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2014/2015 Winter in south Europe


Rafael

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Many of them are strange indeed. I saw a great variety of P. dactylifera in Israel, some with huge, hong leafs on skinny trunks, some with stunted(short and stocky) looking leafs on medium thickness trunks and possibly some like these but i am not completely sure. There is a great variety in the shape of P. dactylifera according to its variety but i don't know if it gets to this extend and wether these are pure dactylifera, crosses or something else. They definitely have nothing to do with pure P. canariensis though!

Great to hear the government is devoting the funds and stuff needed to protect all those palms there! Its a huge scale project and i really hope its viable and works long term. The fungi you are referring to are most probably Beauvaria bassiana and/or Metarhizium anisopliae or another species from those genera. They are most effective in places with high humidity and frequent rains as they need 70%+ humidity to infect the RPW. But localised high humidity could be created at the palm crown, which would help them infect the target insects. Treatments with these fungi are experimental so far in Mediterranean countries and we don't know how effective they are, though they have already shown that they do have some effect. We just don't know if that will be enough to prevent palm deaths and if these fungi will naturalize and remain effective enough without regular applications, which would be the desired form of therapy for everybody. But so far we are not getting adequate protection results from the studies i have read. They have been tried in Italy as well along with a local species of Beauvaria that was infecting Rhychophorus but no field tests were done.

Hope Spain leads the way to a achieving a permanent cure or at least a good balance. The highly effective application of Steinernema carpocapsae in a Chitosan solution was first tried in Spain and so far remains the most effective treatment method(98% kill rate in preventive treatment and 80% kill rate in therapy of existing infestations compared to 50-70% kill rates of chemical pesticides for RPW). But its not permanent and monthly applications are needed. We are in bad need for something permanent and highly effective.

Jurica,

Great to hear Croatia is protecting its palms! Here they were very late to do it and we lost 2/3 of the palms before any significant action was taken. We still lose palms unfortunately as they don't protect enough it seems.

In Pyrgos, there are no public P. canariensis left

''To try,is to risk failure.......To not try,is to guarantee it''

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Here too in Malta most Phoenix canariensis have been wiped out :crying: The government did start to treat publically planted specimens, but again too late for most. There was also a call for everyone with palm trees to register them with their local council so they could see how many were being lost, but not everyone bothered to register. Now if any tree is suspected of being infected the council immediately chops them down & destroys the remains by burning. The landscape certainly looks different here to just 10 years ago...

Back to the weather & today was mostly sunny with a high of 15.5C after an overnight low of 10.3C :)

Malta - USDA Zone 11a

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The chop & burn ''treatment'' is probably why people don't care to register their palms there. They tried doing the same here initially but who really wants that? I, for one, wouldn't register my palms(or even mention that i have palms) so that the council would not come checking on them and potentially chopping them down if they appear less than healthy. Just take example from how California dealt with the start of a Rhynchophorus invasion: they did not cut ANY live palm, they just treated all affected or suspected ones aggressively with pesticides and checked on them on very frequent intervals till no more infestations were realised for a sufficiently long amount of time. And they seem to have stopped the problem for good there :)

Cutting down palms will by no means control or manage this infestation. Unless all palms are treated preventively, at which point no palms should need to be cut if they are meticulous enough(which i honestly doubt).

Great, sunny weather here today with enough heat. The forecast got a tad better, though i will still need to haul in tender potted plants....

''To try,is to risk failure.......To not try,is to guarantee it''

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It is a shame that not more controlled measures are being taken here as Malta is so small it should be relatively easy to eradicate RPW. Some people must be treating their own palms as there are still some large Phoenix canariensis about, but without total treatment across the board they will continue to kill. Then once they have killed all the Phoenix canariensis what species will they turn to next? As so far other species have not been affected here...

Malta - USDA Zone 11a

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They can affect most species but way less than P. canariensis, so some are growable despite the weevil, even without protection. You can expect 99% of the Washingtonia and Syagrus to remain unaffected as well as most Chamaedorea. Pretty much most P. dactylifera and Chamaerops humilis remain in good shape as well and only pup or a certain trunk may die, though occasionally some are more severely affected.

About a year or a little more after all non-preventively treated P. canariensis are dead, you will see a significant decline in the numbers of Rhychophorus which will eventually become pretty rare, so this should also help the other species to fare better.

