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Xenon

Deep South Texas pics 10 months after Arctic blast

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Xenon

Looks like it wasn't quite as apocalyptic as predicted despite lows in the 22-24F range. Plenty of royals left and also foxtail palms, even some surviving bottle palms. The freeze did not seem to put much of a dent in the crownshaft palm population in Port Isabel-South Padre from what I can see.  The coconuts are no more though. 

UTRGV Brownsville (I also passed by the royals at the square in downtown; all but two are alive):

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Xenon

Port Isabel and South Padre Island 

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More pics tomorrow 

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James B

Nice! Good to see those Royals tough it out.

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Xerarch

Boy that's exciting to see how well those have fared, but also so disheartening about how much worse things were here just 100 miles to the north, ugh, I might need counseling. 

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Xenon
3 hours ago, Xerarch said:

Boy that's exciting to see how well those have fared, but also so disheartening about how much worse things were here just 100 miles to the north, ugh, I might need counseling. 

I'm genuinely surprised by the lack of dead royals and foxtails at the coast. There is the occasional dead trunk or two but by and large they survived. I found 2 more "new" but dead coconuts that had impressive trunks. 

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Edited by Xenon
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RedRabbit

Remembering back when the freeze happened, I thought it would be a total kill for coconuts and a near total kill for royals. It’s a miracle this many royals survived the freeze, they’re tough!

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Xenon

Queen Isabella causeway and South Padre Island in the distancePXL_20211229_185906810_MP.thumb.jpg.76c4c49c3a93018928b6291cc949c55e.jpg

Looks like someone at the city or a local (guerilla?) planted this coconut on the canal by the mangroves.  Hopefully it has many years ahead of it!

PXL_20211229_144922317.thumb.jpg.1b306691d652efda9af03729c7b197b7.jpg

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awkonradi

Would that be a new coconut behind, and to the left, of the lady next to the truck?

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Xenon
56 minutes ago, awkonradi said:

Would that be a new coconut behind, and to the left, of the lady next to the truck?

Royal palm

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Xerarch
3 hours ago, Xenon said:

I'm genuinely surprised by the lack of dead royals and foxtails at the coast. There is the occasional dead trunk or two but by and large they survived. I found 2 more "new" but dead coconuts that had impressive trunks. 

PXL_20211229_151344485_MP.thumb.jpg.eca9bf54d667444bb280657c9ccdec22.jpg

That looks like that place over there in Port Isabel,  don't tell me they removed that big ficus that was on the corner? also that araucaria looks toast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Xenon
20 minutes ago, Xerarch said:

 

The big Ficus and Adonidia at the unit are gone. The pines are all over the place. A few small ones look nearly undamaged, some larger ones have about 30-50% branch damage and a few giant ones look completely dead. Most are somewhere in between with major branch damage and recovering from the crotch at the main trunk. 

Here's a big mango in Port Isabel that retained its main trunk

PXL_20211229_153150525.thumb.jpg.9a6b1a7fe0b108836d51307dd87919bc.jpg

And some pines that look strangely good right next to heavily damaged ones 

PXL_20211229_135227965.thumb.jpg.0bed213bfcffff2f333bba983384b6ba.jpgPXL_20211229_135644066.thumb.jpg.c67fb6122c75407f7fb4fb23e54628f0.jpg

 

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96720

What kind of pines are those? Royals are one tough palm they take that kind of cold and our scorching heat.

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Xenon
2 hours ago, 96720 said:

What kind of pines are those? Royals are one tough palm they take that kind of cold and our scorching heat.

Cook pine (not a true pine), Araucaria columnaris 

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bubba

Thank you! This gives us all hope that the RGV is an authentic tropical Palm Paradise. I hope all palmsters move forward with the immediate  planting of multitudinous Coco nucifera. It is worth it!

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Aceraceae

So zero outdoor cocos palms survived in Texas (SPI)? 

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Xenon
12 minutes ago, Aceraceae said:

So zero outdoor cocos palms survived in Texas (SPI)? 

