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SALOttawa

Washingtonia Robustas in Vancouver or Victoria BC?

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SALOttawa

Hey, I am visiting Vancouver and Victoria right now. Does anyone know if there are Mexican Fan Palms in either city? I found some TFs, but no robustas so far.

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Chester B

Doubt it. Too cool and wet. Growers In the area report no long term success without protection in winter. 

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ShadyDan

There’s a big, but sad looking W. robusta outside the Empress in Victoria. It’s been there for a while but never gets enough heat (especially in that location) to look good. 

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UK_Palms
8 hours ago, Chester B said:

Doubt it. Too cool and wet. Growers In the area report no long term success without protection in winter. 

Victoria really isn’t that much cooler or wetter than London though and they are 3 degrees of latitude further south than London. They’re definitely not quite as warm in summer though (20C average July high vs 24C for London), but I doubt that would make a massive difference. Both Victoria and London average 22 inches of rainfall annually too. Winter temperatures are pretty similar as well. 

Since there is 30 foot tall Robusta’s in London now, which were planted tiny and are gaining roughly 2 foot of trunk a year, you would think they would also do okayish in the PNW, even as far north as Victoria. I don’t get how they would grow okay in London but not the PNW? At least in the more protected city areas, right on the coast. Are there any decent sized, trunking Robusta’s in Oregon and Washington? You would think the Portland or Seattle UHI would allow for some decent specimens to grow, surely?

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SALOttawa

Thank you ShadyDan. I will check it out

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Chester B
2 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

Victoria really isn’t that much cooler or wetter than London though and they are 3 degrees of latitude further south than London. They’re definitely not quite as warm in summer though (20C average July high vs 24C for London), but I doubt that would make a massive difference. Both Victoria and London average 22 inches of rainfall annually too. Winter temperatures are pretty similar as well. 

Since there is 30 foot tall Robusta’s in London now, which were planted tiny and are gaining roughly 2 foot of trunk a year, you would think they would also do okayish in the PNW, even as far north as Victoria. I don’t get how they would grow okay in London but not the PNW? At least in the more protected city areas, right on the coast. Are there any decent sized, trunking Robusta’s in Oregon and Washington? You would think the Portland or Seattle UHI would allow for some decent specimens to grow, surely?

So many people have tried them because they are cheap and easy to come by.  The short answer is they all die.  I can point you to countless videos on Youtube.  The only big ones up in BC aside from the one at the hotel had a greenhouse enclosure erected over them in winter.  Once they got too big for this they died the next winter.

The bigger Washies you see start to appear around Gold Beach, but there are some a bit further north but not of any size.  Zone 9B is where they seem to take off in our climate.  I have posted 

These are the only ones around that seem to be hanging in there.  The ones I posted on the roadside have been there a few years but in spring they usually look terrible.  This is the best they have looked.

I don't know what the difference is but there is one.  They sell both filifera and robusta at the big box stores here every year by the hundreds, but you never see them around, and its not for lack of looking for them.  I have one of each both are in the ground this year but will receive overhead protection from rain.

 

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ShadyDan
2 hours ago, SALOttawa said:

Thank you ShadyDan. I will check it out

There is also a large S. palmetto there, although it looked pretty much dead unfortunately last time I was there. 

 

3 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

Victoria really isn’t that much cooler or wetter than London though and they are 3 degrees of latitude further south than London. They’re definitely not quite as warm in summer though (20C average July high vs 24C for London), but I doubt that would make a massive difference. Both Victoria and London average 22 inches of rainfall annually too. Winter temperatures are pretty similar as well. 

Since there is 30 foot tall Robusta’s in London now, which were planted tiny and are gaining roughly 2 foot of trunk a year, you would think they would also do okayish in the PNW, even as far north as Victoria. I don’t get how they would grow okay in London but not the PNW? At least in the more protected city areas, right on the coast. Are there any decent sized, trunking Robusta’s in Oregon and Washington? You would think the Portland or Seattle UHI would allow for some decent specimens to grow, surely?

I tried a robusta I grew from seed one year. It grew like a weed in the summer, but died the following spring. It only got to -5 that winter at my place, and it didn’t freeze to death. I think it’s the amount of rain we get that ultimately did it in come spring time. 

Victoria is significantly drier than my location and a little bit warmer in the winter… one of the driest areas on the coast, but downtown Vic is subject to cool ocean breezes most of the summer never giving them a chance to thrive.