''To try,is to risk failure.......To not try,is to guarantee it''

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They can affect most species but way less than P. canariensis, so some are growable despite the weevil, even without protection. You can expect 99% of the Washingtonia and Syagrus to remain unaffected as well as most Chamaedorea. Pretty much most P. dactylifera and Chamaerops humilis remain in good shape as well and only pup or a certain trunk may die, though occasionally some are more severely affected.

About a year or a little more after all non-preventively treated P. canariensis are dead, you will see a significant decline in the numbers of Rhychophorus which will eventually become pretty rare, so this should also help the other species to fare better.

I wonder why Phoenix canariensis are so attractive to them? And why they are killed when other species can survive an attack unaided? The most common palm in Malta is Washingtonia robusta (though most are probably actually xfilibusta) so it is good to know that they are unlikely to be wiped out...

The weather here today is sunny again, with a high today of 15.1C after an overnight low of 12.2C...

And as we are now well into February here are the stats for January here in Malta, from my own weather station here at the coast in northern Malta & from the Malta Met Office station at Luqa airport, which is situated inland in the southern part of the Island...

St Paul's Bay January 2015

Average High: 16.3C

Average Low: 12.4C

Overall Mean: 14.4C

Highest Max: 19.3C

Lowest Min: 6.0C

Lowest Max: 11.5C

Highest Min: 16.5C

Rainfall: 61.3mm

Sunshine: 163hrs*

* Sunshine figures from Luqa

Luqa Airport January 2015

Average High: 15.7C

Average Low: 10.1C

Overall Mean: 12.9C

Highest Max: 18.3C

Lowest Min: 2.1C

Lowest Max: 9.3C

Highest Min: 14.9C

Rainfall: 50.0mm

Sunshine: 163 hrs

Malta - USDA Zone 11a

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The cold wave is finally dropping out Spain; but new storms coming.

Here this year we reached 3.0ºC and it's the coldest temp. recorded (official station) in those last years!

This morning we reached 4,7ºC at 00:00 and then the temps raised to 7º at 02:00. Now 13º, being a uncommon high temperature (talking about averages) as it shows the cold wave still remains but now the lows raised up. All predictions from today show the soft remains from the cold wave those first days but with normal lows (highs a bit low for being February) because of the rain too. Next week is predicted rain all the week. Tomorrow 6ºC low but from past-tomorrow all lows will remain between 8 and 11. Only the next sunday 15 of February the rain will leave us. From that, returning to normality; predicted high temperatures from 18 to 22 and lows from 8 to 12.

Edited by pRoeZa*

I live in Altea, Spain 38°34'N 0º03'O. USDA zone 11a. Coastal microclimate sheltered by mountains. 
The coconuts shown in my avatar are from the Canary Islands, Spain ! :)

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P. canariensis is perfect breeding ground for Rhychophorus: its big enough for the big larvae to grow, soft enough for the larvae to feed easily, grow well and give strong adults, provides cover from predators and room to move, gives space to the larvae so that they can avoid each other and so that they don't find each other very easily(larvae are cannibalistic, they eat each other and bring the population levels way down thankfully. Imagine that a single egg laying is around 200eggs plus, most of which hatch but the larvae find and eat each other on their way to the palm's growing centre through the narrow petioles, and thus only about 15 larvae reach the centre of the palm usually from each egg laying) and this allows them to build up huge numbers on a single palm. Around 150 adults rise from a P. canariensis while only 8, pretty deformed and weak ones can arise from a W. robusta(and W. robusta is fast enough to not care usually). Also, P. canariensis provides plentiful fibres for the larvae to weave their cocoon while still secluded in the safety of the palm crown, while other palms don't provide that easily and the larvae get exposed to predators while sourcing fibers and weaving their cocoons.

So, life for Rhynchophorus is easy on this species, extremely easy actually, and P. canariensis have no defence(that works...) against them...

Sunny and nice here in Melissia with some clouds as well. In Pyrgos, it has been raining all day long :)

January rain: 150mm, almost half the usual and only rained the last few days of the month, which was good as it let palms dry out some and dry any cold damaged areas they may had.

