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Missi

Planting B. alfredii in Florida

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Missi

Calling all South Florida Palmies who have alfredii in ground... what do you recommend for soil amendments when planting, if any?

I have 2 SUUUPER overgrown one-gallons to plant out this weekend.

 

EDIT to add: and how about planting them in full sun at this size?

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Zeeth

I would just stick them in the ground. They aren't fussy with our soil. 

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Palmarum

Ditto, just find a spot that will suit their size and plant away.

Large one-gallon plants are fine in full sun, just water them regularly... as long as they are not too small to get stepped on or run over. A time-release fertilizer may be added if you are really in the mood for an amendment.

Ryan

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awkonradi

Missi, would you please post some pics here of your B. alfredii after they are in the ground?

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Looking Glass

I’m close to putting 3-foot B. Fenesteralis in the ground here too.  It seems to be taking full sun just fine.  I’m going to amend the soil a bit around it, by mixing in peat, composed manure, and garden soil, with some time release fertilizer and Ironite, as my soil is mostly just alkaline sand and they are a bit more fussy.  Hopefully that will give it a strong start.  

I think Alfredii is a better choice, but the palm-gods choose to grace me with the other, so in it will go.   

0E813CAF-9A3B-4E44-AE12-B1DBA132ABB9.thumb.jpeg.21c6d6f6ed396f5de390b94be1eb418b.jpeg

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Kailua_Krish
1 hour ago, Looking Glass said:

I’m close to putting 3-foot B. Fenesteralis in the ground here too.  It seems to be taking full sun just fine.  I’m going to amend the soil a bit around it, by mixing in peat, composed manure, and garden soil, with some time release fertilizer and Ironite, as my soil is mostly just alkaline sand and they are a bit more fussy.  Hopefully that will give it a strong start.  

I think Alfredii is a better choice, but the palm-gods choose to grace me with the other, so in it will go.   

0E813CAF-9A3B-4E44-AE12-B1DBA132ABB9.thumb.jpeg.21c6d6f6ed396f5de390b94be1eb418b.jpeg

Nice palm! In the part of Hawaii Im in I have alkaline beach sand/rock conditions similar to south Florida. All 5 of my B fenistralis are in various states of dying no matter how much iron and soil amendments I give they've just declined over the past 2 years since planting. Im giving up on them and planting alfredii which is a set it and forget it palm here.

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Looking Glass
21 minutes ago, krishnaraoji88 said:

Nice palm! In the part of Hawaii Im in I have alkaline beach sand/rock conditions similar to south Florida. All 5 of my B fenistralis are in various states of dying no matter how much iron and soil amendments I give they've just declined over the past 2 years since planting. Im giving up on them and planting alfredii which is a set it and forget it palm here.

Yeah I am emotionally prepared for that, and Alfis are also my back up plan....  but I got this one, so I’ll give it a go.   

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Missi
7 hours ago, awkonradi said:

Missi, would you please post some pics here of your B. alfredii after they are in the ground?

Ok, I will!! ^_^

4 hours ago, Looking Glass said:

I’m close to putting 3-foot B. Fenesteralis in the ground here too.  It seems to be taking full sun just fine.  I’m going to amend the soil a bit around it, by mixing in peat, composed manure, and garden soil, with some time release fertilizer and Ironite, as my soil is mostly just alkaline sand and they are a bit more fussy.  Hopefully that will give it a strong start.  

I think Alfredii is a better choice, but the palm-gods choose to grace me with the other, so in it will go.   

That’s a beauty!! I have that cured sugar sand, cap rock, and marl in some areas. In addition to mulch, I keep Canadian peat piled at the root base of my in ground Pinanga year round and it really seems to help since it likes that higher pH!

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chinandega81

Just keep well watered until established and give it fish emulsion for an extra boost once a month. They are one of the easiest palms to grow once established (which doesn't take long).

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Missi
6 hours ago, Missi said:

Ok, I will!! ^_^

That’s a beauty!! I have that cured sugar sand, cap rock, and marl in some areas. In addition to mulch, I keep Canadian peat piled at the root base of my in ground Pinanga year round and it really seems to help since it likes that higher pH!

