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San Antonio River Walk after 2021 freeze

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mulungu

I debated whether or not to start this thread... those of us in Texas and other U.S. states hit by the severe winter freeze last month have certainly seen more than enough dead and damaged palms.  

But I have always been curious how large public plantings of palms and other subtropical/tropical plants respond to these historic freezes, and there is often little photo documentation.  For example, I wonder what it looked like at Disney World in Orlando, Florida after the 1989 freeze. 

https://allears.net/2017/06/26/when-a-hard-freeze-hit-walt-disney-world-in-1989-cast-members-turned-to-faux-plants-along-jungle-cruise/ 

Although absurd, in my mind's eye I somehow always pictured the River Walk to be this almost mythical place of immunity to cold, nestled in the middle of the urban heat island,  tucked away from harsh winds below street level, sheltered by tall buildings, and bathed in the warm waters of the river. 

Some of those microclimate factors probably do help it in a normal winter, but the lows for this freeze included a plunge to 9*F, a couple of nights at 13* F, and many hours below freezing.  That's going to hurt cold-sensitive plants no matter how favorable the microclimate.

So here goes... This is not at all comprehensive, as time was limited and some areas of the River Walk were blocked off for maintenance/construction. Some things were so burnt that the ID's on some of these are iffy. 

 

Washingtonia robusta and filifera: leaves burnt but very few crowns collapsed, and where visible, new spears were often green.

20210307_075739.thumb.jpg.df0dcf588cfa39f9a040235ba053c0e7.jpg

 

20210307_075952.thumb.jpg.cadb5f5c8290f764eee3b1afb785edf2.jpg

 

I believe there is Livistona chinensis, Bismarckia, and Trachycarpus in there.

20210307_080012.thumb.jpg.6f4d4d196bc7c4d1a9f7e04ab642c897.jpg

 

Torched Phoenix roebellini and L. chinensis

20210307_080023.thumb.jpg.0ddf1560e8e7c730aab2177df1494289.jpg

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mulungu

Bismarckia

 20210307_080225.thumb.jpg.5d4b5f1cf668610606f8ffeb2d826b66.jpg

 

Serenoa repens

 

20210307_080749.thumb.jpg.4a37296718223876aca733e259beabcd.jpg

20210307_080704.thumb.jpg.9847d125cdcd14fc20dab676054e6e9f.jpg

20210307_081341.thumb.jpg.290d81b90fd16acdf88199d791206c2b.jpg

 

Mule palms

20210307_080900.jpg

Edited by mulungu
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mulungu

Mules look grim

20210307_080839.thumb.jpg.64ddeac7b1924e0549c8466164b2330c.jpg

 

Sabal Mexicana looks dandy.  This species has singed leaves in other parts of downtown SA

20210307_081440.thumb.jpg.8de9fe4a974fc3bf1cf7196e4afaa7e9.jpg

Chamaerops humilis badly burned in many parts of the city, but less so here

20210307_081520.thumb.jpg.eb0cc1cde8551ae6eb04f5285d65782e.jpg

 

Butia odorata

20210307_082054.thumb.jpg.7afc6f510b70e66b8ad9fde7ca2281ea.jpg

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mulungu

Old Washingtonia

20210307_082700.thumb.jpg.77d4b48e032c46f1b01f472db4816555.jpg

 

Syagrus romanzoffiana, Queen palm

20210307_082930.thumb.jpg.2353e0f4393826ef3f70d1a762b728d5.jpg

 

Jubaea or Jubaea hybrid

20210307_083255.thumb.jpg.89d54082c8e60aca2481c5ddaf257b53.jpg

 

Trachycarpus untouched, as expected

20210307_083916.thumb.jpg.1049e5fe7f176d4422544f553d3bfc26.jpg

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mulungu

20210307_075537.thumb.jpg.67b2708b2a1c7c9bded0e6a4594e9afe.jpg

 

Rhapidophyllum hystrix, unharmed

20210307_084434.thumb.jpg.3bffb30872d0a0b88c85555a18c3eff9.jpg

?Brahea armata

20210307_084548.thumb.jpg.795d4b14ec3f3e7af7bf948d305b4ee7.jpg

Rhapis sp.

