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The great Sabal mexicana experiment...


jfrye01@live.com

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Sabal Domingensis are very cold hardy. Have 1 lager one, and a few seedling size and not worried about about leaving them outside for a while.

S. dominguensis is probably the least leaf-hardy of the Sabals. Mine in Natchez, Mississippi (zone 9a), burns badly whenever frost forms on the leaves. But it is quite bud-hardy. In my experience yapa and mauritiiformis can take a little more frost. But they are reputed to have much weaker buds. The latter at my place up in Natchez are still small but return every year no problem. The buds are still subterranean. S. Mexicana is very cold hardy, documented in Dallas to around 0F I think. If your dominguensis has exhibited frost-hardiness it may be causiarum or another species but mislabeled.

Michael Norell

Rancho Mirage, California | 33°44' N 116°25' W | 287 ft | z10a | avg Jan 43/70F | Jul 78/108F avg | Weather Station KCARANCH310

previously Big Pine Key, Florida | 24°40' N 81°21' W | 4.5 ft. | z12a | Calcareous substrate | avg annual min. approx 52F | avg Jan 65/75F | Jul 83/90 | extreme min approx 41F

previously Natchez, Mississippi | 31°33' N 91°24' W | 220 ft.| z9a | Downtown/river-adjacent | Loess substrate | avg annual min. 23F | Jan 43/61F | Jul 73/93F | extreme min 2.5F (1899); previously Los Angeles, California (multiple locations)

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Well, they have been inside greenhouse now along with all the other potted palms I have since we had such a extreme..yet forecasted super cold spell.

I have heater in there set to 50f but that doesn't mean it doesn't get colder if the small heater can't keep up but I doubt it gets down to freezing.

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I need to experiment with some more sabals...I'm planning to add S. palmetto and S. "brazoria" if mexicana makes it through this winter...S. minor is bulletproof here, but I really like the trunking look (who doesn't?)...I'll have to give these a few years, however;)

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Haha, it's funny, I have actually considered trying some brahea...now, if only I could find one...

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Haha, it's funny, I was just thinking about that the other day...I'd love to try some brahea, if only I could find one...

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Have you thought about trying B. armata? You would need to give it very free draining soil though. B. clara could possibly work too, and it would be more tolerant of the humidity.

Steve, I think your recommendation is a great one. those species might just work?

Carlsbad, California Zone 10 B on the hill (402 ft. elevation)

Sunset zone 24

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Have you thought about trying B. armata? You would need to give it very free draining soil though. B. clara could possibly work too, and it would be more tolerant of the humidity.

Steve, I think your recommendation is a great one. those species might just work?

Oh...hehehe...he was talking to you...lol...*embarrassed* :P

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Have you thought about trying B. armata? You would need to give it very free draining soil though. B. clara could possibly work too, and it would be more tolerant of the humidity.

Steve, I think your recommendation is a great one. those species might just work?

Oh...hehehe...he was talking to you...lol...*embarrassed* :P

Don't be embarrassed, I was direcing that toward you Jacob;)

I'm surprised that you haven't seen those on your trips to TX. Clara is a little less hardy, bit still a tough palm. It's a sustained cold spell below 20 degrees that I would worry about. s. uresana would have a similar hardiness, but may not like soggy soil to the same degree as clara. Order liners of them all and protect them (planting in spring of course)!

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Hmm, maybe I need to go further south on my palm expeditions...DFW nurseries are pretty much all the same: Sabals, Windmills, Washies, Butias, Queens...I'm guessing if I went south (Austin area), I'd stumble across some brahea.

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I've learned a big lesson this winter (still technically fall, I guess...). It's better to spend a little more money on larger palms than to spend money on little ones. My little washingtonias were fried to a crisp despite being protected, and it's much easier (in my opinion) to protect larger palms than smaller ones (ironic, huh)...I've found the large ones can be wrapped up with blankets and lights and left like that for days, and when unwrapped, they look just as good as they did going in. Luckily, I've only lost about $15 worth of palms so far (two baby washingtonias), while everything else (Sabal, windmill, chamaerops) seems to still be alive. Sabal is still even growing, as it's been up in the 60s and 70s lately...with the exception of yesterday, when the high was a chilly 38...