 

 

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SALOttawa

I drove over and checked it out. The WR looks pretty good right now. No seeds though - which is what I was hoping for. Anyway I will take a picture of it tomorrow and post it. The reason I wanted seeds is, I have planted my first WR at home in Ottawa. It did really well this summer. I will be protecting and heating it for the winter. I was hoping to get seeds from a high latitude WR to plant at home. I got TF seeds while in Vancouver, but they are such slow growers. Anyway, thank you for the info. It was much appreciated!

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SALOttawa

Today. I went biking along the coast of Victoria. I saw many TFs. The only WR I saw though, was the one at the Empress. There were a lot of large Dracaneas around too - at least that’s what I think they were.

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Chester B

What you saw they always sell as dracaena incorrectly. They are Cordyline australis aka the New Zealand cabbage tree. 
 

in my experience I would say Trachycarpus fortunei are not slow growers at all. Once they get a foot or two of trunk they really take off. 

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SALOttawa

Here are a couple of pics from the Empress

0CF1D418-C3F6-4C4C-9592-7BA0F986CE9A.jpeg

87678345-C80E-42C1-A92A-4A107585BBA5.jpeg

5201EAF8-67F6-4E6F-B393-459D47626600.jpeg

0F5EE36A-542B-418D-AF1F-14FB20B54FC8.jpeg

E9BA98D7-D61E-4B2A-B6AD-9684783F9DEC.jpeg

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ShadyDan

Looks like they took the Sabal out. Used to be right beside the Washingtonia. 

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Jtee

Yeah I remember seeing someone post pics of this particular area and there was a raggedy Sabal palm in the mix. 

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UK_Palms

Correct me if wrong, but the Sabal appears to be visible in the second picture down just to the left of the washie. It looks in a real bad way though, but it still appears to be there. It’s just not visible in the other 4 pics due to the angle.

It will probably have to be removed at some point. It may even be dead now looking at it in that second pic. No green visible at all on the Sabal going into autumn/fall, which is a bad sign right after summer. If it hasn’t kicked the bucket already, it probably will after this coming winter. Any idea what kind of Sabal it was?

Also was the washie planted pretty small and it grew to that size, or was it planted at a similar size? It doesn’t look great and is clearly struggling, but is surviving there nonetheless. 

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Chester B
2 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

Correct me if wrong, but the Sabal appears to be visible in the second picture down just to the left of the washie. It looks in a real bad way though, but it still appears to be there. It’s just not visible in the other 4 pics due to the angle.

It will probably have to be removed at some point. It may even be dead now looking at it in that second pic. No green visible at all on the Sabal going into autumn/fall, which is a bad sign right after summer. If it hasn’t kicked the bucket already, it probably will after this coming winter. Any idea what kind of Sabal it was?

Also was the washie planted pretty small and it grew to that size, or was it planted at a similar size? It doesn’t look great and is clearly struggling, but is surviving there nonetheless. 

I think you're right it is there and its dead.  Was a palmetto.

The Washie was planted bigger, it wasn't grown in situ.  It looks pretty bad and anemic.

Victoria is too cold in summer for these palms to ever do well.  I'm glad someone was at least willing to try with a couple big ones, but this just adds further proof why there are none, it's not for lack of trying.

Edited by Chester B

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ZPalms

They should dig it up and move it into their indoor area, would probably look better inside :blush2:

 

Screenshot (119).png

Edited by ZPalms
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SALOttawa

Yes. The Sabal was there, but it looked pretty dead to me.

Tonight I am in Osoyoos. I went for a quick walk after dinner and noticed some palms at a waterfront resort. I will check them out tomorrow. I think they are TFs but I will see for sure, tomorrow.

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Palmfarmer

It must be the lack of heat i think. London probably is just within the climate for growing them at any reasonable speed. Again there is fruiting CIDP in North Scotland so its hard to say. Looking at Bananajssis videos most palms seems to grow super slow with the exception of the Trachies. like 1/4 or slower than in a warmer climates. 

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Chester B
4 hours ago, Palmfarmer said:

It must be the lack of heat i think. London probably is just within the climate for growing them at any reasonable speed. Again there is fruiting CIDP in North Scotland so its hard to say. Looking at Bananajssis videos most palms seems to grow super slow with the exception of the Trachies. like 1/4 or slower than in a warmer climates. 

