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Chester B

Polar vortex Palms in Portland - First round

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Chester B

Last night the rain turned to freezing rain as the cold air from the Columbia river gorge met a warm wet system coming off the Pacific Ocean.  More freezing rain for me than snow, and we bottomed out at 26F or -3C.  Today we'll be around 29F or -1C which is the first day in 5 years we failed to go above freezing.  Tonight a much wetter system is moving in and will bring close to a foot of snow to some areas of North and East Portland whereas areas to south (like me) can expect up to 1" of freezing rain.  Currently its snowing lightly.  

As far as protection most palms will be on their own, I threw a few buckets over some small more tender seedlings, and wrapped the growing point of my two Butias so they didn't get ice in the crown.

Not nearly as bad as what people are expecting in the south, but the local weather guy says this may be the biggest storm we've ever had in February and may go down as one of the biggest storms period.

 

 

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Allen

Good report.  Looks like at that temp you should be ok.  Just watch for spear pull and treat if needed in March.  

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climate change virginia

love your channel very helpful and informative :)

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Chester B
1 hour ago, Allen said:

Good report.  Looks like at that temp you should be ok.  Just watch for spear pull and treat if needed in March.  

Never had an issue with spear pull in winter, so I don't expect any issues.  Many of these palms have been through worse than this, so it should be ok.  Tomorrow above freezing and rain on Sunday should start to clean things up.  It's the 1" of ice that we may see that worries me.

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Fallen Munk

I didn't bother covering mine.  Temps are not expected to get cold enough for me to worry about down here in Salem.  Although my bamboo has taken quite a hit.  The heavy ice has snapped a bunch of them off.  And my fortunei fronds are weighted all the way to the ground.  That one needed some opening up anyway, should be pretty nice if it takes a set and stays more relaxed.

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Chester B
7 minutes ago, Fallen Munk said:

I didn't bother covering mine.  Temps are not expected to get cold enough for me to worry about down here in Salem.  Although my bamboo has taken quite a hit.  The heavy ice has snapped a bunch of them off.  And my fortunei fronds are weighted all the way to the ground.  That one needed some opening up anyway, should be pretty nice if it takes a set and stays more relaxed.

It's not cold here, but I am concerned about the heavy ice we may get later.  I'm on the ice side of the storm whereas a couple miles north will get more snow.

Most of the ice from last night melted off overnight so I have primarily snow at the moment but it should transition later.

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Fallen Munk
4 hours ago, Chester B said:

It's not cold here, but I am concerned about the heavy ice we may get later.  I'm on the ice side of the storm whereas a couple miles north will get more snow.

Most of the ice from last night melted off overnight so I have primarily snow at the moment but it should transition later.

Extremely heavy ice here in Salem.  All of my bamboo is snapped off from the weight.  Gonna have to prune it back to stumps and start over.  In the 30 years I've lived here, the ice has never been heavy enough to do that.  I just checked my fortunei and it looks like some pretty severe damage at this point.  it will probably lose most if not all of the foliage after this.  The petioles are bent all the way to the ground and some appear snapped.

Edited by Fallen Munk

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Chester B

Things have declined here a lot.  Trees are getting weighed down, and the worst part is that its expected to be heaviest overnight.  Hopefully tomorrow we'll start to get some thawing.  My palms are looking okay, I've seen them worse but tomorrow morning could be different.  My Eucalyptus trees are leaning so that is what's freaking me out.  I would've gladly taken the snow over this.

.

Edited by Chester B
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SailorBold

Do you think ice would protect the palm in any way?  

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amh
3 minutes ago, SailorBold said:

Do you think ice would protect the palm in any way?  

Good question. Snow should provide insulation, but does ice protect or does direct contact cause damage?

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SailorBold
5 minutes ago, amh said:

Good question. Snow should provide insulation, but does ice protect or does direct contact cause damage?

I'd assume the interior of ice would stay at 32 for mild freezes.

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amh
13 minutes ago, SailorBold said:

I'd assume the interior of ice would stay at 32 for mild freezes.

Correct, think of the orange growers.

My question is more palm specific, like, would it cause damage?

