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Sabal Uresana varieties & cold hardiness


TexasColdHardyPalms

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During this winter I have noticed a big difference between seed stock of Sabal Uresana and upon further investigation it appears that there are two distinct populations of this species.

The costal form is more blue/green in color and from what I can tell is more of a zone 8 palm.  I have had various damage on this species from 100% defoliation on smaller 5G plants in the ground to 75% defoliation on larger 5-6' tall (overall) plants in the ground.

There is also a reported Mountain form that is silver/white even from the first leaf (same color as a B. Armata) and this palm appears to be zone 7 hardy.  I had zero damage on three leaf plants in 1G pots (100% frozen) at 16F and 30+ hours below freezing.  This form is much hardier than the Rosei or Riverside (both 100% burned at this temperature.

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Unfortunately mine is the greenish version. Wish I had the lighter version as I find it more attractive...

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

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13 hours ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

During this winter I have noticed a big difference between seed stock of Sabal Uresana and upon further investigation it appears that there are two distinct populations of this species.

The costal form is more blue/green in color and from what I can tell is more of a zone 8 palm.  I have had various damage on this species from 100% defoliation on smaller 5G plants in the ground to 75% defoliation on larger 5-6' tall (overall) plants in the ground.

There is also a reported Mountain form that is silver/white even from the first leaf (same color as a B. Armata) and this palm appears to be zone 7 hardy.  I had zero damage on three leaf plants in 1G pots (100% frozen) at 16F and 30+ hours below freezing.  This form is much hardier than the Rosei or Riverside (both 100% burned at this temperature.

I have the silver version. And it's quite hardy. I saw similar lows and duration. A few freeze blemishes on a 8 foot specimen. Good to go. 

Longview, Texas :: Record Low: -5F, Feb. 16, 2021 :: Borderline 8A/8B :: '06-'07: 18F / '07-'08: 21F / '08-'09: 21F / '09-'10: 14F / '10-'11: 15F / '11-'12: 24F / '12-'13: 23F / '13-'14: 15F / '14-'15: 20F / '15-'16: 27F / '16-'17: 15F / '17-'18: 8F / '18-'19: 23F / '19-'20: 19F / '20-'21: -5F / '21-'22: 20F / '22-'23: 6F

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I'm glad you brought this up Joseph. I had always suspected there was two forms of this species. I was given a seedling of the silver form and I was amazed even as a one leaf seedling how silver it was while my other seedlings are greenish in color. I harvested and germinated the greenish form from a tree down here in San Diego while the other seedling I received was collected in habitat.

 

great thread!!

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

Sunset zone 24

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5 hours ago, Josh-O said:

I'm glad you brought this up Joseph. I had always suspected there was two forms of this species. I was given a seedling of the silver form and I was amazed even as a one leaf seedling how silver it was while my other seedlings are greenish in color. I harvested and germinated the greenish form from a tree down here in San Diego while the other seedling I received was collected in habitat.

 

great thread!!

Do they differ eventually in the growth rate?

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6 hours ago, Phoenikakias said:

Do they differ eventually in the growth rate?

not sure yet. I just took possession of the silver form. I will keep a close eye on them to see if there are any noticeable differences.

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

Sunset zone 24

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Does anyone have pictures of the two forms?  I am wondering what I have.

Ben Rogers

On the border of Concord & Clayton in the East Bay hills - Elev 387 ft 37.95 °N, 121.94 °W

My back yard weather station: http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/hdfForecast?query=37.954%2C-121.945&sp=KCACONCO37

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17 hours ago, Ben in Norcal said:

Does anyone have pictures of the two forms?  I am wondering what I have.

This is blue form. I hope this covers your question.

IMG_20161207_164605.thumb.jpg.c538a1133fIMG_20161207_164634.thumb.jpg.bcfebae85f

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The forum isn't allowing me to upload pics from my phone for some reason.  It may have to do with the new McAfee security software I installed..  I'll download a few pics to my computer in a few days and upload.

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4 minutes ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

The forum isn't allowing me to upload pics from my phone for some reason.  It may have to do with the new McAfee security software I installed..  I'll download a few pics to my computer in a few days and upload.

I can't upload pics from my phone either, total PITA.  Too much work to upload pics.

Ben Rogers

On the border of Concord & Clayton in the East Bay hills - Elev 387 ft 37.95 °N, 121.94 °W

My back yard weather station: http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/hdfForecast?query=37.954%2C-121.945&sp=KCACONCO37

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1 hour ago, Ben in Norcal said:

I can't upload pics from my phone either, total PITA.  Too much work to upload pics.

Same here

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

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Those specimens at Peckerwood are impressive, but the photos appear to have been retouched (I retouch my photos sometimes too). Like many silver palms, Sun should increase the intensity of the silver/blue.

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Looks like the picture function has been resolved. Smaller plant is the much hardier highlands uresana. All seedlings exhibit this color. The larger uresana is a gunmetal blue in person. For some reason it looks green in this photo.

