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Keys6505

Palmageddon, SE Texas Edition

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Keys6505

I know the other TX threads are getting long and there's a lot of technical weather talk going on in there so I figured I'd start a new thread to document my prep and eventual outcome for Palmageddon.  Just spent the day getting ready, and while I still have a little more to do tomorrow, this is basically what I'm gonna ride or die with.  I'm in League City TX and as of right now the forecast is showing 24 Sunday night, 32 Monday, and 15 Monday night with a rebound of a balmy 39 on Tuesday.  The following is my prep:

~10' OA Mule- sheet, C9's' moving blankets, 6mil plastic

3+' CT P. Rupicola- sheet, 2 strand C9's, moving blanket, 6mil plastic, shrink wrap

~6' CT L. Chinensis- sheet, C9's', moving blanket, 6mil plastic 

(4) ~3' OA L. Chinensis- wrapped in 6mil plastic only

(2) ~6' OA Bizzy's- C7's, 6mil plastic

~5' OA Roystonea Regia- C7's, sleeved in 8" R8 HVAC flex duct, wrapped in 2mil garbage bags

~5' OA Wodyetia Bifurcata- C7's, sleeved in 8" R8 HVAC flex duct, wrapped in 2mil garbage bags

~7' OA clump of Arenga Engleri- 60w light bulb in center of clump, wrapped in 6mil plastic

2' OA clump of Acoelorrhaphe wrightii- C7's, drop cloth over top, wrapped in 6mil plastic

3' OA Ravenea Rivularis- 3mil garbage bag only

~6' overall clump of Rhapis Excelsa- C9's, drop cloth over top, wrapped in 6mil plastic

( one triple, one double) ~4'OA L. Decora- under flipped over garbage cans

~4' OA clump of P. Robellini- 2mil garbage bag only

3' CT CIDP- full YOLO, no protection

(2) ~ 15' OA Queens- no protection 

And for good measure my non-palms:

5' OA Dickinson Antarctica- 150w reptile heat lamp, 6mil plastic (tented, not wrapped)

4' OA Ficus Auriculata- C7's, 6mil plastic (cut back all branches by 1' and will try to root, so maybe silver lining is I get a bunch of Ficus out of this)

(Tomorrow) C. Debaoensis- C7's, sleeved in 8" R8 HVAC flex duct, wrapped in 2mil garbage bags

Anything in pots is in the garage where I'll keep temps above freezing with a propane heater.  I have a bunch of other non-palms (aroids mostly) that I dug and am keeping in the garage bare root until later in the week when it warms up.  Any buckets in pics are over plants for hail mary protection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Allen

At least you are in one of the warmer areas.  protection all looks spot on.  But please be advised the C7, C9 can get really hot inside protection and be really careful if you have not used them before in such airtight protection.  You might be advised to go to Walmart and get a wireless thermometer to put in there to see actual temps on one or 2.  Put near palm spear and use lithium batteries if you can shove one in there.  

Edited by Allen
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amh

As good of a plan as you can have.

Sometimes HEB sells incandescent string lights, they could add a little heat.

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Keys6505
1 minute ago, Allen said:

At least you are in one of the warmer areas.  protection all looks spot on.  But please be advised the C7, C9 can get really hot inside protection and be really careful if you have not used them before in such airtight protection.

Yes sir, this is only my second 9a winter, before that I was in 7a so I got plenty of practice freezing plants to death.  The C9'S will only go on in the mid 20's when it gets to life or death and then back off again when it hits 30ish.  I'm only using the plastic because the plants will only be wrapped for about 5 days total.  I'm sure I'll still learn something new/that I did horribly wrong when I unwrap everything on Friday.

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WestCoastGal

Best of luck. Had one year where we got down to 25F — 9a-b zone and until that year only saw brief dips into upper 20s. Our mature cold tolerant palms (butias, mules, trachy, sabals) did okay without protection other than watering before hand but plants like our birds of paradise and other less cold tolerant plants covered with highest rated frost cloth protection took a few years to come back to decent looking. Our first year with frost cloth was a learning experience and quickly set up — some covers blew open in the winds. Subsequent years we used frost cloth and rebar/pvc structures and added christmas lights on the ground under some of the tented covers. C9s as I recall. Had them set on a timer. Did keep our tented birds pretty warm actually. I was rather surprised. Definitely not fun trying to add protection in the bitter cold so some advanced planning is wise. Looks like you have a nice yard with a lot of palms/plants to try to protect. Hope any damage is minimal. 

