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2021 Freeze Damage - Texas and the Southern US

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smatofu

An 3/23 update, DFW area (maybe someone will get some use out of it in the future):

 

  • 20-ft windmill -  new green spear visible :D
  • one 6-ft windmill - it is growing, no green visible, but there is a movement up :D
  • 15-ft cabbage palm - still dormant; no spear pull; the place where the spear was cut is still moist (?an indication of water conduction? does it mean anything?). Fronds around the spear are dry. No mold, fungus, foul smell, or rot after the most recent copper + some neem oil treatment. The spear smells kid of like freshly cut lettuce. I mention smell because not much is visible.  :hmm:
  • one 6-ft windmill - no spear pull; no spear growth  :hmm:

 

 

Edited by smatofu

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JJPalmer
7 hours ago, Collectorpalms said:

Those did not appear to be Washingtonia Robusta, they look pretty thick. They normally would have probably made it. I doubt they replace them.

I think they were Filifera, not Robusta.

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NBTX11
15 hours ago, Collectorpalms said:

Those did not appear to be Washingtonia Robusta, they look pretty thick. They normally would have probably made it. I doubt they replace them.

Correct, these palms are way to thick for Robusta.  Pure Robusta are very slender.  These look like thick hybrids. 

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NBTX11

All local Filifera in area are recovering.  Most have put out 4-6 green fronds and have noticeably green centers.

Robustas still looking like trash.  Little to no movement yet on those.  Many have already been removed by those impatient to see if they recover.  A shopping center in Schertz removed about 30 or 40 large Robusta today.  I guess they had seen enough and weren't waiting on recovery. 

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tstex

Going to post this here bc no traction in main discussion board:

Seeking to determine how long it takes to determine if my Sylvester Date Palm will live or not?

We live in West Hou and the low for us was 10 degrees.   Last weekend, I had all of its dead branches/fronds removed.  This palm is now about 12-13 ft tall, at the tip of remnants of the last cut branches.  No green vegetation is emerging yet. Its trunk was 4-5 ft tall planted in April 2015.

None of the branches, from the very top to last row on bottom ever folded over.   Since fall and winter b4 the freeze, it was never too bad.  We had a new row of small fronds coming out that were about 3ft tall at the time of the freeze.

After the palm  was cut, I sprayed a quality fungicide around the crown.  I have kept the ground around the lower trunk moist so it would not dehydrate.

Are there any recommendations or other that I can do? Typically, if the palm was going to generate new fronds/branches, how long would that take?  I would assume this is a stressed situation.

This was our prize center piece palm in the back and very sad to see it so desolate.  I really feel for other palm owners across TX that lost 10+ palms and were very tall.  I wish you all the best.

Thank you very much,

tstex

 

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Xerarch
2 hours ago, tstex said:

Going to post this here bc no traction in main discussion board:

Seeking to determine how long it takes to determine if my Sylvester Date Palm will live or not?

We live in West Hou and the low for us was 10 degrees.   Last weekend, I had all of its dead branches/fronds removed.  This palm is now about 12-13 ft tall, at the tip of remnants of the last cut branches.  No green vegetation is emerging yet. Its trunk was 4-5 ft tall planted in April 2015.

None of the branches, from the very top to last row on bottom ever folded over.   Since fall and winter b4 the freeze, it was never too bad.  We had a new row of small fronds coming out that were about 3ft tall at the time of the freeze.

After the palm  was cut, I sprayed a quality fungicide around the crown.  I have kept the ground around the lower trunk moist so it would not dehydrate.

Are there any recommendations or other that I can do? Typically, if the palm was going to generate new fronds/branches, how long would that take?  I would assume this is a stressed situation.

This was our prize center piece palm in the back and very sad to see it so desolate.  I really feel for other palm owners across TX that lost 10+ palms and were very tall.  I wish you all the best.

Thank you very much,

tstex

 

Saw your original post but was hoping someone with more particular experience with sylvestris might answer.  I know both dactylifera and canariensis have bounced back from such temperatures in the past, canariensis especially seems to recover from unbelievably low temps even though it is more leaf tender than dacty.  It sounds like you're doing the right things with the fungicide treatments etc.  If it were me I would not give up hope on it until the end of summer.  I know some things have already started to rebound and some have not, but sometimes they take a while.  At least wait until it gets good and hot consistently in the summer, continue to make sure it has adequate water and also that fungicide down in the crown.

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smatofu

[ I have kept the ground around the lower trunk moist so it would not dehydrate.]

I don't water my palms when they are stressed. Rain every few days is more than enough.  Wet soil = wet meristem/spear = better environment for bacteria/rot/mold.