UGHHH! I knew I made this typo as I was logging in and I cringed HARD! I meant LOWER pH :rolleyes:

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sonoranfans

I have slightly acidic pH due to sandy soil and HOA irrigation groundwater with sulfur, not a problem for alfredii.  My fenestrailis was a failed experiment, it was always pale and deficient, definitely a high maintenance palm in my soil.  Use controlle release fertilier and just water the alfredii consistently, they dont need special soil.  Too much organic content could be a bad thing for them in the rainy season.  I top mulch mine once a year with 3" metaleuca mulch, I usd no ammendment under the soil for these as instructed years ago by more experienced palmtalkers.

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RedRabbit
11 hours ago, Looking Glass said:

I’m close to putting 3-foot B. Fenesteralis in the ground here too.  It seems to be taking full sun just fine.  I’m going to amend the soil a bit around it, by mixing in peat, composed manure, and garden soil, with some time release fertilizer and Ironite, as my soil is mostly just alkaline sand and they are a bit more fussy.  Hopefully that will give it a strong start.  

I think Alfredii is a better choice, but the palm-gods choose to grace me with the other, so in it will go.   

0E813CAF-9A3B-4E44-AE12-B1DBA132ABB9.thumb.jpeg.21c6d6f6ed396f5de390b94be1eb418b.jpeg

I think you made the right choice with Fenesteralis. I think most people choose Alfredii since it’s more cold tolerant, but that’s not a factor for you. My understanding is that Fenesteralis grows faster so that’s the one I’d choose there. 

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Merlyn

In my area it's somewhat acidic and sandy, so B. Alfredii just went right into the ground with no amendments.  The one downhill from a roof downspout is growing about twice as fast as the ones on drippers, so it clearly appreciates the extra water.  The grower I bought them from (MB Palms) said to watch out for iron deficiencies.  I have only added generic Lesco/HD/Lowes fertilizer, and haven't noticed any problems.  They have the nominal 0.15% extra iron.  It could be a concern with higher pH soil.

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sonoranfans
52 minutes ago, Merlyn said:

In my area it's somewhat acidic and sandy, so B. Alfredii just went right into the ground with no amendments.  The one downhill from a roof downspout is growing about twice as fast as the ones on drippers, so it clearly appreciates the extra water.  The grower I bought them from (MB Palms) said to watch out for iron deficiencies.  I have only added generic Lesco/HD/Lowes fertilizer, and haven't noticed any problems.  They have the nominal 0.15% extra iron.  It could be a concern with higher pH soil.

You are pretty close to me, I have not found drippers to be useful in sandy soil.  They make small wet spots due to high drainage.  I use microsprinklers or microsprayers (7-14 gph) as they do a much better job of evenly wetting the root zone.  The water off the roof result seems to suggest the others are not getting enough and I would expect that with drippers in sand.  If they are all getting good and wet as mine are with microsprinklers, its primarily a question of sunlight.  My wettest spot (by far) is the second fastest growerand the slowest is in half shade.  The one that is fastest got less water long ago but by now the roots extend ~ 20' from the trunk so I just use lawnsprinklers now with such a huge root zone.  IF you want the fastest root growth wetting a radially symmetric zone just past the roots makes the most sense.  Drippers dont do that in sand, they work fine in soil with a good amount of organics or clay as that means capillary action is high.

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Missi
2 hours ago, sonoranfans said:

I have slightly acidic pH due to sandy soil and HOA irrigation groundwater with sulfur, not a problem for alfredii.  My fenestrailis was a failed experiment, it was always pale and deficient, definitely a high maintenance palm in my soil.  Use controlle release fertilier and just water the alfredii consistently, they dont need special soil.  Too much organic content could be a bad thing for them in the rainy season.  I top mulch mine once a year with 3" metaleuca mulch, I usd no ammendment under the soil for these as instructed years ago by more experienced palmtalkers.

Always appreciate your input! Where are you able to find melaleuca mulch? I used to find it a few years ago at the big box stores, but it seems like now all they carry is eucalyptus or cypress.