20210307_075723.thumb.jpg.c89587ad1d40aab983319fb62450b595.jpg

 

 

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mulungu

Other tropicals:

Philodendron "Evansii"

20210307_080058.thumb.jpg.2ffdb67a9bf153b4937bfe02cc930195.jpg

 

Tree with ferny leaves, had yellow flowers in the past (?Peltophorum ?Caesalpinia):

20210307_084137.thumb.jpg.5a129d348ef23a82b3a53e6f76392fa2.jpg

 

Bauhinia spp:

20210307_084511.thumb.jpg.d9e9237f9772c8f2ecd8eebee738ca82.jpg

 

Billbergia and Neoregelia turned to mush:

20210307_082022.thumb.jpg.fa0dcc3459100b22f259c5fb7dfff72a.jpg

OK, you get the picture.  Enough carnage for now.  Hopefully later this year can get back there and see how things recover, God willing. 

Edited by mulungu
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Collectorpalms

Thank you, I try to visit the city just for the RW palms either in the spring or fall every year. I must have been there 40 times. 
my garden is influenced by all the great Texas Gardens, but the RW is my favorite.

I Hope those mules pull through. And the Queen has never been burned before. 
 

Temperature wise, in mid 10Fs there would your guess ?

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mulungu
2 hours ago, Collectorpalms said:

Thank you, I try to visit the city just for the RW palms either in the spring or fall every year. I must have been there 40 times. 
my garden is influenced by all the great Texas Gardens, but the RW is my favorite.

I Hope those mules pull through. And the Queen has never been burned before. 
 

Temperature wise, in mid 10Fs there would your guess ?

I think that is a fair assumption.  I'm in the far north of the city and had a low of 6-8F on the worst night of the blast, with Wunderground stations nearby also reading 7F at the time.  The lowest registered at the airport was 9F.  The River Walk is commonly assumed to have a half zone advantage over other areas in the city-- I think mostly based on what survives there rather than any actual hard temperature data-- so lower mid teens would be my guess as well.

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NBTX11

It does not appear the Riverwalk dropped to 9 degrees, based on the condition of these palms.  Their condition looks like they saw low to mid teens.  The mules appear that they might make it. 

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EastBayPalms

Thanks for sharing.  I'm a novice at all this, but what's happening next for the dead looking Washingtonias?

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mulungu
4 hours ago, EastBayPalms said:

Thanks for sharing.  I'm a novice at all this, but what's happening next for the dead looking Washingtonias?

You're welcome! They look really terrible for now, but believe it or not the Washingtonia are some of the ones I'm  least worried about surviving this event-- I anticipate that nearly all will pull through with time, even the W.  robusta, which are less hardy.  Some are so old that you can see in their scarred trunks that this "is not their first rodeo" and they are survivors.

I believe the upkeep of the RW is through a special division of San Antonio's municipal government, River Walk Operations. I imagine they will monitor the washies and others over the spring to see what grows back out, and if it becomes clear that any is dead they would have to be removed so as not to endanger the public.

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necturus

If the tree with fern-like leaves is a Peltophorum (dubium?), it is probably dead. Mine froze to the ground a few years ago in the last bad freeze but came back vigorously and had maybe eight inches of trunk diameter or more. At least based on the scratch test and the bleeding sap, I think it's dead.

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Ivanos1982
8 hours ago, mulungu said:

You're welcome! They look really terrible for now, but believe it or not the Washingtonia are some of the ones I'm  least worried about surviving this event-- I anticipate that nearly all will pull through with time, even the W.  robusta, which are less hardy.  Some are so old that you can see in their scarred trunks that this "is not their first rodeo" and they are survivors.

I believe the upkeep of the RW is through a special division of San Antonio's municipal government, River Walk Operations. I imagine they will monitor the washies and others over the spring to see what grows back out, and if it becomes clear that any is dead they would have to be removed so as not to endanger the public.

I hope that for this reason they wont get rid of all the palms like they did in El Paso... the newspaper and all these activists were so vocal and insisting at meetings and with article after article about how palmtrees are bad, etc. I really like the riverwalk and the tropicalness of it. When I visit at night and you just feel the vapor of the water coming up and it's so hot... it feels like some jungle. :)

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mulungu
4 hours ago, necturus said:

If the tree with fern-like leaves is a Peltophorum (dubium?), it is probably dead. Mine froze to the ground a few years ago in the last bad freeze but came back vigorously and had maybe eight inches of trunk diameter or more. At least based on the scratch test and the bleeding sap, I think it's dead.