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NBTX11

I will post pictures of my carnage and recovery.  Hopefully others will so we can see what survived and what didn't. 

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SailorBold

Does anyone think their yards look ridiculous about now?  I dont.

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Will Simpson

Good luck , and like someone else said , be careful with c9's , especially if you have them close to the trunk  . I cooked a Trachy and a Butia in the past .

I've been getting my incandescent Xmas lights at www.1000Bulbs.com  . I mainly use them on my Washy filibusta . They still sell incandescent  lights .

Will

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Keys6505

I have very low expectations for a lot of these at this point.  Electric was on and off all day yesterday (much more off) and last night it went out again at 5pm.  Between then and now (6:40am) it came back on for less than an hour around 1:45.  So most of these trees have only had heat for 1 out of the last 14 hours and it's been 15 degrees outside.  I wish I had known the electric was going to be an issue, I would have dug up anything that I could move by myself instead of wasting time and money trying to keep them warm.

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Collectorpalms
16 minutes ago, Keys6505 said:

I have very low expectations for a lot of these at this point.  Electric was on and off all day yesterday (much more off) and last night it went out again at 5pm.  Between then and now (6:40am) it came back on for less than an hour around 1:45.  So most of these trees have only had heat for 1 out of the last 14 hours and it's been 15 degrees outside.  I wish I had known the electric was going to be an issue, I would have dug up anything that I could move by myself instead of wasting time and money trying to keep them warm.

An 80 year old coworker, a Texas/Meteorologist told me that if this happened like the 1980s, that there would be no power. I had a generator but it was stolen. One look at the forecast models from last Monday and I knew it was time to hang up the hat. I brought some things into garage, but again its been power off and on for 24 hours. 

Edited by Collectorpalms
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Keys6505
52 minutes ago, Collectorpalms said:

An 80 year old coworker, a Texas/Meteorologist told me that if this happened like the 1980s, that there would be no power. I had a generator but it was stolen. One look at the forecast models from last Monday and I knew it was time to hang up the hat. I brought some things into garage, but again its been power off and on for 24 hours. 

I went around on Sunday with a shovel and just popped everything out of the ground that I didn't want to freeze down.  Nothing impressive, mostly some more alocasia, cordyline, bird of paradise, etc.  I figured if they died I'd have to dig them up anyway so I might as well be proactive.  I have a propane tank top heater in the garage so those plus my potted palms are the only ones I was able to regulate temps on for the past 2 days.  So the $1k+ trees will be dead, but at least I don't have to spend $19.99 by saving the Strelitzia!

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Edited by Keys6505
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donnacreation

I visited Houston 8 yrs ago and was amazed at all the 9a+ palms growing happily.  It looked like central Fl.  It breaks my heart that most of these palms are likely to die.  Will this freak weather event cause Houston's USDA climate zone to drop to zone 8a or b?  I'm heartbroken for all you Texas palm enthusiasts.  If I lived in Houston, when this cold is gone, I would immediately start planting new 9a+ palms.  Condolences from SC.

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OC2Texaspalmlvr

I really believe the majority of 9a palms are gonna make it. I know it's a lil early to predict that, but I feel good about Houston keeping its palmyness. I think the most casualties will be queens , foxtails and pygmies you know the BB store palms. Im curious to see how all the newly planted Bizzies do , im sure without protection some will be lost unlike 2018. My fingers are crossed for my palms and all the other enthusiasts in the area =) 

T J 

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WestCoastGal
On 2/16/2021 at 5:50 AM, Keys6505 said:

I went around on Sunday with a shovel and just popped everything out of the ground that I didn't want to freeze down.  Nothing impressive, mostly some more alocasia, cordyline, bird of paradise, etc.  I figured if they died I'd have to dig them up anyway so I might as well be proactive.  I have a propane tank top heater in the garage so those plus my potted palms are the only ones I was able to regulate temps on for the past 2 days.  So the $1k+ trees will be dead, but at least I don't have to spend $19.99 by saving the Strelitzia!

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Hey at least your yard will have some color other than bronze. That plus you’ll have some feel of tropical to lift your spirits when your temps get back into the 90s+.

Given all the news stories I’ve read this week and expect to still see for sometime to come, I think you guys can use all the uplifting things and good wishes you can get. Hope there’s all kinds of help coming your way. I know it hasn’t just been Texas affected but your State certainly has been hit the hardest. 

