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ruskinPalms

Worst freezes ever

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cryptobionic

Hey, those aren't ratty Roystoneas, they're "Character Royals".

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SunnyFl

(happ @ Aug. 22 2006,00:02)

QUOTE
Do ravenea grow fast?  I've heard that given plenty of water, the R. rivularis will shoot up quickly.  Planted a majesty within 5 feet of a large michelia and may regret it.

The rivularis grows very fast, if its needs are met.  Mostly, it loves water.  Fertilizer isn't nearly as important, IMO, as rich soil, water, water, and water.

In habitat, it grows at water's edge.  There's one in Houston - a beauty!! - that has survived even snow; it's by a pond (lake?) which keeps it happy.  Eric of Leu Gardens in Orlando says they got their R. rivularis in the 90's - I think he said in about 8 years, it had gone from 3' of trunk to 30.  It's in a shaded mucky area, and it's big.

Supposedly, they reach 10-15' quickly then slow down - but Leu Gardens' palm kept on going.  Their trunks are stout - they can get to about 2½ feet wide at base.

But I've noticed that the rivs planted in full sun and not near water grow much more slowly.

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philinsydney

Some of Walt's pictures of cold-damaged palms were very interesting. Not being an expert on Florida, I looked up locations such as Lake Placid, Avon Park and LaBelle. They are all a long way south, which made me wonder, could cold affect the native Royals in Big Cypress Swamp in the same way? That would be very strange in their native habitat if it happened.

You don't see large trees affected like this in Australia. If it is too cold, they simply don't grow at all eg coconuts won't grow in Sydney.

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Eric in Orlando

I still vivdly remember the Christmas 1989 freeze, it dropped to about 19-20F in Orlando for 2 nights in a row and there was very light snowflakes for about 15 minutes. I also remember the big freeze Christmas 1983 and Jan. 1985 but '89 was the worst. Quite a lot of plants were killed after the first 2 freezes but '89 was the deathblow. Most tropical palms I rember seeing back then around Orlando; Archontophoenix, Adonidia, Ptychosperma, Roystonea were killed in the '83 freeze. '89 killed many of the surviving Queens and Phoenix roebelenii. P. reclinatas were damaged or killed to the ground. Even P. canariensis and Washingtonia robusta showed some damage after '89. This of course was when the citrus from about Lakeland and Orlando north were killed off. Even normally "hardy" tropical trees like Jacaranda and Grevillea were killed or severely damaged.

On the east coast over in Cocoa Beach/Meritt Island, it dropped into the low/mid 20s and most of the coconuts and royals were killed. There are some Royals that survived and I know of one coconut the survived '89 in Cocoa Beach. There are still mango groves on the south tip of Meritt Island. Since then coconuts have been replanted and they are everywhere over there.

Since 12/89 the coldest it has been here in Orlando is 26F.

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Eric in Orlando

(SunnyFl @ Aug. 22 2006,07:11)

QUOTE

(happ @ Aug. 22 2006,00:02)

QUOTE
Do ravenea grow fast?  I've heard that given plenty of water, the R. rivularis will shoot up quickly.  Planted a majesty within 5 feet of a large michelia and may regret it.

The rivularis grows very fast, if its needs are met.  Mostly, it loves water.  Fertilizer isn't nearly as important, IMO, as rich soil, water, water, and water.

In habitat, it grows at water's edge.  There's one in Houston - a beauty!! - that has survived even snow; it's by a pond (lake?) which keeps it happy.  Eric of Leu Gardens in Orlando says they got their R. rivularis in the 90's - I think he said in about 8 years, it had gone from 3' of trunk to 30.  It's in a shaded mucky area, and it's big.

Supposedly, they reach 10-15' quickly then slow down - but Leu Gardens' palm kept on going.  Their trunks are stout - they can get to about 2½ feet wide at base.

But I've noticed that the rivs planted in full sun and not near water grow much more slowly.

Here is the Ravenea rivularis at Leu Gardens. It was planted in Sept. 1995 from a 5 gal. container. It is growing in wet, black muck, there is a ssmall spring that rickles out nearby. There is often standing water around it during the wet season. It had 1-2ft of water for several weeks after the 3 hurricanes in 2004. This was taken Nov. 2004, it has grown a bit since then. It is now flowering, also. It is about 30ft tall. One planted the same time and same size is still only about 6ft tall, no trunk. It is in an upland site, well drained sandy soil, part shade and irrigated.

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph.....src=ph

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Eric in Orlando

Here are 3 photos taken in Jan. 1990 at Leu Gardens, after the big 12/89 freeze. They are from slides I found in the archives.

