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BobStrauss

Central Texas palms: has the guidance changed?

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BobStrauss

Doesn’t seem like very many palms are recommended for my area - San Antonio zone 8B, perhaps especially after the freeze last spring. I’ve got a number of potted palms (areca, CIDP, majesty, etc) that I simply bring in once cold enough, as well as a 10’ sabal palmetto in the ground that I could always MacGuyver a solution for if gridpocalypse strikes again. But what else would meet your advice on being hardy enough for this area?

Washingtonia (filifera only?)

Trachycarpus fortunei?

Mule palm?

Needle palm and sabal minor (though I’m not thrilled with those for my space).

Would like to diversify as much as possible without setting myself up for heartache.

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Fusca
1 hour ago, BobStrauss said:

Doesn’t seem like very many palms are recommended for my area - San Antonio zone 8B, perhaps especially after the freeze last spring. I’ve got a number of potted palms (areca, CIDP, majesty, etc) that I simply bring in once cold enough, as well as a 10’ sabal palmetto in the ground that I could always MacGuyver a solution for if gridpocalypse strikes again. But what else would meet your advice on being hardy enough for this area?

Washingtonia (filifera only?)

Trachycarpus fortunei?

Mule palm?

Needle palm and sabal minor (though I’m not thrilled with those for my space).

Would like to diversify as much as possible without setting myself up for heartache.

Hi Bob, welcome to Palmtalk!  I'm on the far west side of San Antonio in zone 9a.  Depending on where you are located there are a bunch of different species of palms that you can grow.  Trachycarpus fortunei is plenty hardy but looks best in partial shade (particularly from afternoon sun).  Most Sabals do well here particularly mexicana, uresana and guatemalensis which can handle drought.  Your palmetto won't need winter protection.  Washingtonia filifera is a better choice compared to robusta but the hybrid filibusta does fine also.  They require a lot of trimming and there are much better choices out there.  Mules do great - I lost a 8' mule unprotected last February but a smaller one survived.  My recommendations in addition to the Sabals and mule:

Fan Palms                                            Pinnate Palms

Livistona chinensis                              Butia odorata

Livistona australis                               Chamaedorea microspadix (part shade)

Chamaerops humilis                            Chamaedorea radicalis (part shade)

Brahea armata                                     Phoenix dactylifera

Brahea aculeata                                   Phoenix theophrasti

Brahea calcarea                                   Phoenix canariensis (CIDP)

Brahea brandegeei                              Jubaea chilensis

Trithrinax acanthocoma

Trithrinax brasiliensis

Trithrinax campestris

Rhapis excelsa

Acoelorraphe wrightii

Serenoa repens

Besides mule palms there are other pinnate hybrids such as Butia x Jubaea, Jubaea x Butia, etc. offered by Patric Shaffer that should do well.  If you'd like to see what has survived in my garden you're welcome to come by for a visit.  Just send me a private message here.

Jon

 

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OC2Texaspalmlvr

@Fusca How did your Copernicia Alba fare after Palmageddon? I'm still hoping outside of Palmageddon it will be a bulletproof palms for this area of Texas.

T J 

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Xenon
25 minutes ago, OC2Texaspalmlvr said:

@Fusca How did your Copernicia Alba fare after Palmageddon? I'm still hoping outside of Palmageddon it will be a bulletproof palms for this area of Texas.

T J 

Houston Zoo had several, one was very large and had to have been 20+ years old. There was also a pair south of Kemah that were probably in the 15-20 year range. I don't know if any them survived but they seem to be about as bulletproof as queens or perhaps a touch less. 

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OC2Texaspalmlvr
Just now, Xenon said:

Houston Zoo had several, one was very large and had to have been 20+ years old. There was also a pair south of Kemah that were probably in the 15-20 year range. I don't know if any them survived but they seem to be about as bulletproof as queens or perhaps a touch less. 

Man I mustve missed the ones at the zoo =/ Hopefully they made it. I'm guessing hardier then queens until they trunk. My palms will be going in this spring. We should have some mild winter for awhile here on out !!! 

T J 

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Fusca
2 hours ago, OC2Texaspalmlvr said:

@Fusca How did your Copernicia Alba fare after Palmageddon? I'm still hoping outside of Palmageddon it will be a bulletproof palms for this area of Texas.

T J 

Hey TJ,

My alba was one of the few palms that I was able to protect with lights and wrapped.  A couple of leaves that weren't completely covered burned so it would have certainly been completely defoliated unprotected and probably dead.  But under "normal" circumstances it should be good.  :greenthumb:  It really grew well this past year and bulked up.  It's a little wider than a basketball at the base now and probably 8-9' overall height.  Definitely recommend for 9a areas.  I believe Jason ( @tank) had some survive 14°F in Gainesville, FL in 2010 so hardier than queens.

