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avoiding frost by planting canopy trees


Josh-O

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Josh, your soil/weather and mine are totally different (mine is wet), so clumping bamboo might not be an option for you. But I find that a giant cane (canes 3 inches thick) weeping-type bamboo clump will get 40 feet tall and shade out/give overhead canopy to everything around it. As the bamboo spreads outwards, you won't be able to see the silhouette of the palm as well, but it's a cool look when a palm is intermingled with bamboo fronds (I'll try to post some photos from Jacksonville Zoo which has great examples of this jungly look). I would not recommend the bamboos which are very upright-growing because they won't provide overhead canopy (e.g. bambusa oldhamii), but the more weeping ones will give a decent amount of canopy to palms in the 20-foot height range (not really tall palms). One of the fastest-growing is probably bambusa malingensis and it had a semi-weeping habit for me, though perhaps not as much as my giant-cane bambusa ventricosa "Buddha Belly" (not to be confused with the other "Buddha Belly" bamboo which is not cold hardy). In one six-month period, my bambusa malingensis grew tons of canes for me and I could see that it was just too vigorous for the size of my yard, so I gave it away. You need serious space for these clumping bamboos, but they stay evergreen and look awesome with those huge, thick canes. Crazy fast --- possibly due to my wet clay soil, which you likely don't have in Vista, CA. They love water.

Do not plant running bamboo (obviously). Also, don't plant anything that is not one of the "giant" bamboos or else you won't get that 40 foot height and weep. This means no bamboo with skinny canes or even medium-sized canes. But be prepared to have a ten-foot radius clump of bamboo over time. At Kanapaha Botanical Gardens (Gainesville, FL), they dig around the base of certain bamboos and use a reciprocal saw to control the size of the rhizome in places where the bamboo would eventually grow up against a sidewalk, etc.

For small palms, you might also consider planting Schleffera Actynophylla for canopy, but it would only serve as canopy for a couple of palms nearby. The only reason that this came to mind is that it is so extremely fast-growing that you wouldn't have to wait long for it to become a tree (plus, the small ones are cheap $8.99 at HD) --- even though it is not a traditional canopy tree. It looks great too, although some people complain that its roots choke out other plants and are just too vigorous.

....not traditional canopy trees by any means, but stuff that will keep your tropical look going. Now I will wait for everyone else to disagree with me.

Good luck.

don't know about others in San Diego but my experience has been that bamboo cannot handle my sun. I wanted to use them to hide a dying tree on the other side of my property and they literally died within two weeks of going in the ground despite daily watering...

Paradise Hills, 4 miles inland, south facing slope in the back, north facing yard in the front

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Surprised that Carob trees haven't been suggested.. No doubt the flowers do stink.. and a heavy crop of pods can be quite a mess. Despite that, the large tree we had hanging over our fence back in San Jose kept my Chamaedoreas and other sensitive stuff from certain death during a freeze. Thick evergreen cover kept that side of the yard cooler during the summer also.

Wonder if Peltophorum or Enterolobium would work for canopy out there. Cork Oak is another thought that crosses my mind. Root issues with these perhaps??

Agree with DD, Silk Oaks (Grevillea robusta) are messy and dangerous.. Remember seeing bad windstorms shred these trees as a kid.

-Nathan-

Nathan thanks for your valuable insight!! I agree that carob trees and Grevillea robusta are not a good choices for my application. I'll do some research on Peltophorum and Enterolobium. Thanks for your input and suggestions. :greenthumb: :greenthumb:

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

Sunset zone 24

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Josh, one of my favorites is Caesalpina ferrea, called the Brazilian ironwood or Lepord tree. Check it out. I believe Gary has one at his place too.

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Yes Silas, Enterlobium are good massive canopy.

Josh, think about Bauhinia too. Not generally huge, but beautiful flowers.

Brachychiton as you've mentioned are good too. B. populneus needs no irrigation. B. acerfolius and B. discolor grow fast with little water.

Try some Coral trees, Erythrina. Lots of different species to choose from.

China Berry grows fast and needs no water.