1st

The palm in the middle is a Mule Palm, X Butiagrus. The one on the far left is a young Queen (killed) and in between is a Triangle, Dypsis decaryi. The trees in the back are Golden Rain Trees, Koelreuteria elegans ssp. formosana. They survived, just the leaves were killed off.

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph.....src=ph

2nd

The big cycads are Queen Sagos, Cycas rumphii. These were killed to the ground but they resprouted from the roots and are back that size now. The cycads to the left are Dioon edule and the one behind the Dioons is King Sagos, Cycas revoluta. They were defoliated in 12/89.

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph.....src=ph

3rd

The cycads on the far left are King Sagos, the ones on the right, Cardboard Cycad, Zamia maritima. Both were defoliated but survived. The palm is Roystonea regia, it was killed. There is actually a Coccothrinax sp. that survived the 1989 freeze here as did an Arenga pinnata and an Attalea rostrata. There were two groups of Archontophoenix cunninghamiana that were killed in '83 and '85. They were mature and seeding heavily. Many of the seeds survived and sprouted. There was a thick mass of A. cunninghamiana growing from these seeds and were back 5-10 ft tall and were killed in '89. Almost all the Queen Palms were killed here. Along the lakefront of Leu Gardens, seeds have since resprouted and the Queens have naturalized. There were seedlings still sprouting in the late '90s, 10 years after the parents were killed. Amazing how long the seeds can last.

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph.....src=ph

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Walt

Philip:

I'm all but sure most of the BCSwamp native royal palms have, at one time, some frost damage. I say this as I've checked low tempertature records at the Southeast Regional Climate Center Web site. One station, located near the southern most tip of penisular Florida all-time low was 28F (-2.2C). Further, during the winter of 2004-2005 I was checking (National Weather Service at Melbourne, Florida) low temperature readings each morning (during radiational cooling events) in deep interior locations of  Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward, and Collier counties (all the southernm most Florida counties), and they were getting morning low temperatures of 26 degrees F (-3.3C). It was actually warmer 100 miles farther north at same longitude locations.

When I first moved here a local nursery owner told me it's actually warmer in central Florida on the Lake Wales Ridge (an area of higher elevation running along central Florida inland counties) than at lower altitude locations 75-100 miles farther south on radiational cooling nights. This is due to the air inversion layer/stratification. The air inversion layer runs 10-12 degrees warmer here on the ridge than nearby areas just off the ridge on radiational cooling nights.

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spockvr6

Eric-

Those are some nasty nasty pics.

Seeing that shade of bronze on something deemed so hardy as a Queen palm is disturbing.

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happ

Agree with Larry.

Those photos are painful to look at  :o

Scares me that it could happen in SoCal some day.

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spockvr6

(happ @ Aug. 24 2006,11:35)

QUOTE
Scares me that it could happen in SoCal some day.

It probably already has in inland areas hasnt it? :angry:

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NBTX11

(wrigphi @ Aug. 24 2006,05:42)

QUOTE
Some of Walt's pictures of cold-damaged palms were very interesting. Not being an expert on Florida, I looked up locations such as Lake Placid, Avon Park and LaBelle. They are all a long way south, which made me wonder, could cold affect the native Royals in Big Cypress Swamp in the same way? That would be very strange in their native habitat if it happened.

You don't see large trees affected like this in Australia. If it is too cold, they simply don't grow at all eg coconuts won't grow in Sydney.

What you have to understand about FL is that the cold goes down the center spine of the State, while the coastal areas stay much warmer.  For example, St Pete Beach may only get into the 40s/low 50s during a cold snap, but some interior location may get all the way down to freezing.

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happ

(spockvr6 @ Aug. 24 2006,11:45)

QUOTE

(happ @ Aug. 24 2006,11:35)

QUOTE
Scares me that it could happen in SoCal some day.

It probably already has in inland areas hasnt it? :angry:

Yes, the coldest readings are in low-lying inland valleys and high desert Mojave.  Often the warmest daily temps occur in SanFernando/SanGabriel valleys then plummet to freezing on windless nights.  Even in the city of Los Angeles there are some areas that get frost every winter.  So much depends on elevation & wind. Thankfully the strongest winds are in the fall/winter, but can turn into deadly santa ana's. Dew points/ humidity can actually drop below 0.  Hot arid wind that sucks the moisture out of the ground. The spark from starting a lawn mower can trigger an erratic wildfire and panic to homeowners.   :angry: In Nor Cal they refer to their offshore wind as  'diablo'. Devil or saint, these winds provide overnight warmth to the low mountains/foothills & passes.

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DoomsDave

Hmm.

Who, here in So-Cal, can forget --- drum roll -- the freeze of 1990/1991?

I have no stats, just memories.

