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Coconut Growing Farthest From Equator

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Tyrone

I think it's around 20C 68-70F as a lowest average max required for the coconut. 16C or 60F is way too low. One degree C can make all the difference.

Here in Perth in winter we haven't seen a max below 14C for years, and there'd only be a small number of winter days 16C and below. Even still I covered my dwarf Malay, but this year it will have to be semi protected as it's now too big to completely cover.

Best regards

Tyrone

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mlovecan

Thanks for that information Tyrone.

Guess it illustrates the Coconut tree cannot be clearly grouped as USDA hardiness zone X.

Seems as the only category in can be grouped under is "tropical" and if you climate is "sub-tropical" you can expect only marginal results.

Edited by mlovecan

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Tyrone

Climate classifications along the lines of tropical, subtropical, warm temperate, cool temperate, can be very misleading at times. Even the term Medditeranean can mean different things to different people. The Mediteranean climate largely falls into the "sub-tropical" category but involves a dry summer.

Here in Perth (32S) we are dry sub-tropical or Mediteranean but we are still warmer than most parts of the real Mediteranean. We average 18-19C max in winter and 8-9C min and statistically only get two nights a winter 2C or below. Max's below 16C happen but are not the norm. There are a couple of coconuts in Perth that have been planted accidentally in ideal microclimates, but they do suffer in cool spells. 400km north in Geraldton (28S) there are some magnificent coconuts growing, but Geraldton is literally 1C warmer than Perth but has only around 300mm of rain in winter compared to our 869mm. Another 100km up the coast from Geraldton is Kalbarri (27S) and it's about 2C warmer than Geraldton, so about 3C warmer than Perth, and coconuts consistently fruit, though not commercial quality. Kalbarri is about the latitude of the Sunshine coast north of Brisbane on the east coast, and Geraldton is about the same latitude as the Gold Coast south of Brisbane on the east coast. There is a bigger difference in climate between 28S to 27S than there is between 32S and 28S, at least on the west coast.

I would think that you can split the subtropical zone up into two at around the 29S to 28S area, and say that anywhere between that point and the tropics is "warm subtropical". The area around 33S, 32S to 29S, 28S is a cooler winter subtropical zone, where the coconut will struggle.

So I would say that the coconut is a warm subtropical to tropical palm, happiest between the lats of 29S to 29N, and to survive outside of these zones requires very careful placing into the most favourable microclimates that can be found, or fabricated. That's what I've found anyway.

Best regards

Tyrone

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mlovecan

Hi Tyrone,

Again, very interesting and informative data! Very interesting reference to 28 degrees, which, coincidentally is the latitude of the canaries where coconuts saurvive quite well but don't exactly thrive like in the tropics.

I was always under the impression the distinction between tropical/sub-tropical and temperate climates was the fact that a temperate climate had dry summers while tropical/sub-tropical climate included rain in summer-time?

As is you may know, our summer has no rain at all. Even clouds between mid-may and mid-september are extremely rare.

For this reason, I felt our climate was best categorized as warm-temperate and never sub-tropical.

Regards

Maurice

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Tyrone

Hi Maurice

The defintion of what is "subtropical" varies between climatologists a bit. It's easier to define what is "tropical", and what is "polar" than what is "sub-tropical". The Koeppen system says that the subtropical zone must have an average winter max in the coolest month of 18C or more. Whereas other models will put the SW of the UK such as Cornwall and Devon into a subtropical category. When I think of "sub-tropical" I do not put Cornwall and Devon into that category, as it's much too cold IMO. I think the Koeppen system is adequate in defining "sub-tropical" and what it does do is define what parts of the sub-tropics get summer rain (classic humid sub-tropical), and what areas get winter rain (dry sub-tropical) which will include parts of what is considered Medditeranean as well. I think the dry subtropics will include parts of the Mediteranean climate, but maybe not the coldest parts of the Mediteranean climate.

