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Santa Cruz, CA


Kathy

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Though a trip to Santa Cruz (about 2 hours South of San Francisco) cannot compare to many of the vacation pics posted here, I thought some might like to see what is happily and not-so-happily growing in Santa Cruz.   Most probably know that Santa Cruz is a beach town with a carnival-type boardwalk and a large community of sea lions living mainly underneath the pier.  Having not been there in a while, I was suprised to see only a few palm species planted regularly.  I did not seek out collector gardens this trip, but simply took photos of the beach and surrounding areas.

Here are some typical scenes:

Triple washies line the beach:

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056_56.jpg

Quintuple washie:

072_72.jpg

071_71.jpg

 San Francisco Bay Area, California

Zone 10a

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More -- The only happy Syagrus I saw the whole long week:

066_66.jpg

Lots of Trachies:

052_52.jpg

053_53.jpg

054_54.jpg

 San Francisco Bay Area, California

Zone 10a

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Did you see any Archontophoenix, Rhopalostylis, Hedyscepe, Ceroxylon, Parajubaea?

My understanding is that Santa Cruz has a cool but essentially frost-free climate, it seems that the palms I mention should be logical first choices for a place like this. Queens in particular seem a lot less tolerant to cool summers than Kings or nikaus, so probabaly not the best bet there.

Thanks  for the pictures.

Waimarama New Zealand (39.5S, 177E)

Oceanic temperate

summer 25C/15C

winter 15C/6C

No frost, no heat

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(Bennz @ Aug. 14 2006,20:07)

QUOTE
Did you see any Archontophoenix, Rhopalostylis, Hedyscepe, Ceroxylon, Parajubaea?

My understanding is that Santa Cruz has a cool but essentially frost-free climate, it seems that the palms I mention should be logical first choices for a place like this. Queens in particular seem a lot less tolerant to cool summers than Kings or nikaus, so probabaly not the best bet there.

Thanks  for the pictures.

Bennz

The palm trees you suggested are definitely marginal for Santa Cruz.  It would seem that cold hardy ceroxylon & parajubaea would survive though I have never seen them in northern California.  There's almost a bias against palm by some unenlightened horticultural city officials.  Many San Francisicans opposed the planting of phoenix palms at the Embarcadero and Market street though they look fantastic.

Santa Cruz faces south with steep mountains nearby.  Down-slope topography creates pockets of cold night air much colder than Monterey across the bay.  San Francisco has a 365-day growing season/frostless but is too cool for many species though syagrus are fine.  Frost does occur in Santa Cruz but bayside locations might work.

Los Angeles/Pasadena

34° 10' N   118° 18' W

Elevation: 910'/278m

January Average Hi/Lo: 69F/50F

July Average Hi/Lo: 88F/66F

Average Rainfall: 19"/48cm

USDA 11/Sunset 23

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/queryF?MTW

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I'd sure look for Rhopies.  That's gotta be close to Rhopie heaven.

'

dave

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as with most areas around here, you really gotta search for something special..... nice photos, kathy When are you going to post your yard????

Oakley, California

55 Miles E-NE of San Francisco, CA

Solid zone 9, I can expect at least one night in the mid to low twenties every year.

Hot, dry summers. Cold, wet winters.

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All of the palms suggested by Ben of NZ would flourish in Santa Cruz.  My step-son lives there, and I have always noticed the rudimentary use of palms.  Many houses within sight of the ocean  have Trachycarpus  or Washingtonia as the only palm.  What a waste of the microclimate, when they could have Howeas instead!

San Francisco, California

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The local area has an amazing variety of vegetation, from redwoods to the  low vegetation seen at this California Native Plant Society page http://www.cruzcnps.org/. It looks strikingly like Florida scrub--and like Florida scrub, has neat local plant species.

QHP5_1.jpg

I bet Darold Petty's right--BenNZ is the perfect guide to adventuresome palm planting in the area.  

On the side, check the New Yorker website this week for a long, cold surfing story by UCSC grad William Finnegan.