 

Ugh, I have been wondering why my two 3 gallon Livistona decipiens I planted a couple years ago have been doing so poorly. I think I heavily amended the holes I planted them in. Stupid stupid stupid. I'm probably smothering their roots.  I wonder if I should dig around with with a spade and dig out whatever organic media is left, or if that will do more damage than good.

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Missi
1 hour ago, Merlyn said:

In my area it's somewhat acidic and sandy, so B. Alfredii just went right into the ground with no amendments.  The one downhill from a roof downspout is growing about twice as fast as the ones on drippers, so it clearly appreciates the extra water.  The grower I bought them from (MB Palms) said to watch out for iron deficiencies.  I have only added generic Lesco/HD/Lowes fertilizer, and haven't noticed any problems.  They have the nominal 0.15% extra iron.  It could be a concern with higher pH soil.

I use Lesco for my in-ground plants too.

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KDubU
12 minutes ago, sonoranfans said:

You are pretty close to me, I have not found drippers to be useful in sandy soil.  They make small wet spots due to high drainage.  I use microsprinklers or microsprayers (7-14 gph) as they do a much better job of evenly wetting the root zone.  The water off the roof result seems to suggest the others are not getting enough and I would expect that with drippers in sand.  If they are all getting good and wet as mine are with microsprinklers, its primarily a question of sunlight.  My wettest spot (by far) is the second fastest growerand the slowest is in half shade.  The one that is fastest got less water long ago but by now the roots extend ~ 20' from the trunk so I just use lawnsprinklers now with such a huge root zone.  IF you want the fastest root growth wetting a radially symmetric zone just past the roots makes the most sense.  Drippers dont do that in sand, they work fine in soil with a good amount of organics or clay as that means capillary action is high.

This is good to know as I put in some bubblers on some of my palms and did not find they were putting down enough water. I am about to install a full drip system with 3/4” hose, 4 zones and now think that the microsprayers/sprinklers make more sense. 
 

Sorry don’t mean to go OT on this thread. Love the  B. alfredi but not sure it will grow up here in 9a. Plus trying to find one is a challenge and MB Palms is like a 3hr drive for me.

Edited by KDubU
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Missi
25 minutes ago, KDubU said:

 Love the  B. alfredi but not sure it will grow up here in 9a. Plus trying to find one is a challenge and MB Palms is like a 3hr drive for me.

Nooooo don’t give up! Get you some! Just place a Floribunda order. He has 1 gallons right now for $15 but they’re in limited supply.

EDIT: Mine came from him. They’re surprisingly hardy even being root bound and allowed to dry out pretty badly (I’ve been neglecting them :mellow2:). 

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Looking Glass
30 minutes ago, Missi said:

Always appreciate your input! Where are you able to find melaleuca mulch? I used to find it a few years ago at the big box stores, but it seems like now all they carry is eucalyptus or cypress.

 

Ugh, I have been wondering why my two 3 gallon Livistona decipiens I planted a couple years ago have been doing so poorly. I think I heavily amended the holes I planted them in. Stupid stupid stupid. I'm probably smothering their roots.  I wonder if I should dig around with with a spade and dig out whatever organic media is left, or if that will do more damage than good.

It probably depends on a lot on soil and site factors, and the specific plant.  I planted about 50 various plants here in the past year, was told not to amend or fertilize the planting holes.  I did a lot of amending and fertilizing for each one when I put them in, in all but one case.  The growth on the amended plantings and palms has been explosive, while the single, unamended plant is frozen in time.  

But when I go to put the Pseudophoenix sargentiis and Thrinax radiatas in, I certainly won’t be adding peat, or much organics, and will be fertilizing lightly, keeping the soils alkaline and sandy around them. 

I think it depends on what you are trying to do with your soil chemistry, moisture retention, and what each individual plant likes.  

I think amending a little bit around an Alfredii in sandy, high pH soil would probably give it an initial boost, as long as you don’t go crazy.  But I could be wrong.  For Fenestralis, a known anemic in the sand, I’m going to amend very heavily, and see if I can get better results than the usual....  But it might still flop anyways. 

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Missi

Thinking about placement this morning :interesting: Am I correct in expecting alfredii’s canopy to be about 30 ft. in diameter? :hmm:

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bubba

Where have you been hiding, Missi? Good to hear from you again!