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Keys6505

Sooo I'm going to dump a ton of pics here because I think any information is good information, especially for zone pushers.  I unwrapped all of my palms today and replanted everything I had popped out of the ground to store in my garage.  The temps on local weather stations seem to vary near me for Palmageddon but I think that may have to do with the seemingly random instances of electricity for 15 minutes at a time.  The concensus seems to be 17 on Sunday night, a high of 30ish on Monday, and then 15 on Monday night.  My lights were plugged in the whole time but we had *maybe* 3 hours of electricity over these days, most of which only 15 min to a half hour, but on Monday night there was a solid 9 hours off with ~50min on at 1:45am and then back off for another 8-9 hours until Tuesday afternoon for another 15min on.  The No Protection crew; Trachy didn't even know we had a weather thing, CIDP was a little bronzed but no biggie, Queens had 1 frond collapse but look surprisingly good (I know that can change).

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Keys6505

~6' CT L. Chinensis- sheet, C9's', moving blanket, 6mil plastic.  Only in ground for a year, was shade grown before I put it in full sun so never a show stopper but she'll be fine.

 

~7' OA clump of Arenga Engleri- 60w light bulb in center of clump, wrapped in 6mil plastic.  More bronzed than expected but ok.

 

~5' OA Roystonea Regia- C7's, sleeved in 8" R8 HVAC flex duct, wrapped in 2mil garbage bags.  Ummm, I'm sure it'll bounce back....right?.....RIGHT???

 

 

 

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Keys6505

(4) ~3' OA L. Chinensis- wrapped in 6mil plastic only.  I wasn't even trying to tie these up because of the massive spikes so I just "balloon wrapped" them, so a lot of contact area with the plastic.  All these leaves are burnt and will likely die off soon but the plants are ok.

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Keys6505

(2) ~6' OA Bizzy's- C7's, 6mil plastic.  A little concerned with these.  Might just be because they don't have any bright green areas to look for to make my think they're healthy.

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Keys6505

(one triple, one double) ~4'OA L. Decora- under flipped over garbage cans.  Courtesy of TCHP.  Look fine considering I smashed them under garbage cans that they really didn't fit in.

~10' OA Mule- sheet, C9's' moving blankets, 6mil plastic.  Disappointed, "balloon wrapped" but a lot more bronzing than expected.  Inner growth and spear look fine though.

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Keys6505

~5' OA Wodyetia Bifurcata- C7's, sleeved in 8" R8 HVAC flex duct, wrapped in 2mil garbage bags.  Pretty shocked with this guy.  Doesn't really even look bad.  The only damage other than spotting was cause by lights in contact with the leaflets.

6' overall clump of Rhapis Excelsa- C9's, drop cloth over top, wrapped in 6mil plastic.  Quick haircut and will be fine.

3+' CT P. Rupicola- sheet, 2 strand C9's, moving blanket, 6mil plastic, shrink wrap.  This is another that's only been in ground for less that a year.  Never looked perfect.  The second set of C9's was overkill as you can clearly see where I burnt the petioles.  I think the tree is fine but I kinda wish I this wasn't the one I picked for my front yard.

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Keys6505

2' OA clump of Acoelorrhaphe wrightii- C7's, drop cloth over top, wrapped in 6mil plastic.  Like nothing even happened.

 

' OA Ravenea Rivularis- 3mil garbage bag only.  I was wrong, apparently I put a set of C7's on this guy.  Looks surprisingly good....for now.  A little limp.

 

4' OA clump of P. Robellini- 2mil garbage bag only.  Dunzo.

 

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Keys6505

Update:

A few of these trees have slid slightly farther down the PT "Ass Scale".  Had spear pull today on the following:

One Queen

One of the triple L. Decora

Both R. Rivularis 

2 of the 5 A. Wrightii

One of the smaller L. Chinensis

The rest are holding on for the time being.  Hit the ones that pulled with Hydrogen Peroxide as that's all I had available.

 

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Swolte

Very useful, this is a great thread!

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necturus

Almost all my in-ground palms spear pulled. The big winners are Butia yatay x Jubaea, JxB, and all Sabals (uresana, causarium, bermudana). Pretty much undamaged.