Fla. climate center: 100-119 days>85 F
USDA 1990 hardiness zone 9B
Current USDA hardiness zone 10a
4 km inland from Indian River; 27º N (equivalent to Brisbane)

Central Orlando's urban heat island may be warmer than us

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Dear Kathy  :)

Beautiful pictures of santa cruz and i found lots of dream

house in those pictures.the trunk of wash filifers were

indeed terrefic,those perticular sp happen to be my favouriate

palms,even their are CIDP and between those CIDP i saw

christmas tree(we call that tree in india as Christmas tree).

my eyes was feasting on those palms & location_Simply lovely  :)

Thanks and love to see more from that location.

Love,

Kris.

love conquers all..

43278.gif

.

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Benz and happ, yes I believe there are other species that would do well there as Darold said.  (Darold -- your son lives there?  Does he grow palms? Or have you failed in brainwashing him? :D )  Certainly a San Franciscan would know what might grow well in Santa Cruz.

I did expect to see some yards somewhere on my very very long walks with something other than washies, trachies, CIDP's, and sickly looking queens, but no go.  I did not take pics of all the anemic queens lining the street across from the boardwalk -- they were so sad!  Some of them had "butch" cuts to try to disguise the state of health.  Growth rings were closer and closer together, looking more Howea-like aproaching the crown.

If I go again, I think I'd take seedlings for those tropical gardens where it looks like a green thumb lives!  I did speak with one elderly gentleman living in a little cottage across from the ocean.  He had a San Francisco-sized yard full of tropicals -- and a baby CIDP!  He needs some Rhopies, definately!  He was quite the busy gardener, taking care of the church lot down the street too.  He's one to whom I'd bring palm gifts.....

Dave, great link and photo.  Patrick, I've taken lots of my "before" shots and they're awaiting some "afters"....soon....and Kris, glad you enjoyed the "Christmas trees."  They are quite majestic, and I thought were interesting flanked by palms.

Does anyone know of collector gardens in Santa Cruz?

 San Francisco Bay Area, California

Zone 10a

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For those who have or have not been to Sacramento, CA.  That is where I grew up.  Most of the palms there have been of Washingtonias until within the last year or so.  I was just in Sacramento in June and noticed there's been a sudden large influx of queen palms that were never there for as long as I can remember.  It seems to be the new landscaping fad for businesses.  Anyone in the area should try to get a glimpse of some around town.

Jacksonville, FL

Zone 9a

 

First Officer

Air Wisconsin Airlines (USairways Express)

Canadair Regional Jet

Base: ORF

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(Kathy @ Aug. 15 2006,10:27)

QUOTE
 I did not take pics of all the anemic queens lining the street across from the boardwalk -- they were so sad!  

Why do queens do so poorly in Santa Cruz type areas?  Is it the lack of heat?  It certainly can't be the cold.

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just a guess--the salt air??

Oakley, California

55 Miles E-NE of San Francisco, CA

Solid zone 9, I can expect at least one night in the mid to low twenties every year.

Hot, dry summers. Cold, wet winters.

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Kathy,

Nice pictures! Brought back memories of all the trips we used to take when we lived in the San Diego area. And, yes, we did drive up to the Bay Area on a few occasions. Our son went to Stanford (in 1988) and he still lives in the area. And our daughter wanted to go to UC Santa Cruz. But she changed her mind...

Bo-Göran

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

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i've come across some homes lately with amazing palms

only to find out that the people that planted them have since moved away & the current owners HAVE NO IDEA how special their yards are.just wondering,bo,if i might have seen your old place in s.d. under the same circumstance...

the "prince of snarkness."

 

still "warning-free."

 

san diego,california,left coast.

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Probably not. Nothing out of the ordinary at our old place in Poway (which we sold to friends of ours, and I've been back there since we sold it to them). I landscaped that place before I knew about the IPS or PSSC so mainly various Phoenix, Butia, Brahea, Archontophoenix, Syagrus, Livistona and a few others. It was after I had done most of the landscaping (in 1990) that I came in contact with other Palm Society members in SoCal, and that, ultimately, led to the decision to move to Hawaii. But I never planted anything unusual in Poway. I made the decision early on that I needed to be elsewhere to grow palms successfully!