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Missi
10 minutes ago, bubba said:

Where have you been hiding, Missi? Good to hear from you again!

Thanks so much! I took a break learning about/chatting about palms and got distracted with learning more about Aroids and terrarium plants, and also giving social media/online time a bit of a break. I really miss how real it is here at PT though. Good people sharing knowledge, not a bunch of young people trying to one-up each other on what they think they know :rolleyes:

I have a lot of palms I’m going to have to get in the ground this year. Starting with the alfrediis! I have an obnoxiously shaped property (75 x 660 :bummed:), so it’s going to be tricky placing them, but I really want to place one on either side of the beginning of my driveway because it’s wide open there. Just got the irrigation sprinkler system repaired yesterday, so I’m ready to plant! I’m assuming alfredii is fairly low maintenance, and that’s what I like to plant in the front because I’m not up there often. But...I don’t want the palms hanging over the driveway too much and I don’t want to be a bad neighbor and have them hang over the neighbor’s property much either. 

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chad2468emr
25 minutes ago, Missi said:

Thanks so much! I took a break learning about/chatting about palms and got distracted with learning more about Aroids and terrarium plants...

Fellow aroid lover here as well!! It’s hard for anything to surpass my love of palms, but aroids come close. Haha feel free to reach out about them whenever and then we can both avoid vapid Instagram + YouTube “plant community” culture where everyone that has had a 2 leafed node shipped to them in the mail two weeks prior suddenly thinks they’re an expert and posts YouTube video after YouTube video that regurgitates the same care tips you could Google in ten minutes: “Bright, indirect light. Well-draining soil. Dry between waterings. Humidity. Purified water.” :laugh2:

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Merlyn
1 hour ago, Missi said:

Thinking about placement this morning :interesting: Am I correct in expecting alfredii’s canopy to be about 30 ft. in diameter? :hmm:

That's probably a good bet.  Mine are growing taller faster than horizontally, so right now my largest is roughly 10' diameter and 15' tall.  Photos of older palms at Dr. B's place are pretty big.  If the guy in the photo here is about 6' tall, then the total crown diameter is around the 25' range.  I didn't realize this when I planted mine, and I put one of them about 8' from the house and 4' from my well tank.  Durrrrrr....  :D  I transplanted that one when I realized how big they grew.  The other one that's close to the house is about 12' away, so I'll probably have to trim the crown back just a bit. 

1278641050_Beccariophoenixalfredii14yr2.thumb.jpg.00d2ed4d93c0c7404b43b49231786fb3.jpg

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Missi
14 minutes ago, chad2468emr said:

Fellow aroid lover here as well!! It’s hard for anything to surpass my love of palms, but aroids come close. Haha feel free to reach out about them whenever and then we can both avoid vapid Instagram + YouTube “plant community” culture where everyone that has had a 2 leafed node shipped to them in the mail two weeks prior suddenly thinks they’re an expert and posts YouTube video after YouTube video that regurgitates the same care tips you could Google in ten minutes: “Bright, indirect light. Well-draining soil. Dry between waterings. Humidity. Purified water.” :laugh2:

:floor: You hit the nail on the head, friend! 

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Missi
11 minutes ago, Merlyn said:

That's probably a good bet.  Mine are growing taller faster than horizontally, so right now my largest is roughly 10' diameter and 15' tall.  Photos of older palms at Dr. B's place are pretty big.  If the guy in the photo here is about 6' tall, then the total crown diameter is around the 25' range.  I didn't realize this when I planted mine, and I put one of them about 8' from the house and 4' from my well tank.  Durrrrrr....  :D  I transplanted that one when I realized how big they grew.  The other one that's close to the house is about 12' away, so I'll probably have to trim the crown back just a bit. 

1278641050_Beccariophoenixalfredii14yr2.thumb.jpg.00d2ed4d93c0c7404b43b49231786fb3.jpg

OMG I’ve been away from palms so long that I called the crown a canopy :wacko: Thank you for the reference photo!!