Sad to hear that-- hoping yours will surprise you and at least come back from the roots later in the season.  Was yours P. dubium?  I am trying P. dubium and africanum here, and they were in the ground for only about 9 months before this freeze.  The one saving grace is that they went through this freeze as just little saplings, and so were easier to protect with Christmas lights-- but I can see how yours with a sizable trunk diameter would have been more of a challenge.   I fear you may be right about the one on the River Walk, if it is indeed a Peltophorum.

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necturus
15 minutes ago, mulungu said:

Sad to hear that-- hoping yours will surprise you and at least come back from the roots later in the season.  Was yours P. dubium?  I am trying P. dubium and africanum here, and they were in the ground for only about 9 months before this freeze.  The one saving grace is that they went through this freeze as just little saplings, and so were easier to protect with Christmas lights-- but I can see how yours with a sizable trunk diameter would have been more of a challenge.   I fear you may be right about the one on the River Walk, if it is indeed a Peltophorum.

I got it from a grower in Florida under the name P. dubium. You are right, it's way too big to protect. Even if yours dies to the ground it may come back like mine did. 

I also had a similar experience with Delonix regia. Small plant in the ground froze to the ground a few years ago, grew into a huge multi-trunked tree up until Feb 2021. :P I was inspired to try this by a shrubby Delonix down in Corpus Christi in front of the dentist's office which bloomed beautifully in the past. Mine hasn't bloomed yet, unfortunately, and may never do so!

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ShadowNight030

So so sad to see the river walk like that! I was there just in October and fell in love with it. I remember seeing a huge floss silk tree at the zoo. I’d hate to see it now. How are the anacahuita and huisache looking? They were some of my favorite trees I noticed when I was down there. 

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mulungu
6 hours ago, necturus said:

I also had a similar experience with Delonix regia. Small plant in the ground froze to the ground a few years ago, grew into a huge multi-trunked tree up until Feb 2021. :P I was inspired to try this by a shrubby Delonix down in Corpus Christi in front of the dentist's office which bloomed beautifully in the past. Mine hasn't bloomed yet, unfortunately, and may never do so!

Awesome!  That emerald green foliage is so beautiful in itself, but that would be an even greater feat to get one to flower in Houston. Kudos to you.

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mulungu
1 hour ago, ShadowNight030 said:

So so sad to see the river walk like that! I was there just in October and fell in love with it. I remember seeing a huge floss silk tree at the zoo. I’d hate to see it now. How are the anacahuita and huisache looking? They were some of my favorite trees I noticed when I was down there. 

Glad you got to enjoy it at the best time of year!  There are also a few floss silk trees scattered along the River Walk, too.  The ones that I saw there were completely deciduous, but the trunks and branches were still green, and looked surprisingly decent. They were under canopy, that may have helped.

I am not sure of anacahuita and huisache locations on the RW.  However, part of an avenue beside Spectrum communications in the north part of San Antonio is planted with a long row of anacahuita and the leaves on all the trees looked burned to a dark crisp after this freeze.  I think it's going to be touch and go for those...  I saw one tree on the colder outskirts of town that bloomed beautifully in the spring a few months after it suffered 14F in 2011, so they are tough, but this was an even more severe hit.

Edited by mulungu

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mulungu
8 hours ago, Ivanos1982 said:

I really like the riverwalk and the tropicalness of it. When I visit at night and you just feel the vapor of the water coming up and it's so hot... it feels like some jungle. :)

Perfect description, that really encapsulates it!

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ShadowNight030
2 hours ago, mulungu said:

Glad you got to enjoy it at the best time of year!  There are also a few floss silk trees scattered along the River Walk, too.  The ones that I saw there were completely deciduous, but the trunks and branches were still green, and looked surprisingly decent. They were under canopy, that may have helped.

I am not sure of anacahuita and huisache locations on the RW.  However, part of an avenue beside Spectrum communications in the north part of San Antonio is planted with a long row of anacahuita and the leaves on all the trees looked burned to a dark crisp after this freeze.  I think it's going to be touch and go for those...  I saw one tree on the colder outskirts of town that bloomed beautifully in the spring a few months after it suffered 14F in 2011, so they are tough, but this was an even more severe hit.