 

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Collectorpalms
On 3/24/2021 at 8:53 AM, tstex said:

Going to post this here bc no traction in main discussion board:

Seeking to determine how long it takes to determine if my Sylvester Date Palm will live or not?

We live in West Hou and the low for us was 10 degrees.   Last weekend, I had all of its dead branches/fronds removed.  This palm is now about 12-13 ft tall, at the tip of remnants of the last cut branches.  No green vegetation is emerging yet. Its trunk was 4-5 ft tall planted in April 2015.

None of the branches, from the very top to last row on bottom ever folded over.   Since fall and winter b4 the freeze, it was never too bad.  We had a new row of small fronds coming out that were about 3ft tall at the time of the freeze.

After the palm  was cut, I sprayed a quality fungicide around the crown.  I have kept the ground around the lower trunk moist so it would not dehydrate.

Are there any recommendations or other that I can do? Typically, if the palm was going to generate new fronds/branches, how long would that take?  I would assume this is a stressed situation.

This was our prize center piece palm in the back and very sad to see it so desolate.  I really feel for other palm owners across TX that lost 10+ palms and were very tall.  I wish you all the best.

Thank you very much,

tstex

 

If your impatient like me you can start trunk cutting it a few inches. I have dozens of palms. I waited a month for them to do their own thing. I have been quick to find out what is already dead, and what is still solid and needs more time. This keeps the waiting time down so I can move on. MY phoenix sylvestris is about 35ft tall, and too tall to get a ladder up to it.

Edited by Collectorpalms

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tstex

Thank you to the last 3 posters.

I have followed the instructions of the former IPS president or Board Member.  He was on a Saturday morning talk show...He said to cut the dead material back and to apply the fungicide.  He also said to make sure you keep the stressed palms hydrated, not over watered, but the soil moist but not saturated.  We are in a La Nina and that's "warmer than normal and dryer than normal".  Have only had "tenths: in the rains per frequency, so watering is needed.  He also said it would not hurt to apply fungicide to soil either...

As mentioned, patience is going to be a major additive needed in this scenario.   Sure hope all of your prize palms make it...thanks, tstex

 

Edited by tstex

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tstex

Good news !!!  My Phoenix Sylvestries Date palm is generating some new fronds !!!  Yeah !!! 

I'm going to buy some palm fertilizer and get her going...I"m going to apply a very light doze not to overwhelm her...thanks, tstex

 

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smatofu

3/31 update, DFW area, day temperature between 70-80F, night temps 45-55F {cold :(} ; not much rain, but some cloudy days:

  • 20-ft windmill -  green small fronds, small flowers;
  • 6-ft windmill#1, left - it is growing; there is a movement up. White/yellow tissue visible; no green yet.
  • 15-ft cabbage palm - still dormant; no spear pull; no change from previous update;
  • 6-ft windmill#2, right - started to grow, a little bit of green visible,
  • Sago#1, left - 100% defoliated. Firm tissue, no rot or any damage to trunk visible,
  • Sago#2, right - 100% defoliated. Firm tissue, no rot or any damage to trunk visible.
Edited by smatofu
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Txneon
On 3/15/2021 at 6:29 PM, smatofu said:

An 3/15 update, DFW area, after 2 sunny days with temps 70-80F:

20-ft windmill - no change, it is growing, new green spear visible :D

one 6-ft windmill - no change, it is growing,  :D

15-ft cabbage palm - crown around the spear started to grow (maybe 1/2 inch in 2 days). Spear - still no movement. I don't really know what to make of it. I was expecting the spear to grow faster than everything else... Maybe the palm just needs more time... :hmm:

one 6-ft windmill - no spear pull; no spear growth  :hmm:

 

Obviously, sun and temperature are 2 big positive factors. I have a feeling the situation would be much more dire if we had cold and rainy days. 

 

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smatofu

4/7

[6-ft windmill#1, left - it is growing; there is a movement up. White/yellow tissue visible; no green yet.]

It pushed about 2 inches of green spear/fronds at night! It was the warmest night this spring: 66F. It looks like a survivor!

 

Edited by smatofu

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Reyes Vargas
On 3/20/2021 at 1:28 PM, Reyes Vargas said:

Phoenix Palm before freeze20201115_110142.thumb.jpg.48794bc7711a7d37e3317a713c067a38.jpg

Phoenix Palm a week after freeze20210303_122444.thumb.jpg.02fba5cba3bf6d43421ed44104229f21.jpg

Phoenix Palm today with spear pull20210320_113754.thumb.jpg.bc1758d2151cd444cc9896ef4ef6569c.jpg20210320_113810.thumb.jpg.8b2adbfa9a2555d29ef33a60eb542950.jpg

on the positive side my orange trees are starting to flower20210320_113829.thumb.jpg.e2616d89c1c8e254d6a62d99ea52357f.jpg20210320_113838.thumb.jpg.0f5ba0a76b8b71b9f347daa5fa60091c.jpg

I just went and checked out my palm and saw this.  Is that movement or am I seeing things.

