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Coldest Temperatures since the Arctic Outbreak of December 1989

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Xenon
8 minutes ago, PricklyPearSATC said:

Sand?  The Hill Country and San Antonio has alkaline, clay fill soil.
Sand begins in South East Bexar County.   
 

There are some pretty "ancient" (way before 80s freezes) Butia in Houston growing in gumbo clay alkaline soil. They are not so popular anymore so you mostly see them in older neighborhoods, where they can be locally abundant. 

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NBTX11
9 hours ago, PricklyPearSATC said:

Sand?  The Hill Country and San Antonio has alkaline, clay fill soil.
Sand begins in South East Bexar County.   
 

South of I10 in Seguin and Guadalupe county has sand also. 

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mulungu
14 hours ago, PricklyPearSATC said:

I have never seen a healthy Butia in San Antonio!  In the 90's there was a healthy one near the parking garage entrance at Methodist Plaza, but I think it's been long gone.  A neighbor had one for years and finally took it out.  It was yellow and pathetic. 

Have seen some healthy ones here, but mostly in commercial plantings.  They are used at all the In-N-Out Burger locations in the city and I have seen some at Taco Cabana locations that looked nice, too.  Wonder if there is some secret that those in commercial maintenance know about the needs of this tree, like some micronutrient that needs to be supplied here or something?

Also, a lot of the ones that look good seem to be of the bluish-green rather than the straight green type.  Not sure if that is just because that is mostly what is available, or if that somehow influences success with them here.  But have seen a couple of decent green ones, too.

https://www.google.com/maps/@29.5980622,-98.4560139,3a,75y,32.05h,74.83t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1s6RaXRoj2qTeG-p9KgcpZQw!2e0!5s20190401T000000!7i16384!8i8192

https://www.google.com/maps/@29.5979807,-98.4557678,3a,75y,40.15h,85.01t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sEzHkyUjpGJIvp8sLklKTzA!2e0!5s20190401T000000!7i16384!8i8192

Another mystery is that most of the ones that look good here are fairly young.  Some of the ones in Houston are really robust and old.  But you hardly ever see a tall, old Butia with a sizable trunk here in SA. That is striking to me, given that they have been grown in the city for well over a century (see clipping from 1917 below, where it is called Cocos australis, an old nursery name for Butia odorata). 

One of the older ones that I saw was in Olmos Park, but it is gone now.  Here it was, damaged after the 2011 freeze and looking bad--removed sometime afterward:

https://www.google.com/maps/@29.4714633,-98.4910835,3a,75y,345.38h,81.93t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sbcWj20y5oe66KPaCN3etmQ!2e0!5s20110401T000000!7i13312!8i6656

knox nursery advertisement 1917 palm trees.jpg

Edited by mulungu
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Fusca
19 hours ago, PricklyPearSATC said:

I have never seen a healthy Butia in San Antonio!  In the 90's there was a healthy one near the parking garage entrance at Methodist Plaza, but I think it's been long gone.  A neighbor had one for years and finally took it out.  It was yellow and pathetic. 

Here is one in my backyard!

1989894895_rsz_B.odorata.thumb.jpg.93a9e934fbb575c6660fb5a9d3628b9e.jpg

5 hours ago, mulungu said:

Also, a lot of the ones that look good seem to be of the bluish-green rather than the straight green type.  Not sure if that is just because that is mostly what is available, or if that somehow influences success with them here.  But have seen a couple of decent green ones, too.

You might be right about that.  My large one pictured here is a bluish-green one as is a smaller one I grew from seed of a very bluish mother palm.  Both are growing well - at least they were last month before the freeze - and located in my backyard.  Alkaline soil is to blame from what I understand regarding difficulties growing Butia here in SA.  I had a smaller and greener Butia planted in my front yard that started pushing yellow new growth 18 months after planting.  It continued to struggle in spite of giving it regular fertilizer (PalmGain) so I dug it out, put in a container with different soil and gave to my neighbor.  He kept it in the container and it perked up. 

 

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PricklyPearSATC
4 hours ago, Fusca said:

Here is one in my backyard!

1989894895_rsz_B.odorata.thumb.jpg.93a9e934fbb575c6660fb5a9d3628b9e.jpg

You might be right about that.  My large one pictured here is a bluish-green one as is a smaller one I grew from seed of a very bluish mother palm.  Both are growing well - at least they were last month before the freeze - and located in my backyard.  Alkaline soil is to blame from what I understand regarding difficulties growing Butia here in SA.  I had a smaller and greener Butia planted in my front yard that started pushing yellow new growth 18 months after planting.  It continued to struggle in spite of giving it regular fertilizer (PalmGain) so I dug it out, put in a container with different soil and gave to my neighbor.  He kept it in the container and it perked up. 

 

Nice!  Generally sand is not alkaline.  It's all our limestone here which makes use the chalkiest place on earth!

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AnTonY

There are quite a few areas of SE Houston - Pearland, Friendswood, Dickinson, etc - that are laden with highly acidic soils.  Provides a great combination to naturally try acid-loving plants against a milder near-Gulf microclimate (as all the other acidic areas of Houston tend to be along/north of I-10).

As far as the Houston "gumbo," the clay runs neutral, or slightly acidic even around the surface-upper layers - but it becomes far more alkaline deeper into the column. This is for the "Lake Charles" series that tends to be common throughout the area.

Edited by AnTonY
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