Yes he’s has killed many Washies and CiDPs over the years and his palms grow so slow. He has many palms over 20 years old that look like they are only 5 or so years old. Big difference in heat between my place and his, usually 20f hotter here for half the year and you won’t see mature Washies or CIDP around here. Not until you hit the lower third of Oregon. 

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UK_Palms

@Palmfarmer As far as I am aware, there are no long-term CIDP’s present in Scotland. They may potentially be able to survive on the western isles of Scotland, but I am yet to see any planted out at 55N or higher. The furthest known CIDP from the equator is in Scarborough, North Yorkshire which is at 54N in northeastern England. That one was planted small and has flowered for a number of years now, so it appears to be long-term. Scarborough is arguably a shade cooler than Victoria, BC in summer. 

@Chester B Regarding palms like Washingtonia too, I do not think a lack of summer heat is the issue for them in Victoria or parts of the PNW. I have posted a lot of Washingtonia pics from the south coast of England where the July high is virtually identical to Victoria. Ventnor for instance has an average July high of 20-21C, which is the same as Victoria. Yet Washingtonia seems to be thriving on the south coast of England, now that we have actually started planting them. So there must be another factor at play. We had a bad winter too, followed by a terrible spring and then a below-par summer this year, but they still look pretty good. All of the south coast ones were planted tiny around 2010, so are growing around 2 foot per year. Here are a few photos I took last month. 

35D255BF-3204-4126-9F16-DFBBD94C281F.thumb.jpeg.d72fcd5da82e922b27b17b7da3f69098.jpeg

2E4F3202-36EA-4195-8776-07032AA0BFEB.thumb.jpeg.1860b91c01629eb954b1dcf44012d0f5.jpeg

E42B02C6-D974-41B6-8A4F-EC0962BF22FA.thumb.jpeg.8897c5b001432a1f212fd6ee714af3ec.jpeg

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EFE0F099-6A7C-4F74-B29D-DCDFCC107D99.jpeg.ac3047b27c4ab4db10b7f2b719fa6df7.jpeg

There is no way that summer heat is the issue in Victoria or BC. The south coast of England only sees 20-21C summer highs compared to 24C for London, yet it doesn’t stop washies and CIDP from growing on the south coast. There has to be another issue at play for places such as Victoria, or the PNW in general. 

I can’t really speak for Sabal’s as they are very, very rare in cultivation in the UK, but I suspect they would survive here fine. They would just grow very slowly in our climate, given that they are slow growers in general and given that they require quite a bit of heat. Does Sabal Palmetto grow further south in Seattle or Portland, where it is a lot warmer in summer and I assume a bit milder in winter? Also what is the cut off for Palmetto on the east coast? 

Edited by UK_Palms
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Trustandi

@UK_Palms or it could be the quality of our native soil here in PNW areas, it is too acidic for different palms, other than Trachycarpus, to thrive? 

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UK_Palms
22 hours ago, Trustandi said:

@UK_Palms or it could be the quality of our native soil here in PNW areas, it is too acidic for different palms, other than Trachycarpus, to thrive? 

It could be that, but it's hard to say exactly. Trachycarpus and Washingtonia will grow in just about any soil whatsoever, although Trachycarpus will handle saturated and waterlogged soils better. I suspect it's more to do with winter temperatures and winter precipitation totals, although London is equally wet and cool as Portland and Seattle in winter pretty much. So it's strange that stuff like Washies and CIDP seem to grow pretty well in London, but not in those parts of the PNW. There has to be more to it still.

 

On 10/8/2021 at 10:31 AM, Chester B said:

Yes he’s has killed many Washies and CiDPs over the years and his palms grow so slow. He has many palms over 20 years old that look like they are only 5 or so years old. Big difference in heat between my place and his, usually 20f hotter here for half the year and you won’t see mature Washies or CIDP around here. Not until you hit the lower third of Oregon. 

Not surprised at Banana Joe's struggles and slow growth speeds. I've just looked up the forecast for Salt Spring Island and they are already stuck in the single digits centigrade with frosts on the next 3 nights potentially. It doesn't look like they are going above 10C from here on at all, whereas places like Portland and London are close to 20C by day still and frost free for many more weeks probably. The difference between Salt Spring Island and places like Portland or London is actually night and day when you look at the forecasts.

 

1571146714_Screenshot2021-10-09at16_42_30.thumb.png.341bc443b92c14a2f751388d1a4e1eaa.png

 

Compared to Portland, which is much warmer still...

