getting the impression that you are trying to jerk our chains? Or disprove the old adage, "no such thing as a stupid question"? Rather than pepper us with rehashed queries, get up out of your chair and do something. Find those 1,000 seeds, set up your experiment, show us with photos, gather your results, then report back to us. Add to the body of knowledge on this site. We will applaud your efforts and learn from them. And you will learn by doing and feel good about accomplishing something.

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climate change virginia
10 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

 

Why am I getting the impression that you are trying to jerk our chains? Or disprove the old adage, "no such thing as a stupid question"? Rather than pepper us with rehashed queries, get up out of your chair and do something. Find those 1,000 seeds, set up your experiment, show us with photos, gather your results, then report back to us. Add to the body of knowledge on this site. We will applaud your efforts and learn from them. And you will learn by doing and feel good about accomplishing something.

you have a good point but im 13 how am i supposed to know all this and u could be a but more nice

Edited by climate change virginia

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climate change virginia

your 

11 hours ago, Chester B said:

Adaptation doesn’t work that fast. 

Your right also

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climate change virginia

Im probably gonna go for a jubaea or hardier fan palms thanks so much for your help and encouragement. :D

Edited by climate change virginia

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Xenon
39 minutes ago, climate change virginia said:

you have a good point but im 13 how am i supposed to know all this and u could be a but more nice

Haha, I started posting here when I was 12. Welcome to palmtalk! I like your enthusiasm.

There are hundreds (or more) of threads on here at your disposal, the search function is really useful (or google using "keyword + palmtalk" for a faster loading time) or if you have the time/interest, read almost every single thread starting from the beginning like I did one summer.  

Palmpedia.net is a wealth of information and if you like books, "The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms" by Robert Lee Riffle is a great intro into the rabbit hole

All the best

 

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PalmatierMeg
9 hours ago, climate change virginia said:

you have a good point but im 13 how am i supposed to know all this and u could be a but more nice

You have a point. I apologize. But we have had adults who tried to lead us on and on just for their private entertainment and do the same on other internet forums.

No one here had any idea you were only 13. I suggest you go on the Discussing subforum, introduce yourself and tell us about your interest in palms. If you have any palms, post photos of them and where in your yard you'd like to plant one. We love photos. We really want to help young people who have an interest in palms because you are the coming generation of palm lovers who could help preserve and save them for their children and grandchildren. I also suggest you find a good book about palms. My palm bible is "The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms" by Riffle, Craft & Zona. I refer to it often. You can also find the site "Palmpedia" on the internet for information.

Welcome to PalmTalk. Kids don't ask stupid questions.

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TexasColdHardyPalms
On 10/23/2020 at 7:29 AM, climate change virginia said:

Oh its only a 15 year event when we get 7 degrees. That's why I am saying my temp never gets lower than 10 degrees but that was a 15 year event. Our early springs All of march to mid April are dry and the winter is VERY dry.

Nowhere in virginia can be classified as dry or very dry.  You recieve more rain in dec/jan/feb than most places in the southwest US recieve the entire year.

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ESVA
11 hours ago, climate change virginia said:

Im probably gonna go for a jubaea or hardier fan palms thanks so much for your help and encouragement. :D

Dave's Garden forum has some reports of trials of jubaea in zone 8a around the world. Someone in Centreville MD had one survive a number of years before a cold snap of 5F in Feb killed it. Mine has survived the last two mild winters in the ground here on the Eastern Shore of VA.  Our rainy season starts mid Feb to Apr. This year we had nearly 2 months of rain every day and the farmers couldn't get in fields to plant  corn/soybeans till very late. Then we had a severe drought in June and July and knee-high corn that should have been 8 feet tall. Anyhow, my jubaea has survived two of our wet early spring rainy seasons so is likely more tolerant of such conditions than Butia. 

If you want a faster growing trunking palm, you might give the Bald Island Sabal palmetto a shot. I might give one a try as well. I've got a spot where a Mountain Stewartia died during a drought and the spot might be far enough away from the power lines if the Bald Island survived and thrived.  I don't want the chore of having to wrap it in plastic and lights every winter though or having brown, ragged shredded leaves till new growth in mid-July. 

I do see some larger Chinese Windmills around here, usually in a protected micro-climate such as near a house on a south facing brick wall. I grew about a half dozen miniature chusans from seed. Planted the two nicest ones in the yard, one of which died when when it got sprayed by gasoline from a pinhole in the hose (nearby sabal minors leaves died but the plants sprouted new spears).  The other died after two very cold, snowy back to back winters. Didn't think it needed protection as it had about 5 feet of trunk. Planted a couple more 5-gallons at a cemetery just before the 2017 blizzard which killed them.  Did try some Trachycarpus takil from seed but none germinated, whereas I got good germination with the batch of waggie seeds. 