Thanks Matty, I'm putting B. Populneus on my list for sure!! I didn't know some Brachychitio's were evergreens. I thought they all dropped their leaves? :greenthumb::greenthumb:

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

Sunset zone 24

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Josh, your soil/weather and mine are totally different (mine is wet), so clumping bamboo might not be an option for you. But I find that a giant cane (canes 3 inches thick) weeping-type bamboo clump will get 40 feet tall and shade out/give overhead canopy to everything around it. As the bamboo spreads outwards, you won't be able to see the silhouette of the palm as well, but it's a cool look when a palm is intermingled with bamboo fronds (I'll try to post some photos from Jacksonville Zoo which has great examples of this jungly look). I would not recommend the bamboos which are very upright-growing because they won't provide overhead canopy (e.g. bambusa oldhamii), but the more weeping ones will give a decent amount of canopy to palms in the 20-foot height range (not really tall palms). One of the fastest-growing is probably bambusa malingensis and it had a semi-weeping habit for me, though perhaps not as much as my giant-cane bambusa ventricosa "Buddha Belly" (not to be confused with the other "Buddha Belly" bamboo which is not cold hardy). In one six-month period, my bambusa malingensis grew tons of canes for me and I could see that it was just too vigorous for the size of my yard, so I gave it away. You need serious space for these clumping bamboos, but they stay evergreen and look awesome with those huge, thick canes. Crazy fast --- possibly due to my wet clay soil, which you likely don't have in Vista, CA. They love water.

Do not plant running bamboo (obviously). Also, don't plant anything that is not one of the "giant" bamboos or else you won't get that 40 foot height and weep. This means no bamboo with skinny canes or even medium-sized canes. But be prepared to have a ten-foot radius clump of bamboo over time. At Kanapaha Botanical Gardens (Gainesville, FL), they dig around the base of certain bamboos and use a reciprocal saw to control the size of the rhizome in places where the bamboo would eventually grow up against a sidewalk, etc.

For small palms, you might also consider planting Schleffera Actynophylla for canopy, but it would only serve as canopy for a couple of palms nearby. The only reason that this came to mind is that it is so extremely fast-growing that you wouldn't have to wait long for it to become a tree (plus, the small ones are cheap $8.99 at HD) --- even though it is not a traditional canopy tree. It looks great too, although some people complain that its roots choke out other plants and are just too vigorous.

....not traditional canopy trees by any means, but stuff that will keep your tropical look going. Now I will wait for everyone else to disagree with me.

Good luck.

Sandy, Thanks for taking all that time to spell out your suggestions. I'm going to avoid all bamboo species (just to messy for me) and do some research on the Schleffera Actynophylla. This plant grows all around California and looks like it came out of some dripping wet jungle.Pretty cool. :greenthumb: :greenthumb: :) :) !!!

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

Sunset zone 24

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Josh, one of my favorites is Caesalpina ferrea, called the Brazilian ironwood or Lepord tree. Check it out. I believe Gary has one at his place too.

Thanks vari805, I'll defiantly look into this tree as well. I believe it's not an evergreen and more of a summer canopy tree? I'll contact Gary and see what his does in the winter and spring. Thanks for the awesome idea!!! :greenthumb::greenthumb:

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

Sunset zone 24

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Josh, no problem, Thinking either Peltophorium dubium or africanum would work out there.

Look into the larger Erythrinas Matt had suggested. Coralloides and X syksii are my personal favs. E. coralloides does drop it's leaves in the winter though. Also, besides Caesalpinia ferra.. research Casealpinia platyloba. Fast, huge leaves and pretty sure it won't experience any significant frost/ freeze damage there.

-Nathan-

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Josh, no problem, Thinking either Peltophorium dubium or africanum would work out there.

Look into the larger Erythrinas Matt had suggested. Coralloides and X syksii are my personal favs. E. coralloides does drop it's leaves in the winter though. Also, besides Caesalpinia ferra.. research Casealpinia platyloba. Fast, huge leaves and pretty sure it won't experience any significant frost/ freeze damage there.

-Nathan-

I'm on it Nathan!! Thanks again for another great suggestion :greenthumb::greenthumb:

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

Sunset zone 24

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I would also not use palms as main canopy expect really big species, as you will end up with too many trunk of a few species blocking the view of your slower and more beautiful species. I find palms do protect from frost, at least my Archontophoenix alexandrae does, but if you use sensitive species, they get beaten up themselves... The above mentioned trees are more resilient and hardy.