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

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More -- The only happy Syagrus I saw the whole long week:

066_66.jpg

Great pics... I am about 80 miles inland from Santa Cruz.... go there several times a year to get away from the valley heat.

BTW...

I see several queen palms in the photos... Most look... HappY! But within 100 yards of the beach... they do tend to look ratty. Could be the cold onshore winds... or the salt air...or both.

Jeff

Modesto, CA USDA 9b

July/August average 95f/63f

Dec/Jan average 55f/39f

Average lowest winter temp 27f

Record low temp 18f

Record high temp 113f

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I am pretty sure that Queens need at least moderate steady heat over the summer to do well, and can then handle cold winters without problem. From what I've heard from a Santa Cruz grower, they possibly don't get enough heat there to do well. I've seen it here in NZ in heat deprived areas, Queens can grow and look ok, but they take a very long time. In the warmest parts of this country they are one of the fastest palms we can grow (after A. cunninghamiana), but in the cooler places they are very slow, and often don't look great. Santa Cruz sounds like it would be similar in summer to some of the cooler places here.

Waimarama New Zealand (39.5S, 177E)

Oceanic temperate

summer 25C/15C

winter 15C/6C

No frost, no heat

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I looked up the weather stats and it looks like Santa Cruz has very cool summers with highs in mid 70s in the warmest part of summer .  The winters do like fairly mild with temps in 60s.  Looks like very little temp differences year round.  But no real heat to speak of.

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Hi Happ, If  your experience of "northern" California is the Monterey/Santa  Cruz area, you've been deprived. There is  an abysmal dearth of rare palms there, a waste of a perfect climate. But 100 miles north in the Bay Area, there is an abundance of Rhopalostylis, Kings, Howeas, Braheas, Sabals (including yapa and mauritiformis), Livistonas, Pritchardia!, Parajubaea, Ceroxylons, Butias, healthy lush Queens, Caryotas, Bismarckias!, nearly all the Phoenix species, 15' tall roebelinnii, huge reclinatas, Syagrus  hybrids, 30 species of Chamadoreas, many Dypsis  and Raveneas, as well as the obligatopry Washingtonia, Trachys, etc. Some parts of the Bay Area are essentially Zone 23 (Sunset), and a solid USDA  Zone 10a. We're growing close to 200 species of palms!

  • Upvote 1

Zone 10a, at sea level, eastern shore of San Francisco Bay,where baymuck met dry land 100 years ago;  swampy  during the rainy season;rarely below 35F or above 95F;  Northern  California Chapter Vice-President and Oakland Lakeside Palmetum Director

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Bob, have you been to the Oakland Palmetum? As a fellow bay area resident, or former at least, that has to be the best palm place there.

I'm always up for learning new things!

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(Logolight @ Aug. 15 2006,10:35)

QUOTE
 I was just in Sacramento in June and noticed there's been a sudden large influx of queen palms that were never there for as long as I can remember.  It seems to be the new landscaping fad for businesses.  

Yes, I think there is something to be said about the popularity of Queen Palms in the Central Valley and the lack of them (thriving at least) close to the Northern Ca coast line.  I think the heat is important.

They have become the current landscape craze in the Valley...and they do well here.  The difference between us and the beautiful coast is, yes, the heat.  Deep, fertile soil, and lots of water help, and a large queen palm can be grown (from a 5 gallon pot) in just 5 years.

Many survived the hard freeze of 1990.

Glenn

Modesto, California

 

Sunset Zone 14   USDA 9b

 

Low Temp. 19F/-7C 12-20-1990         

 

High Temp. 111F/43C 07-23-2006

 

Annual Average Precipitation 13.12 inches/yr.

 

             

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(Jeff in Modesto @ Aug. 16 2006,03:35)

QUOTE

BTW...

I see several queen palms in the photos... Most look... HappY! But within 100 yards of the beach... they do tend to look ratty. Could be the cold onshore winds... or the salt air...or both.