20170225_141326.jpg

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Was out at Peckerwood gardens yesterday and took this shot of their extremely blue/gray Uresana.  Not retouched in any way.  These were put through one night of 14 degrees and another of 15 degrees consecutively about a month and a half ago, with freezing rain at the start and plenty of wind.  They seem to like it!

IMG_0548.JPG

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I've got a blue form planted here in the ground in Albuquerque N.M.  We have gotten down to 12 degrees this winter and the palm (from a 3 gallon) has only been protected with a pop-up plastic greenhouse, with no additional supplemental heat provided. There is not any damage showing on this palm yet, thank goodness! It only has two fronds at the moment. Fortunately spring is already upon us here but we still have upper twenties and low thirties in the nightly forecast for the next few nights before warmer weather moves back in! 

I'll post some photos once the greenhouses come off in another few weeks.

As to the reference of the palms at Peckerwood in the previous post, did it really get down to 14 and 15 degrees so close to Houston???  This looks to be not too far from Katy, Texas. I was there the winter before last and there were some decent size queen palms in front of the hotel where I stayed. 

Edited by ChrisA
Adding a question!
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Most of the surrounding locations, such as Brenham reported two consecutive lows of 19.   Peckerwood is pretty far away from any urban/heat island influences surrounded by mostly treeless prairie.  It is also located at a relative low spot along the Brazos river valley.  As such it is reasonable to assume that they could have seen temperatures 3-4 colder than the surrounding major reporting locations.   At my place in Magnolia, I had 19 and 18 for lows, but the area is considerably more built up in addition to being wooded. 

Katy should have been several degrees warmer and with a notable heat island influence.  It is pretty incredible the difference you could see in the cold damage near my office (Galleria Houston) with minimal leaf burn on Mexican fans and queens.  Then you get to Beltway 8 and 290 and you started to see queens heavily burned and Mexican fans 50% bronzed.  Then get up towards 99/290 and all the queens in that area were completely smoked and all Mexican fans up my way completely defoliated.   Peckerwood puts you about another 20 miles out into the country from there.

I suppose I should mention that I have several smaller uresana in ground... and not one was bothered by 18/19 with freezing rain at the start and plenty of wind. 

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5 hours ago, meteorologistpalmguy said:

Most of the surrounding locations, such as Brenham reported two consecutive lows of 19.   Peckerwood is pretty far away from any urban/heat island influences surrounded by mostly treeless prairie.  It is also located at a relative low spot along the Brazos river valley.  As such it is reasonable to assume that they could have seen temperatures 3-4 colder than the surrounding major reporting locations.   At my place in Magnolia, I had 19 and 18 for lows, but the area is considerably more built up in addition to being wooded. 

Katy should have been several degrees warmer and with a notable heat island influence.  It is pretty incredible the difference you could see in the cold damage near my office (Galleria Houston) with minimal leaf burn on Mexican fans and queens.  Then you get to Beltway 8 and 290 and you started to see queens heavily burned and Mexican fans 50% bronzed.  Then get up towards 99/290 and all the queens in that area were completely smoked and all Mexican fans up my way completely defoliated.   Peckerwood puts you about another 20 miles out into the country from there.

I suppose I should mention that I have several smaller uresana in ground... and not one was bothered by 18/19 with freezing rain at the start and plenty of wind. 

+1. 20 miles north and west of the beltway really isnt any warmer than Austin or byran/college station as far as usda zones are concerned. Its not until you get close to the beltway that it really warms up with another jump up once you get downtown and then southeast of town. 

I purchased an old horridus and trispinosus from an older gentleman downtown Houston that had never had any of them burn outside as well as a laundry list of alloe. He told me he moved there in the early 90s and that the lowest temp he registered was during the 2011 winter when his weather station dropped to 28. Granted his house was on a  postage stamp lot surrounded by large/tall apartment complexes and lots of concrete, but from what he described his place was a legitimate 10a. His neighbors all had large foxtails and other crownshafted palms that i am very poor at identifying.  

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Wow! Thanks guys!  Those are some good thoughts to keep in mind for anyone considering a move to the Houston area.  I would love to live in place that hasn't seen below 28 since the early 90's.  I never thought of the affect as you move into the drier zones that aren't too far from Houston, when I look at the map I just imagine all that wonderfully warm and sultry gulf air that can so easily sweep across the landscape and forget the arctic fronts that can just as easily sweep down the plains.

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Here is a picture of the damaged coastal uresana this year.  It is 6' tall overall. 

20170218_132900.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

It regularly get below 25 degrees in Houston for sure. This year got down to 21-23 F and about 7 years ago it got down to the teens. That's the honest truth, "never getting below 28" is dreamville!

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  • 1 year later...

A blue Sabal uresana at the Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh survived our brutal winter. We had 8 days of in which temperature never went above freezing, with a low of 5F. The leaves exhibited only minor burning. Two Sabal brazoriensis and a Sabal palmetto "Bald Head Island" in the immediate vicinity of this plant were killed. 