I thought I saw a few floss silks on the river walk, but wasn’t 100% about that. Glad to see they seemed alive. I remember seeing a few bismarkia around town, I wonder if any will survive. Im sure the queens are toast. As for the anacahuita and huisache trees, remember seeing them at the zoo, botanical gardens, and just scattered around the city. Im contemplating getting some for my own yard. I’ve read they’re top hardy down to around mid teens, which we rarely hit here, but the past 4 years have really tested my garden between 2017/2018 and this winter. Anacahuita are so hard to track down in Louisiana, so I might take a quick trip to Texas for one. 

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Xenon
11 minutes ago, ShadowNight030 said:

 I’ve read they’re top hardy down to around mid teens, which we rarely hit here, but the past 4 years have really tested my garden between 2017/2018 and this winter. Anacahuita are so hard to track down in Louisiana, so I might take a quick trip to Texas for one. 

Damage starts in the low 20s and moderate branch dieback in the 18-20F range from what I've observed in the Houston Area. Still waiting to see how they handled 12-15F.

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mulungu
13 hours ago, Xenon said:

Damage starts in the low 20s and moderate branch dieback in the 18-20F range from what I've observed in the Houston Area. Still waiting to see how they handled 12-15F.

Best luck. I think there is cause to be hopeful.  This little one is in a semirural area heading up toward Natural Bridge Caverns on the outskirts of San Antonio, with hardly anything out there but houses and fields.  It will have seen 14F back in Jan 2010 and Feb 2011 and bounced back to bloom in May 2011.

https://www.google.com/maps/@29.621611,-98.2995462,3a,75y,58.95h,79.78t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1scMncaetGa0fl0rQHTp-_gg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

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Collectorpalms

I was able to look at the pictures on my laptop and see things a little better.
That one windmill is exceptionally tall, I had missed it. That makes 2 very tall ones I know of on the RW. It looks like the Mediterranean fan palm next to it at the bridge is fried, so the microclimate looks to have been almost eliminated at street level. Also that one Filifera at the original Mexican restaurant is fascinating as it’s been concreted 100% around its base. It must have roots into the water. It’s one of my favorites, along with the ones at the Canaries restaurant. I hope they do not cut anything down. 

5CCF2307-B89B-4721-B637-6E4DEF7703BD.jpeg

Edited by Collectorpalms
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richtrav
35 minutes ago, mulungu said:

Here is that mystery tree on the River Walk, with the feathery leaves and yellow flowers, if anyone would like to hazard an ID.

https://www.google.com/maps/@29.4251793,-98.4910067,3a,41.1y,300.79h,121.78t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sOS6HvXyot5Iaw7J1k0h6dw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

It’s Peltophorum dubium, according to a source I trust. This is the tree in flower

peltophorum sa river.jpg

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PricklyPearSATC
18 hours ago, Xenon said:

Damage starts in the low 20s and moderate branch dieback in the 18-20F range from what I've observed in the Houston Area. Still waiting to see how they handled 12-15F.

I think mine are gonna recover. 

I've got one that has new leaves on a few terminal buds. (I covered this one) 

The other one was too large to protect, but has rosemary growing at its base.  I threw a sheet over the rosemary to protect it, so it could come back from the roots.  Now it appears that terminal buds that I thought were dead appear to be elongating on this tree.    We will see!

Edited by PricklyPearSATC
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mulungu
On 3/12/2021 at 12:08 PM, Collectorpalms said:

I was able to look at the pictures on my laptop and see things a little better.
That one windmill is exceptionally tall, I had missed it. That makes 2 very tall ones I know of on the RW. It looks like the Mediterranean fan palm next to it at the bridge is fried, so the microclimate looks to have been almost eliminated at street level. Also that one Filifera at the original Mexican restaurant is fascinating as it’s been concreted 100% around its base. It must have roots into the water. It’s one of my favorites, along with the ones at the Canaries restaurant. I hope they do not cut anything down. 

Yes, that's a remarkable one.  There used to be another Windmill next to that one, which was nearly as tall, but which has been removed for some reason.

I really like that W. filifera at Casa Rio, too.  It has been happily growing surrounded by concrete forever.  Here it is circa 1965. 

