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Xenon

A last look at the palms in Houston

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Xenon

Made a mad dash from College Station to central Houston this afternoon to bid farewell to the plants I've been observing for years. Apologies for the lighting/haphazard photos, was in a real rush trying to chase the sun. This is the Houston I've always known (wasn't alive during the 80s). I guess I always took the queen palms for granted, very sad to see them go. Along Main St and Montrose, the medians are all tarped and iirc, they are planted with 'Little John' bottlebrush. The ironic thing is that the surrounding areas are full of emerald green gingers, green bananas, cordylines, kalanchoes, papayas etc...you would never expect it was going to drop to near 10F in a few days. I'm still in denial. This is going to be absolute carnage especially for the inner city neighborhoods that have long been solid 9b

Some of the tallest queen palms around, were already well over the house over 10 years ago

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Xenon

This majesty palm is over 10 years old

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This one dates from early-mid 2000s. Doesn't look great...but it's still there for a few more hours 

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Mango tree almost 10 years old 

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Longan tree, 20 years old or more 

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Peltophorum dubium...been there since the 90s (?)

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Edited by Xenon
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Xenon

Bismarckia

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pygmy date...the bougainvillea and hibiscus are still flowering 

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Someone is frantically trying to protect this triangle palm

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burgundy Ficus elastica

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Edited by Xenon
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amh

Great shots, but stay positive.

 

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RedRabbit

That was smart to capture a few last images of the before time. Fingers crossed for you guys. :wacko:

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Trustandi

Oh man! Your post makes me sad. :mellow2:. Hopefully those palms and trees will make it. 

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necturus

Ah well, man. It's been a good run.

C'est la vie. Or perhaps more on the nose, móu shì zài rén , chéng shì zài tiān (Planning lies with man, the outcome with Heaven; Man proposes, but Heaven disposes).

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Collectorpalms

THANK YOU! I am teary eyed now. There is still some hope for inner Houston. Almost all those palms are up against buildings. They will get some protection possible from wind at least. IF NWS 25/11 turn out, very iffy though. That's not quite as bad as 89.

The 6z 2/13 run of NAM model only goes 32/20 through inner Houston. Hope? The 6z gfs, still 24/10, add 1 or 2 maybe against those buildings.

Edited by Collectorpalms
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bubba

Truly sad and hope predictions moderate.

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Xerarch

I will be curious to see if any of these pull through, thanks for the documentation. On a side note, interesting that’s it total palmageddon in Texas, really a 1989 type event for much of the state. But Florida is dodging this completely? Not that I want Florida to get blasted, it’s just that they shared in the pain in ‘89. 

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chinandega81
1 hour ago, Xerarch said:

I will be curious to see if any of these pull through, thanks for the documentation. On a side note, interesting that’s it total palmageddon in Texas, really a 1989 type event for much of the state. But Florida is dodging this completely? Not that I want Florida to get blasted, it’s just that they shared in the pain in ‘89. 

As of now it looks like Florida is going to miss this. Who knows what happens to this huge cold pool of air ultimately. I assume it will eventually morph east is some form or another.

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chinandega81

Despite what looks like carnage to come, I think there will be some surprises of survival stories. Regardless, gardens and landscapes evolve everywhere, even in the deep tropics. It might be time to try newer plantings that are more vigorous off springs of their parents? I am sure that with this nightmare out of the way there will be several decaded to come without anything like this again. Stay positive. Thank you for documenting this. The Houston you know will be back and palmier than ever in a few years.

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Mr.SamuraiSword

Wonder if the folks at moody gardens plan on doing any last dicth efforts as they have quite the valuble collection.   Great idea with the photos though, what a shame.  With the projected lows, robusta and Canaries are gonna suffer large casualties.  

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DoomsDave

@Xenon thanks for sharing.
 

I’ve been texting Palm Talk friends in and near Austin and they’re expecting single digits. :crying:


Doing all they can to batten down.

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NorCalKing

Thanks for documenting. It will be interesting to take follow up pics of the same locations 3 weeks later. That poor Mango is about to be fried to the roots. Those can barely take 40's for extended periods.

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DoomsDave

If anyone wants Chamadorea radicalis I’ve got seeds. They’ll stay safe inside your home or office.