Have a look at the links below for some explanations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subtropical

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%B6ppen_c..._classification

Best regards

Tyrone

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Kumar

I've seen a few very shabby coconuts in chandigarh (punjab). That's 30N and there are a few cold days when it gets to 2 deg C thoughj without snowfall. Summers are blazing hot though

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greekpalm

from what i understand the main reason that cocos don't grow in Mediterranean Europe (if they pass the temperature tests...) is the amount of rain in the winter and the extensive sun in the summer .... there are 2 places in europe that have very little rain in the winter

1)Almeria Spain (very low precipitation but cold sea water)

2)Larnaca Cyprus ( a little more rain but much warmer waters)

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DoomsDave

from what i understand the main reason that cocos don't grow in Mediterranean Europe (if they pass the temperature tests...) is the amount of rain in the winter and the extensive sun in the summer .... there are 2 places in europe that have very little rain in the winter

1)Almeria Spain (very low precipitation but cold sea water)

2)Larnaca Cyprus ( a little more rain but much warmer waters)

THe big reason they don't grow along the Med in Europe is the same reason they don't make it here in California: It's too cool for too long, even if it never freezes.

Tyrone's observations are spot on. Here on the Pacific coast, coconuts don't start until you get to the middle of Baja California, something like 600 miles (?? K?) away. We regularly fall at least 20 F below the 68 F coconuts need to thrive, even in the warmest areas.

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greekpalm

do we know about any coconut growing on the other side of the Mediterranean ?

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Palmateer

It's nice to see that this old thread is still active!

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greekpalm

from what i've seen is that coconut palms need USDA 11 to survive and thrive (somewhat) and maybe if very lucky and in some circumstances in upper zone 10b...

there are no zone 11 that i know of in Europe (with exception the canary islands who are territory of Spain but are 1200km south of Spain ,I consider it as Africa)

does anyone know if there is a zone 11 in Europe ?

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Janni

Hi Manoli,

as mentioned before, the prolonged cool/rainy winter season is the reason why coconuts don't grow in the mediterranean region. USDA Zones 11 could be Rhodes, Malta, Lampedusa and parts of Cyprus. But that simply doesn't count. On the one hand they may have relatively high minimum average temps and absolute minimum temps at about 4°C but on the other hand they have average day temps of about 15-17°C in January and February! The soil gets cool and wet and in the combination with cool air that kills such tropical plants like the coconut in the longterm.

Maybe you could succeed if you place a coconut in a very protected, south facing spot with soil heating. If I will ever have the chance to buy a property on a greek island I'll try it :winkie:

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greekpalm

i don't know if you can consider those places zone 11. but you're right its not only the zone that counts.... either way IF such place would exists in the Mediterranean i don't know if it could survive the extensive heat and sun in the summer....

would it help if winter rain would me reduced ? (check climate of Almeria out)

by the way soil heating is done by electric resistant wires or by heated water?

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US_Marine

i don't know if you can consider those places zone 11. but you're right its not only the zone that counts.... either way IF such place would exists in the Mediterranean i don't know if it could survive the extensive heat and sun in the summer....

would it help if winter rain would me reduced ? (check climate of Almeria out)

by the way soil heating is done by electric resistant wires or by heated water?

I do not know how hot it is over there but over here it gets hot! My coconut palm goes indoors during winter, but is back outside in spring. She has survived Our hot dry summers for a few years now. 113f is the hottest temp she seen so far. No damage. I don't know if its just my palms, but they like it when temps get between 95f-105f.

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greekpalm

119 F is the maximum recorded in Athens

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JasonD

Was searching for coconuts in Texas and stumbled upon this...

North America's northernmost flowering coconut

:drool: It's located in Puerto Penasco, Mexico(31.3N) on the coast of the Sea of Cortez :drool:

100_1307.jpg

500th post! :D

:) Jonathan

WOW! That's an easy drive from the Arizona border. That stretch of desert landscape looks bleak from the airplane. (I flew over last December on the way back from Cabo.)

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US_Marine

119 F is the maximum recorded in Athens

Somewhere on one of these post someone posted pics of coconut palms in a desert. I believe it gets hotter than that there and they seem to be doing ok. Anyway I looked at a climate comparison from weather.com. From the data they collected there, my area on average has warmer days. However, one month is the same and two of them are slightly warmer than mine. My summer is hotter, but night time lows are cooler. I would say a coconut palm should not be damaged by an average summer there.