Edit: I also have a newfound appreciation of sabals...way tougher than I ever imagined. single digits two nights in a row with just curled tips...crazy. Spring time comes, I'm skipping the washingtonias and loading up on Sabals...;)

Edited by jfrye01@live.com

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Update: Pictures from today, December 4. Currently, it's 52F at my house, looking at lows in the low-40s to high 30s all week...Good news, spear is still growing! :)

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post-9451-0-31368000-1417727876_thumb.jp

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When palm buying in general, I tend to like buying palms very small- one gallon or band size since I like to see the growth and development of certain species and their characteristics. The only exception comes when buying a palm that is excruciatingly slow, then I'll buy big.

As for protecting palms, I see what you mean as far as it being easier to protect larger ones- especially if you mean 4 and 5 feet in height. If your sabal does get any taller than this, I got an idea from a fellow poster to just buy a large(ish) greenhouse that can be moved with an open bottom, and just place it over the palm in the winter and provide a heat source. This is a great Idea for palms that stay below a certain height that wont overgrow the ceiling of a greenhouse. As for your sabal, if you can get it through this winter and the next, then it will be unofficially established. So if it's getting through these temps that have been hurled at it, it's only going to get tougher. Thanks for the updates and look forward to more progress!

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That's a very good idea...thanks for sharing! If we see those temps again, it'll definitely be protected. Otherwise, I'm gonna subject it to high teens and 20s, toughen it up a bit ;) ...March can't come fast enough! D:

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If a palm tree (any palm tree) can survive a Kansas winter, it'll be surprising to me...but so far, despite seeing single digits, this thing is a champ...It has some brown frond tips on the older fronds, but that's it...It's not really winter yet, but that "polar vortex" gave us temperatures that we normally wouldn't see during an average winter, so hopefully that was the worst of it...I guess we'll see. Only time will tell...I'll keep everyone updated. Despite being nervewracking, experimenting with this is fun :D ...It's always fun when people ask me "Is that a real palm??!" and I explain, "Yes, it is!"

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Be careful of crown rot. Looks like it had a mild case of it but pushed through. I had a Sabal that did the same thing because the neighbor was underwatering the plant, while spraying water in the crown.

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Oh yeah, that brown spot on the spear...that is from a C9 bulb touching it the night I protected it...Anyway, I gave it some copper-based fungicide a few days before the last forecast freeze, especially since it was forecast to rain the day before the freeze...Didn't get as cold as forecast (28F), according to my thermometer, it dropped to 31F last night...

Edited by jfrye01@live.com

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  • 9 months later...

Well, I've been absent from PT for a while, got caught up with work and just life in general.  I do have good news...the Sabal survived and still graces my yard with its presence.  I used a fleece blanket to keep it wrapped up on the coldest nights, however, it completely defoliated when temps warmed in early March.  The palm grew a healthy, yet somewhat dwarfed, frond in April. The subsequent fronds were normal sized and grew very quickly.  Currently, it has three large, healthy fronds.  It would have two more, if our mastiff puppy hadn't decided they make great chew toys...:(  Anyway, I plan to protect this palm more vigorously this winter, so that it may continue to grow steadily and healthily next year.  I will add pictures tomorrow.  Night/Morning/ all:)

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Jacob. I too had two Sabal species that I was over wintering(among others) a Sabal Minor and Palmetto. Both on South side of garage, protected with cover and lights. All through winter they appeared to be fine, nice and greet etc until I took the protection off. Both defoliated. The palmetto died, the minor did come back. I realized that Minors...and to a degree Palmettos love water and I never gave them a good soaking before covering them up and as you know, it wasn't a snowy winter at all, just really cold.

The palmetto was replaced by a T. Takil so will be much more hardy and easier to protect so we'll see after THIS winter. I learned sending them into winter to be hydrated.

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Yes, the Bulgarian Windmill is looking totally happy in the ground. Hopefully we'll have a mild fall and early winter to maximize it getting rooted into the ground.

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any pic's of your Bulgarian Windmill ? I have never heard of this varity? Is it just a location name due to where the seed came from?

Carlsbad, California Zone 10 B on the hill (402 ft. elevation)

Sunset zone 24

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Josh,

 

Here is a good link to what is known about them. Sounds like almost a cross(at least by looks) between a regular Fortuni and waggie palm

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/187216/#b

I will attach pic when it's light out and I can use my old digital camera. Newer camera takes too high res of pics and won't let me upload pics here that I already have.

 

This is where I bought it from.

http://www.brantleypalms.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html

 

 

 

 

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