''To try,is to risk failure.......To not try,is to guarantee it''

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Lol 150 half as usual? Mate you're lucky!!! thats very good! :)

Here normally about 50mm on average every january and this one it even not arrived to 30mm :(

Edited by pRoeZa*

I live in Altea, Spain 38°34'N 0º03'O. USDA zone 11a. Coastal microclimate sheltered by mountains. 
The coconuts shown in my avatar are from the Canary Islands, Spain ! :)

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Sorry to hear you didn't get enough rain. Rain is always in shortage. Wish we would get 1500-2000mm annually and get completely off irrigation!

Yeah, January average would be 200mm+ and has rained much more than that in the past. From October/November to April/May i don't irrigate the plants at all, except for the epiphytes on the trees and some ferns that like their trunks wet.

Average annual precipitation is 1000mm+ spread mostly over 9 months of the year. Last year Pyrgos got 1200mm. And then there is the shallow underground water table which helps a lot in keeping the plants hydrated and happy with minimal irrigation compared to their needs :)

''To try,is to risk failure.......To not try,is to guarantee it''

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In Dubrovnik on average we got 1060 mm per year. Even in summer months we get on average 180-190 mm per year.

Last year was record rainy. We got 1599.68 mm last year.

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That sounds perfect! And I have seen some marshy areas you have there, these must be great for growing palms and other things unirrigated! :)

''To try,is to risk failure.......To not try,is to guarantee it''

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Trsteno ( Dubrovnik ) where I live is lying on the ground waters. Underground river is flowing there and springs in several places deep in the sea.

Also we have serval springs, water streams, small natural ponds, even waterfall that flows into the sea.

Because of that Trsteno can support the laurel forests and many plants that dislike drought.

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Very nice! Love wet areas! :)

Pyrgos and surrounding areas also have oaks but also marshland vegetation as areas just 200m from me are below the water table and remain flooded for months in winter. A large river crosses to the sea a few km away from Pyrgos, and we have a few springs in and around Pyrgos as well, but i am not right in the flood beds of any river to get the full benefit of permanently moist/wet soils. I am as close as it gets to that without having any chance to flood :)

''To try,is to risk failure.......To not try,is to guarantee it''

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P. canariensis is perfect breeding ground for Rhychophorus: its big enough for the big larvae to grow, soft enough for the larvae to feed easily, grow well and give strong adults, provides cover from predators and room to move, gives space to the larvae so that they can avoid each other and so that they don't find each other very easily(larvae are cannibalistic, they eat each other and bring the population levels way down thankfully. Imagine that a single egg laying is around 200eggs plus, most of which hatch but the larvae find and eat each other on their way to the palm's growing centre through the narrow petioles, and thus only about 15 larvae reach the centre of the palm usually from each egg laying) and this allows them to build up huge numbers on a single palm. Around 150 adults rise from a P. canariensis while only 8, pretty deformed and weak ones can arise from a W. robusta(and W. robusta is fast enough to not care usually). Also, P. canariensis provides plentiful fibres for the larvae to weave their cocoon while still secluded in the safety of the palm crown, while other palms don't provide that easily and the larvae get exposed to predators while sourcing fibers and weaving their cocoons.

So, life for Rhynchophorus is easy on this species, extremely easy actually, and P. canariensis have no defence(that works...) against them...

Sunny and nice here in Melissia with some clouds as well. In Pyrgos, it has been raining all day long :)

January rain: 150mm, almost half the usual and only rained the last few days of the month, which was good as it let palms dry out some and dry any cold damaged areas they may had.

I guess it makes sense now you explain it like that :greenthumb: I just hope that they never make their way to the Canary Islands, it would be devastating if they got into the wild populations there...

In Malta we get on average 595mm of rain a year (Luqa figures) & last year I recorded only 365mm for the entire year!

The dry season starts here in April & lasts until mid September, normally from April to June we get just a few mm & none at all in July & August. Because of this there are no permanent rivers or lakes in Malta, just small seasonal ones which appear in late autumn through the winter into early spring... :badday:

Malta - USDA Zone 11a

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We have new cold wave.

It is colder today than yesterday. Temperatures right now at 2:40h ( 2:40 AM ).

Screen_Shot003.png

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Edited by Cikas
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Wow that'a big difference with last week! Slovenia has a looot of cold and it's not very far from the sea, never knowed why is colder than other parts of Europe from the surroundings.

Here last night the lowest temp reached was 6,6°C because the temp made a drop, but from the next hour increased to 8°C and after that it was uprising. So the cold wave officially disappeared. But now entered to Spain a low pressure air mass that will give us all week clouds, a bit of rain and a bit of cold talking about maximums, but all minimums will remain above 8°C, the normal being February.