20210407_072931.jpg

20210407_072954.jpg

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Collectorpalms
12 hours ago, Reyes Vargas said:

I just went and checked out my palm and saw this.  Is that movement or am I seeing things.

20210407_072931.jpg

20210407_072954.jpg

Yes. I saw a neglected CIDP look the same way today. It was trying it’s hardest after 5F. Yours looks like a Rupicola?

Edited by Collectorpalms

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NorCalKing

I have to say, I haven't been here in a while, and I expected this thread to be far uglier. Fingers crossed some survivors pull through!

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Reyes Vargas
8 hours ago, Collectorpalms said:

Yes. I saw a neglected CIDP look the same way today. It was trying it’s hardest after 5F. Yours looks like a Rupicola?

I hope it makes it.  It was a nice looking palm.  Yes I bought a group of palms as pure rupicola but this is the only one that at least looked pure.  The other ones clumped so are a hybrid.

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smatofu
8 hours ago, NorCalKing said:

I have to say, I haven't been here in a while, and I expected this thread to be far uglier. Fingers crossed some survivors pull through!

Thanks! Most people on the forum are palm enthusiasts: they know how to protect from cold and how to treat damaged palms. Those things positively affect the survival rate.

As I walk through my DFW neighborhood, future of many palms is still very uncertain. 

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Collectorpalms
7 hours ago, smatofu said:

Thanks! Most people on the forum are palm enthusiasts: they know how to protect from cold and how to treat damaged palms. Those things positively affect the survival rate.

As I walk through my DFW neighborhood, future of many palms is still very uncertain. 

Might I add, there was several days of advance warning this freeze was coming for those that were paying attention. That may have helped in preparation where possible, but many have perished. Just follow the cold hardy palm threads.

Edited by Collectorpalms

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smatofu
8 minutes ago, Collectorpalms said:

Might I add, there was several days of advance warning this freeze was coming for those that were paying attention. That may have helped in preparation where possible, but many have perished. Just follow the cold hardy palm threads.

Yes! I had known about the freeze and I prepared but inadequately. I underestimated the scale.  Next freeze I will better insulate crowns and I will install a heat cable.

 

 

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Matthew92

Has anyone noticed damage with Elaeocarpus decipiens?

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ShadowNight030
18 hours ago, Matthew92 said:

Has anyone noticed damage with Elaeocarpus decipiens?

The few that I have seen here defoliated in central Louisiana and haven’t leafed back out yet. The mall in Alexandria has huge ones by the main entrance doors. Same with sweet viburnum, which is way more popular. 

Edited by ShadowNight030

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Matthew92
1 hour ago, ShadowNight030 said:

The few that I have seen here defoliated in central Louisiana and haven’t leafed back out yet. The mall in Alexandria has huge ones by the main entrance doors. Same with sweet viburnum, which is way more popular. 

Ok cool thanks. Do you know what temperatures they endured? I have yet to see one in ground in my area, and I think they have great potential. I am thinking of planting some large specimens. I was just curious for hardiness as pretty much everything I can find says it is fully zone 8 hardy, and yet I saw another post on this site that someone's trees either died or got severely damaged in upper teens.

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ShadowNight030
1 hour ago, Matthew92 said:

Ok cool thanks. Do you know what temperatures they endured? I have yet to see one in ground in my area, and I think they have great potential. I am thinking of planting some large specimens. I was just curious for hardiness as pretty much everything I can find says it is fully zone 8 hardy, and yet I saw another post on this site that someone's trees either died or got severely damaged in upper teens.

They’ve been there for probably over 20 years, and we’ve had lows down to around 15 before and they’ve survived. Typical winters are in the 20s, with really cold winters in the high teens. We hit around 12 this year, and they seem done for. Being up against the mall didn’t seem to help with it being that cold. The four at the mall are the only ones in my area that I know of. Sweet viburnum have been used heavily in the past maybe 5 years in neighborhoods as hedges, and in commercial landscapes as well. Not one that I know of is leafing out. Same with eucalyptus. On the bright side, washingtonia, livistonia, dates, and chamaerops seem to be pushing new growth all over the place. Only one Phoenix sylvestris in my area is pushing growth. The rest so far are just sitting there. My bottlebrush is already blooming, too. 

