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NBTX11

Replacement palm ideas

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NBTX11

Give me some suggestions for palms to replace my two large Robusta, when they eventually kick the bucket.  They were super slender, beautiful, and tall  One was about 40 feet tall and the other about 25 feet tall.  I love the slender palm look, even though I also have Filifera in my yard.  I have room for maybe 4-6 palms once these are eventually taken down, should they not recover.  

Should I:

1.  Replace the Robusta with more Robusta, realizing that this may have been a 50 year freeze.

2.  Find hardier palms to replace them with and basically not worry about freezes anymore. 

I don't have decades to wait, I need fast growing palms.  My tall Robusta went from 1 foot to 40 feet in 16 years.

What do you suggest.  Livistona Chinensis?  Short of buying field dug Sabals, I don't know that those are options, they are so Sloooooow.  I am thinking of just biting the bullet and planting a yard full of W. Filiferas.  Basically this freeze has taught me that my list of actual hardy palms are smaller than thought.  Sabals and Filifera, lol.  How will you adjust your yard going forward, or will you take the approach that this probably won't happen again anytime soon.  At one time I had a beautiful CIDP with a huge crown, but it died 3 years ago (not related to cold).  It just up and died one summer.

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Jtee

If it were me I’d probably plant a couple more robustas, especially if you seem to really enjoy those. I’d also plant a few more cold hardy palms that I knew would survive another really cold blast. If I had the money I’d get a couple tall sabals and have them installed and that would save a lot of time waiting for smaller palms to grow and also would give you piece of mind knowing if you get another super cold snap they will survive. 

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NBTX11
5 minutes ago, Jtee said:

If it were me I’d probably plant a couple more robustas, especially if you seem to really enjoy those. I’d also plant a few more cold hardy palms that I knew would survive another really cold blast. If I had the money I’d get a couple tall sabals and have them installed and that would save a lot of time waiting for smaller palms to grow and also would give you piece of mind knowing if you get another super cold snap they will survive. 

I did enjoy the Robusta.  I loved those trees.  I don't know if I want to do this again if and when another major freeze happens though.  My Robusta towered over my two story house.  

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Teegurr
3 minutes ago, NBTX11 said:

I did enjoy the Robusta.  I loved those trees.  I don't know if I want to do this again if and when another major freeze happens though.  My Robusta towered over my two story house.  

Could Braheas work?

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JohnAndSancho

Robustas have grown on me. Mine was the 2nd "big" palm that I bought, and tbph I only bought it because I read they grow fast. 

 

Granted, mine is young, it's in a pot, etc etc but I'm really enjoying the colors on its - i don't even know if it's tall enough to call it a trunk yet, but I really dig the way it's looking right now. 

Plus, I'll look at one day and be excited that it's pushing a new frond, and then less than a week later that frond's opened and there's another new one. I really did hate that it shredded my hands when it became my patio Christmas tree, but some $8 gloves pretty much cleared up that problem. 

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CiprianS
1 hour ago, NBTX11 said:

Give me some suggestions for palms to replace my two large Robusta, when they eventually kick the bucket.  They were super slender, beautiful, and tall  One was about 40 feet tall and the other about 25 feet tall.  I love the slender palm look, even though I also have Filifera in my yard.  I have room for maybe 4-6 palms once these are eventually taken down, should they not recover.  

Should I:

1.  Replace the Robusta with more Robusta, realizing that this may have been a 50 year freeze.

2.  Find hardier palms to replace them with and basically not worry about freezes anymore. 

I don't have decades to wait, I need fast growing palms.  My tall Robusta went from 1 foot to 40 feet in 16 years.

What do you suggest.  Livistona Chinensis?  Short of buying field dug Sabals, I don't know that those are options, they are so Sloooooow.  I am thinking of just biting the bullet and planting a yard full of W. Filiferas.  Basically this freeze has taught me that my list of actual hardy palms are smaller than thought.  Sabals and Filifera, lol.  How will you adjust your yard going forward, or will you take the approach that this probably won't happen again anytime soon.  At one time I had a beautiful CIDP with a huge crown, but it died 3 years ago (not related to cold).  It just up and died one summer.

I will give you my two cents.  The weather is becoming more and more extreme, I would plant Filifera, I would not go with Robusta anymore. Why look at them how they get burned and eventually die again when you can go to a more cold hardy species? 