I've said that average precipitations in January were about 50mm but I was wrong, the average is only 38mm and here rained a bit less than 30 so it was a quite normal January for the pluviometry, but the month was colder than the average. For example 2012, 2013 and 2014 the temperatures never were below 4.4°C any day, the coldest day with the cold wave in 2013 reached 4.4; last year the lowest and only one day was 4.8°C.

And this year we reached 3.0°C which makes a decade cold-record!

How are the predictions for Dubvronik? I am seeing some ones that are showing -1 for this night. Hope this prediction isn't true and hope you get a minimum above freezing mark!

Edited by pRoeZa*

I live in Altea, Spain 38°34'N 0º03'O. USDA zone 11a. Coastal microclimate sheltered by mountains. 
The coconuts shown in my avatar are from the Canary Islands, Spain ! :)

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Very cold here in Malta too with strong cold winds & showers, todays high just 11.9C after an overnight low of 10.5C :rage:

Malta - USDA Zone 11a

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Very cold and windy here, with some snowfall now and then in Melissia. The most tender plants are already inside and safe...The rest have to toughen it out tonight and the coming 2-3 days. Lows close to 0C forecasted for the are.

In Pyrgos its raining but overnight lows should be above 0C all those days. After these few colder days, warm weather is coming for a week! :)

''To try,is to risk failure.......To not try,is to guarantee it''

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Wow that'a big difference with last week! Slovenia has a looot of cold and it's not very far from the sea, never knowed why is colder than other parts of Europe from the surroundings.

Here last night the lowest temp reached was 6,6°C because the temp made a drop, but from the next hour increased to 8°C and after that it was uprising. So the cold wave officially disappeared. But now entered to Spain a low pressure air mass that will give us all week clouds, a bit of rain and a bit of cold talking about maximums, but all minimums will remain above 8°C, the normal being February.

I've said that average precipitations in January were about 50mm but I was wrong, the average is only 38mm and here rained a bit less than 30 so it was a quite normal January for the pluviometry, but the month was colder than the average. For example 2012, 2013 and 2014 the temperatures never were below 4.4°C any day, the coldest day with the cold wave in 2013 reached 4.4; last year the lowest and only one day was 4.8°C.

And this year we reached 3.0°C which makes a decade cold-record!

How are the predictions for Dubvronik? I am seeing some ones that are showing -1 for this night. Hope this prediction isn't true and hope you get a minimum above freezing mark!

This night will be warmer in most of Dubrovnik and Konavle area.

Temperatures right now at 0:30h ( 12:30 AM ).

Screen_Shot007.png

Edited by Cikas
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Great to hear that!

According to the actual map of wetterzentrale cold is hitting Europe. Azores and Madeira are getting abnormal temperatures, now is a bit warmer but in the map from 2 hours ago it were 8ºC in some place of the Azores and 9ºC in some place of Madeira. A lot of cold for being those places; Canary Islands are getting cold those days too, 20º maximum and 13º minimum registered in Gran Canaria last day, which is quite colder than the normal average. Lanzarote got 19/12 which is even a bigger difference than the normal averages. Santa Cruz de Tenerife 20/13 too, La Palma 18/14 which is almost the normal average... so it affected the eastern islands. Specially Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura Island. Fuerteventura got only 19/13 being the normal average for this month 21/15 and in Canary Islands the temps very rare times got under the average. It appears that the Canary Islands "solidarized" a bit with continental Spain and they are a bit colder those days too :laugh2:

Coconuts doesn't get any damage with 13/14 if they get 20 at day, right ?

Here the temps are finally normalised. 9ºC as the lowest temperature registered today and all the night until the last 2 hours the temps were between 12 and 13ºC. Daytime temperature only 13 so it remains 13/9. It goes whay I said last week, those first days of the week the minimum are normal temperatures but from this cold air mass/low pressure air mass we get quite colder temps during the day; but tomorrow predicted 15 which is a bit warmer and all the days of the week the minimums will remain above 10ºC,

Edited by pRoeZa*

I live in Altea, Spain 38°34'N 0º03'O. USDA zone 11a. Coastal microclimate sheltered by mountains. 
The coconuts shown in my avatar are from the Canary Islands, Spain ! :)

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Weather much better here today after the cold, very windy & showery weather of yesterday. Clear blue sky & sunshine with light winds & a high of 14.6C after an overnight low of 9.1C & looking mostly dry with highs of 15C/16C & lows 10C/11C for the next several days :)

Malta - USDA Zone 11a

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9.8ºC appear to be today's minimum temperature. Yesterday finally remained 9ºC as the lowest and 14.8ºC as the maximum so it remains 14.8/9 for Tuesday, 10 February.