1901667902_casaRiocirca1965(3).thumb.jpg.570175cf14eb98c31f6fc9e064ce6284.jpg

 

And I agree, the ones in front of Las Canarias are really awesome!

In fact, that whole little section of the river, which also includes the tall Trachycarpus and the Washingtonia around it, as well as the Peltophorum, has a special place in my heart.  This is because of the location’s connections with both the history of the city and the history of palm-growing in San Antonio.

Palms have been cultivated for many, many years along that north bank, upper arm segment of the Great Bend of the river.

The building behind the palms in this picture is the rectory of St. Mary’s Church at the North St. Mary’s Street Bridge. The belfry of the church is right behind that. 

20210307_082718.thumb.jpg.e1c7b90f87d028c34eb229dfd57428bc.jpg

 

From what I gather, since 1885 the resident pastors there have been the Oblates.  In modern times, the Oblate seminary grounds elsewhere in the city houses that amazing palm collection which has been discussed in other threads on Palmtalk. 

Well, way back in 1915, nurseryman E.W. Knox said that the oldest Washingtonia filifera in the city, as far as he knew, “is in the yard of the Oblate Fathers in St. Mary’s Street.  The seed of this palm was planted by Rev. Father Smith [who came to St. Mary's in 1886] and another was planted by him at the Santa Rosa Hospital.  Seeds from these two trees have since been planted in several of the city parks and many of these palms now may be seen in San Antonio.  They will live more than 100 years.”

He also went on to say that “Probably the original Sabal Texanum [Mexicana] in San Antonio is one now growing in the Main Plaza Park.  It was given to the city by Antonio Rivas, who repeatedly had refused large offers for it.  Ludwig Mahncke, when Park Commisioner, obtained seeds from this tree and raised a quantity of palms from them which are now scattered about in various parks.”

Also, in 1911 he had stated that "Father Smith secured seed of the Washingtonia Filifera and grew three trees, which are now large plants.  About twenty-one years ago [i.e. 1890] our firm shipped the first [rail] carload of Washingtonia Filifera from California and among those were a few Washingtonia Sonia" [(sic)-- presumably sonorae or now known as robusta]

Here is what the previous church looked like in 1894, and what the previous rectory, located between the church and the river, looked like circa 1900:

1983167034_originalstmaryschurch1894pubdomtrinityu30percent.jpg.5b65f9c3e2420535c750a21e3e631316.jpg

367449004_oblatefathershomewithbananas15percent.jpg.fb6ec39ec46d98f7b72ad63b3f5b8ec2.jpg

 

 

Here is another view of the old church and the Oblate Fathers home/rectory, undated, from St. Marys’ website. The river is out of view to the right. Notice the palms by the sidewalk. 

1326639770_St.maryschurchandrectoryoroblatefathershomefromstmaryschurchsaorg.jpg.a3b8d2c92f63661afc4bcea73aa61810.jpg

 

In this photo from 1910, you can see some palms growing by the rectory on the upper river bank.  Incidentally, that beautiful old iron St. Mary's Street bridge (dubbed the “Letters of Gold Bridge”) was transferred to Brackenridge park in 1925 when the current concrete one was built.

558611560_SanAntonioRiverBridgeatSt.MarysStandOblateFathershomewithpalmfromSunnySanAntonio1910.png.95d02ca5e4a0a6eefd7579c4b223bd04.png

 

This picture was recreated for the cover of this San Antonio railway tourist guide from 1911.  Artistic license was clearly used-- the tall palm tree looking like a coconut actually appears to represent a telephone pole in the photos above!

661237166_Sunnysanantonio1911oblatefathershome25percent.jpg.b8b37dab27577a7af7863d5b073ac905.jpg

 

To me it’s interesting to contemplate this short stretch of riverbank being among the very first sites for palm cultivation in San Antonio.

What's more, just a stone’s throw upstream, on the west side of bridge near the start of the Great Bend, was where the famed John Twohig house was located.  It sat near the Ben Milam Cypress that they always point out on the River Walk boat tours.  This was the house that appears in so many dreamy early paintings, engravings, and photographs of the river. 

Twohig, an Irish merchant and banker with a very colorful life, hosted lavish dinners for the likes of Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Sam Houston, and many others at his house, not far from where that River Walk Jubaea sits now. 