Jeff

Jeff, you're right about the queens in post #4 at that home with the bougainvillea (forgot about that one, so stunned by all the others -- and those are still babies, but they were "happy"), but all the other queens slightly seen in the photos looked absolutely horrible in person.  They might look "happy" in the backgound, but up close and personal, they had pencil-necking, tight growth rings, yellow tattered fronds, few fronds, never deep green.  Even the young queen in the front of the home with all the flax looked sad in person, yellower and more tattered.  It was definately not "happy."  Of course, I'm comparing to the 40 or so surrounding my home and in my neighbor's yards that are all deep green holding many fronds and growing like weeds.

What is strange is that the young queens in the one photo above that were doing well are on a bluff overlooking the ocean!  They were not 100 yards inland, but directly facing the shore.  It is a particularly lush garden with an obviously good grower, so does that mean that all the others simply lack care?  Or that he found a couple that could brave the sea elements and cooler temps?

 San Francisco Bay Area, California

Zone 10a

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(Kathy @ Aug. 20 2006,16:10)

QUOTE

(Jeff in Modesto @ Aug. 16 2006,03:35)

QUOTE

Jeff

 They were not 100 yards inland, but directly facing the shore.  It is a particularly lush garden with an obviously good grower, so does that mean that all the others simply lack care?  Or that he found a couple that could brave the sea elements and cooler temps?

Point well taken.

I should also note that there are thousands of Valley Queen palms that look horrible.

...yellow, weak fronds with small brown flecking...

Telltell signs of the most common Queen palm problems...a lack of available nitrogen and minor elements.

...maybe most coastal Queens are just victims of poor, thin soil and haphazard watering..... ???

Glenn

Modesto, California

 

Sunset Zone 14   USDA 9b

 

Low Temp. 19F/-7C 12-20-1990         

 

High Temp. 111F/43C 07-23-2006

 

Annual Average Precipitation 13.12 inches/yr.

 

             

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(Bayou Bob @ Aug. 19 2006,00:58)

QUOTE
Hi Happ, If  your experience of "northern" California is the Monterey/Santa  Cruz area, you've been deprived. There is  an abysmal dearth of rare palms there, a waste of a perfect climate. But 100 miles north in the Bay Area, there is an abundance of Rhopalostylis, Kings, Howeas, Braheas, Sabals (including yapa and mauritiformis), Livistonas, Pritchardia!, Parajubaea, Ceroxylons, Butias, healthy lush Queens, Caryotas, Bismarckias!, nearly all the Phoenix species, 15' tall roebelinnii, huge reclinatas, Syagrus  hybrids, 30 species of Chamadoreas, many Dypsis  and Raveneas, as well as the obligatopry Washingtonia, Trachys, etc. Some parts of the Bay Area are essentially Zone 23 (Sunset), and a solid USDA  Zone 10a. We're growing close to 200 species of palms!

Bayou Bob

I stand corrected though an "abundance" of archontophoenix / rhopalostylis / howea / caryota / raveneas may be a bit of an over-statement [those palms aren't abundant even in So Cal  :D ]

I am native Californio norte.  Recall miles of Mexican fans outlining the country roads among orange groves outside Fresno/Visalia/Porterville.  Just about yard had a sturdy brahea edulis, like a sentinel by the driveway.

Its great that palm diversity has spread in Nor Cal.

Went to school in the Bay area and know the Berkeley hills are quite mild and that Monterey has some warm winter days.  Frost is not common in metro San Francisco/San Jose.  Sunset 16&17 is the mildest in Nor Cal.

Sunset 23 differs from the Bay Area due to the regularity of offshore winds that can keep minimums above 70F in January.  And gentle summer onshore winds over ocean temps in the 70's.  Its that added warmth that boosts the growth of archontophoenix / rhopalostylis / howea / caryota / raveneas, etc.

Los Angeles/Pasadena

34° 10' N   118° 18' W

Elevation: 910'/278m

January Average Hi/Lo: 69F/50F

July Average Hi/Lo: 88F/66F

Average Rainfall: 19"/48cm

USDA 11/Sunset 23

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/queryF?MTW

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