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Jesse PNW

How close to house?

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Jesse PNW

I have a few queens and mules that I'd like to put in the ground, but of course they're not hardy here (mules may be marginal I guess).  I'd like to plant them right up against the house to get that extra bit of protection and microclimate (still planning to box them in, in winter).  I know a lot of palms can be planted up really close to the house, and they'll tip out away from the house, toward the sun as they grow.  I just don't know how close I can go (I know both of these palms develop very large crowns).  

Thanks.  

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DAVEinMB

@Jesse PNW I have a few queens planted roughly 18"-24" off the sides of my house. They are still very small so time will tell if I should have given more breathing room. Honestly I'd be ecstatic if they got big enough to be an issue.

You'll definitely want to give the mules more breathing room tho, the crown doesn't stay as compact as a queen when younger. The upside is they can also deal with more cold so additional space isn't as big of an issue. I wouldn't get closer than 3' but I think you'll see rather quickly that that's still going to be tight.

Good luck!

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Allen

How tall is the gutter/roofline above the planting spot?  I just checked my mule and it is 3.5' from house and fronds push against house.  It will grow over gutter soon if it lives a couple more years.  fronds toward house just bend against it.

mule6.jpg

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Jesse PNW

Thanks for the replies.  There are a couple spots I'm looking at, the house has the gutter/soffit between 7-12 feet, but the metal barn has no soffit.  

I have a very sheltered location against the house, inside a corner so it's protected on 2 sides, plus a big Rhodo on the third side, plus a douglas fir provides a little overhead cover some 20' above.  But, that area is densely shaded all day so I doubt either of these palms would thrive there.  I should find some other 8b/9a shade loving palm for this area.  Eventually some Chamaedorea radicalis will go here as understory but would be nice to have a big, tall palm above them.  

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Jesse PNW

Here's the most sheltered spot I have.  House on 2 sides, 5' Rhodo's on the third side, and Doug fir branches overhead.  Also would be real easy to box this in, or cover, and run heat lamp or C9 lights as needed.  

Any suggestions for a shade-loving, 9a-ish palm to zone push here with? 

20210805_193909.jpg

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DAVEinMB
18 minutes ago, Jesse PNW said:

Here's the most sheltered spot I have.  House on 2 sides, 5' Rhodo's on the third side, and Doug fir branches overhead.  Also would be real easy to box this in, or cover, and run heat lamp or C9 lights as needed.  

Any suggestions for a shade-loving, 9a-ish palm to zone push here with? 

20210805_193909.jpg

Livistona Chinensis

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Jesse PNW

Livistona, maybe....  I know ChesterB said there are a few folks trying them up here and they turn brown and ratty in our cool, wet winters.  Maybe if you cover them and keep them dry? 

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JLM
1 hour ago, Jesse PNW said:

Livistona, maybe....  I know ChesterB said there are a few folks trying them up here and they turn brown and ratty in our cool, wet winters.  Maybe if you cover them and keep them dry? 

Livistona chinensis are not the most leaf hardy palm ever, as some can start experiencing tip burn as low as 25F. But, there have been survivors in Houston TX following the major could blast, and we know how low the temperatures got there and the duration of those temperatures. 

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Manalto

Rhapis excelsa?

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DAVEinMB
On 8/5/2021 at 11:17 PM, Jesse PNW said:

Livistona, maybe....  I know ChesterB said there are a few folks trying them up here and they turn brown and ratty in our cool, wet winters.  Maybe if you cover them and keep them dry? 

Ahh, tbh I wasn't thinking about how much more rain you get during the winter than we do here and the lack of afternoon warmth. My mind saw overhead canopy and shade and immediately went to L. Chinensis. I still think it would be worth a shot if you can keep the bud dry; lack of winter heat wouldn't be nearly as big of an issue if moisture was kept out of the growing point. Once the palm gets acclimated and puts on some size I'd imagine this would be less of an issue. As @JLM mentioned above the foliage may get ratty looking in the 20s but keeping frost off it will help avoid that to some degree. My large L. Chinensis saw many 20 degree nights in the two years it's been planted in my yard with a good bit of hard frosts and it's barely flinched. It's also in a very exposed location. Very different winter climate I know but just some food for thought

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Jesse PNW

I like Livistona's a lot but don't think I've ever seen one shade-grown.  They're uncommon to find for sale here but sometimes the big box stores sell clusters of them in the strap-leaf stage, all crammed together in something like a 1-gal sized pot.  I have no idea what they do that, what a waste of palms.  