Looking downstream to St. Mary's, late 1800s

1362216277_st.maryschurchutsaedwardkingthegreatsouth1875madefromphotobyernstraba50percent.jpg.186249f088b52fb0f8bdd156ccfe5c81.jpg

 

Also looking downstream from the Twohig house  to St. Mary's and the bridge, late 1800s

1838772885_TheriverpassesunderbridgesJohnTwohighouselookingeastfromKampmannBldg1875thegreatsouth90percent.jpg.94cf223539ce247568f700d3f5d97a95.jpg

 

 

Same perpective, 1938, with the current concrete St. Mary's Street bridge,  about one year before the River Walk project first broke ground.

1720789518_SanAntoniorRiverca1938lookingeasttoStMarysstreetbridgewithJohnTwohigHouse.jpg.11f511c75278c79a000cf767ff954366.jpg

 

Downstream, just on the other side of the St. Mary's Street Bridge, with palms along the banks:

1190549413_sanantonioriverlookingdownstreamtonavarrostbridge1938withpalmsutsacollection2.jpg.d68266fe17c02198626fe54112db4a8c.jpg

 

The catastrophic flood of 1921, which devastated large areas of downtown and covered Houston Street in 9 ft. of water, severely damaged the old St. Mary’s church.  It had to be razed and rebuilt. The old church and rectory appear in some of the iconic photos from the time, like this one (notice the palms)…

1548953005_stmaryscatholicchurchoblatefathershouse1921floodstrinityuwithpalms.thumb.jpg.a27aa74a2aea30aa82cf707e08eada3a.jpg

 

 

... and this one (see the Washingtonia across the street next to the church)

1338939132_stmarysstreetbridge1921floodsstmaryschurchwithpalms.thumb.jpg.d2fe1e9b3f6288615049a3b15d85680c.jpg

 

All that water is where the tall Syagrus on the River Walk stands now!

 

It was those floods that led to the infrastructure changes which eventually permitted the safe river-level development of the River Walk as we know it today. 

Besides the beauty of the palms and tropicals along that part of the river bank, there is a lot of neat history where those trees stand! 

 

Edited by mulungu
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PricklyPearSATC

Fascinating...Thank You!

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Collectorpalms

That helps date the palms.

that tallest washingtonia is likely in the picture from 100 years ago. I can also see the window that the queen was planted up against like you said. Obviously a newer planting.

Also there were robustas in addition to filifera planted.

The sabal mexicana, is it still there? Not sure where that Main plaza park is.. I have been to two parks near downtown and do recall older palms at them.

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PricklyPearSATC
2 hours ago, Collectorpalms said:

That helps date the palms.

that tallest washingtonia is likely in the picture from 100 years ago. I can also see the window that the queen was planted up against like you said. Obviously a newer planting.

Also there were robustas in addition to filifera planted.

The sabal mexicana, is it still there? Not sure where that Main plaza park is.. I have been to two parks near downtown and do recall older palms at them.

I'm not seeing any mature palms on Main Plaza. 

It's across the street from San Fernando and the Court House. 

Old pictures do show palms at this site.  Image from 1930:  I see what appears to be a Sabal directly across from the court house.  Robustas are thriving, but I'm sure they were lost in 1949.  I don't know what happened to the Sabal. 

https://www.thebarwalk.com/2015/07/28/main-plaza/

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PricklyPearSATC
6 hours ago, Collectorpalms said:

That helps date the palms.

that tallest washingtonia is likely in the picture from 100 years ago. I can also see the window that the queen was planted up against like you said. Obviously a newer planting.

Also there were robustas in addition to filifera planted.

The sabal mexicana, is it still there? Not sure where that Main plaza park is.. I have been to two parks near downtown and do recall older palms at them.

I don't know happened to that URL with the 1930 image of Main Plaza.... Pic is here: 

Screenshot_2021-03-17 san antonio main plaza 1930 - Google Search.png

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Collectorpalms

Found The Texas Sabal from the 1920s. ...courthouse was completed 1886. However, I do not see the Robustas. Some of them would have been out of frame. But I am thinking they must have been transplanted there when they were very tall. ( one would definitely show up unless I am blind)  Most of the other plants are gone by 1930. 

