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What Will You Miss About Growing Palms in Texas?

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Collectorpalms
12 minutes ago, Xenon said:

They haven't kneeled over yet and all have stiff spears believe it or not. Still waiting for them to die any day now but who knows 

If Washingtonia robusta are coming back at 85 percent in Houston as quoted on the board, then they should live you would think... amazing how lucky Houston got this time. It just freaks me out knowing that Houston is still statistically overdo for another strong freeze to below 10F, and the RGV a sub 20F. This next one, I bet gets Florida.... and better miss central TX. ( although you can’t  hit RGV and Houston without hitting CS again with low single digits. Sigh)

Edited by Collectorpalms

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PricklyPearSATC
1 hour ago, Collectorpalms said:

If Washingtonia robusta are coming back at 85 percent in Houston as quoted on the board, then they should live you would think... amazing how lucky Houston got this time. It just freaks me out knowing that Houston is still statistically overdo for another strong freeze to below 10F, and the RGV a sub 20F. This next one, I bet gets Florida.... and better miss central TX. ( although you can’t  hit RGV and Houston without hitting CS again with low single digits. Sigh)

Houston has always had warmer winters than San Antonio.   I don't really consider it "luck", it's climate. 

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Collectorpalms
11 minutes ago, PricklyPearSATC said:

Houston has always had warmer winters than San Antonio.   I don't really consider it "luck", it's climate. 

If you look at College Station vs Houston. College station had something like a 100 year event. Houston wasn’t even as bad as 1989. That is not how past freezes have been over the last 125 years... There has only been a 5 degree difference between College Station and Houston and 10 for Galveston. ( it’s like clockwork every time) This time Houston was 9 degrees warmer and Galveston was 14.

This does not match up with historical freezes. despite Houston being warmer...

Texas is a big state. San Antonio and Houston are too far apart to compare historical events. 
 

if this had been as bad as 1989 for Houston. Zero robustas would be alive. Not nearly 85 percent. 

Again the RGV and Houston got LUCKY!

Edited by Collectorpalms
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Collectorpalms

If you want to Compare San Antonio to 1989 it’s was nearly as bad as Dec 1989 as Feb 2021. 

Edited by Collectorpalms

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PricklyPearSATC
39 minutes ago, Collectorpalms said:

If you want to Compare San Antonio to 1989 it’s was nearly as bad as Dec 1989 as Feb 2021. 

2021 was worse because 1989 was short lived.  (I can't find old data easily now that Weather Underground has gone downhill)  We got down to 9 in 2021 and 6 in 1989.  It was the duration of the event.. I think one day before and one day after the 6 degrees, we were above freezing.   Temps rebounded quickly in 1989.

 

107.5 hours at or below 33 degrees: Starting on Feb. 12 and continuing through early Feb. 17, San Antonio saw below-freezing temperatures. Amazingly, this came up 90 minutes short of the record of 109 hours below 33 degrees in January 1951. This is by far the latest in a season that San Antonio has had such a stretch.  Throw in 80 degrees the week before and ice (although it wasn't bad in SA) .  However, those warm temps messed us up.  Can you believe I lost a boxwood?  The wood split open.  (I had not examined it until today, but going downhill, so I examined the wood)  I believe the warm temps damaged many broadleaf evergreens.  Although palms were growing, they are basically C4 plants, so they weren't as devastated as my lame boxwoods and pyracantha!  


Screenshot_2021-04-05 National Weather Service Climate.png

 

Feb 2021 - Big difference! (I have no idea where WU got .86 precip on Feb 12th!)

Screenshot_2021-04-05 San Antonio, TX Weather Calendar Weather Underground.png

Edited by PricklyPearSATC

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buffy

Look. Y'all are talking cutesy stuff. Our freaking loblolly pine trees died in droves up here. Let that soak in. Plenty of old established live oaks....dead. 

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Collectorpalms
1 hour ago, buffy said:

Look. Y'all are talking cutesy stuff. Our freaking loblolly pine trees died in droves up here. Let that soak in. Plenty of old established live oaks....dead. 