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DoomsDave
5 minutes ago, NorCalKing said:

Thanks for documenting. It will be interesting to take follow up pics of the same locations 3 weeks later. That poor Mango is about to be fried to the roots. Those can barely take 40's for extended periods.

The mango, the majesty the triangle 

Bye bye

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NBTX11

Latest Euro model shows 17 for Houston Monday night.

Houston4.jpg

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OC2Texaspalmlvr
6 hours ago, Collectorpalms said:

THANK YOU! I am teary eyed now.

So were all waiting for a video of your collection before said Carnage. All of us have crossed fingers for warmer weather which in turn will help us farther south of you. 

T J 

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amh
43 minutes ago, DoomsDave said:

@Xenon thanks for sharing.
 

I’ve been texting Palm Talk friends in and near Austin and they’re expecting single digits. :crying:


Doing all they can to batten down.

It is the extended period of single digits that is really scary.

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AnTonY

@Xenon

Honestly, as soon as you made this post, the sentiment truly hit me. If the temps verify near as close to the worst predictions, then lots of subtropical-tropical vegetation that I knew from the area growing up will be totally wiped clean. There are lots of washingtonias planted through the city, I just can't imagine them all being wiped out. There was a gardening columnist in the New Orleans area that captured his heartbreak well after loads of subtropical-tropical vegetation there got wiped out during the 11°F recorded in 1989. I expect to see similar stories coming out of Houston if the lowest temps verify.

There's always the chance for miracles, and quite a few sites like weather.com moderated a bit compared to what was shown before. Models like the ECMWF are also relatively mild. But, I supposed that even in the colder scenarios, central Houston will have to get a taste of what it feels like to be in, say, Tomball or Mobile, AL.

Edited by AnTonY
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amh
14 minutes ago, AnTonY said:

@Xenon

Honestly, as soon as you made this post, the sentiment truly hit me. If the temps verify near as close to the worst predictions, then lots of subtropical-tropical vegetation that I knew from the area growing up will be totally wiped clean. There are lots of washingtonias planted through the city, I just can't imagine them all being wiped out. There was a gardening columnist in the New Orleans area that captured his heartbreak well after loads of subtropical-tropical vegetation there got wiped out during the 11°F recorded in 1989. I expect to see similar stories coming out of Houston if the lowest temps verify.

There's always the chance for miracles, and quite a few sites like weather.com moderated a bit compared to what was shown before. Models like the ECMWF are also relatively mild. But, I supposed that even in the colder scenarios, central Houston will have to get a taste of what it feels like to be in, say, Tomball or Mobile, AL.

Sometimes what follows destruction is better, the strong and lucky survive and sometimes new species will gain a foothold naturally or fashionably.

Edited by amh
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Xenon
3 hours ago, Mr.SamuraiSword said:

Wonder if the folks at moody gardens plan on doing any last dicth efforts as they have quite the valuble collection.   Great idea with the photos though, what a shame.  With the projected lows, robusta and Canaries are gonna suffer large casualties.  

Just got back from Moody, didn't see any protection. Easily 1/3-1/2 of the landscape there is zone 10. NWS is calling for something ludicrous like 19F...

Will post pics later

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Xerarch
49 minutes ago, Xenon said:

Just got back from Moody, didn't see any protection. Easily 1/3-1/2 of the landscape there is zone 10. NWS is calling for something ludicrous like 19F...

Will post pics later

Are there still any royals at Moody?

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RJ
3 hours ago, DoomsDave said:

If anyone wants Chamadorea radicalis I’ve got seeds. They’ll stay safe inside your home or office.

Two from your old batch came up I thought I got zilch. I’ve since learned not to try to baby them. Throw them in a pot with some soil and presto. Love some more if you’re offering :greenthumb:

image.jpg

Edited by RJ

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Ed in Houston
18 hours ago, Xenon said:

Made a mad dash from College Station to central Houston this afternoon to bid farewell to the plants I've been observing for years. Apologies for the lighting/haphazard photos, was in a real rush trying to chase the sun.

 

Thanks Xenon for the idea to say goodbye to my Houston tropical garden. The forecast in for temps in the teens in Houston.

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Ed in Houston

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Collectorpalms

My forecast by the NWS is calling for only 14/2. Easily the coldest daytime high ever by about 5 degrees. This forecast is as bad as 1983 and 1989 combined.