Edited by US_Marine

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greekpalm

119 F is the maximum recorded in Athens

Somewhere on one of these post someone posted pics of coconut palms in a desert. I believe it gets hotter than that there and they seem to be doing ok. Anyway I looked at a climate comparison from weather.com. From the data they collected there, my area on average has warmer days. However, one month is the same and two of them are slightly warmer than mine. My summer is hotter, but night time lows are cooler. I would say a coconut palm should not be damaged by an average summer there.

You have to check the weather station because the most common ones are in the northern suburbs ( nea philadelphia )

anyway we are drifting off topic .....

does anyone know what would be the minimum rain for the winter for the coconut?

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Janni

I think summer heat is not the key. Have a look at the emirates. They have plenty of coconuts there and long hot, dry summers. The Coconut is a tropical plant, what means that they can handle very very hot temperatures. And the amount of rain they see in the tropical areas around the world is far above the rain we have in the mediterranean.

So the isolated factors rain and heat cannot be taken as exclusive factors for growing tropical plants. It is the combination of other factors, like cool air, soil and cool rain. And in Almeria (and south spain in general) they have a climate that is somehow more dessert-like. That's why their cold spells are a little cooler than the cold spells on the greek islands, what would make south spain a USDA 10A and the greek islands, Malta, Lampedusa, Sicily and Cyprus 10B/11. Nevertheless there is a huge variety of tropical plants you can grow in spain and greece, as well as in all other mediterranean areas.

Btw does anyone know how the USDA Zones are calculated? e.g. Miami, FL is considered to be USDA 10B. But last year they have had temps below 35°F as far as I know. That means they would be 10A. Or is the USDA Zone considered not to be calculated on the basis of the absolute minimum temperature ever recorded, but for the average of minimum temperatures of the last 30 years - or something like that?? Does anyone know that?

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greekpalm

average of annual minimum temperatures ( of the last 30 years )

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US_Marine

Somewhere on one of these post someone posted pics of coconut palms in a desert. I believe it gets hotter than that there and they seem to be doing ok. Anyway I looked at a climate comparison from weather.com. From the data they collected there, my area on average has warmer days. However, one month is the same and two of them are slightly warmer than mine. My summer is hotter, but night time lows are cooler. I would say a coconut palm should not be damaged by an average summer there.

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Nigel

Here in Florinaopolis Brasil coconuts are growing at 27,35 S , however they dont look their best, and rarely carry coconuts. Interesting what somebody says about 28 degrees being the cut off because I suspect that is pretty much the limit here too.

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Xenon

I think summer heat is not the key. Have a look at the emirates. They have plenty of coconuts there and long hot, dry summers. The Coconut is a tropical plant, what means that they can handle very very hot temperatures. And the amount of rain they see in the tropical areas around the world is far above the rain we have in the mediterranean.

So the isolated factors rain and heat cannot be taken as exclusive factors for growing tropical plants. It is the combination of other factors, like cool air, soil and cool rain. And in Almeria (and south spain in general) they have a climate that is somehow more dessert-like. That's why their cold spells are a little cooler than the cold spells on the greek islands, what would make south spain a USDA 10A and the greek islands, Malta, Lampedusa, Sicily and Cyprus 10B/11. Nevertheless there is a huge variety of tropical plants you can grow in spain and greece, as well as in all other mediterranean areas.

Btw does anyone know how the USDA Zones are calculated? e.g. Miami, FL is considered to be USDA 10B. But last year they have had temps below 35°F as far as I know. That means they would be 10A. Or is the USDA Zone considered not to be calculated on the basis of the absolute minimum temperature ever recorded, but for the average of minimum temperatures of the last 30 years - or something like that?? Does anyone know that?

The USDA zones are just an average of minimum temps for 1974-1986. A lot of the data is not correct..especially for Texas since this was an unusually cold period of time, including the 83,85, and 89 freezes. Brownsville and intown Corpus Christi should be zone 10a. Downtown Houston and Galveston should be 9b. Sorry for running on...

The northern limit for coconuts in Texas seems to be about 27N.

Wonder if someone could pull of a coconut in Yuma, AZ?

:) Jonathan

Edited by Xenon

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Xenon

oops..

Edited by Xenon

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Cristóbal

My cocos in Tijuana México 32 north. Yellow maypan.