Not that I know of. There are two or three young coconuts alive in sheltered spots central Brownsville that probably benefitted from being close to the ground heat. 

SPI is not always the warmest spot. In certain long duration events and depending on the angling of the front, inland areas like Brownsville and McAllen can be warmer. The warmest reading during last year's event was in central and southeast Brownsville, just above 24F. 

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Johnny Palmseed
On 12/29/2021 at 2:10 PM, RedRabbit said:

Remembering back when the freeze happened, I thought it would be a total kill for coconuts and a near total kill for royals. It’s a miracle this many royals survived the freeze, they’re tough!

I think Royals are proving to be hardier than expected but when pushed to their limits, they really don’t look very good. The extreme taper in the crown shaft area doesn’t look good now and is usually indicative of a decline in the health of the plant. Usually when I see this occur, the palm does not survive. Not only that, the heads seem to be missing half of the fronds they should have. The Hyophorbes look similar as well. Of course, all this would be expected after a significant winter. I think it will take more time to see the full effect of the freeze.

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Xenon
3 hours ago, Johnny Palmseed said:

I think Royals are proving to be hardier than expected but when pushed to their limits, they really don’t look very good. The extreme taper in the crown shaft area doesn’t look good now and is usually indicative of a decline in the health of the plant. Usually when I see this occur, the palm does not survive. Not only that, the heads seem to be missing half of the fronds they should have. The Hyophorbes look similar as well. Of course, all this would be expected after a significant winter. I think it will take more time to see the full effect of the freeze.

Temperatures were pretty similar to what the northernmost pre-1989 royals in Florida experienced. This area is usually 10 a/b numerically. Sure hope they don't drop dead randomly, some of them look nearly fully recovered. 

Pre-freeze pics: 

 

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Johnny Palmseed

You never know, they might make it But they definitely looked better in that link - fuller, less tapering. Sometimes when I have seen Royals go downhill, the tapered crown shaft was the first indication. Then they seemed to hold fewer fronds. Eventually they died off. Now I can’t say what the actual cause of death was since they weren’t mine and I’m not a plant biologist. I had 2 Royals in my yard and they were the envy of the neighborhood. I had to remove them because they caused too much damage from gigantic falling fronds and too much clean up work from millions of falling seeds. After I had it done, several neighbors expressed their disappointment but after I explained my reasons they understood. I love the look of Royals but the maintenance can be a bear. And planting something small in your 30s that grows into something huge in your 40s and 50s is an easy mistake to make.

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LF-TX
21 hours ago, Aceraceae said:

So zero outdoor cocos palms survived in Texas (SPI)? 

A friend of mine from Los Fresnos confirmed his 7-8 foot coconut survived the freeze. 

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Aceraceae

Was it protected? ie covered

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LF-TX
3 minutes ago, Aceraceae said:

Was it protected? ie covered

In the sense that it’s planted on the south side of the house and fenced around, yes. But as far as I know it was not covered with anything. 

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LF-TX

It’s also worth mentioning that the Flamboyán trees have also rebounded greatly! Obviously some of the very young and very old trees didn’t survive, but I have seen more surviving flamboyán trees than not! 

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Austinpalm
47 minutes ago, LF-TX said:

A friend of mine from Los Fresnos confirmed his 7-8 foot coconut survived the freeze. 

That is great to hear.  Is it visible from a public street?

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Xenon
2 hours ago, LF-TX said:

A friend of mine from Los Fresnos confirmed his 7-8 foot coconut survived the freeze. 

Great news! We need pics ASAP :P (please) 

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Xerarch
On 1/2/2022 at 5:42 PM, Johnny Palmseed said:

I think Royals are proving to be hardier than expected but when pushed to their limits, they really don’t look very good. The extreme taper in the crown shaft area doesn’t look good now and is usually indicative of a decline in the health of the plant. Usually when I see this occur, the palm does not survive. Not only that, the heads seem to be missing half of the fronds they should have. The Hyophorbes look similar as well. Of course, all this would be expected after a significant winter. I think it will take more time to see the full effect of the freeze.

