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Virginia Cold Snap, How Should I Protect My Trachy?


PalmTreeDude
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That's where I felt the problem lies. From what Ive read, Virginia experienced 3 straight days well below freezing, down to single digits in some areas. I just can't see that soil not freezing. I mean we get occasional frosts' here on the West Coast too in zone 9b, but it is for maybe 6 hours, then we hit mid 50's - 60's the next day almost 100% of the time. Allowing palms to recover and the soil to never freeze. 

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I'm hoping the ground did not freeze, at least around the palm.  I added several inches (maybe 6") of mulch around the base of the queen.  Also, I placed bags of mulch on top of the mulch that I added.  It snowed a few inches before the extreme cold event, so I'm hoping it acted as an insulator.

USDA Hardiness Zone 7b/8a

AHS Heat Zone 7

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Heavy mulch will help insulate the soil somewhat so as to hold in rising ground heat. When I lived in zone 7a I would mulch heavily over canna lily rhizomes and they wouldn't freeze, but sprout again in the spring.

I've read that the roots of a palm are the most vulnerable to freezing. Just because the trunk, meristem, and fronds can take some freezing cold (like a queen palm) the roots can't. The root system almost always sees warmer temperatures (being below the soil where it's warmer) than the above ground portion of the palms. That's why if you keep a potted palm (that can handle 25 degrees in when planted in the ground) outside during a cold spell , it might die from the roots being frozen when in a pot exposed to the same 25 degree temperature. The water in the potting soil will freeze and will also freeze the roots.

Below is a graphic I found online showing the potential depth the soil could freeze down to during the winter. But it depends on many factors. Some winters (a mild one with no consecutive days of freezing temperatures) there may be little soil freezing closer to the more southern margins of the below graphic.

NA_permafrost.jpg

 

Mad about palms

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42 minutes ago, Walt said:

Heavy mulch will help insulate the soil somewhat so as to hold in rising ground heat. When I lived in zone 7a I would mulch heavily over canna lily rhizomes and they wouldn't freeze, but sprout again in the spring.

I've read that the roots of a palm are the most vulnerable to freezing. Just because the trunk, meristem, and fronds can take some freezing cold (like a queen palm) the roots can't. The root system almost always sees warmer temperatures (being below the soil where it's warmer) than the above ground portion of the palms. That's why if you keep a potted palm (that can handle 25 degrees in when planted in the ground) outside during a cold spell , it might die from the roots being frozen when in a pot exposed to the same 25 degree temperature. The water in the potting soil will freeze and will also freeze the roots.

Below is a graphic I found online showing the potential depth the soil could freeze down to during the winter. But it depends on many factors. Some winters (a mild one with no consecutive days of freezing temperatures) there may be little soil freezing closer to the more southern margins of the below graphic.

NA_permafrost.jpg

 

Interesting graphic.   That string of days with that cold of temps is fairly rare for the Va Beach area. True to form, it always jumps right back to 50s and 60's within 1-4 days.  I would highly doubt the ground ever freezes for more than 1-2" there.   Perhaps in that 2-3 day freeze which is unusual it got to 2-3".   SEVA must have been in a cold sink too, because I did not see to many single digit readings in the Va Beach area.    Out in rural Isle of Wight county I could almost believe the -2 though, in a cold sink, but that is exceedingly rare even for that far out. 

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It just depends how cold it gets

and if there is snow on the ground....

here,with bare ground and an Arctic outbreak

the soil is really penetrated by the cold(if

you have experienced temps below zero you

know what I mean)but with 3-4"+ of snow cover

it takes longer for the cold to get down in there.

 

I kinda laugh when I see the soil temps maps...

if I tried to push my sensor into the ground right now....

well,lets say the cement is as likely an option.

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@SEVA please give us an update in the spring when you can make an assessment. That would be cool if that queen survived those temps.

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I will try to give updates after I unwrap the palm this spring.  I should be able to give the first update in March (hopefully), depending on the weather.

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USDA Hardiness Zone 7b/8a

AHS Heat Zone 7

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On 1/15/2017, 12:39:45, SEVA said:

I will try to give updates after I unwrap the palm this spring.  I should be able to give the first update in March (hopefully), depending on the weather.

Please do!   That would be nothing short of amazing if it survived.     Take photos of it  before its unwrapped and after.  :)

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