@edit: Now, consider me crazy, but although my Canaries got burned and died from the freeze, I am still looking like crazy to get some other baby Canaries and start again with them. :) So, if you are into Robusta, than whatever anyone else will tell you, it won't make you to change your track. :)

Edited by CiprianS
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NBTX11
30 minutes ago, CiprianS said:

I will give you my two cents.  The weather is becoming more and more extreme, I would plant Filifera, I would not go with Robusta anymore. Why look at them how they get burned and eventually die again when you can go to a more cold hardy species? 

@edit: Now, consider me crazy, but although my Canaries got burned and died from the freeze, I am still looking like crazy to get some other baby Canaries and start again with them. :) So, if you are into Robusta, than whatever anyone else will tell you, it won't make you to change your track. :)

I have a batch of Filifera seedlings I am growing that I am getting ready to plant.  I just haven't decided if that's what I am going to actually plant.  I may just say heck with it, I don't want to do any more worrying about cold.  I am getting too old for this crap.  Filifera is an attractive palm.  They are just so dang fat...lol.

Edited by NBTX11

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NBTX11
1 hour ago, Teegurr said:

Could Braheas work?

I have no experience with Braheas.  What is the cold tolerance.  Are they coming back from this freeze in the SA area.  How fast do they grow.

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CiprianS
7 minutes ago, NBTX11 said:

I have a batch of Filifera seedlings I am growing that I am getting ready to plant.  I just haven't decided if that's what I am going to actually plant.  I may just say heck with it, I don't want to do any more worrying about cold.  I am getting too old for this crap.  Filifera is an attractive palm.  They are just so dang fat...lol.

How fast do the Filifera seedlings grow? I also got a batch of them from eBay and I am curios of their growth rate. 

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NBTX11
Just now, CiprianS said:

How fast do the Filifera seedlings grow? I also got a batch of them from eBay and I am curios of their growth rate. 

Fast.  Mine are on their second leaf.  I germinated them about a month or so ago.  Maybe less.  The seedlings grow basically as fast as Robusta seedlings.

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Teegurr
9 minutes ago, NBTX11 said:

I have no experience with Braheas.  What is the cold tolerance.  Are they coming back from this freeze in the SA area.  How fast do they grow.

Brahea armata likes dry weather. 17F with no damage. 10F with a moderate amount of damage. Slow as hell (3-5 inches per year) Beautiful. Bismarckia substitute. Definitely hardier than robusta and only a little less hardy than filifera. 

Brahea edulis - as leaf hardy as Livistona chinensis. 25% leaf burn at 20F. Growth rate: 12 inches per year.

Brahea clara - about as hardy as B. edulis. Faster than armata. Looks sort of similar, but greener leaves and droopier.

Brahea aculeata - no damage at 20F. 15F for small (3ft) plant 60% defoliation.

Research from palmtalk

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Collectorpalms

All Brahea are slow. All mine had to be trunk cut to be saved. Brahea edulis does not like texas heat and humidity.

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NBTX11

What about Livistona.  I hear some are coming back from this freeze.  How fast are they.  I usually see these in bush form, I hardly ever see really tall ones around here.  Wonder why that is.  As hardy as they are, you should see more tall ones.

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Collectorpalms
1 minute ago, NBTX11 said:

What about Livistona.  I hear some are coming back from this freeze.  How fast are they.  I usually see these in bush form, I hardly ever see really tall ones around here.  Wonder why that is.  As hardy as they are, you should see more tall ones.

They are less leaf hardy than a queen. They burn in the mid 20s in frost. Usually sold in pot with 2-3 so they don’t get big, but individually separated they get semi-tall. I have 1 out of about 10 that is growing.

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Xenon

Livistona chinensis is unbeatable imo. Not the fastest palm, but it's tropical looking, bud hardy to 10F +/-, well adapted to heat and humidity, and resistant to most major palm diseases. Exposed palms do burn a bit in the low 20s but no damage under canopy to about 20F. It pumps out enough leaves during the growing season to look beautiful by summer barring complete defoliation. I'm pretty sure there are some pre-1989 L. chinensis in the Houston Area. 

If you can find them, I think some Livistona hybrids like chinensis x decora or chinensis x nitida could be holy grail hardy palms for 9a or close to 9a climates. You get the bud hardiness from chinensis and the leaf hardiness and "self-cleaning" from the other species (exposed decora and nitida don't burn much until <20F) along with a healthy dose of hybrid vigor for a cold hardy rocket. The photos I've seen of chinensis x decora look amazing!