Of the burnt smell of frozen oleander on the UC Riverside Campus.  

Shivering in the back room of my newly-rented dive.  Broke records.  Not vinyl.

Bougainvillea along the coast, along with Howeas, frozen and blackened here, and untouched a few feet away.

dave

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SunnyFl

(Eric in Orlando @ Aug. 24 2006,09:46)

QUOTE
Here is the Ravenea rivularis at Leu Gardens. It was planted in Sept. 1995 from a 5 gal. container. It is growing in wet, black muck, there is a ssmall spring that rickles out nearby. There is often standing water around it during the wet season. It had 1-2ft of water for several weeks after the 3 hurricanes in 2004. This was taken Nov. 2004, it has grown a bit since then. It is now flowering, also. It is about 30ft tall. One planted the same time and same size is still only about 6ft tall, no trunk. It is in an upland site, well drained sandy soil, part shade and irrigated.

Thanks for posting the pic, Eric.  I love that palm.  Any way you can take a pic of the inflorescence?

Have never seen a riv in flower and would love to see it.  At the rate my riv is (not) growing, I'll never live to see it flower.  :D

Regarding the rivs and the hurricanes, how well did they hold up?

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Eric in Orlando

(SunnyFl @ Aug. 26 2006,09:35)

QUOTE

(Eric in Orlando @ Aug. 24 2006,09:46)

QUOTE
Here is the Ravenea rivularis at Leu Gardens. It was planted in Sept. 1995 from a 5 gal. container. It is growing in wet, black muck, there is a ssmall spring that rickles out nearby. There is often standing water around it during the wet season. It had 1-2ft of water for several weeks after the 3 hurricanes in 2004. This was taken Nov. 2004, it has grown a bit since then. It is now flowering, also. It is about 30ft tall. One planted the same time and same size is still only about 6ft tall, no trunk. It is in an upland site, well drained sandy soil, part shade and irrigated.

Thanks for posting the pic, Eric.  I love that palm.  Any way you can take a pic of the inflorescence?

Have never seen a riv in flower and would love to see it.  At the rate my riv is (not) growing, I'll never live to see it flower.  :D

Regarding the rivs and the hurricanes, how well did they hold up?

Here is the inflorescence. The palm went throught the hurricanes just fine, no damage at all.

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph.....src=ph

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Jimbean

(spockvr6 @ Aug. 12 2006,21:57)

QUOTE

(ruskinPalms @ Aug. 12 2006,21:43)

QUOTE
How cold can it get in the Florida Royal palm's natural habitat?

20's easily Bill!

I have watched the NWS graphics (which detail overnight lows) with keen interest during the winter months and have noted many times where the overnight lows are colder in the central part of deep southern FL than up here.  But, it warms up faster there.

It still baffles me how an area in the middle of the Everglades can get that cold, even if only briefly.

In the end...the best judge of climate is shown by the number and size of certain indicator plants/palms IMO.

Freeze2003.jpg

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spockvr6

Ouch JimBeam!

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Jimbean

(spockvr6 @ Oct. 28 2007,07:50)

QUOTE
Ouch JimBeam!

Yes!  That was the freeze of 2003.  What is interesting to note is how close those mid-20's got to the native range of Florida royals.  It makes me wonder if the Florida variety is more cold hardier.

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gsytch

In 1977, an official two inchesd of snow was reported in Tampa. USF has historical records of pictures from this rare event. In 1989, I lived in New Port Richey, and it hit 23F on two straight nights with a high of 39F in between. It was HARSH, and it snowed (I have pics of my car covered in a dusting, not the ground) during the night. During the March Storm of the Century in '93, the day after saw temps drop into the upper 30's with wind gusts to 60mph all day. The combination of the salt-laden wind and wind chill fried most west-facing leaves. My HUGE Orange tree defoliated facing west, while the fruit matured fine facing east. Many palms were completely burned around here due to the wind. I actually saw more damage from that March storm than from the '89 freeze! Greg in New Port Richey....warm, humid, 70F dewpoints

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ruskinPalms

Was that freeze advective? I actually was living in Sarasota at that time. I remember it getting cold, but eh, it didn't seem THAT cold. I don't recall there being any damage to palms or tropicals in sarasota that year. But, my life was exclusively west of I-75 at that time so I guess I missed the really cold stuff. The Royals in Sarasota persisted without issue.

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ruskinPalms

By the way, how is this map generated? A satellite that can sense temperature or the NWS's best guess based upon a few official reporting stations?

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ruskinPalms

(ruskinPalms @ Oct. 28 2007,20:55)

QUOTE
Was that freeze advective? I actually was living in Sarasota at that time. I remember it getting cold, but eh, it didn't seem THAT cold. I don't recall there being any damage to palms or tropicals in sarasota that year. But, my life was exclusively west of I-75 at that time so I guess I missed the really cold stuff. The Royals in Sarasota persisted without issue.