I do not see any negatives with Eucalypts and palms here, they coexist wonderfully. Many Australian palms live in Eucalypt forests in habitat as well as exotic palms in Australian forest gardens. Maybe its the water availability that plays a big role, here we have shallow underground water. Better consider the local advise on this matter.

Grevillea also supposedly suppresses plant growth with its dead leafs but i don't see much of a negative effect with it here either, the Rhopalostylis growing under it is my fastest growing one out of 3 growing away from it and getting more light actually, and the Lepidozamia hopei underneath it has grown to be my biggest from seed while its in much deeper shade then the others.

Heavy branch breakage and drop is a reality under any tall tree canopy, especially in bad weather. That is why many understory plants never get to keep many leafs in nature, cause of heavy branch and litter drop.

I use only palms as canopy trees because of the lack of water, and as far as those palms remain unaffected from rpw or paysandisia (very unfortunately all suitable and bullet proof palms are susceptible either to rpw or paysandisia!) they serve to this purpose quite well. A picture of my Areca lutescens after the recent cold spell. Totally unscathed but it is protected overhead by a Livistona chinensis and an Arenga pinnata. House is not heated, so apart from serving as wind shield, house wall offers no other protection

post-6141-0-90460400-1420397278_thumb.jp

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For the record, Acacia dealbata is the fastest canopy tree I've ever grown. 2.5 years from seed = 30' tall.

Matt Bradford

"Manambe Lavaka"

Spring Valley, CA (8.5 miles inland from San Diego Bay)

10B on the hill (635 ft. elevation)

9B in the canyon (520 ft. elevation)

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For the record, Acacia dealbata is the fastest canopy tree I've ever grown. 2.5 years from seed = 30' tall.

That's bamboo like speed!! I got this tree in my cross hairs..lol

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

Sunset zone 24

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I would also not use palms as main canopy expect really big species, as you will end up with too many trunk of a few species blocking the view of your slower and more beautiful species. I find palms do protect from frost, at least my Archontophoenix alexandrae does, but if you use sensitive species, they get beaten up themselves... The above mentioned trees are more resilient and hardy.

I do not see any negatives with Eucalypts and palms here, they coexist wonderfully. Many Australian palms live in Eucalypt forests in habitat as well as exotic palms in Australian forest gardens. Maybe its the water availability that plays a big role, here we have shallow underground water. Better consider the local advise on this matter.

Grevillea also supposedly suppresses plant growth with its dead leafs but i don't see much of a negative effect with it here either, the Rhopalostylis growing under it is my fastest growing one out of 3 growing away from it and getting more light actually, and the Lepidozamia hopei underneath it has grown to be my biggest from seed while its in much deeper shade then the others.

Heavy branch breakage and drop is a reality under any tall tree canopy, especially in bad weather. That is why many understory plants never get to keep many leafs in nature, cause of heavy branch and litter drop.

I use only palms as canopy trees because of the lack of water, and as far as those palms remain unaffected from rpw or paysandisia (very unfortunately all suitable and bullet proof palms are susceptible either to rpw or paysandisia!) they serve to this purpose quite well. A picture of my Areca lutescens after the recent cold spell. Totally unscathed but it is protected overhead by a Livistona chinensis and an Arenga pinnata. House is not heated, so apart from serving as wind shield, house wall offers no other protection

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Konstantinos, This is a great example of how canopy can protect more tender palm species from frost!! AWESOME pic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :greenthumb: :greenthumb: :greenthumb: :greenthumb: :) :) :)

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

Sunset zone 24

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Bumped a zone 9a thread.....might be some ideas for canopy there.

David Simms zone 9a on Highway 30a

200 steps from the Gulf in NW Florida

30 ft. elevation and sandy soil

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Bumped a zone 9a thread.....might be some ideas for canopy there.

I'll give it a looksy :greenthumb:

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

Sunset zone 24

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Earpod tree?

In my post I sometimes express "my" opinion. Warning, it may differ from "your" opinion. If so, please do not feel insulted, just state your own if you wish. Any data in this post is provided 'as is' and in no event shall I be liable for any damages, including, without limitation, damages resulting from accuracy or lack thereof, insult, or any other damages

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Earpod tree?