9 january 2007:

post-285-019247200 1292335108_thumb.jpg

I take these 2 fotos yesterday 4 years more later. My friend in the foto is 1.80 meters/5 feet 10 inchs. The cocos now is almost 3 meters high it grows all winter it has new frond spear now (you cant see this in the fotos), has some yellow color in january-february, but in march-april is green again.

post-285-001551800 1292335679_thumb.jpg

In january and february of every year i put the liquid copper for prevent fungus and liquid fertilizer on the fronds. The wall is south the palm is in sun all day, but also is in very bad area of santa ana winds. You can see what these very strong hot winds do to the fronds.

post-285-008207500 1292335810_thumb.jpg

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Eric in Orlando

Can they grow coconuts in Israel ?

How far north in Egypt are they found?

Also, how far along the west coast of Morrocco ?

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greekpalm

Can they grow coconuts in Israel ?

How far north in Egypt are they found?

Also, how far along the west coast of Morrocco ?

if there are coconut palms in Israel the best place to find any would be in Eilat (29.54 N).

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Jason Baker Portugal

I was in al Aqaba on the red sea about 25 years ago and I only remember seeing date palms at the beach. Maybe they have tried coconuts since then.

Jason

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Jimbean

Bermuda, possibly midway Islands

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kutsalangemon

I will try one to germinate in Turkey,Marmaris (Southwest part of Turkey) 36 51 degree next summer. I hope it work because so many tropical plants can easily germinate in South part of Turkey (Mango, Avocado, Pineapple, Coffee, Banana, Star Fruit, Papaya etc) but no one ever tried coconut. Winters are mild and summers are hot in Marmaris and humidity is the 2nd highest in Turkey. It is generally between 15 - 20C in winter time. You may find related climate info on pictures. What do you think ? Is it possible to grow coconut in South of Turkey Marmaris? If i plant it near the sea does coconut can import its water from sea in summer time (drought time) so there may not be insufficient water need?

monthly-Weather-Marmaris.png

average-relative-humidity-turkey-marmaris (1).png

Marmaris İklim Sınıflandırması.png

Edited by kutsalangemon
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Danilopez89
2 hours ago, kutsalangemon said:

I will try one to germinate in Turkey,Marmaris (Southwest part of Turkey) 36 51 degree next summer. I hope it work because so many tropical plants can easily germinate in South part of Turkey (Mango, Avocado, Pineapple, Coffee, Banana, Star Fruit, Papaya etc) but no one ever tried coconut. Winters are mild and summers are hot in Marmaris and humidity is the 2nd highest in Turkey. It is generally between 15 - 20C in winter time. You may find related climate info on pictures. What do you think ? Is it possible to grow coconut in South of Turkey Marmaris? If i plant it near the sea does coconut can import its water from sea in summer time (drought time) so there may not be insufficient water need?

monthly-Weather-Marmaris.png

average-relative-humidity-turkey-marmaris (1).png

Marmaris İklim Sınıflandırması.png

Its seems plausible...

From this data, it seems like you get most of your rain during the colder months. Which is not good for coconuts. They like to be a bit dry during the cold weather...

Best thing you can do is give it a try.

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Mr. Coconut Palm
3 hours ago, kutsalangemon said:

I will try one to germinate in Turkey,Marmaris (Southwest part of Turkey) 36 51 degree next summer. I hope it work because so many tropical plants can easily germinate in South part of Turkey (Mango, Avocado, Pineapple, Coffee, Banana, Star Fruit, Papaya etc) but no one ever tried coconut. Winters are mild and summers are hot in Marmaris and humidity is the 2nd highest in Turkey. It is generally between 15 - 20C in winter time. You may find related climate info on pictures. What do you think ? Is it possible to grow coconut in South of Turkey Marmaris? If i plant it near the sea does coconut can import its water from sea in summer time (drought time) so there may not be insufficient water need?

