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Dave-Vero

Northernmost Sabal palmetto, 1973

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Dave-Vero

A fellow grad student landed a small consulting job examining undeveloped Smith (Bald Head) Island, i.e. Cape Fear in North Carolina.  I'm grounded by a sprained ankle, so poking through old Kodachromes.  I found photos from the visit.  These are the best palm shots.  The palms obviously look stressed, but they are definitely a wild population, at the time the northernmost.  The report, in a serious botanical report of secondhand knowledge of a population at Cape Hatteras having been eaten to extinction prior to the Civil War, is probably credible.  

2021-04-14-0005.tif 2021-04-14-0004.tif

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Dave-Vero

917801340_SabalpalmettoatBaldHeadNCdownsized.thumb.jpg.2d61002eb58e13b2c447fe7798e84cb7.jpg

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Dave-Vero

I encountered difficulties with posting photos, so here the are, via comments. 

Sabal palmetto at beach, Bald Head NC downsized.jpg

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DoomsDave

Hmm.

They certainly appear stressed, no two ways. Do the local ponies eat them? Or did the local people? Or both?

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Joe NC

I'm sure the consulting gig was for the construction of the Marina and Ferry terminal which happened sometime in the mid 70's.   That pretty much kicked off the development of the Bald Head Island area, and it went from essentially uninhabited to golf course/expensive real-estate.

No ponies, but I can assume nearby islands such as sheep, horse, and goat were named such for a reason.

Palms still look a little rough out there now.  I supposed hurricanes and constant salt spray take its toll.WP_20170206_025.thumb.jpg.01cc0d0c312c3dff7cbb74710ada09c0.jpgbhi.thumb.jpg.91091e30a037f4b47361385fc70ae483.jpg 

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NC_Palm_Enthusiast

I would agree with @Joe NC, the salt spray and hurricanes are likely to blame for their raggy appearance. The palms in the interior of the island look much better

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Dave-Vero

No ponies, and yes, development was what was impending.

 

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VA Jeff

The growth rate of Bald Head palmettoes were tested against Florida palmettoes in a published paper years ago.  The Florida palmettoes grew at twice the rate.  Slower palms tend to handle cold better.

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teddytn

I read something a few years back I’ll have to try and find it again. The just of it was a compilation of construction sites across northern North Carolina, Virginia and I believe Maryland when doing deep excavation they were finding fossilized sabals in the ground, basically proof that at some point in the past the northern most range was a lot farther north than previously thought. 

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