Interesting, I'll be following to see how these turn out. One ray of hope though is that these weren't so-so specimens that declined for an unknown reason to develop that tapered crownshaft that you point out.  These were healthy specimens that got blasted by cold and recovered from defoliation to the state you see above, hopefully this is an intermediate state that will be outgrown to restore the full crownshaft.  I do suppose that the trunk will forever bare a tapered scar of the event though.

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Xerarch
On 12/28/2021 at 8:20 PM, Xenon said:

Looks like it wasn't quite as apocalyptic as predicted despite lows in the 22-24F range. Plenty of royals left and also foxtail palms, even some surviving bottle palms. The freeze did not seem to put much of a dent in the crownshaft palm population in Port Isabel-South Padre from what I can see.  The coconuts are no more though. 

Did Elon's Royals survive down there at SpaceX?

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Mr. Coconut Palm
On 12/29/2021 at 9:17 AM, Xerarch said:

Boy that's exciting to see how well those have fared, but also so disheartening about how much worse things were here just 100 miles to the north, ugh, I might need counseling. 

Me too, Ammon!

John

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Mr. Coconut Palm
On 12/29/2021 at 12:12 PM, Xenon said:

I'm genuinely surprised by the lack of dead royals and foxtails at the coast. There is the occasional dead trunk or two but by and large they survived. I found 2 more "new" but dead coconuts that had impressive trunks. 

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Jonathan,

Where are those 2 new, but dead Coconut Palms you saw with the impressive trunks?  Did you happen to get any pics of them?

John

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Mr. Coconut Palm
On 12/29/2021 at 1:18 PM, Xenon said:

Queen Isabella causeway and South Padre Island in the distancePXL_20211229_185906810_MP.thumb.jpg.76c4c49c3a93018928b6291cc949c55e.jpg

Looks like someone at the city or a local (guerilla?) planted this coconut on the canal by the mangroves.  Hopefully it has many years ahead of it!

PXL_20211229_144922317.thumb.jpg.1b306691d652efda9af03729c7b197b7.jpg

This poor neglected Coconut Palm needs lots of water, and some MicroLife Ultimate 8-4-6 to get it going and keep it going.  Some MicroLife Ocean Harvest 4-2-3 as a foliar spray would at the rate of 2 ounces per gallon of water, sure would help too!!!  Join the STPTTOCP (The Society To Prevent The Torture Of Coconut Palms), LOL!!!

John

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Mr. Coconut Palm
On 1/1/2022 at 9:19 AM, bubba said:

Thank you! This gives us all hope that the RGV is an authentic tropical Palm Paradise. I hope all palmsters move forward with the immediate  planting of multitudinous Coco nucifera. It is worth it!

Here, here, Bubba!!!  YESSS!!!  The RGV SHOULD BE Full of Thousands of Coconut Palms.  I have estimated that at least several different varieties could do pretty well there, including:  Mexican Tall, of course, Jamaican Tall, Panama Tall, Maypan, Green Hawaiian Tall, Golden Hawaiian Tall, Maymex Hybrid (many of the palms that sprout from beach nuts are these), Green Malayan Dwarf, Golden Malayan Dwarf, Yellow Malayan Dwarf (both the Golden and Yellow Malayans will only do their best in Brownsville, Los Fresnos, Port Isabel, and South Padre, since they are less cold hardy than the Green Malayan Dwarf), and Fiji Dwarf (best planted only in Brownsville, Los Fresnos, Port Isabel, and South Padre due to less cold hardiness than other varieties).

John

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Mr. Coconut Palm
On 1/2/2022 at 4:33 PM, Aceraceae said:

So zero outdoor cocos palms survived in Texas (SPI)? 

At least 5 or 6 survived in the RGV, but most of those were protected.  We need updated pics of them, though, and there are two in the Brownsville area that survived, and may have been mature unprotected ones, but I REALLY wish someone would get pics of them!!!