1068517767_Screenshot2021-10-09at16_42_49.thumb.png.3452b5cfc58b5a5d53d293a1970fd4f6.png

And London...

434881938_Screenshot2021-10-09at16_43_09.thumb.png.00ac7d948d44355310f3188e39777f53.png

London temperatures holding up well for 51N. No nighttime lows below 8-9C still, which is the same temperature as the daytime highs for Salt Spring Island. They are 3 degrees further south at 48N as well. I'm surprised how Portland pretty much transitions from summer into winter within the space of a month or so too, compared to the much more gradual decline over here. You went from being FAR hotter than London to a bit cooler than London within the space of a month or so pretty much. I wonder whether going from one extreme to the other is also a factor in why certain palms struggle there. I can't think of many other reasons beyond the ones we have already mentioned.

I still suspect that there are CIDP's and Washies lurking in Portland back yards maybe, up against south facing walls. I mean God knows how many more CIDP's and Washies are lurking in London back yards. It's just a case of scoping it out on Google Earth. I reckon there are some lurking out there in Portland's UHI. Apart from Portland's summer heat due to being on the continent, it really isn't that much different to London in terms of temperature and precipitation, especially during winter. Both are cool, wet and gloomy for about 4 months straight from November - February. It will be interesting to see how your Washie does this winter @Chester B as I have similar size Robusta and Filifera planted out too. I am out in the country though, way outside of the London UHI. CIDP's and Washies are marginal for me here.

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ShadyDan
2 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

It could be that, but it's hard to say exactly. Trachycarpus and Washingtonia will grow in just about any soil whatsoever, although Trachycarpus will handle saturated and waterlogged soils better. I suspect it's more to do with winter temperatures and winter precipitation totals, although London is equally wet and cool as Portland and Seattle in winter pretty much. So it's strange that stuff like Washies and CIDP seem to grow pretty well in London, but not in those parts of the PNW. There has to be more to it still.

 

Not surprised at Banana Joe's struggles and slow growth speeds. I've just looked up the forecast for Salt Spring Island and they are already stuck in the single digits centigrade with frosts on the next 3 nights potentially. It doesn't look like they are going above 10C from here on at all, whereas places like Portland and London are close to 20C by day still and frost free for many more weeks probably. The difference between Salt Spring Island and places like Portland or London is actually night and day when you look at the forecasts.

 

1571146714_Screenshot2021-10-09at16_42_30.thumb.png.341bc443b92c14a2f751388d1a4e1eaa.png

 

Compared to Portland, which is much warmer still...

1068517767_Screenshot2021-10-09at16_42_49.thumb.png.3452b5cfc58b5a5d53d293a1970fd4f6.png

And London...

434881938_Screenshot2021-10-09at16_43_09.thumb.png.00ac7d948d44355310f3188e39777f53.png

London temperatures holding up well for 51N. No nighttime lows below 8-9C still, which is the same temperature as the daytime highs for Salt Spring Island. They are 3 degrees further south at 48N as well. I'm surprised how Portland pretty much transitions from summer into winter within the space of a month or so too, compared to the much more gradual decline over here. You went from being FAR hotter than London to a bit cooler than London within the space of a month or so pretty much. I wonder whether going from one extreme to the other is also a factor in why certain palms struggle there. I can't think of many other reasons beyond the ones we have already mentioned.

I still suspect that there are CIDP's and Washies lurking in Portland back yards maybe, up against south facing walls. I mean God knows how many more CIDP's and Washies are lurking in London back yards. It's just a case of scoping it out on Google Earth. I reckon there are some lurking out there in Portland's UHI. Apart from Portland's summer heat due to being on the continent, it really isn't that much different to London in terms of temperature and precipitation, especially during winter. Both are cool, wet and gloomy for about 4 months straight from November - February. It will be interesting to see how your Washie does this winter @Chester B as I have similar size Robusta and Filifera planted out too. I am out in the country though, way outside of the London UHI. CIDP's and Washies are marginal for me here.

I don’t know where that forecast gets it’s data from, but I will eat my hat if SSI gets below 0 this week. I’m further North and not even close to those temps. BJ on SSI usually doesn’t see frost well in December, sometimes January.  It’s true that the daytime highs are pretty low, but we are having an unseasonably cool / wet start to fall so far. 

63EB0F0A-17B8-485F-B18A-00A1B9718ECD.png

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