I take that back, I am confused. I had actually just moved from Sarasota to New Tampa (northeast tampa) that year. It DID get cold. It caused damage to queen palms in New Tampa that year.

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SubTropicRay

1977 saw 5 consecutive nights below freezing at TPA Int'l Apt.  That's still a record today.  The lowest minimum during that stretch was "only" 24F.  Compare that with 18F in 1962, 19F in 1983, 21F in 1985 and another 24F in 1989.   

Ray

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spockvr6

(ruskinPalms @ Oct. 28 2007,20:57)

QUOTE
By the way, how is this map generated? A satellite that can sense temperature or the NWS's best guess based upon a few official reporting stations?

I have always wondered the same thing.

Also...those temps sem to be at 10 meters.  At the ground, it can be much colder.  My house sits practically on top of that 32F gradient line, but it was in the upper 20's F here lower to the ground.

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spockvr6

(ruskinPalms @ Oct. 28 2007,20:55)

QUOTE
Was that freeze advective? I actually was living in Sarasota at that time. I remember it getting cold, but eh, it didn't seem THAT cold. I don't recall there being any damage to palms or tropicals in sarasota that year. But, my life was exclusively west of I-75 at that time so I guess I missed the really cold stuff. The Royals in Sarasota persisted without issue.

Yes...it was windy.  Thus, temperatures were fairly even around the area.

I believe that even Anna Maria and Albert Whitted AP in St. Pete dropped below freezing.

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bubba

As I have incorrigibly stated before, this Zone 11 stuff is so ridiculously flawed it is for the birds! Look at the palms because that is what counts. The next artic freeze we have,if in my life time, I will take a thermometer and go to the beach and check the temperature. If it is under forty degrees F, I will pass out and never be heard from again.

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spockvr6

Bubba-

No doubt that the palms that are growing are what ultimately count.  Droppign below an arbitrary temperature, while useful for numercial purposes, obviously cant tell the whole story.

The reporting station for Miami Beach (which is probably one of the warmest stations in all of Florida) is located here----

mbstation.jpg

Yet, it has dropped below 40F there many times, the most recently in 2003 where it occured two nights in a row.  But, the palms there didnt seem to care much!

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bubba

Larry, Understood. I am talking about walking to the beach as close to ocean as possible. The Gulfstream in Palm Beach is much closer to shore(1-3 miles)than at the Miami Beach location you have referenced.Now that it has been fully agreed by certain third parties that the reporting may occur from a single point,I will choose that point closest to the ocean and closest to the Gulfstream. I believe that given the warm nature of the Ocean, even in the coldest Artic event, that the temperature will be well above 32 or 40 degrees F.

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SubTropicRay

29F at Albert Whitted airport.

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bubba

In further discussions with several friends who know the water and the coral reefs and jetty's very well,(surfers and divers)they have never seen the water temperature at the Northend jetty by the Palm Beach Inlet ever drop below 65 degrees F. This is certainly verifiable by the Coral on the jetty's and nearby reefs, which would be fatally wounded by water temperature lower than 65 degrees F.I am sure Kitty can confirm the existence of these Coral reefs.Accordingly, I doth my point to be the Northend jetty and willing to bet nothing ever under 40 degrees F.The maps I have seen regarding water temperature simply do not reflect the existence of this microclimate created by our proximity to the Gulfstream.

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spockvr6

(bubba @ Oct. 29 2007,13:58)

QUOTE
I doth my point to be the Northend jetty and willing to bet nothing ever under 40 degrees F.

Sounds like you need to head on out there on some cold nights this winter with a min/max thermometer and camp out!

Ive found the prime locations around here (by both looking at a map and then actually driving out there on the coldest nights with a thermocouple type thermometer) and there are certainly areas which are warmer than the maps.

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bubba

Larry,By God if that would settle this idiotic Zone 11 issue, I would do it in a heartbeat.

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redant

(bubba @ Oct. 29 2007,07:52)

QUOTE
As I have incorrigibly stated before, this Zone 11 stuff is so ridiculously flawed it is for the birds! Look at the palms because that is what counts. The next artic freeze we have,if in my life time, I will take a thermometer and go to the beach and check the temperature. If it is under forty degrees F, I will pass out and never be heard from again.

Palm beach is clearly a desirable micro climate much like Jupiter Island. Zone maps are not going to pick up on such small micro's like this. I was biking on Jupiter Island this weekend, the difference a bridge makes in climate is amazing. when I win the Lotto you will find me living there.

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