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Tyrone
16 hours ago, Looking Glass said:

It probably depends on a lot on soil and site factors, and the specific plant.  I planted about 50 various plants here in the past year, was told not to amend or fertilize the planting holes.  I did a lot of amending and fertilizing for each one when I put them in, in all but one case.  The growth on the amended plantings and palms has been explosive, while the single, unamended plant is frozen in time.  

But when I go to put the Pseudophoenix sargentiis and Thrinax radiatas in, I certainly won’t be adding peat, or much organics, and will be fertilizing lightly, keeping the soils alkaline and sandy around them. 

I think it depends on what you are trying to do with your soil chemistry, moisture retention, and what each individual plant likes.  

I think amending a little bit around an Alfredii in sandy, high pH soil would probably give it an initial boost, as long as you don’t go crazy.  But I could be wrong.  For Fenestralis, a known anemic in the sand, I’m going to amend very heavily, and see if I can get better results than the usual....  But it might still flop anyways. 

I amend all my planting holes with organics and get great growth. My soil is clay peat. If you’re on sand you will get almost no growth without soil amendments. In my experience B alfredii does well with soil amendments. 

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Missi
1 hour ago, Tyrone said:

I amend all my planting holes with organics and get great growth. My soil is clay peat. If you’re on sand you will get almost no growth without soil amendments. In my experience B alfredii does well with soil amendments. 

That’s what I was thinking...how can something non-native grow well in plain ol sugar sand? And I’m very nervous about adding chemical ferts to newly planted things. I planted them this morning (before it got in the upper 80s :wacko:) and added some compost/cow manure mix when I filled their holes back in. I also put 2 big bags of eucalyptus mulch around both of them. 
 


I’ll get some pics after I recover from that full sun workout!

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redant
On 3/26/2021 at 3:00 AM, Looking Glass said:

I’m close to putting 3-foot B. Fenesteralis in the ground here too.  It seems to be taking full sun just fine.  I’m going to amend the soil a bit around it, by mixing in peat, composed manure, and garden soil, with some time release fertilizer and Ironite, as my soil is mostly just alkaline sand and they are a bit more fussy.  Hopefully that will give it a strong start.  

I think Alfredii is a better choice, but the palm-gods choose to grace me with the other, so in it will go.   

0E813CAF-9A3B-4E44-AE12-B1DBA132ABB9.thumb.jpeg.21c6d6f6ed396f5de390b94be1eb418b.jpeg

One of my favorites, iron, iron, iron. Did I mention they like iron?  I have 5 in the ground, I buy a lot of iron lol.

 

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Merlyn
On 3/26/2021 at 4:38 PM, sonoranfans said:

You are pretty close to me, I have not found drippers to be useful in sandy soil.  They make small wet spots due to high drainage.  I use microsprinklers or microsprayers (7-14 gph) as they do a much better job of evenly wetting the root zone.  The water off the roof result seems to suggest the others are not getting enough and I would expect that with drippers in sand.  If they are all getting good and wet as mine are with microsprinklers, its primarily a question of sunlight.  My wettest spot (by far) is the second fastest growerand the slowest is in half shade.  The one that is fastest got less water long ago but by now the roots extend ~ 20' from the trunk so I just use lawnsprinklers now with such a huge root zone.  IF you want the fastest root growth wetting a radially symmetric zone just past the roots makes the most sense.  Drippers dont do that in sand, they work fine in soil with a good amount of organics or clay as that means capillary action is high.

When I've done recent transplants it seems like the drippers do keep a significant radius around them consistently moist.  I transplanted a 3' trunk Sylvestris a few weeks ago in very sandy soil, and an E. Tegulaneus yesterday in sandy/organic soil.  Both seemed to be consistently damp soil all around them, with only a pair of 1gph drippers on each plant.   I'm sure a fan sprayer or microbubbler would do a better job at surface level, but below about 6" down it seems to work okay.  With ~350 palms and cycads in the ground, my setup is more intended to avoid complete drought deaths than it is to optimize each plant's water.  I've also been sticking to drippers because the areas with lawn sprayers or sprinklers-on-a-stick have a lot worse weed growth.