Oh my gosh this is a big tree! I'll do some more detailed research on this species. thanks for the suggestion Keith :winkie::greenthumb::greenthumb:

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

Sunset zone 24

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For the record, Acacia dealbata is the fastest canopy tree I've ever grown. 2.5 years from seed = 30' tall.

run

Screaming

Let's keep our forum fun and friendly.

Any data in this post is provided 'as is' and in no event shall I be liable for any damages, including, without limitation, damages resulting from accuracy or lack thereof, insult, or lost profits or revenue, claims by third parties or for other similar costs, or any special, incidental, or consequential damages arising out of my opinion or the use of this data. The accuracy or reliability of the data is not guaranteed or warranted in any way and I disclaim liability of any kind whatsoever, including, without limitation, liability for quality, performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose arising out of the use, or inability to use my data. Other terms may apply.

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How cold did it get, Konstantinos?

Honestly I am not sure, but about 1.5 Km inland at sea level it dropped to -3 Cand the most relevant weather station, which however is positioned closer to sea but in a lower altitude must have registered 0 C (at least this was the prediction). So I have to count also with 0 C. Nevertheless dew point was lying very low (around -4 C) and this was an enormous advantage imo. It may not sound very dramatic but this palm sp is very marginal in my climate and given the cold spell's intensity and duration it should have shown some kind of damage otherwise, had I not selected a very favorable position (wall, canopy), a very long acclimatization time of this specimen while still in pot and a secret formula for the soil mix used lol!

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Thanks P.C. .....was lazy last night.....just came in from Orlando quick trip.....ahhh Orlando....so warm down there

David Simms zone 9a on Highway 30a

200 steps from the Gulf in NW Florida

30 ft. elevation and sandy soil

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Josh here is another thread along the same subject.

http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/38969-9b-canopy-trees/

I have never posted a link so I hope it works.

Thanks Nick, I just read the thread you posted from the link :winkie::winkie::greenthumb::greenthumb:

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

Sunset zone 24

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Here:

http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/40515-zone-8-and-9-canopy-trees/

(to facilitate other gardeners finding the related thread on "Zone 8 and 9 Canopy Trees")

Thanks Sandy, I read the thread that you posted through the link :winkie::winkie::greenthumb::greenthumb:

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

Sunset zone 24

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi MattyB (or to anyone else who knows) --

Could you please tell us more about acacia dealbata? Is it fully evergreen in your region? Is it incredibly messy to deal with (droppings)? Is its canopy truly full (no gaping holes)? Is its canopy high enough to protect 40 foot palms? How wide is the ultimate spread of its canopy? Is it a tree that you would only plant in California, but not in Florida? (i.e. does it hate extreme heat and humidity) Will it tolerate wet soil?

Sorry for all the questions, but I suddenly find myself in need of instant canopy. A new neighbor has deforested her lot this week and, as a result, I suddenly have tender tropical plants exposed to the night sky....in January.

Thanks!

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Eucalypts and bamboo get such bad publicity but in both cases, it's all about the right plant for the right place. Eucalypts, bamboo and palms can all coexist very happily. Choose the right Eucalyptus for your property size, and the right form of bamboo and you will not find a faster canopy and windbreak former on Earth. However, if water is an issue, a Eucalyptus or bamboo may take a good portion of your available water that you want to give your palms. But often the alternative to not having canopy is a wind ripped and frozen palm garden in winter that is bleached and burnt in summer that although watered well, looks like crap. It's all about getting the balance right.

Also on a large property running bamboo can be a very good option for a large windbreak if it is done right.

Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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Thanks, Tyrone. Based on your suggestion, I am very seriously considering planting a Eucalyptus Cinerea, provided that the trunk won't grow too wide and it will grow in part shade. I am also slightly afraid that its roots will overcome all of the other plants in its immediate vicinity within a 1 metre radius.

I would love to plant a "Rainbow Eucalyptus" (Eucalyptus Deglupta), which is so popular down in the tropical southern tip of Florida. However, I suspect that it would be damaged by our cold overnight low temperatures up here in northern Florida.

Do you advise against Eucapyltus Cinerea for any reason? Apparently it does well and stays evergreen in Georgia (USA) and South Carolina, which are colder than my climate. The eventual trunk width is my only concern.