We're zone 8a here but every once in a while we get Z 7b winters where we might get a night with overnight lows down to -5F but usually very briefly. A jubaea would be an impressive palm to grow here in VA, but the odds are probably against its long-term survival given the occasional cold snaps we get. Our hot and humid dog days of summer are notorious but not nearly so oppressive as those in the Deep South and Florida and my jubaea has thrived this summer.  Winter will be the challenge.

Needle palms and sabal minor variants are reliably hardy even as seedlings, but very slow growing, which can be a plus for foundation plantings where you don't want a bush to outgrow its space. 

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climate change virginia
3 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

You have a point. I apologize. But we have had adults who tried to lead us on and on just for their private entertainment and do the same on other internet forums.

No one here had any idea you were only 13. I suggest you go on the Discussing subforum, introduce yourself and tell us about your interest in palms. If you have any palms, post photos of them and where in your yard you'd like to plant one. We love photos. We really want to help young people who have an interest in palms because you are the coming generation of palm lovers who could help preserve and save them for their children and grandchildren. I also suggest you find a good book about palms. My palm bible is "The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms" by Riffle, Craft & Zona. I refer to it often. You can also find the site "Palmpedia" on the internet for information.

Welcome to PalmTalk. Kids don't ask stupid questions.

Thanks for the websites and for understanding. I have liked palms since I was 6. When I was little Whenever I went to southern states I would always look at them in astonishment. I just started growing date palms and I did more research and found out they cant live here so I am looking for hardier palms and I would never try to lead people on and on for entertainment i'm not that kind of guy. I just have lots of questions because I am new to this. Thank you for understanding.

Edited by climate change virginia

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NorCalKing
13 hours ago, climate change virginia said:

you have a good point but im 13 how am i supposed to know all this and u could be a but more nice

I don't think people are trying to be mean. What I'm seeing is experienced gardeners trying to save you from a lot of work, for no return. VA is Not FL. or CA. And when I say bone dry here on the West coast, we haven't recorded any (as in ZERO) rain since April. And receive under 10" per year. I don't think you'll find that "bone dry" anywhere on the entire East coast.

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PalmTreeDude
13 hours ago, climate change virginia said:

you have a good point but im 13 how am i supposed to know all this and u could be a but more nice

I was 14 when I started posting here (you can see that in how some of my older posts don’t make sense, I didn’t know much), you’ll learn a lot about palms from this site! The soils they need, temperatures, where they are native to. 

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climate change virginia
4 minutes ago, NorCalKing said:

I don't think people are trying to be mean. What I'm seeing is experienced gardeners trying to save you from a lot of work, for no return. VA is Not FL. or CA. And when I say bone dry here on the West coast, we haven't recorded any (as in ZERO) rain since April. And receive under 10" per year. I don't think you'll find that "bone dry" anywhere on the entire East coast.

Your right we do get heavy rain during cold winters but for some reason everything feels for dry on east coast during winter. Also I am thankful for everyone on this site for helping me not spinning my wheels.

Edited by climate change virginia
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climate change virginia
1 minute ago, PalmTreeDude said:

I was 14 when I started posting here (you can see that in how some of my older posts don’t make sense, I didn’t know much), you’ll learn a lot from this site! 

Thank you for being so inviting on this website :D

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PalmatierMeg
54 minutes ago, climate change virginia said:

Your right we do get heavy rain during cold winters but for some reason everything feels for dry on east coast during winter. Also I am thankful for everyone on this site for helping me not spinning my wheels.

It gets very dry in northern houses in winter. That's from the central heat. Houses get so dry you create static electricity walking on carpet and your fingers can crack and bleed. But outdoors the humidity is still there esp. on rainy or snowy days.

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climate change virginia
1 hour ago, PalmatierMeg said:

It gets very dry in northern houses in winter. That's from the central heat. Houses get so dry you create static electricity walking on carpet and your fingers can crack and bleed. But outdoors the humidity is still there esp. on rainy or snowy days.

oh that makes so muc more sense thanks

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climate change virginia
15 hours ago, Xenon said:

Haha, I started posting here when I was 12. Welcome to palmtalk! I like your enthusiasm.

There are hundreds (or more) of threads on here at your disposal, the search function is really useful (or google using "keyword + palmtalk" for a faster loading time) or if you have the time/interest, read almost every single thread starting from the beginning like I did one summer.  

Palmpedia.net is a wealth of information and if you like books, "The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms" by Robert Lee Riffle is a great intro into the rabbit hole

All the best

 

I didnt know there were people my age on this website wow I thought I was the only one. Thanks

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