I was also shocked at the root growth on B. Alfredii.  I planted one from MB Palms in a 3g (I think) about 5' tall in August 2018.  I realized over the winter that it was WAAAAY too close to the well equipment and house, and moved it in March 2019.  In ~8 months in the ground it had grown a huge number of 0.5" roots in all directions.  It was way more roots than I've seen on any other transplant.  Some (like a Butia or a Hyophorbe) popped out of the ground with a root ball not much bigger than the original pot.  The Alfredii had just exploded in all directions with roots.

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Zeeth
9 hours ago, Missi said:

That’s what I was thinking...how can something non-native grow well in plain ol sugar sand? 

Here's one I planted at my in-laws place. It doesn't get watered or fertilized (neither does the lawn, which turns brown in the dry season). It grows slower than the ones that I take care of, but it looks perfectly healthy despite the neglect. I just planted one in a neighbor's yard, and the first foot of soil was like loose beach sand due to our recent lack of rain. I'll be taking jugs of water to it to keep it going until the rainy season starts, but once it's established I'll leave it alone. As long as this species isn't bothered too much by lethal bronzing or palmetto weevil, I think it'll be one of the most carefree palms for Florida. 

D1945726-F1A9-4349-B7B7-B3CA1E98BFAB.jpeg

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RedRabbit
3 hours ago, Zeeth said:

Here's one I planted at my in-laws place. 

Congrats :greenthumb:

Edited by RedRabbit

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Looking Glass

Not to hijack, but anyone know how these hold up to high storm winds.  They have such a big crown, I'm guessing "medium".  I know that young ones lean/tip, middle age I bet they are more solid, but maybe they are also size dependent like some palms (great when middle aged, then bad when super tall), like Livistona chinensis and Washingtonia robusta.

Palm, Washingtonia (Washingtonia robusta) Zones 9 to 11. Sherry Williams from Brevard County reported a lot of these palms blown over (53). I also received a report from near Tampa (60 mph sustained winds, 80 mph gusts) of 24 of these palms down in one neighborhood (14). And Peggy Dessaint, Manatee County Extension Agent, reports a 30 foot tall specimen broken in half in the middle of the trunk when fully exposed to 75 mph winds (13). Holly Shackelford of the Charlotte County Extension reported that Washingtonia palms did “very poorly’ in cat 4 Charley. Many “broke in half or fell over” (47). I also received some good reports about Washingtonia palms and wonder if the shorter ones are more stable than the taller ones. Nonetheless, this palm obviously has a low wind tolerance. This tree can cause major damage to houses. If you have one within falling distance of your home, I recommend having it removed.  -From Wind Tolerance for the Palm Beach Landscape.  

I don't think we have the data for truly tall, mature trees, as we don't have any of these trees in the United States yet....   Decades will tell for sure I guess.   

Edited by Looking Glass

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sonoranfans
7 hours ago, Looking Glass said:

Not to hijack, but anyone know how these hold up to high storm winds.  They have such a big crown, I'm guessing "medium".  I know that young ones lean/tip, middle age I bet they are more solid, but maybe they are also size dependent like some palms (great when middle aged, then bad when super tall), like Livistona chinensis and Washingtonia robusta.

Palm, Washingtonia (Washingtonia robusta) Zones 9 to 11. Sherry Williams from Brevard County reported a lot of these palms blown over (53). I also received a report from near Tampa (60 mph sustained winds, 80 mph gusts) of 24 of these palms down in one neighborhood (14). And Peggy Dessaint, Manatee County Extension Agent, reports a 30 foot tall specimen broken in half in the middle of the trunk when fully exposed to 75 mph winds (13). Holly Shackelford of the Charlotte County Extension reported that Washingtonia palms did “very poorly’ in cat 4 Charley. Many “broke in half or fell over” (47). I also received some good reports about Washingtonia palms and wonder if the shorter ones are more stable than the taller ones. Nonetheless, this palm obviously has a low wind tolerance. This tree can cause major damage to houses. If you have one within falling distance of your home, I recommend having it removed.  -From Wind Tolerance for the Palm Beach Landscape.  

I don't think we have the data for truly tall, mature trees, as we don't have any of these trees in the United States yet....   Decades will tell for sure I guess.   

