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DesertCoconut

Large trunking coconut found in Mesa, AZ

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DesertCoconut

I'm a member of a local Arizona Facebook group for palm enthusiasts. A member there found this coconut growing in Mesa, Arizona. I got permission to post the photos so I thought I would share here.

My 22 year-old Arizona grown coconut is in a pot in my living room. I guess this person found the right outdoor spot! This inspires me to try again.

I did notice a similarity to the famous Corona, CA coconut. Both are surrounded by concrete. I think that might be the key to survival.

 

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Xerarch

Wow! and right next to that big ficus.  Ficus like that always seem to show signs of significant dieback in PHX, that might even be a dead branch on top in that first pic?  For sure biggest outside planted coconut I've seen in AZ, pretty impressive, and in Mesa of all places.  I would have expected Yuma to be the best climate for a chance at a large coconut, or maybe a very protected spot in central Phoenix.

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spike

it does look like it's grown by water, that is probably a factor.

also, is there any chance it may be a public building? definitely seems like one with all the doors, very much like some motels I've seen

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DesertCoconut
8 minutes ago, spike said:

it does look like it's grown by water, that is probably a factor.

also, is there any chance it may be a public building? definitely seems like one with all the doors, very much like some motels I've seen

I left out some details from the original poster. It's a house with a courtyard. There is an unheated koi pond running through the area. You can see the stone bridge in front of it where the pond goes under. The owner said she brought back the sprouted coconut from Hawaii many years ago. It faces south with that huge ficus to the north. It has never fruited and gets no special care except plenty of water. It survived the freeze of 2013 and the record summer heat of 2020. I am indeed impressed.

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mnorell

Wow wee, that is fantastic news and thank you for finding it and posting all of this, Darrin! Each one of these finds in the southwest is a real clue into the puzzle of getting this species to do the Horace Greeley thing and put down roots in the golden west. I agree with you in that the "surrounded by concrete" situation is a recurring theme here, whether in La Quinta, Palm Desert (RIP), Corona, or Mesa. One thing I also discovered in my own casual trials so far in Rancho Mirage was taking a cue from the La Quinta coconut, in that the owner started it in shade and let it grow up into the sun. I killed my first two test seedlings by putting them in full sun. Then I purchased a Lowe's 3-gallon and set it in a shady winter suntrap (under a dense Thevetia peruviana tree), where it sits two years later in its pot, looking just as good as it did when I bought it. I don't know what type it is, but I suspect it is a Green Malay. However, I note something you point out that has something in common with the La Quinta coconut...that it was brought back from Hawai'i as a sprouted seedling...does that indicate perhaps that the dominant form found in Hawai'i (and known popularly as a "Hawaiian Tall") may have a particular hardiness to extended cool conditions as well as to jabs of cold and occasional light freezes? 

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xoRudy

Wow this is amazing, looks like the palm is protected from the western sun as well. I know that’s been helping it out. 

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ahosey01
11 hours ago, Xerarch said:

Wow! and right next to that big ficus.  Ficus like that always seem to show signs of significant dieback in PHX, that might even be a dead branch on top in that first pic?  For sure biggest outside planted coconut I've seen in AZ, pretty impressive, and in Mesa of all places.  I would have expected Yuma to be the best climate for a chance at a large coconut, or maybe a very protected spot in central Phoenix.

Always thought Havasu might really be the spot, myself.  But echo your sentiments totally.

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Zeeth

The location reminds me so much of the La Quinta coconut, even the story is very similar (grown from a sprout brought back from Hawaii). I think there may be something to the surrounding structures and variety that makes it work in this type of location. 

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sonoranfans

the heat island in the phoenix area will see the highest lows as the desert overnight drops are huge without that passive solar concrete.  Yuma I expect sees notably lower temps.  Phoenix inside the US 101 has been zone 10 for a couple decades.  I think that ficus protects the palm and the concrete buildings protect the ficus.   Concrete buildings have alot of impact in desert climates which have short cold durations.