I need to go see if any of the Houston freeway Livistona decora survived...might be another viable option but I doubt they are hardier (if at all) than Washingtonia robusta. 

Sabal uresana is another contender, definitely cold hardy enough. 

 

Edited by Xenon

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PricklyPearSATC
20 minutes ago, NBTX11 said:

What about Livistona.  I hear some are coming back from this freeze.  How fast are they.  I usually see these in bush form, I hardly ever see really tall ones around here.  Wonder why that is.  As hardy as they are, you should see more tall ones.

Mine "survived"...It's under the canopy of a live oak.  I tried to cover the bud.  It's trunk is about 2 feet tall.  I planted it in 2008.  I believe it was a 3 gallon.  Old pics show me that it does get leaf burn in winter fairly frequently, but it always grows etc.  Image from Oct 2018.  I have other palms nearby.  (Sabal brazoria/minor)

Screenshot_2021-04-08 Google Maps.png

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amh

I would recommend a yard full of filifera with a few filibusta for quicker height.

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necturus

For a palm with height it's filifera, filibusta or nothing. Most of the filibusta looking palms are coming back in Houston. I know there's some really optimistic takes on robusta in Houston on here, but I still think a lot are dead.

I am going to loose several L. chinensis with trunks in the 1-2 foot range, and the jury is still out on the large ones in my neighborhood. Unfortunately, the Livistona line just ain't made for this kind of cold.

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tlow

I've come to the conclusion (post freeze) that I'm just going cold hardy... that's it, I want to set it and forget it.  Mind you, I am patient, young, and have a lot of time on my hands (God willing), so I have been buying 1-3G for everything, but I'm really going hardy.  I've started acquiring and planting many varieties of Sabals like Louisiana, Emerald Isle, Hatteras, Mexicana, Birmingham along with C. Humilus, Needle Palms, W. Filifera, Pindo and the usual Trachy F..  I do have two robustas that I kinda got that are way down at the back of the property and they will grow until they get wiped out, I'm not expecting life on them forever.  I've started clearing the back part of our property which is just crappy looking junipers taking up room and making room for a bunch of S. Minors.  Rather have those in my woods creating a natural hedge and privacy fence versus these disgusting Junipers and native cottonwoods.

I don't mind the slow growth, I really don't.. Gives me something to look forward to!

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Xenon
3 hours ago, necturus said:

 

I am going to loose several L. chinensis with trunks in the 1-2 foot range, and the jury is still out on the large ones in my neighborhood. Unfortunately, the Livistona line just ain't made for this kind of cold.

I'm not in a warm part of Houston by any means yet I'm not seeing much chinensis death at all. They were actually some of the first palms to show signs of life. 

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NBTX11

Just hired a guy to come and cut down my front yard Robusta. Talk me out of it. It’s done nothing at all and appears totally dead. Yeah I know I should wait but I don’t foresee it doing anything. Larger one I’m giving another month or two to see what happens. 

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Collectorpalms

.... yes I have 1 Livistonia over 10 ft survive 5* and I found one that survived at the old horticulture gardens that is above the roof of a building. ( see picture) But I have I think 10, and only 1 survived so far, the rest are trunk cut with no movement. They just burn more easily than a Robusta.

I think you really like Robustas, just plant again. Heck I am still itching to buy over priced queens. I just won’t buy an Unknown lineage Robusta because they are too costly to remove. ( Anything out of Florida has no cold hardiness). Aka Lowe’s inventory, and probably Houston garden centers. I fully expect another freeze in my lifetime.... I am just replanting with 75 percent of plants than can take 5* again and not be filled with yearly anxiety.

there is so far only 1 tall thin robusta-like washingtonia survive 5* that I have found. I had one surprise yesterday in my yard A tall Filibusta has green. That leaves 16 Washingtonia flat lined in my yard and 99 percent of the city’s I have checked out.... It’s still early for Washingtonia. Cross fingers.

97F2E64C-D51D-4447-82DC-C5309C711386.jpeg

Edited by Collectorpalms
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CiprianS
6 minutes ago, NBTX11 said:

Just hired a guy to come and cut down my front yard Robusta. Talk me out of it. It’s done nothing at all and appears totally dead. Yeah I know I should wait but I don’t foresee it doing anything. Larger one I’m giving another month or two to see what happens. 