The root system of the palm will determine how well it holds up in wind, much like a sailboat keel.  Large deep extensive root systems will survive the winds best without damage.  The leaves of BA bend in the wind more than cocos but the crown is thicker, more leaves.  My largest (20' overall at the time), out in the open, was in 65-75mph winds in IRMA for 5 hrs or so, no observable damage other than some leaf tips fractured on a few older leaves(the least protected from wind in the crown).  The wind was enough to snap 4 petioles(lower to mid leaves) on a nearby large sabal causiarum.  I also had a wind sheltered BA in part shade that was slightly tipped(less than 10 degrees).  It had a thinner(<1/2thickness) trunk, obviously less extensive roots, though it was planted the same year same size..  How well you grow those deep roots will determine the palms resilience in wind.  Top mulching is most important, IMO, not preparation of the hole.   I would never use a "eucalyptus mulch", some of the hundreds of species of eucalyptus emit oils that are herbicides, some of these species may stunt growth.  BA grows in rivertine sandy soil in habitat so yeah it will take sand down there, its adapted it it genetically.  Generally trunk thickness is going to go with root mass within a species, so when your trunks get thick, the palm will be more resistant.  If you want deep roots, good drainage makes it easier to get a consistent water cycle.  If you dont have a consistent water cycle the roots will either be truncated by root decay or if the soil doesn't get wet deep the roots wont grow there.  When this sucker gets to 40' tall you will want that deep extensive root system.

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Merlyn

In Hurricane Dorian I had 5 in the ground, ranging from 8-12' tall.  We got about 6 inches of rain and sustained 30-50mph winds with some higher gusts.  One fell over, the others were unaffected or had a very slight lean.  The one that fell had a broken dripper that was right near the base of the palm.  It apparently had been spraying gallons and gallons of water at the base, and washing away all the dirt.  So it was a combination of wind and poor rooting that caused it to fall over.  I staked it upright and it kept growing like nothing had happened.

During the same storm, a relatively young Queen tilted at a 30 degree angle, and I had to push it back up and stake it as well.  It didn't have any broken drippers messing up the root initiation zone, but has also grown just fine ever since.

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RedRabbit
On 3/27/2021 at 9:28 AM, Merlyn said:

That's probably a good bet.  Mine are growing taller faster than horizontally, so right now my largest is roughly 10' diameter and 15' tall.  Photos of older palms at Dr. B's place are pretty big.  If the guy in the photo here is about 6' tall, then the total crown diameter is around the 25' range.  I didn't realize this when I planted mine, and I put one of them about 8' from the house and 4' from my well tank.  Durrrrrr....  :D  I transplanted that one when I realized how big they grew.  The other one that's close to the house is about 12' away, so I'll probably have to trim the crown back just a bit. 

1278641050_Beccariophoenixalfredii14yr2.thumb.jpg.00d2ed4d93c0c7404b43b49231786fb3.jpg

I recently planted a b.a. about 1ft away from my fence. 
972DDEB8-F41B-4B3C-BB80-F11B8BC71F69.thumb.jpeg.47cf3e4e25d4f2ad5d4209f913b585ea.jpeg

What do you all think, is this too close? I don’t really care if the fronts are up against it, my bigger concern is it being too close for the trunk. I figured it wouldn’t be a problem unless the trunk were >2ft wide, and judging by that picture it might actually be that big. Aside from being close to the fence this spot is ideal so I’d prefer not to move it.

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Looking Glass
12 minutes ago, RedRabbit said:

I recently planted a b.a. about 1ft away from my fence. 
972DDEB8-F41B-4B3C-BB80-F11B8BC71F69.thumb.jpeg.47cf3e4e25d4f2ad5d4209f913b585ea.jpeg

What do you all think, is this too close? I don’t really care if the fronts are up against it, my bigger concern is it being too close for the trunk. I figured it wouldn’t be a problem unless the trunk were >2ft wide, and judging by that picture it might actually be that big. Aside from being close to the fence this spot is ideal so I’d prefer not to move it.