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necturus

In Houston most Elaeocarpus decipiens are dead. The jury is still out on some of the big ones, but it doesn't look good. Large bottlebrush trees are also largely dead. I had a large shrub that was over ten feet tall - dead.

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ShadowNight030
2 hours ago, necturus said:

In Houston most Elaeocarpus decipiens are dead. The jury is still out on some of the big ones, but it doesn't look good. Large bottlebrush trees are also largely dead. I had a large shrub that was over ten feet tall - dead.

Bottlebrush can kinda sit there before they push growth. Back in 2017/2018, the large bottlebrush trees in my area looked dead until June. That freeze we were around 14. Then they started pushing new growth from the base. They grew back fast, but bloomed poorly until this past summer. My Little John bottlebrush are loaded with buds. Just had bed comforters on them, and they came through with minor tip dieback. 

Edited by ShadowNight030
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Collectorpalms

Medium-Large Japanese blueberry near my house appears dead at 5F. Brown leaves remain on it, It was planted at Pei Wei. I really loved that tree.

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Xenon

Lots of online reports coming in of Japanese blueberry budding out on larger branches in the Houston Area. They aren't dead, except possibly far out north/west where it got much colder. 

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JJPalmer

Spent this last weekend in Austin for a former classmates wedding and had some time to assess a bit of the damage.  There seems to be a decent heat island in the immediate downtown areas of Austin.  Oddly enough, Italian Cypress served as a decent indicator of microclimates, with significant burn but survivors downtown but completely fried specimens near the airport.  What shocked me was the cosmetic damage to Sabals and Trachycarpus - though most will survive.  Washingtonias are another story - I’d assume almost all robustas are gone  and filibustas are definitely going to be thinned out.  About 90% of the sago palms are wiped out with the exceptions being those on the southern side of large buildings.  Shockingly, I did see a rather large CIDP with some green fronds.  I’d love to know how the large Phoenix dactylifera fared at Gregory Gym on campus - I’d assume they’re toast but who knows.  I’ll post some pics a bit later. 

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Doakley1

I have a Livistonia palm that was planted in 3/2013 which is approximately 20 ft high. We live in Houston TX and the palm suffered freeze damage from our winter storm we had in February. The temp got down to 16 degrees but was in the high teens for 2 full days.  Now (May 6) the palm shows no sign of life and just started to ooze some copper colored sap along with a marshmallow like substance in the the lower trunk area. We removed the fronds and left the middle crown section at the top. How long should we wait before we declare it dead?

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Doakley1

I have a Livistonia palm that was planted in 3/2013 which is approximately 20 ft high. We live in Houston TX and the palm suffered freeze damage from our winter storm we had in February. The temp got down to 16 degrees but was in the high teens for 2 full days.  Now (May 6) the palm shows no sign of life and just started to ooze some copper colored sap along with a marshmallow like substance in the the lower trunk area. We removed the fronds and left the middle crown section at the top. How long should we wait before we declare it dead?

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Reyes Vargas
30 minutes ago, Doakley1 said:

I have a Livistonia palm that was planted in 3/2013 which is approximately 20 ft high. We live in Houston TX and the palm suffered freeze damage from our winter storm we had in February. The temp got down to 16 degrees but was in the high teens for 2 full days.  Now (May 6) the palm shows no sign of life and just started to ooze some copper colored sap along with a marshmallow like substance in the the lower trunk area. We removed the fronds and left the middle crown section at the top. How long should we wait before we declare it dead?

That does not sound good.  The copper color could be that the trunk froze to the core and the marshmallow could be mushrooms eating the dead and decaying palm.  We won't know for sure unless you post some pictures.

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Collectorpalms
4 hours ago, Doakley1 said:

I have a Livistonia palm that was planted in 3/2013 which is approximately 20 ft high. We live in Houston TX and the palm suffered freeze damage from our winter storm we had in February. The temp got down to 16 degrees but was in the high teens for 2 full days.  Now (May 6) the palm shows no sign of life and just started to ooze some copper colored sap along with a marshmallow like substance in the the lower trunk area. We removed the fronds and left the middle crown section at the top. How long should we wait before we declare it dead?

I just noticed the blue copper color like mold on my trunk in the cracks. But the one I noticed it on is alive after 4* and has around 12Ft of trunk. Most others I wasn’t paying attention to are likely dead.

The Marshmallow sap etc... I saw that right away the thaw on mules and queen lower trunks. Definitely trunk damage.