Between 2 and 3 hours ago the temperature get down to 9.8ºC and the last 2 hours marks show temps above 10ºC, having 10.3ºC at 2:00 AM. So the lowest today appears to be 9.8ºC.

I'll upload tomorrow with more info! :greenthumb:

Edited by pRoeZa*

I live in Altea, Spain 38°34'N 0º03'O. USDA zone 11a. Coastal microclimate sheltered by mountains. 
The coconuts shown in my avatar are from the Canary Islands, Spain ! :)

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Another lovely sunny day today & the sun is getting stronger every day (UV level today peaked at 3.5) Max temperature was 16.2C after an overnight low of 12.5C :)

Malta - USDA Zone 11a

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Cloudy all day. 15.3/9.8 remains as the max. and min. temperatures for today.

I live in Altea, Spain 38°34'N 0º03'O. USDA zone 11a. Coastal microclimate sheltered by mountains. 
The coconuts shown in my avatar are from the Canary Islands, Spain ! :)

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I just got home now, and outside the temperature now is 13º :) ; I was only with a light sweatshirt and it feels very confortable the weather. We don't got wind too! It's like we are in March, not in February. But rain it's predicted for tomorrow.

I live in Altea, Spain 38°34'N 0º03'O. USDA zone 11a. Coastal microclimate sheltered by mountains. 
The coconuts shown in my avatar are from the Canary Islands, Spain ! :)

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Was overcast today & the next few days have some rain & thunderstorms forecast. Max today was 15.1C after an overnight low of 11.4C :)

Malta - USDA Zone 11a

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Yes dalmatiansoap, I agree, and SouthSeaNate the same here! :crying: Finally we only gonna get sun this weekend and 22º expected for this sunday. But from the start of the next week, another time clouds! Ugly weather :(

Another abnormal day for here, far from the 17/18 that it should do in mid-February... all cloudy and with raining intervals! Here February is a lot dry and now is warm... last year it not rained for more than 6 months and now we get a lot of warm days, but not rainy days, warm days with a very few raining but a lot of clouds. Here locally we say those days as "sick" days, because it's cloudy, rain clouds on the sky but only a few rain :(

14.8ºC as the maximum temperature and 12.1ºC as the minimum temperature for yesterday, Thursday 12 February. Last night and morning the temps didn't get below 13ºC, but this night it's colder and the 12.1ºC is the last temp before midnight. Now we have 10.2ºC, the temperature descended in those last hours but I think it will not get below 9ºC this night. But I don't know, the weather is weird! I'll update tomorrow the max. and min. temps :greenthumb:

Edited by pRoeZa*

I live in Altea, Spain 38°34'N 0º03'O. USDA zone 11a. Coastal microclimate sheltered by mountains. 
The coconuts shown in my avatar are from the Canary Islands, Spain ! :)

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wooooow :w00: what an huge difference between Dubrovnik and Gruda.

I discovered today a place in Malaga with Street View that has a loooot of tropical species. Tomorrow I will make a little "reportage" about it if I have time :greenthumb:

Edited by pRoeZa*

I live in Altea, Spain 38°34'N 0º03'O. USDA zone 11a. Coastal microclimate sheltered by mountains. 
The coconuts shown in my avatar are from the Canary Islands, Spain ! :)

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Hey and one thing! Is this marked palm a Bismarckia?

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And quick-looking at all those palms right there, can someone please say me their cold resistance? Thanks in advance! :)

Edited by pRoeZa*

I live in Altea, Spain 38°34'N 0º03'O. USDA zone 11a. Coastal microclimate sheltered by mountains. 
The coconuts shown in my avatar are from the Canary Islands, Spain ! :)

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IT IS Brahea armata. With low humidity even hardier than CIDP and quite drought tolerant, all plants there were selected most probably also for their drought tolerance given all the concrete around them!

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