Sorry for splinting hairs on this. There were loblolly pine that turned to the color of dead corn stalks, in my area. It was around -2 near here. I had one that just up and decided to fall over. So I am very aware of how cold it was there too. Even in Bastrop 70 miles southwest of here about 20 percent were burnt too. Either way, I did predicted it to be the worst since at least 1989. Some of us, it was worse than 1989. But I looked up Longview Lufkin Tyler. It was terrible in 1989.

Edited by Collectorpalms

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PricklyPearSATC

The freeze of December freeze of 1983 was worse than 1989.  It was very similar to February 2021.  
The December 1983 freeze came on the heels of a very hard freeze in January 1982.   (The 1982 event was similar to 2011)
I moved here  permanently in the summer of 1982 and there were plenty of intact Robustas that must have survived the 1982 freeze.   However, the freeze of December 1983 did them in. 

@buffySo sorry about the loblolly pines.  In my case, my broadleaf losses are worse then my palms.   (Pines don't grow in San Antonio, but my chinese junipers and ashe junipers are intact)
My palms are all cold hardy..to zone 8b.  However, I lost some broadleaf plants that are hardy to zone 6. 

Edited by PricklyPearSATC

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bananaman
8 hours ago, PricklyPearSATC said:

In my case, my broadleaf losses are worse then my palms.

Broadleaved evergreens definitely took the brunt of the damage. By far and away the biggest loser in my area were various evergreen viburnums commonly planted as hedges or screens. 
 

What I’ve noticed is there can be pretty substantial variance between individuals of each plant species with respect to damage. There’s a few mature Texas red oaks in my area that have not leafed out at all in the canopy and are instead pushing vigorous, rank growth from the ground and various spots on the trunk. Most are fine, but that’s a deciduous zone 5 to 6 plant with substantial topkill. Comparing the size of the trunks to ones of similar size that have fallen and I’ve counted rings on, those are 100+ year old trees.

Edited by bananaman
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PricklyPearSATC
14 minutes ago, bananaman said:

Broadleaved evergreens definitely took the brunt of the damage. By far and away the biggest loser in my area were various evergreen viburnums commonly planted as hedges or screens. 
 

What I’ve noticed is there can be pretty substantial variance between individuals of each plant species with respect to damage. There’s a few mature Texas red oaks in my area that have not leafed out at all in the canopy and are instead pushing vigorous, rank growth from the ground and various spots on the trunk. Most are fine, but that’s a deciduous zone 5 to 6 plant with substantial topkill. Comparing the size of the trunks to ones of similar size that have fallen and I’ve counted rings on, those are 100+ year old trees.

I lost a boxwood!  The bark split and came off. 
My pyracantha has a bunch of die back. 

I'm having problems with my viburnums too.  One part will be dead.  Other branches have sporadic growth.   They are returning from the base.  A young horticulturalist said there was no urgency to prune the branches with sporadic growth.  (Because where do you prune them???)  
I pruned the dead ones back to the base.
 I will take my time pruning the sorta living ones. 

Believe or not, my Mexican Olive survived.  It's growing from latent buds on the branches.   It has tip dieback, but it is producing leaves on the laterals. 

Edited by PricklyPearSATC

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NBTX11
18 hours ago, PricklyPearSATC said:

Houston has always had warmer winters than San Antonio.   I don't really consider it "luck", it's climate. 

Negative.  2018 Houston got colder than San Antonio.  This happens when there is a ridge over West TX and the cold air pours more towards the gulf coast.  

Generally speaking though, Houston is warmer than SA, but not always.  Areas of SA are zone 9a, as are large portions of Houston 

Edited by NBTX11
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bananaman
24 minutes ago, PricklyPearSATC said:

I'm having problems with my viburnums too.

The only living viburnums I’ve seen in my area of Austin are the native, deciduous V. rufidulum — rusty blackhaw. All the various ornamental evergreen ones — sweet, sandankwa, mirror leaf, chindo, etc — seem to be 100% dead. Absolutely no growth from anywhere, not even the roots. 
 

24 minutes ago, PricklyPearSATC said:

I lost a boxwood!  The bark split and came off. 