Edited by Collectorpalms

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Doakley1

Some pics are attached.  Seems we have a lot of insects (nat??) flying around the trunk too.   Would very much appreciate thoughts on likelihood of survival.  No sign of growth at the top of the palm.  Thanks

Debbie and Larry

Palm ooze .jpg

Palm ooze Pic 2.jpg

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Npeterh
On 2/17/2021 at 2:45 PM, Walt said:

With respect to this ungodly and horrendous cold weather event in Texas and the palms around the swimming pool -- the only way wrapping the palm trunks will help is if you also have supplemental heat in the form of heating cables spirally wrapped around the trunk (or lots of heat producing string lights). The wrapping must be of  a highly insulative material, not frost cloth, so as to hold the supplemental heat around the palm trunk.  Just wrapping a trunk (and meristem),  even with a highly insulative material will virtually do nothing with out adequate supplemental heat as there's no heat to hold in.  A palm gives off no heat, therefore  insulation doesn't help with regard to keeping the palm warm. The palm will quickly assume the surrounding air temperature -- where what little heat the palm may have had -- as the cold front drops the air temperature lower and lower -- is transferred from the palm and into the surrounding frigid air.

The express purpose of insulation is to reduce the rate of heat flow (in this case, loss of heat from the palm). If an object (palm) has no heat to lose to the colder air around it, the insulation does nothing.

The day Florida has a cold event like this will be the day my palm hobby will be over with for good. Too old now,  too short in years to start over.  I don't like seeing such cold carnage, even if it isn't directing affecting me. I've been there and done that, but surely not to the degree of what's happening now in Texas and Louisiana (in palm growing areas).

I disagree, I used multiple layers of frost cloth with Christmas lights in between. I managed to keep 3 Queens alive in Dallas and we got down to -2F. However I got power outage for 8 hours on and off so in effect the lights seldom worked so in my mind it was all due to the frost cloth.

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smatofu

5/23 update, DFW area, day temperature between 72-85F, night temps 62-70F; rains every day

  • 20-ft windmill -  complete recovery, 3-5 beautiful fronds;
  • 6-ft windmill#1, left - complete recovery, 3-5 beautiful fronds;
  • 15-ft Mexican palm - survived! grew 2 ft from the cut, lots of healthy tissue visible. It looks like it will take another month to get a full size 6-ft frond;
  • 6-ft windmill#2, right - survived! Very little growth, but some visible horizontal movement: the crown is opening and healthy fronds are showing inside;
  • Sabal Minor - zero damage from freeze. Flowering!
  • Sago#1, left - 100% defoliated. Firm tissue, no rot or any damage to trunk visible,
  • Sago#2, right - 100% defoliated. Firm tissue, no rot or any damage to trunk visible. 
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joetx

Was downtown Austin and saw these washies on Riverside pushing new growth.

 

Screen Shot 2021-06-02 at 2.07.59 PM.png

Screen Shot 2021-06-02 at 2.07.44 PM.png

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ShadowNight030

Many of the washingtonia in central Louisiana are showing some life. Same with the livistonia. So far no phoenix sylvestris are showing life. I’m thinking they are done for. The canary dates and medjools are well on their way to recovery. The only mule I know of in my area is still not showing life. For non palms, eucalyptus here are starting to shoot some new growth from the main trunks and larger branches. Sweet viburnum, bottlebrush, bird of paradise, tibouchina, brunfelsia, and duranta are regrowing from their roots. Cordyline are also recovering. A woman I know is telling me her starfruit is coming back from the roots. For other areas of the state, in Lafayette and Lake Charles I didn’t see a single queen with life. However, I went down to New Orleans a few weeks back, and saw perfectly healthy queens and bismarcks at least. Which reminds me, how are the bismarcks recovering in Houston? I’d like to see where they are recovering. 

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Gaga Iowa/Arkansas

So here I am again! I first asked for help Feb. 24, on my 12’ Windmill Palm that I had just purchased like 7 months before the drastic week of winter, zone 7B Arkansas. Well, here it is June. My husband has crawled up there and it appears not to be rotted! The palms did not pull out when he tugged, but they eventually all dried up so he just recently cut them all off. A couple in the very center of the crown had a little tinge of light green in the stem yet we noticed. The core up there is very hard he said. Not mushy at all. What do you think the chances are of survival. We are waiting till next year at this time before cutting it down and cremating it. My friend purchased one same time, same place, same size as mine...and hers is growing. And we took better care of ours then she did, unfortunately. My fingers are still crossed and I’m still praying for a miracle. Thank you! 

F01C6240-43B4-4219-B379-E814236BC6AD.jpeg

Edited by Gaga Iowa/Arkansas
Typing correction
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