Thanks, Tyrone (or anyone else who knows about Eucalyptus)

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Thanks, Tyrone. Based on your suggestion, I am very seriously considering planting a Eucalyptus Cinerea, provided that the trunk won't grow too wide and it will grow in part shade. I am also slightly afraid that its roots will overcome all of the other plants in its immediate vicinity within a 1 metre radius.

I would love to plant a "Rainbow Eucalyptus" (Eucalyptus Deglupta), which is so popular down in the tropical southern tip of Florida. However, I suspect that it would be damaged by our cold overnight low temperatures up here in northern Florida.

Do you advise against Eucapyltus Cinerea for any reason? Apparently it does well and stays evergreen in Georgia (USA) and South Carolina, which are colder than my climate. The eventual trunk width is my only concern.

Thanks, Tyrone (or anyone else who knows about Eucalyptus)

Eucalyptus cinerea is a small to medium tree. Nothing like the big giant Eucalypts in my opinion. I doubt it will require any more water and nutrient than virtually any other type of tree it's size.

A friend of mine has a large rural property and collects Eucalypts. He's opened my eyes to just how many there are. We take them for granted in Australia. He showed me one little rare one he had that has leaves that when crushed smell like strawberries.

If you are worried about roots drawing up moisture and nutrients plant some bromeliads in the immediate vicinity of the trunk. It's a small tree so you won't get tonnes of leaf drop which would normally mess up a brom collection.

Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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Thank you, Tyrone. Can you recommend a few Eucalyptus species in particular? They would have to tolerate a lot of heat and humidity in the summer, and tolerate -7 or -8 degrees celcius about once every ten years or so (maybe only for an hour).

Water is definitely not a problem where I live. It's just that I don't want the eventual trunk size width to exceed 60 or 80 cm across, or else I will have to think of a different planting location. 40 cm would be even better!

Interesting trunk texture/bark loss would be a bonus, but not essential.

I was reading that eucalyptus cinerea will reach 50 feet in height, although growth rate data seems to be a bit mixed. 50 feet would certainly serve my purposes. Only my washingtonia robustas would eventually exceed that height, and they don't need any canopy protection anyway.

Many thanks again, Tyrone (or to anyone else who is tempted to comment)

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(I forgot to mention),,,and one that would be evergreen in my region too, obviously.

Thanks. I look forward to anyone's eucalyptus suggestions.

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In Australia you can get Eucalypts that have been grafted onto dwarfing stock. I'm not sure if they do that in the US. I'll have a look and see what species aren't huge and can be on dwarf stock.

Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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I have noticed that too, AliceHunter2000. However, I think they have a bunch of eucalyptus types growing out in California and southern Arizona, but we Floridians aren't allowed to ship plants from California anyway. I am not sure about agricultural agreements with Arizona. It might be possible to get eucalyptus shipped from there.

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Hello Tyrone (and anyone else interested). I am beginning to second-guess whether Eucalyptus trees would make a good canopy because of web authorities suggesting that all Eucalyptus emit chemicals which deter the growth of plants beneath them. For example: forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/soil/msg0814503611046.html

Is that your experience too?

Does anyone else have experience that would either support or debunk this speculation?

Thanks to anyone who posts on this subject matter.

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Well, if Eucalyptus were as bad as some make out, then Eucalyptus forests would have no understory, whereas in reality they do support lots of life underneath them. I would imagine that some Eucalyptus emit more chemicals than others. In my experience in my place in Perth where the soil is lifeless dead sand and a previous owner had planted a Eucalyptus grandis and it was huge (I only recently removed it as it was too large for the property and the leaves were filling up the neighbours pool), under that tree I had the best soil ever. It produced black humus for me for free. I used to use that same Eucalyptus produced humus in my planting holes and all the palms that went in it loved it, even my Pinangas. Now I did water a lot (probably why the tree got huge), but the leaf litter certainly didn't inhibit growth. It did drink a lot of water though as now that it's gone my Raphia palm near it just took off, but Raphias want to live in water anyway. It also dropped some horrendously large limbs, but this was a very large species of Eucalyptus.

Palms and Eucalyptus do grow together in the wild. You'll often see Livistona and Archontophoenix growing very happily together provided there is enough water to support them.

Where people often go wrong with Eucalyptus is planting too large a specimen for the property or too close to houses and other buildings. They do have a large appetite for nutrients and water, so if you don't provide both then what grows underneath may be stunted, but it will be protected provided a giant limb doesn't fall on it.