I have a few saved hopefully in my garage. But most of my collection no amount of effort would be able to save them without massive measures and lots of help.
I guess they are going to be donated in the name of science. 

if this was only 1 cold night, that might make me get on My 25ft ladder, and try desperately but, 7 day at near or below 33f In a row with no idea of how much snow sleet or ice, seems like pointless.

my water outside is already 1/8inch frozen over. Takes a hammer to break the water out of a bucket, and this is only from several hours around 28, with winds of 20-25. 
 

will home insurance cover this catastrophe of cutting down dead trees near the house..., I think that’s the only thing that would make me feel better.

 

Edited by Collectorpalms
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ahosey01

Will all the Houston PTers move to Brownsville after this?!

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AnTonY
12 minutes ago, ahosey01 said:

Will all the Houston PTers move to Brownsville after this?!

We shall see what happens to both after this. The Brownsville PTers may want to move to Florida... 

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JLM
8 hours ago, Xerarch said:

I will be curious to see if any of these pull through, thanks for the documentation. On a side note, interesting that’s it total palmageddon in Texas, really a 1989 type event for much of the state. But Florida is dodging this completely? Not that I want Florida to get blasted, it’s just that they shared in the pain in ‘89. 

Not 100% going to dodge. Being in the far western part of the Panhandle, temps are expected to go just below freezing with wind chills in the upper teens to low 20's. With rain before freezing temps, could result in black ice on roads. NWS now calling for a glaze of ice all the way to the I-65 corridor, if it keeps coming any further south we'll have a problem.

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chad2468emr

WOW - I feel for you all. I haven’t been around here much as of late and had no idea this was happening.

I’m out of town until Monday so I really hope Orlando doesn’t deal with much of it but the forecast looks pretty mild for the next week or so. 

Hoping for the best for you all. As devastating as it may be, think on the bright side: Starting over means a whole new batch of palms and other tropicals in new combinations you haven’t tried yet! It’s sure to be a busy summer / growing season filled with tons of new and exciting plants. :) 

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Really full garden

This is so sad. I lived in Houston during the devastating freezes. The 89 cold event was particularly bad. I will never forget the smell of all the rotting foliage after it thawed.

These mega cold events were a factor in my deciding to move to Guatemala .

It is interesting to note that even here we do feel the effects of these super cold waves. Last week a front came through and it actually dropped to 51F . That front made it all the way down to Panama. I imagine we will feel the effects of this current front sometime next week.

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Mr.SamuraiSword
3 hours ago, Xerarch said:

Are there still any royals at Moody?

Not for long, there is a few for the short time being

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Xerarch
22 minutes ago, Mr.SamuraiSword said:

Not for long, there is a few for the short time being

Right, it's just I remember them being severely damaged a few years ago when parts of the Houston area got down into the upper teens so wasn't positive they were still there.  Right now the forecast for Galveston, at least on weather.com has a low of 25, so if that holds I'm not sure that will kill mature royals in a protected location.  I'm not writing them off quite yet.

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OC2Texaspalmlvr
1 hour ago, AnTonY said:

We shall see what happens to both after this. The Brownsville PTers may want to move to Florida... 

S.Florida is looking better every day, anyone know of any maintenance jobs available down there haha Biggest down side to S.Florida is literally hurricanes every year. There is no perfect place to love honeslty 

T J 

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NBTX11

Brownsville should be mostly safe.  They are looking at around 27-28 for a low, depending on which forecast you look at.  Galveston is looking at around 19-20 according to NWS forecast.  I hope they only see 25.  The Royals are toast on Galveston, likely.

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Xenon

Here are some pics from Galveston and Tiki Island. Taken this morning in 39F overcast PRA

Jaw dropping Archontophoenix cunninghamia

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Xenon

You know the microclimate has been warm when the Cook pines are perfectly symmetrical. And a foxtail that survived the 2018 freeze, then the coldest since '89

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Xenon

The palm nut is scrambling to protect the foxtail and royal (partially obscured by the queen palm). Bonus Syagrus schizophylla

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Xenon

Another 2018 survivor foxtail

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The tallest Cook pines on the island have seen all of the big freezes up until now, major hurricanes, and saltwater inundation

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A nice Phoenix roebelenii hybrid

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