I've read that Livistonas grow slow, but I know there are tons of very tall specimens in Florida, seems like they can't be that slow.  

I'm also thinking about trying to get ahold of a Caryota for this spot.  It seems like I've read C urens is quite root hardy and since it suckers, even when the aerial parts die it will grow back, and they're supposed to be fast growing.  I think maxima is the most hardy but is not suckering so the extra hardiness almost seems irrelevant.   

I'd like to put some understory palms here too, I may transplant an Arenga over here.  I also love Rhapis, thanks for that suggestion Manalto.  

Thanks guys. 

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Jesse PNW

Cleaned up the area, transplanted Arenga engleri and Chamaedorea microspadix from across the garden.  I like that now I have some geographic diversity and separation, so maybe the ones across the garden will freeze but these will survive.  Who knows.  

Now I need a canopy palm in front of and above them.  I really want a Caryota but I may just put a mule or queen (since I have them on hand in the greenhouse) here even though they'll be packed up tight on this corner.  

20210807_135423.jpg

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Jesse PNW

I'm really thinking about clustering a queen and a mule together with about 1' between them.  I know lots of palms do fine as clusters, i think I have seen Butia clumps, but I don't believe I have seen queens clumped together like this before.  Any thoughts?

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Jesse PNW

OK, this may be ugly.  In about a 2x2' square, Arenga engleri, Chamaedorea microspadix, Mule bottom front, and queen on the right.  Planning to box this in if temps get below freezing.  But, sometimes I'm out of town, who knows what this winter will hold.  

None of these palms belong here, so frankly, they're all on borrowed time. 

Also the Arenga had an underdeveloped rootball, the roots crumbled when I planted it from a 5 gal this spring, and they crumbled again when I transplanted it, so who knows how that will do.  

20210807_161926.jpg

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Joe NC

This is my mule palm in Z8a..... planted 7' diagonal from the corner of the house.

The fronds are touching the porch roof which is 11' away.  

I've been lazy and haven't removed the Christmas lights.... also don't mind the weeds, the non stop rain has made it a jungle out there.

I'm waiting for some of the fronds to brown a bit more before I give it a good trim.

This thing has become a beast on its borrowed time....

20210808_102232.thumb.jpg.7e60bf4475a63d521c3b11718f11b29e.jpg

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Jesse PNW

That is a MONSTER!

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Merlyn

I planted a row of Queens on the West side, about 10' from the house.  It has about a 20-30' tall roof with soffit.  This turned out to be a mistake because I forgot to trim the frond aimed towards the soffit.  That frond ripped all the soffit vents off of about a 20' section...now I have to buy more of the edge extrusion and put all the pieces back up there.  If I had remembered to go out and cut off the fronds aimed towards the house, it probably would have been fine.

The three Queens next to the lower edge of the roof in the South side have been no problem.  The soffit is about 10' above ground, and in less than a year the new Queen fronds were up over the top of the soffit and gutters, with no chance of heavy contact with either the roof or the gutters/soffit. 

So I'd say a qualified "no problem," as long as you cut off the fronds that could rip up the soffit.

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SeanK

I have never tried any of the Butia mules as they are considered z8b palms on the east coast. That being said, Butia capitata can take upper single digits with some leave spotting. The killer for Butias is freezing precipitation in the bud. So the question is, do you see snow in Rochester?

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Jesse PNW

Rarely.   

I moved the palms a little to give them more room.  But they will be covered in the winter with clear (probably acrylic, its cheap) corrugated roofing panels.  Then when Temps get below mid 20's I can box the sides in with ply or even plastic sheeting and run a heat lamp or c9 lights. 

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Jesse PNW

I have 3x Butia's that all saw atypical snow this past winter, unprotected, Temps stayed right around freezing for 3 days. They had some leaf spotting but didn't seem to care otherwise.  And they're not even that big, they were not even 3' overall height, at the time.  But, overall low was only 24f. 

There seems to be mixed opinions about Butia hardiness but from what I've seen so far, they seem more robust than some believe.  

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Jesse PNW

Here's what I ended up with.  

Got a mule, a queen, Arenga engleri, and Chamaedorea microspadix. 

Also 3 marginal(?) ferns - Phlebodium aureum, Pteris cretica, and a small Dicksonia antarctica.  

Will probably staple plastic sheeting around the frame when I see temps below 30 in the forecast.  I'm guessing a single heat lamp will be enough.  

20210907_161504.jpg

Edited by Jesse PNW
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