Jon

Edited by Fusca

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Collectorpalms
On 11/21/2021 at 5:47 PM, BobStrauss said:

Doesn’t seem like very many palms are recommended for my area - San Antonio zone 8B, perhaps especially after the freeze last spring. I’ve got a number of potted palms (areca, CIDP, majesty, etc) that I simply bring in once cold enough, as well as a 10’ sabal palmetto in the ground that I could always MacGuyver a solution for if gridpocalypse strikes again. But what else would meet your advice on being hardy enough for this area?

Washingtonia (filifera only?)

Trachycarpus fortunei?

Mule palm?

Needle palm and sabal minor (though I’m not thrilled with those for my space).

Would like to diversify as much as possible without setting myself up for heartache.

It depends on how long you plan to stay are your current place. For zone 9a San Antonio to Houston, February 2021 Freeze was just a 20 year freeze ( that was 10 years overdue). While in zone 8a/ 8b it was more the likes of a 50 year event. All of your palms listed, my two CIDP and Sabals (Palmetto, Mexicana, Ureseana, Minor, Louisiana, Burmudana, are the only things I didn't lose, all of one at least 1 of ( yes I lost trunks on needles palms, or see dead nearby (Trachys).  It was my 20th year at my house, and they were very mature palms that I lost dozens of.

Every year there is a 5% chance of a 20 year event, just because we had one this year, does not mean that it wont happen again in a couple years. If you look back at records, they very commonly are 2-5 years apart, then a long stretch of mild winters. IN Fact, I would be surprised if we had a decade of no more severe events.

You also can not count on Texas to have power to heat your palms during the next event.

Edited by Collectorpalms
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DreaminAboutPalms

I’m in Austin and it’s remarkable everything that came back. Sabals are all untouched for the most part, CIDP all came back basically, Washingtonias are 60/40 but we even have 35’ Robusta hybrids that recovered. 

no you can’t do anything about the freeze events like this year, but also the temps we saw this year were forecasted a week out; problem was nobody believed we would actually see temps that low. And even in the case of these big freeze events, it’s a matter of just a few degrees between surviving or not. Look at difference between Austin and San Antonio recoveries. Or south austin vs north austin

99% of the time you can grow just about every palm you want and they will look great. 

San Antonio even had a good number of great looking queen palms before the freeze 

Edited by DreaminAboutPalms
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DreaminAboutPalms

Also worth mentioning that lots of deciduous trees were killed off this year also, so it’s not just palms that are affected by these freeze events.

Sabals are bulletproof basically in SATX and should be the foundation of your yard. Then I would plant some CIDP, Washingtonia filifera or Washingtonia hybrid They may damage or defoliate every decade but there are tons of them in the area and overall are pretty reliable long term depending on where they are sourced from. most dead Filiferas I’ve seen were in spots that got too much water. Mule palms are more marginal and will need protection in an event like this year but are still worth planting

Trachy’s will do fine if they are in the shade.

for fun I’d have Plant robustas and queens, they will look good 99% of the time  

Edited by DreaminAboutPalms
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tank
On 11/22/2021 at 10:44 PM, Fusca said:

Hey TJ,

My alba was one of the few palms that I was able to protect with lights and wrapped.  A couple of leaves that weren't completely covered burned so it would have certainly been completely defoliated unprotected and probably dead.  But under "normal" circumstances it should be good.  :greenthumb:  It really grew well this past year and bulked up.  It's a little wider than a basketball at the base now and probably 8-9' overall height.  Definitely recommend for 9a areas.  I believe Jason ( @tank) had some survive 14°F in Gainesville, FL in 2010 so hardier than queens.

Jon

Definitely hardier than queens.  C. alba has quite a big range so I'm not sure if there are differences based on where the plant originated....  Both alba and prunifera should be tried out in 9a gardens, especially if you have a high canopy with bright conditions underneath, affording some frost protection.

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Will Simpson
On 11/21/2021 at 6:47 PM, BobStrauss said:

Doesn’t seem like very many palms are recommended for my area - San Antonio zone 8B, perhaps especially after the freeze last spring. I’ve got a number of potted palms (areca, CIDP, majesty, etc) that I simply bring in once cold enough, as well as a 10’ sabal palmetto in the ground that I could always MacGuyver a solution for if gridpocalypse strikes again. But what else would meet your advice on being hardy enough for this area?

Washingtonia (filifera only?)

Trachycarpus fortunei?

Mule palm?

Needle palm and sabal minor (though I’m not thrilled with those for my space).

Would like to diversify as much as possible without setting myself up for heartache.

Sabal Birmingham 

50138200327_c8ccf1f719_b.jpg 51714944057_c4d3339a36_b.jpg

 

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