Life is too short to have head aches every time when a freeze comes wondering if the big and wonderful Robusta will survive or not. I would just get rid of it. :) I think I doubled my grey hairs since this damn freeze by just going a few times per day to see what is happening with my Robusta that grew like in the fairy tales. I don't even want to remember how many times I also looked at my Canaries... :( 

Edited by CiprianS
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Xenon
18 minutes ago, CiprianS said:

Life is too short to have head aches every time when a freeze comes wondering if the big and wonderful Robusta will survive or not. I would just get rid of it. :) I think I doubled my grey hairs since this damn freeze by just going a few times per day to see what is happening with my Robusta that grew like in the fairy tales. I don't even want to remember how many times I also looked at my Canaries... :( 

Life is too short to grow only filifera and sabal palms in Houston when you could plant a queen now and have a giant in 30 years or a fruiting foxtail in 10 years. I bet all of you "cold hardy folks" are going to fomo after a long string of mild winters. I don't live in zone 9 to plant only zone 8 palms haha 

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Collectorpalms
18 minutes ago, Xenon said:

Life is too short to grow only filifera and sabal palms in Houston when you could plant a queen now and have a giant in 30 years or a fruiting foxtail in 10 years. I bet all of you "cold hardy folks" are going to fomo after a long string of mild winters. I don't live in zone 9 to plant only zone 8 palms haha 

Your young. I was a young man once. Reality is they are cheap to buy, but not cheap to remove. I never wanted Robusta in my yard. I was just fooled by the wrong ones. However, I admit to buying things I shouldn’t have because I was so close to Houston. But look at the difference only 1 hour 20 minutes is in survival of plants this time. Next time it may go all the way to Houston.... and maybe Orlando !

 

Edited by Collectorpalms

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CiprianS
34 minutes ago, Xenon said:

Life is too short to grow only filifera and sabal palms in Houston when you could plant a queen now and have a giant in 30 years or a fruiting foxtail in 10 years. I bet all of you "cold hardy folks" are going to fomo after a long string of mild winters. I don't live in zone 9 to plant only zone 8 palms haha 

That is your opinion. :) Everyone is entitle to his, of course. But right now, at least in my case, I am just trying to play it safe.

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Xenon
22 minutes ago, Collectorpalms said:

Your young. I was a young man once. Reality is they are cheap to buy, but not cheap to remove. I never wanted Robusta in my yard. I was just fooled by the wrong ones. However, I admit to buying things I shouldn’t have because I was so close to Houston. But look at the difference only 1 hour 20 minutes is in survival of plants this time. Next time it may go all the way to Houston.... and maybe Orlando !

 

Might be colder next winter or might be zone 9b+ for the next 10-20 years, who knows? Both are in the realm of possibility and have occurred within the last 100 years. Best to take the middle approach and do a bit of both though I agree robusta are difficult to remove. You don't want to be that palm enthusiast in 10 years with a yard full of filifera and Sabals while your neighbors have queens and pygmies (or insert anything not bulletproof to cold). 

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Xenon
6 minutes ago, CiprianS said:

That is your opinion. :) Everyone is entitle to his, of course. But right now, at least in my case, I am just trying to play it safe.

Sorry if it sounded personal. I was just referring to the general suggestion of "just plant filifera and Sabal" in this thread, not the palms you just bought. I hope they grow well for you! 

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Collectorpalms
18 minutes ago, Xenon said:

Might be colder next winter or might be zone 9b+ for the next 10-20 years, who knows? Both are in the realm of possibility and have occurred within the last 100 years. Best to take the middle approach and do a bit of both though I agree robusta are difficult to remove. You don't want to be that palm enthusiast in 10 years with a yard full of filifera and Sabals while your neighbors have queens and pygmies (or insert anything not bulletproof to cold). 

Statistically I probably will be good for 20 years without another big zone buster. In 20 years I will be too old to start over, and if I only have marginal palms, how sad would that be to have nothing to show for decades of my life.

However there are several palms I think are worth planting that are cold hardy that are rare. And personally I like CIDP and Filifera and Sabals more than ever. I also have two mules and two Bismarckia ( purchased before the freeze) that will keep my garden interesting for CS. Also have a JxS and probably a couple Sabal Lisa’s. But I still won’t have anything that can squeak by only in Houston that will make me jealous. Wonder if That Triangle made it.

Have you been to Moody Gardens ? 