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ahosey01
32 minutes ago, sonoranfans said:

the heat island in the phoenix area will see the highest lows as the desert overnight drops are huge without that passive solar concrete.  Yuma I expect sees notably lower temps.  Phoenix inside the US 101 has been zone 10 for a couple decades.  I think that ficus protects the palm and the concrete buildings protect the ficus.   Concrete buildings have alot of impact in desert climates which have short cold durations.

There are weather stations on Weather Underground I’ve been watching for years in Parker and Havasu that are solid 10b.  I think this is similar to the phenomenon in Phoenix, because the area along that portion of the Colorado River is mostly all exposed rock.  Little vegetation, no real soil and the cold sink follows the Colorado.  I remember noticing this in Mexicali as well - just how hot it would stay at night - probably because of all the concrete.

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RedRabbit

Wow, amazing find.

I think you’re right about concrete helping coconuts survive in areas they otherwise wouldn’t be. I recall reading the Newport coconut was surrounded by concrete. Even a number of them in Florida in places like Orlando and Lakewood Ranch have done well when surrounded by concrete.

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spike
On 12/28/2021 at 8:17 PM, mnorell said:

does that indicate perhaps that the dominant form found in Hawai'i (and known popularly as a "Hawaiian Tall") may have a particular hardiness to extended cool conditions as well as to jabs of cold and occasional light freezes? 

That could be interesting to try, however i would think it would be more because hawaii is a popular travel destination... Sort of like the ice cream and drowning correlation. Still a valid guess though

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bubba

This is fantastic! Come on Arizona growers. Mesa, Arizona is 33° latitude 24 minutes. While this does not beat the La Quinta coconut, this should rally those in this region of Arizona to shoot for the stars. Congratulations on a great find!

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ando.wsu

After seeing this, I’m gonna leave my hawaii born coco outside here in phoenix. 

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Mr.SamuraiSword
On 12/28/2021 at 6:12 PM, DesertCoconut said:

I'm a member of a local Arizona Facebook group for palm enthusiasts. A member there found this coconut growing in Mesa, Arizona. I got permission to post the photos so I thought I would share here.

My 22 year-old Arizona grown coconut is in a pot in my living room. I guess this person found the right outdoor spot! This inspires me to try again.

I did notice a similarity to the famous Corona, CA coconut. Both are surrounded by concrete. I think that might be the key to survival.

 

270175918_4847440258650965_5464927456183555279_n.jpg

270178510_4847440221984302_8376973048170809652_n.jpg

Wow.  Thats stunning, never would have expected anyone to find that in Phx... Any idea what year she planted it?

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ando.wsu

Well, i decided to baby my coco one last winter.  She is certainly getting too big to keep indoors.  I wish i had a place to park her in the earth.  I am certainly inspired that one day she can be plunged into the earth and survive to adulthood as this Mesa specimen.  

81F9CBA8-D557-4A14-BA19-D8CD68FC7219.jpeg

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DesertCoconut
50 minutes ago, ando.wsu said:

Well, i decided to baby my coco one last winter.  She is certainly getting too big to keep indoors.  I wish i had a place to park her in the earth.  I am certainly inspired that one day she can be plunged into the earth and survive to adulthood as this Mesa specimen.  

 

Looks nice. How old? I've had one in a pot for 22 years. It has been declining over the past year. I'm thinking about moving it outside this spring, but I'm afraid that will be the end of it.  So I got to fresh ones to try.

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ando.wsu

Its about 4 ish years old from a nut i took from Maui when i moved back to AZ.  Its been outside most of the years except winter.  
 

I agree, put it outside come spring in full shade to acclimate and let it have good times in the sun.  22 years is old!

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ZPalms
4 hours ago, DesertCoconut said:

Looks nice. How old? I've had one in a pot for 22 years. It has been declining over the past year. I'm thinking about moving it outside this spring, but I'm afraid that will be the end of it.  So I got to fresh ones to try.

20220102_195559.jpg

20220102_200209.jpg

Oh no, do you have any idea why it's starting to decline? Does Biosphere 2 do plant donations? would be cool if they or another greenhouse facility that could take your coconut and transplant it indoors?

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