monthly-Weather-Marmaris.png

average-relative-humidity-turkey-marmaris (1).png

Marmaris İklim Sınıflandırması.png

Mehmet,

Sorry, but your winters are way too cold for the coconut palm to make it for even one season.  Look at your average highs and lows in December, January, February, and March.  These months are way too cold for a coconut palm, even for the most cold hardy varieties like the Indian Tall, a variety from coastal China near Hong Kong, and the Mexican Tall.  Galveston has a milder winter time climate than yours with an average January high temp of 60F and an average low of 48F, and they don't make it there more than one or two winters at the most.  Even as far south as I live in Flour Bluff, a small peninsula on the east side of Corpus Christi, Texas at about 27.67N Latitude, they are marginal and I am at the very northernmost limit for them in Texas.  My normal high/low in January are 65F/50F, and they struggle to make it through the winter here, but have been known to grow to maturity and even fruit after a few mild winters, but we are at the NORTHERNMOST limit of where they can be grown in Texas. I love them.  They are not just my favorite palm, but my favorite plant as a whole.  I wish we could grow them as well here as they can be grown in Brownsville in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.  There the tall varieties can grow to be 40ft. to 45ft. tall in overall height with trunks about 25ft. tall, and the Malayan Dwarfs can grow to be about 25ft. tall with about 11ft. of woody trunk.  Here where I live, if we are lucky, we could get a tall variety to grow to about 20ft to 25ft. tall in overall height, and a Malayan Dwarf to grow to about 12ft to 15ft. in overall height.  There is a mature Green Malayan Dwarf in Corpus Christi on the south side of a two story house on the east end of Ocean Dr.  The house backs right up to Corpus Christi Bay (the deepest bay in this area with an average depth in the middle of about 14ft and the Corpus Christi Ship Channel in the middle of it averaging about 45ft. deep).  This palm is planted up by the house and has some mature Queen Palms around it, so it has a lot of winter protection, and is in a perfect microclimate, and it occasionally produce a cluster of a few small nuts on it, and is currently flowering.

John

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kutsalangemon
54 minutes ago, Mr. Coconut Palm said:

Mehmet,

Sorry, but your winters are way too cold for the coconut palm to make it for even one season.  Look at your average highs and lows in December, January, February, and March.  These months are way too cold for a coconut palm, even for the most cold hardy varieties like the Indian Tall, a variety from coastal China near Hong Kong, and the Mexican Tall.  Galveston has a milder winter time climate than yours with an average January high temp of 60F and an average low of 48F, and they don't make it there more than one or two winters at the most.  Even as far south as I live in Flour Bluff, a small peninsula on the east side of Corpus Christi, Texas at about 27.67N Latitude, they are marginal and I am at the very northernmost limit for them in Texas.  My normal high/low in January are 65F/50F, and they struggle to make it through the winter here, but have been known to grow to maturity and even fruit after a few mild winters, but we are at the NORTHERNMOST limit of where they can be grown in Texas. I love them.  They are not just my favorite palm, but my favorite plant as a whole.  I wish we could grow them as well here as they can be grown in Brownsville in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.  There the tall varieties can grow to be 40ft. to 45ft. tall in overall height with trunks about 25ft. tall, and the Malayan Dwarfs can grow to be about 25ft. tall with about 11ft. of woody trunk.  Here where I live, if we are lucky, we could get a tall variety to grow to about 20ft to 25ft. tall in overall height, and a Malayan Dwarf to grow to about 12ft to 15ft. in overall height.  There is a mature Green Malayan Dwarf in Corpus Christi on the south side of a two story house on the east end of Ocean Dr.  The house backs right up to Corpus Christi Bay (the deepest bay in this area with an average depth in the middle of about 14ft and the Corpus Christi Ship Channel in the middle of it averaging about 45ft. deep).  This palm is planted up by the house and has some mature Queen Palms around it, so it has a lot of winter protection, and is in a perfect microclimate, and it occasionally produce a cluster of a few small nuts on it, and is currently flowering.

John

John

Thank you for your comment. It is true that Dec, Jan, Feb and March months are a bit cold for a coconut. But i d like to point out that Newport Beach CA, known as northernmost coconut lived even it is dead now and reason behind it is still a mystery, has mediterranean climate as Marmaris has and the climate info of Newport Beach is attached. Here it seems that our summers are hotter and winters are similar and Marmaris gets more rainfall than Newport. So 2-3 years old coconut is still not possible to grow on a south shore of city? What do you think?

climate-data-for-newport-beach.jpg

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Mr. Coconut Palm
4 hours ago, kutsalangemon said:

John

Thank you for your comment. It is true that Dec, Jan, Feb and March months are a bit cold for a coconut. But i d like to point out that Newport Beach CA, known as northernmost coconut lived even it is dead now and reason behind it is still a mystery, has mediterranean climate as Marmaris has and the climate info of Newport Beach is attached. Here it seems that our summers are hotter and winters are similar and Marmaris gets more rainfall than Newport. So 2-3 years old coconut is still not possible to grow on a south shore of city? What do you think?

climate-data-for-newport-beach.jpg

Mehmet,

Sorry, but the math still doesn't add up for your area.  For Coconut Palms to do moderately well (not thrive, but just do moderately well), they need a minimum soil temperature of 60F at least 90 to 95% of the time.  Newport Beach has an average temp of 56F in Dec., 56F in Jan., 57F in Feb., and 57.5F in Mar., which is very CHILLY for a Coconut Palm and only a rare few would survive more than a couple of years in such a situation, and even then only in a PERFECT microclimate.  The one that live so many years in Newport Beach was apparently in a PERFECT microclimate planted along a sidewalk next to a building with a lot of concrete and asphalt around it to give it some radiational  heat on cold nights and to some degree on cold days.  The problem is your climate is just way too cold for them.  Your Dec. average temp is 54.4F, Jan. is 51.9F (extremely cold average temp for a Coconut Palm), Feb. is 52.5F (also extremely cold average for a Coconut Palm), and Mar. is 55.6F.  Your warmest average of these four months isn't even as mild as the coolest average for Newport Beach, which is 56F for both Dec. and Jan.  If Coconut Palms could be grown to any extent whatsoever under such circumstances then they would be grown in places like Jacksonville, Florida, New Orleans. Louisiana, and Galveston, Texas, and they are not grown in such places because the winter temps are just way too cool for them.  They have been tried in Galveston, where the coolest average temp is 54F (2.1F milder than your coolest average), and have only survived for a couple of winters at the most.  Like I said earlier, even here where I live, where my coolest winter time average is about 57.5F (which is only for 1 month in Jan.) is 1.5F milder than Newport Beaches coolest average (56F) which lasts for two months, and they still struggle to make it here for about a month and a half of the coolest winter time weather we have here.

The only places I would think that a Coconut Palm could stand any chance at all of making it through the winter in a European yard would be on a southwest facing slope about 100ft. above sea level close to the shore in Cyprus, the same kind of location in Malta, and the same kind of location on the island of Gibraltar.  Anywhere north of these locations is just too way too chilly for them in the winter time, with the exception of maybe a few well protected microclimates in Southern Spain and such microclimates in Southwest Sicily.

John

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Cluster

Yap in europe they would need some sort of protection even in those areas especially if you want it to last 10+ years. Why the 100 ft above sea level though in coastal regions John wouldn't, say, 50ft also improve the chances?

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Mr. Coconut Palm
51 minutes ago, Cluster said:

Yap in europe they would need some sort of protection even in those areas especially if you want it to last 10+ years. Why the 100 ft above sea level though in coastal regions John wouldn't, say, 50ft also improve the chances?

Hi Pedro,

Yes, even the 50ft. elevation would help.  I was just thinking of sinking cold air on a cold night would move down the hill away from the palm, and being close to the water would keep it milder on such cold nights too.

John

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Cluster

Hi john!

But being very close to the sea this would not happen as the sea is very warm and would negate it? I thought this type of cold persistent only affected more inland areas where it would stay stored there, whereas in coastal areas the closer you are to the sea the less affected you are?

Edited by Cluster

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Mr. Coconut Palm
55 minutes ago, Cluster said:

Hi john!

But being very close to the sea this would not happen as the sea is very warm and would negate it? I thought this type of cold persistent only affected more inland areas where it would stay stored there, whereas in coastal areas the closer you are to the sea the less affected you are?

Pedro,

I think the cold air would be moderated that close to the water, but what cold air there is should sink down towards the base of the hill to the water's edge while the warmer air from the water's edge should rise up the hill, as warm air rises.  the effect would probably be more pronounced in areas a little further away from the water, such as in Southern California on the hillsides on cold winter nights, where the sides and top of the hills can be as much as 10F+ warmer than the low spots at the base of the hills.  Often this effect I believe can be as much as a whole Climate Zone difference, but I still think there would be some effect on a hill closer to the water too, but less pronounced, maybe 1/2 zone difference from nearby areas.

John

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