John

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ZPalms
On 12/29/2021 at 5:10 PM, Xenon said:

The big Ficus and Adonidia at the unit are gone. The pines are all over the place. A few small ones look nearly undamaged, some larger ones have about 30-50% branch damage and a few giant ones look completely dead. Most are somewhere in between with major branch damage and recovering from the crotch at the main trunk. 

Here's a big mango in Port Isabel that retained its main trunk

PXL_20211229_153150525.thumb.jpg.9a6b1a7fe0b108836d51307dd87919bc.jpg

And some pines that look strangely good right next to heavily damaged ones 

PXL_20211229_135227965.thumb.jpg.0bed213bfcffff2f333bba983384b6ba.jpgPXL_20211229_135644066.thumb.jpg.c67fb6122c75407f7fb4fb23e54628f0.jpg

 

what are these pines? They look so strange and cool

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Mr. Coconut Palm
On 1/2/2022 at 4:49 PM, Xenon said:

Not that I know of. There are two or three young coconuts alive in sheltered spots central Brownsville that probably benefitted from being close to the ground heat. 

SPI is not always the warmest spot. In certain long duration events and depending on the angling of the front, inland areas like Brownsville and McAllen can be warmer. The warmest reading during last year's event was in central and southeast Brownsville, just above 24F. 

24F low temp IS enough for mature Mexican Talls, and mature Jamaican Talls to have survived, as there are surviving Jamaican Talls in Coastal Central Florida that survived those temps and even slightly lower than that back in the 1989 Freeze there!!!

John

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Mr. Coconut Palm
On 12/29/2021 at 4:10 PM, Xenon said:

The big Ficus and Adonidia at the unit are gone. The pines are all over the place. A few small ones look nearly undamaged, some larger ones have about 30-50% branch damage and a few giant ones look completely dead. Most are somewhere in between with major branch damage and recovering from the crotch at the main trunk. 

Here's a big mango in Port Isabel that retained its main trunk

PXL_20211229_153150525.thumb.jpg.9a6b1a7fe0b108836d51307dd87919bc.jpg

And some pines that look strangely good right next to heavily damaged ones 

PXL_20211229_135227965.thumb.jpg.0bed213bfcffff2f333bba983384b6ba.jpgPXL_20211229_135644066.thumb.jpg.c67fb6122c75407f7fb4fb23e54628f0.jpg

 

They need a nice Big Coconut Palm in their front yard to go along with that Mango Tree.

John

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Xenon
1 hour ago, Mr. Coconut Palm said:

Jonathan,

Where are those 2 new, but dead Coconut Palms you saw with the impressive trunks?  Did you happen to get any pics of them?

John

They are at the north end of SPI, a bit up the road from the sea turtle center just before the dunes. Didn't get a pic but the two large curving dead trunks were unmistakable. One was similar in size to the two on E Red Snapper St. 

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Xenon
4 hours ago, Xerarch said:

Did Elon's Royals survive down there at SpaceX?

Don't know if they died outright or were removed. There are some new foxtail palms at the residential area 

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Xenon
1 hour ago, ZPalms said:

what are these pines? They look so strange and cool

Araucaria columnaris or Cook pine from New Caledonia, commonly misidentified as "Norfolk Island pine". Here are some better looking ones (most look much worse) on the island (borrowed pic):

FB_IMG_1641583994370.thumb.jpg.f5f9c6edd6be16909b8826a963c67d04.jpg

Edited by Xenon
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Aceraceae
7 hours ago, Xerarch said:

Did Elon's Royals survive down there at SpaceX?

They really have them there? Large but recently planted? 

edit

"Don't know if they died outright or were removed. There are some new foxtail palms at the residential area "

@Xenon you saw the area and they're gone, or standing dead trunks? 

Edited by Aceraceae

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Xerarch
2 hours ago, Xenon said:

Don't know if they died outright or were removed. There are some new foxtail palms at the residential area 

I was worried that if they died they wouldn't replace them, thinking that they weren't a good choice.  I think the recent survivors prove they are a great choice for the area, even after this extreme event.

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