Edited by amh

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Chester B

I think it depends on the palm. We get ice almost every year and it hasn’t caused an issue yet other than tattered fronds. However the ice is usually short lived. 
 

Trachycarpus, Chamaerops, Rhapidophylum , Sabal and Butia seem to be able to handle it. 

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Trustandi

I am wondering about that too.  I thought snow should provide insulation but some of my butias died buried in almost 6" of snow in Feb 2017.  Should I remove all the snow from butia's crown? The temperature was not even that extreme hi: 37f, lo:30f followed by hi:38f and lo:32f the next day. Hmmm..

IMG_20170206_073149.jpg

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Chester B

I always do with a leaf blower. 
 

On another note the ice has only gotten worse. Power is now out after seeing a bunch of blue flashes in the sky. Trees and branches are breaking all around me. They say tomorrow morning this will all be over 

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Paradise Found

Feeling your pain with heavy wet snow here two day total 8” tonight (Friday) will be the biggest dumping with 4” to 6” more.  Good news is Sunday turns back to rain my lowest was only 29f I expect no damage when I get back home,  might have broken limbs on ch, radicalism, good luck to you all,

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RJ

1” of freezing rain is devastating. If you get that you will most likely be without power for days. I’ve lived through many a freezing rain storm up north, they are the worst of the worst in terms of winter’s precipitation. In 1998 the north east experienced a devastating one. Much of new England’s power comes from hydro Quebec and this was the result of their power grid. Some folks didn’t have power for over a month in the middle of winter. Hoping you don’t get anything like this. 
 

 

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Swolte
8 hours ago, Chester B said:

On another note the ice has only gotten worse. Power is now out after seeing a bunch of blue flashes in the sky. Trees and branches are breaking all around me.

Hope you brought "Henry" inside...
 

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Chester B

We got hammered overnight. At least an inch of ice. No power for days it looks like. Palms may not make it along with all the broken standard trees. 

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ShadyDan

Getting pretty white up hear on Van Isle, but warm (-1). It’s a nice light fluffy snow too, barely bending any branches or fronds. This is the last day of the outflow event with temperatures warming up tomorrow. Overall, a pretty tame event with my low bottoming out at -4.9C. I do not expect any damage to any of my palms / other plants. 

63EA2F68-50BC-412D-AFC8-B23BB2CB294D.jpeg

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Paradise Found

11” wet snow in Olympia. 33f  

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Chester B

I can’t post any picture the cell signal is very weak. I’m worried even my Trachycarpus won’t make it at this point. It’s like a bomb went off. Today is now going to be colder than expected. We need a good day of rain to clear the ice off the plants. I’m going to have to call in an arborist to try and salvage some of the trees.  
 

They’re saying no power until Monday now. The ice where I am is really bad. A lot of Portland just got snow. 
 

Weather guys were off they hardly talked about the damaging ice other than in Salem which is 45 mins south of me. All they talked about was a foot of snow which never materialized. And today they’re posting all the fun photos of the snow and how great it is. Total D$&@s. 

Edited by Chester B
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RJ
1 hour ago, Chester B said:

We got hammered overnight. At least an inch of ice. No power for days it looks like. Palms may not make it along with all the broken standard trees. 

Be safe. Falling limbs will continue until it warms up. It’s going to be a messy spring 

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RJ
24 minutes ago, Chester B said:

I

 

Weather guys were off they hardly talked about the damaging ice other than in Salem which is 45 mins south of me. All they talked about was a foot of snow which never materialized. And today they’re posting all the fun photos of the snow and how great it is. Total D$&@s. 

To be completely fair freezing rain is extremely difficult to predict much less pin point. It’s VERY elevation specific. It happens when the warm air a loft over runs the cold air below. If the cold layer is thicker at a given location you get snow/sleet  as the precipitation freezes before it hits the ground. Heavy freezing rain is better usually then a slow long drawn out drizzle . The storm in 1998 was a multi day event with light rain . Absolute destruction just slowly played out in front of our eyes and we could do nothing. Good luck :greenthumb:

Edited by RJ

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Swolte
1 hour ago, Chester B said:

I can’t post any picture the cell signal is very weak. I’m worried even my Trachycarpus won’t make it at this point. It’s like a bomb went off. Today is now going to be colder than expected. We need a good day of rain to clear the ice off the plants. I’m going to have to call in an arborist to try and salvage some of the trees.  