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OC2Texaspalmlvr
13 hours ago, necturus said:

Almost all my in-ground palms spear pulled. The big winners are Butia yatay x Jubaea, JxB, and all Sabals (uresana, causarium, bermudana). Pretty much undamaged.

Your winners in theory should've had no problems with the Temps that they saw. The minimum was no problem the duration on the other hand is a different story. I would easily say those are bulletproof palms for our area =) How big is your JxB ? 

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necturus

The JxB is small. Probably would be happy in a 3 gallon pot. 

I think the duration and the impact of ice is not to be understated. Pretty sure I will loose some palms (L. nitida, L. decora, Phoenix hybrids involving canariensis) that some might say could take 14-16 degrees.

47 minutes ago, OC2Texaspalmlvr said:

Your winners in theory should've had no problems with the Temps that they saw. The minimum was no problem the duration on the other hand is a different story. I would easily say those are bulletproof palms for our area =) How big is your JxB ? 

 

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OC2Texaspalmlvr

If I can get off work before the sun goes down I'll add to this thread, of all my surviving palms. I figured I would've lost more foliage on my Bizzies, since I couldn't protect them. So far so good as of right now =) 

Edited by OC2Texaspalmlvr
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necturus

Bizzies take a while to die even while small. The spear pulls while the leaves look great. I learned that with one of TCHP's plants a few years ago, and I have another one right now doing the same thing. 

I haven't looked at the big ones in my neighborhood in a few days, but on Friday they looked flawless from my car. If they survive it'll be a true miracle... but I bet they just take a long time to die.

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Keys6505

And worse, and worse...  Spear pull on the Engleri today.  The Foxtail is still really surprising me though.  I know the flex duct adds actual R-value, but the Royal that had the same protection a few feet away just turned to mush.

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Ivanos1982
32 minutes ago, Keys6505 said:

And worse, and worse...  Spear pull on the Engleri today.  The Foxtail is still really surprising me though.  I know the flex duct adds actual R-value, but the Royal that had the same protection a few feet away just turned to mush.

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I'm kinda shocked your Engleri had a spear pull... My queens were bright green the first two days of the snow. They then turned gray when the sun came out a few days later and now they look golden brown dry. The spear hasn't pulled though. I'm wondering if they either just turned to mummies with such low temps or if they are alive... I did cover the trunks with towels and plastic as they are small. Probably the size of your royal. Thank you for updating us on this. I'm checking all my plants every day. I live in West Houston by Alief/Westchase. Even my bananas bent and fell to the ground. My grapefruit tree is dry brown. All the homes in my neighborhood have dead stuff, some even stinks. It has been crazy. I recorded 14 as the lowest on my thermometer in my yard. So much damage. Please keep posting. Thanks.

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Fusca
14 hours ago, Keys6505 said:

And worse, and worse...  Spear pull on the Engleri today.  The Foxtail is still really surprising me though.  I know the flex duct adds actual R-value, but the Royal that had the same protection a few feet away just turned to mush.

 

 

 

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I'm guessing that your Arenga was a bit large to protect.  Mine is about half the size of yours and has much less damage but I had blankets around mine.  No spear pull yet on mine.  My similar sized CIDP and mule look similar to yours.  We experienced 9° and 13° on consecutive nights and briefly reached 33° in between.  Where did you get your Arenga?  I got mine a couple of years ago when I was out in SoCal.

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Keys6505
11 hours ago, Fusca said:

I'm guessing that your Arenga was a bit large to protect.  Mine is about half the size of yours and has much less damage but I had blankets around mine.  No spear pull yet on mine.  My similar sized CIDP and mule look similar to yours.  We experienced 9° and 13° on consecutive nights and briefly reached 33° in between.  Where did you get your Arenga?  I got mine a couple of years ago when I was out in SoCal.

I had the Arenga wrapped in plastic only in an attempt to keep in the heat, which obviously ended up not happening.  I got mine from Palm Professionals in Sugarland.  I thought it was pretty cheap, it was under $300 and not much smaller than it is now.  I got most of my trees from them except the CIDP, which I got from Moon...I know, I know... Literally nobody could get me a CIDP in the size I wanted for months and I really wanted my yard done.  I actually paid the extra $400 for the 1 year warranty which expires any day now.  I'm thinking about having them replace it.  I really don't want to look at a giant brown tree in the middle of my yard for 2 years until it grows out, but I also really don't want to have to take down the fence, fix the lawn,  etc.  First world problems, ya know?

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