Somewhere, buried in the photos of Palmtalk, is a picture of Mr Searle hugging his Alfredii.  It certainly looks >2 feet in diameter.  I saw that tree earlier this month at the sale.  It has a hulking presence. 

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sonoranfans

that fence is no problem for the alfredii.  Its wooden and the alfredii will just crush it out of the way jack and the beanstalk style :D.  Wooden fences also do not limit root growth so it looks like that palm may have a bright future.   With leafbases on, my largest alfredii trunk is currently measured at about 30-31" in diameter at 1' above the soil.  Mine is 3-4 years younger than Jeff Searles monster.

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Looking Glass
5 hours ago, sonoranfans said:

The root system of the palm will determine how well it holds up in wind, much like a sailboat keel.  Large deep extensive root systems will survive the winds best without damage.  The leaves of BA bend in the wind more than cocos but the crown is thicker, more leaves.  My largest (20' overall at the time), out in the open, was in 65-75mph winds in IRMA for 5 hrs or so, no observable damage other than some leaf tips fractured on a few older leaves(the least protected from wind in the crown).  The wind was enough to snap 4 petioles(lower to mid leaves) on a nearby large sabal causiarum.  I also had a wind sheltered BA in part shade that was slightly tipped(less than 10 degrees).  It had a thinner(<1/2thickness) trunk, obviously less extensive roots, though it was planted the same year same size..  How well you grow those deep roots will determine the palms resilience in wind.  Top mulching is most important, IMO, not preparation of the hole.   I would never use a "eucalyptus mulch", some of the hundreds of species of eucalyptus emit oils that are herbicides, some of these species may stunt growth.  BA grows in rivertine sandy soil in habitat so yeah it will take sand down there, its adapted it it genetically.  Generally trunk thickness is going to go with root mass within a species, so when your trunks get thick, the palm will be more resistant.  If you want deep roots, good drainage makes it easier to get a consistent water cycle.  If you dont have a consistent water cycle the roots will either be truncated by root decay or if the soil doesn't get wet deep the roots wont grow there.  When this sucker gets to 40' tall you will want that deep extensive root system.

The ground-root interface system is actually just 1 of 3 parts to the story of wind resistance.  Roots give you your anchor to the ground, but the ground itself, depending on the soil type, and rainfall saturation can still give way.  

The trunk is the next part.  The taller the tree, the more leverage the wind has, so as palms get taller, they can actually get less hurricane resistant.   You see this with Royals, which have good hurricane resistance for various reasons, but taller, older ones are actually more prone to blowing over than younger-middle ones, especially if there is a prolonged saturating rain event weakening the ground.  They can uproot.   The flexibility of the trunk also plays a role.  More flexible trunks can absorb wind gusts better, those tall, thin coconuts hold up pretty well.  

The crown/canopy is the final factor.  Huge, stiff, durable crowns create a lot of surface area and wind drag force.  Think Bismarckia.  Palms like Royals, and Dictyosperma album drop leaves to cut drag as a defense.  Flexibility of the leaves plays a role also. If they can change shape to decrease surface area, they can cut drag.  

I think the Beccariophoenix will do ok into middle age but I’m guessing you could see problems during hurricanes when they get old and taller.  They will likely have less storm resistance at 50 feet tall, than at 20 feet.  But we can’t know for sure for a while. 

060460D3-20F8-4C9B-8596-0C3194697FA8.jpeg.b7a62cd63ed82e1d70b864efad8db1eb.jpeg


 

 

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Merlyn
27 minutes ago, sonoranfans said:

that fence is no problem for the alfredii.  Its wooden and the alfredii will just crush it out of the way jack and the beanstalk style :D.

:D :D :D ^ this is true.  I staked up the Alfredii as mentioned above, and then forgot to go remove the stakes.  The trunk had utterly crushed the 1" PVC pipes I'd hammered into the ground.  It had no remorse and was not inconvenienced in the slightest by those puny little pipes in the way.  @RedRabbit this should give you a good idea of how big that trunk gets.  It's easily 3' in diameter, maybe closer to 4':

248625672_Beccariophoenixalfredii14yr4.thumb.jpeg.fbbde36bcf369a4725f10a213364f016.jpeg

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