1930 was extremely cold in parts of a Texas. It’s almost if the dates of pictures should be reversed. You can maybe date it by the cars. 

 

684FD004-FA1F-463C-A679-8D00223DE227.jpeg

Edited by Collectorpalms
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mulungu

Thank you @PricklyPearSATC and @Collectorpalms for those photos!  

Sad to see those W. robustas go from the plaza (I can't say the same for that stone bandstand though!) :lol:

I thought the space was truly enchanting when it was a park surrounded by two of the loveliest buildings in the city, the cathedral and the Bexar County courthouse. 

9870034_Mainplazaandsanfernandocathedral1908utsapubdom.jpg.be760d5164d9e308c3528f9702ff46b7.jpg

When they put in that bandstand and took out the shade trees and parterres, it truly jumped the shark.

Well, here are a couple more views of the original Main Plaza Sabal in its younger days.  Not sure why it was eventually removed.

From 1894:

518195481_sceneinthemainplazawithpalm1894pubdomtrinityu.thumb.jpg.0d34e92458b4b9229553deb8af1f3c85.jpg

 

 

Circa 1900, in the center circle of the park

32284071_mainplazacirca1900withsabalpalm.thumb.png.cb1d8fe7f64e7bc9a8b5d0bd02e38f6e.png

 

There was even a newspaper article on the palm in 1915:

2122096555_sabalarticle1915p1.png.b190d49b67fcd58e03c9f5c10120aa4f.png1427870793_sabalarticle1915p2.png.947abd9d2e6cc7c19bf8ce60f23614d1.png

I thought it was interesting how the article said that seed from the palm had been distributed as far as Dallas and Fort Worth.  In another place, E.W. Knox stated "A number of young ones were started from that palm and are now growing.  The first one was shipped to California and stood as low as six above zero."

 

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ChrisA

Jared, thank you very much for posting all this history. It was a fascinating read! 

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Collectorpalms

3AF2D272-9C84-41C9-B7A1-8ACFEE3F4931.jpeg

95D0A6E2-D301-474C-9751-AB57AE890FE1.jpeg
 

Washingtonia in one year, Dates in another. They sure couldn’t make up their mind as they grew.

Edited by Collectorpalms
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PricklyPearSATC
1 hour ago, Collectorpalms said:

3AF2D272-9C84-41C9-B7A1-8ACFEE3F4931.jpeg

95D0A6E2-D301-474C-9751-AB57AE890FE1.jpeg
 

Washingtonia in one year, Dates in another. They sure couldn’t make up their mind as they grew.

That's Alamo Plaza.  The person is probably sitting in one of the hotels looking north.  The second picture of the date palms would be on the north end of the plaza looking east.

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richtrav

Right. Here in this picture dated 1918 you can see both squares. Several references mention that the date palms in the plaza were killed by the winter of 1930 (actually they state 1929 which is close enough - the winter of 1929-30 did have a subfreezing day in December which may have started their decline though the severe cold in January is surely what finished them off). 

 

ED67F2D2-CE69-4C74-BA66-3FD49E1E7E74.jpeg

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Collectorpalms

I looked, Jan 1930 was very cold, but Feb 2021 was colder yet.

Maybe they were dactilifera and not CIDP. Or removed them before they had a chance. A closer look, most look like CIDP, or maybe not?

There are some CIDP alive here after 4F. If mine live, I would be tempted to plant more, but diseases has me too worried.

There is an ancient CIDP on the grounds of the Alamo, maybe there is a connection there.

14F0B3CB-1DC3-49B8-BDFA-51CDD89AF736.jpeg

52BC908F-CD61-4FF7-A60B-F78FDCF2AF8F.jpeg

Edited by Collectorpalms
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Collectorpalms

The Alamo grounds Canary.

1AE8CDAC-6FA1-47BE-9145-22878F884CAA.jpeg

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PricklyPearSATC
10 hours ago, richtrav said:

Right. Here in this picture dated 1918 you can see both squares. Several references mention that the date palms in the plaza were killed by the winter of 1930 (actually they state 1929 which is close enough - the winter of 1929-30 did have a subfreezing day in December which may have started their decline though the severe cold in January is surely what finished them off). 

 

 

By 1940, all vegetation was removed from that strip and a monument was placed on that site.

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