There’s a few like that here, but also some that look untouched. Kind of interesting.

24 minutes ago, PricklyPearSATC said:

Believe or not, my Mexican Olive survived.  It's growing from latent buds on the branches.   It has tip dieback, but it is producing leaves on the laterals. 

Congrats! That’s great to hear. It’s one of my all-time favorite plants. I haven’t seen how any around here have fared, but I don’t have much hope this far north...
 

I’ve seen at least one Texas ebony up here in Austin that is growing back from the trunk and maybe even the bigger branches. I’ve heard of at least a one other where that’s the case, too, which is pretty great! 
 

Among my things, one of the ones I’m most shocked by are my Anacacho orchid trees. I was fully expecting them to be taken back by the freeze all the way to the ground, but they only had an inch or two of dieback at the very tips of the branches. 

I was glad to see that my Monterrey oaks are fine — I’ve noticed a few that seem to be very slow to leaf out. I guess this may be a good way to cull the less hardy ones — I bet in the coming years any that made it through the freeze Waco and north may be excellent to collect seed from.

Edited by bananaman
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Xenon
52 minutes ago, NBTX11 said:

Negative.  2018 Houston got colder than San Antonio.  This happens when there is a ridge over West TX and the cold air pours more towards the gulf coast.  

Generally speaking though, Houston is warmer than SA, but not always.  Areas of SA are zone 9a, as are large portions of Houston 

Everything within Houston city limits is functionally upper end "9a", and very comfortably 9b "going by the numbers". Central Houston itself is borderline 10a "going by the numbers" and is functionally 9b (February 2021 aside). Functionally, everything in the "Houston Area" ranges from borderline 9a to upper 9b/borderline 10a (coastal), though every locale safely falls within 9a to 10a "going by the numbers". 

I was in San Antonio for New Year's and it looked about a half zone colder than most of Houston (outside of the Riverwalk of course). I had a very hard time spotting big queen palms in SA. February 2021 will probably be the big equalizer (though I'm hearing rumors of Houston queen palms trying to live...)

Edited by Xenon
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NBTX11
43 minutes ago, Xenon said:

Everything within Houston city limits is functionally upper end "9a", and very comfortably 9b "going by the numbers". Central Houston itself is borderline 10a "going by the numbers" and is functionally 9b (February 2021 aside). Functionally, everything in the "Houston Area" ranges from borderline 9a to upper 9b/borderline 10a (coastal), though every locale safely falls within 9a to 10a "going by the numbers". 

I was in San Antonio for New Year's and it looked about a half zone colder than most of Houston (outside of the Riverwalk of course). I had a very hard time spotting big queen palms in SA. February 2021 will probably be the big equalizer (though I'm hearing rumors of Houston queen palms trying to live...)

I agree that Houston is generally warmer.  My only point is that it isn't ALWAYS warmer.  That was my point.  Case in point 2018 when the coldest air moved east of SA.  San Antonio is generally in line with the northern portions of the Houston metro.  I don't know where the Riverwalk falls, but it's somewhat comparable to more central areas of Houston.   Also the south side of SA is a really solid zone 9.  BTW before 2010/2011 there were quite a few large queen palms in SA...these freezes killed a lot of them out. 

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ShadowNight030

I discovered something shocking. I left a big pot with various tropicals outside since it was too heavy for me to bring in and everything in it was cheap. There was a tiny, struggling clump of parlor palms in it (full sun I’m assuming was the issue). I went to plant new things in it today, and look what I found from one of the parlor palms. 12 degrees one night, and a week under freezing. 

117FE198-9654-4B0C-B9E9-C9F47EEDD392.jpeg

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OC2Texaspalmlvr

 

 

21 hours ago, ShadowNight030 said:

I went to plant new things in it today, and look what I found from one of the parlor palms. 12 degrees one night, and a week under freezing

Chamaedorea have some unbelievably cold hardy palms for how small there trunk size are. I am extremely impressed with this genus =) 

T J 

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Collectorpalms

My Chamaedorea Radicalis came back from 4* unprotected. Yes Washingtonia Filibustas three feet at base have not.

Edited by Collectorpalms
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