What I'm doing here (I've got a bit of acreage) is planting Karri trees (Eucalyptus diversicolor- native to this area) and some spotted gum (Corymbia maculata) as primary canopy formers because I need to get height as quickly as possible for wind breaks etc. My property is basically a wind tunnel at the bottom of a valley so it can howl through here. The large trees will be nutrient pumps too, as they will suck up minerals from way down in the soil that other plants can't reach and drop them as leaf litter to the surface. It won't be a Eucalyptus monoculture though. To fill gaps I've planted Agonis flexuosa which is native to the area but slower growing as well as using bamboos to create vertical screens. I've already got some Ficus benjamani on the property (you wouldn't plant these on a suburban block as they'd put roots out for miles) that I'm trying to get moving a bit quicker. I've germinated some Ficus macrophylla to plant as a slower growing canopy inside the Eucalyptus windbreak and these will start my rainforest in time (a very long time). I know I will get some limbs and bark falling off the large Eucalyptus but what's too big to compost naturally I'll chip up for mulch or burn in the wood fire. I wouldn't plant small Chamaedoreas for example under a large Eucalyptus as the falling debris will damage them. Larger species like Livistona, Archontophoenix, Roystonea, Howea, Caryota, etc that are on the outskirts of the canopy can break through into open sun when they're ready. That's what I had growing near my Eucalyptus with no problem.

They are may experiences and thoughts. Others may disagree but that's alright.

Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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A classic old PhD dissertation at the University of California, Santa Barbara, showed that eucalyptus trees were very effective at killing off whatever was under them. This of course was in California where it was Australian plants (with no natural enemies) killing off mostly California plants that had obviously no history of dealing with Australians.

Things seem to work the same in reverse. Florida pond apples, harmless things, have run amuck in Queensland.

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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A classic old PhD dissertation at the University of California, Santa Barbara, showed that eucalyptus trees were very effective at killing off whatever was under them. This of course was in California where it was Australian plants (with no natural enemies) killing off mostly California plants that had obviously no history of dealing with Australians.

Things seem to work the same in reverse. Florida pond apples, harmless things, have run amuck in Queensland.

Yes, you could be right there.

Another thing I thought of is that in this country, those who say "you can't grow anything under a Eucalyptus" often base their results on using freshly chipped Eucalyptus as a mulch, but a few things come into play here. Firstly the inherent nitrogen draw down of using freshly mulched material (which would be true of any plant freshly chipped up) and the fact that in nature things are never in uniform in shape and size. The natural litter under a Eucalyptus will be of various sizes and shapes and at various stages of decomposition, so any oils present at any one time would be lower than if the crown of a Eucalyptus was freshly mulched and applied to the soil surface in one hit.

Many people use freshly chipped pine bark mulch here and then wonder why their newly planted garden turns yellow in a few weeks. The pine bark looks neat and is easy to apply and that's why it is popular. If it was composted for a few months it would probably be OK, but some people like the bright freshly cut look, not the grey brown decomposed look. Composted mulch really is the only way to go.

Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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Hi Sandy, Acaia Dealbata are extremely fast growing evergreen trees for us in southern California. I'm in the midst of germinating seed I got recently. The growth rate is about 8-10' per year making it a super fast canopy tree. Google it and see for yourself. you can buy seed from e-bay..etc

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

Sunset zone 24

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Hey Josh-O, thanks for the suggestion. I couldn't find Acadia Dealbata listed in nurseries, so I suppose it would have to be by seed only. Here is one interesting comment that someone made on DavesGarden about the seeds:

  • Grows easily from seed, but the seed has a hard case and can lie dormant for 50 years or more. Usual technique for germination is to pour boiling water onto seed and allow to cool in the water before sowing. This usually results in a good germination even with very old seed. (http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/2499/#ixzz3QT3kxaxV)

Also, DavesGarden says that this tree will only reach 20 or 30 feet in height. I doubt that this is tall enough to serve as an effective overhead canopy for palms, but I could be wrong. The photos I saw online showed mature Acacia Dealbata only reaching up as high as the second storey of the adjacent buildings. However, I am no expert on this tree and others may know more about their compatibility with understorey growth.

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