Oh man, terrible! Have the daconil ready!

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Chester B

I was out hitting palm fronds and trying to clear out the crown of snow and ice. Unfortunately we have more freezing rain tonight and tomorrow which was supposed to be warm, it has pushed out another day. High of 33 tomorrow with more rain. Apparently there was a bad ice storm in 1979 but this one is worse. Got the generator going and braved the icy corduroy roads to load up on gas. I had to drive a ways away to find a place that had power. Governor declared a state of emergency today. 
 

Trees down literally everywhere even on major roads. And to top it all off my house walls were coated in a layer of ice that broke loose and destroyed my greenhouse. I salvaged what I could and threw in the garage for the time being. It’s been a long day. 

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Chester B

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Chester B

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Chester B

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Allen

Really bad, sorry.

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ColdBonsai

Dang dude. Hope everything pulls through OK. We got hit with the same storm. 9 inches of snow here which is rare. And nothing good about freezing rain. I was without power for 3 weeks once because of that stuff.

Also I'm afraid to like any of your post so I don't encourage the bad weather.

Edited by ColdBonsai
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Paradise Found

Man that is bad i’ve Never seen anything like that here. Made it up to 36f today but it still snowed. Hope it goes away soon for you!

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RJ

Ugh... so painfully to see. You don’t appreciate how bad it is until you’ve witnessed it first hand. Stay warm and thankfully you have a generator. Lend it out to neighbors if you can and they need it. 
 

 

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Chester B

I didn’t really bother documenting it, too busy. The state of my Eucalypts is far worse. I’m not sure if my BLE trees will straighten out or not as they are all bent over to the ground. Southern magnolias, Olives and Pacific madrones took a beating as well. Really if I were to list what looks ok it would be a short list. 
 

I’m trying not to let It bother me but it’s so disappointing to see all you years of hard work undone in 12 hours. I guess I’ll just have to wait to see how things bounce back in the coming weeks/months. 
 

I went to get gas for the generator and the magnitude of destruction is kind of shocking. I’ve been through an ice storm like this when I lived in Canada and hoped to never repeat it. 
 

Thanks for the kind words. I guess this week we will be consoling the Texans. 

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Paradise Found

Keep the faith man, broad leaf evergreens are made to bend. Some trees that lose their leaves not so much. Not cold enough for palms damaged palms will look good again with new growth. It will be over soon so let us know with up dates. 

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PalmTreeDude
34 minutes ago, Chester B said:

I didn’t really bother documenting it, too busy. The state of my Eucalypts is far worse. I’m not sure if my BLE trees will straighten out or not as they are all bent over to the ground. Southern magnolias, Olives and Pacific madrones took a beating as well. Really if I were to list what looks ok it would be a short list. 
 

I’m trying not to let It bother me but it’s so disappointing to see all you years of hard work undone in 12 hours. I guess I’ll just have to wait to see how things bounce back in the coming weeks/months. 
 

I went to get gas for the generator and the magnitude of destruction is kind of shocking. I’ve been through an ice storm like this when I lived in Canada and hoped to never repeat it. 
 

Thanks for the kind words. I guess this week we will be consoling the Texans. 

I’m sure some of your stuff will bounce back. We had an ice storm here too, a lot of trees, including native ones, have gotten some damage from the ice, but most will bounce back just fine. I hope the best for your garden. 

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ShadyDan

Yikes didn’t think you guys would get it that bad.  Just boring ole wet west coast snow up here. Hopefully tomorrow brings more positive weather for you guys. 

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SailorBold

It might not be as bad you think.. so keep your spirits up.  I know how you feel.. but it is not a normal weather event.. so keep that in mind. I am not a weatherguy but it makes me wonder if these storms are what would normally be circulating the polar air and keeping it in place..  

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Silas_Sancona
9 hours ago, SailorBold said:

 I am not a weatherguy but it makes me wonder if these storms are what would normally be circulating the polar air and keeping it in place..  

Clue #1

Another clue, from about a week ago.. Notice the last downward pointing arrow

..And how/ when the current madness might end.. ( posted on the 11th )

 

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