Edited by Collectorpalms

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Xenon
8 minutes ago, Collectorpalms said:

Wonder if That Triangle made it.

Have you been to Moody Gardens ? 

The owner seemed pretty serious about protecting those triangles and the lights did mostly stay on in much of 610; maybe I'll have some pics in a few hours. 

I haven't been down to the coast since the day before the freeze but didn't see any protection besides a royal and foxtail on Tiki Island. Zero protection at the zone 10scape at Moody; kicking myself I didn't help myself to some cuttings of their now nuked Ficus collecion haha. 

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CiprianS
18 minutes ago, Xenon said:

Sorry if it sounded personal. I was just referring to the general suggestion of "just plant filifera and Sabal" in this thread, not the palms you just bought. I hope they grow well for you! 

It did not sound personal. :) I will take my risk with some Canaries again, in rest I will just stay bullet proof with Sabals and Filiferas. :) I liked so much my pygmy date palms and now they are gone. 

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GoatLockerGuns
13 hours ago, NBTX11 said:

I have no experience with Braheas.  What is the cold tolerance.  Are they coming back from this freeze in the SA area.  How fast do they grow.

I have an juvenile Brahea armata.  It is one of my few palms that did not get completely rotted out after the freeze.  It suffered spear pull, but is currently pushing up a new spear post-freeze.  A lot more cold hardy than most people (including myself) have given them credit for.  They are very slow growing though.

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Collectorpalms

Why don’t you go for a mule palm? Some are Fast as a Robusta. 

Edited by Collectorpalms
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amh

While I am in the cold hardy camp, I would still recommend growing a few robustas.

Really, with their growth rate and availability, there is not much to lose.

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PricklyPearSATC
50 minutes ago, Collectorpalms said:

Why don’t you go for a mule palm? Some are Fast as a Robusta. 

I've always wonder how they will do in our caliche?  Both Butia and Queen palms get chlorotic.  Butia really struggles with out soils here.  I just figure a cross between the two would not perform well on our caliche. 

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Collectorpalms

They don’t suffer the same nutrient issues that Butias do. My natural ph of soil is 8.5 ! Although I try to put everything is a raised flower bed. 
right now I am however getting some nutrient issues because my palms have used up what they could. Need sul-po-mag I think my Filifera will do much better with some.

Edited by Collectorpalms
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Collectorpalms

Lowe’s in the Austin area still has a random Mule. They also got in a shipment of Palms from San Marcos growers in CA.

They have real looking Washingtonia Filifera for a change. Also CIDP.  Maybe this is not terribly unusual for the Austin area, but I never seen them at our Lowe’s, and they still don’t.

get em while you can! If I could have I would have taken them all. Unfortunately, I will have to spend the money on dead Robustas removal and house repairs.

861790A1-0A45-4892-8525-CB8018061DF6.jpeg

9C865F9C-BADB-45E4-B6E5-737CEEF15F64.jpeg

Edited by Collectorpalms
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boaterboat

Which location in Austin was this?  I got some Mules from Lowe’s in Bee Cave last year, but I lost them in the freeze. 

Edited by boaterboat

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CiprianS

Bastrop if I am not wrong. 

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joetx
15 hours ago, Collectorpalms said:

Lowe’s in the Austin area still has a random Mule. They also got in a shipment of Palms from San Marcos growers in CA.

They have real looking Washingtonia Filifera for a change. Also CIDP.  Maybe this is not terribly unusual for the Austin area, but I never seen them at our Lowe’s, and they still don’t.

get em while you can! If I could have I would have taken them all. Unfortunately, I will have to spend the money on dead Robustas removal and house repairs.

861790A1-0A45-4892-8525-CB8018061DF6.jpeg

9C865F9C-BADB-45E4-B6E5-737CEEF15F64.jpeg

Here in Round Rock Lowe's usually gets a big shipment of palms around springtime. Usually filibustas and windmill. Seems like they got a larger variety (think I saw a bottle palm) this year expecting people will want to replace their trees. I picked up a couple filibustas, may go back and snatch a CIDP.

I lost 2/4 filibustas one was a good 17 feet tall. The other two were small so I managed to save them with Christmas lights/frost cloth. 

Personally, I'm planting more cold hardy palms as a base then going to probably plant some more tender stuff, just to roll the dice! Gotta live a little :D I've lost so much over the years I think I'm numb to it. 

We now have a place in Port Aransas now where I want to really go crazy with the zone 10 stuff.

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