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Good to hear - makes me feel better for planting one as a strap-leaf seedling.  If they are consistently this tough, they should have significant untapped market potential.  So far the seedlings I got (the "highlands blue" from Joe) have grown well in high humidity whereas I've generally failed with other dry climate palms.  Maybe I should plant one at my parent's place in the upstate....sure would stand out there. 

2 hours ago, RaleighNC said:

A blue Sabal uresana at the Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh survived our brutal winter. We had 8 days of in which temperature never went above freezing, with a low of 5F. The leaves exhibited only minor burning. Two Sabal brazoriensis and a Sabal palmetto "Bald Head Island" in the immediate vicinity of this plant were killed. 

 

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These have all been potted up into tree pots now. I had a 1g with the pot buried in the top of a 3ft mulch pile this winter. It completely defoliated but came right back at 8f. 

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How well do they handle wet winters? I'm guessing these are drier palms.

LOWS 16/17 12F, 17/18 3F, 18/19 7F, 19/20 20F

Palms growing in my garden: Trachycarpus Fortunei, Chamaerops Humilis, Chamaerops Humilis var. Cerifera, Rhapidophyllum Hystrix, Sabal Palmetto 

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Depends on your definition of a wet winter and the average high temps.  They have zero problems here and in Louisiana.   

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On 8/29/2018, 1:52:18, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

Depends on your definition of a wet winter and the average high temps.  They have zero problems here and in Louisiana.   

 

Typical DMV winter: Average highs in the low 40s and high 20s for lows with obvious spikes from 3f to nearly 90f depending on the day with mostly rain and 0-20in of snow for the year that melts pretty fast with most storms being in the dusting to 6in range and the occasional blizzard of 12-18in every 6-10 years. 

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LOWS 16/17 12F, 17/18 3F, 18/19 7F, 19/20 20F

Palms growing in my garden: Trachycarpus Fortunei, Chamaerops Humilis, Chamaerops Humilis var. Cerifera, Rhapidophyllum Hystrix, Sabal Palmetto 

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So you need to be a dry zone 7...oh well.

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LOWS 16/17 12F, 17/18 3F, 18/19 7F, 19/20 20F

Palms growing in my garden: Trachycarpus Fortunei, Chamaerops Humilis, Chamaerops Humilis var. Cerifera, Rhapidophyllum Hystrix, Sabal Palmetto 

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  • 1 year later...

An old thread, but I thought I would add photos from Peckerwood Gardens for reference. Absolutely no touch up performed, this is what they look like in person on a mostly overcast day.
file.php?id=63792file.php?id=63793

file.php?id=63791

file.php?id=63794

Edited by Meangreen94z
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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for sharing. Peckerwood Gardens is an amazing place for cold hardy palms (see link attached to a thread with some more pics of other palms for those interested). They recently opened a small nursery and they sometimes sell some interesting palms there. Folks are really nice there and I am sure they're happy to share seed for those interested. I am growing increasingly impressed with the Uresana as I had small ones survive another wet winter here in Central Texas with a few freezes (hope we don't get another one, though!). 
 

 

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The wax on the leaves eventually washes off from excess rain and humidity.  I  raised hundreds of seedlings from those trees and all turned green.

Edited by Steve in Florida
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My largest uresana.  Sabal palmetto behind it.  It has seen temps into the upper teens (F).  Holds its grey/silvery color pretty well.  Definitely loses the electric blue coloring once it gets out of the strap leaf stage of development.

 

image.thumb.png.d92b5363aeeef7a361fff033265fca0a.png

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Jason

Gainesville, Florida

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I have lived and Worked in Houston/College Station. All the publicly available weather station in and around metro Houston, the warmest spot was 25. I think wind protection played a factor in those surviving palms. I saw all Dead Kings, Royals, Foxtails all the way to, and on Galveston Island. Even a couple wind exposed Royals died at Moody Gardens.

I have 3 blue-green form of Sabal Uresana.  14.5F didn't bother mine. One planted at brothers did fine too. Peckerwood has neutral soil. They really are that silver. I have a PH of 8.5 I am not sure if soil PH can change the color of the palm, I have been considering pulling out my Blue Green Form for a silver, but since they are cold hardy enough, I wont.

Edited by Collectorpalms
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Current Texas Gardening Zone 9a, Mean (1999-2024): 22F Low/104F High. Yearly Precipitation 39.17 inches.

Extremes: Low Min 4F 2021, 13.8F 2024. High Max 112F 2011/2023, Precipitation Max 58 inches 2015, Lowest 19 Inches 2011.

Weather Station: https://www.wunderground.com/dashboard/pws/KTXCOLLE465

Ryan (Paleoclimatologist Since 4 billion Years ago, Meteorologist/Earth Scientist/Physicist Since 1995, Savy Horticulturist Since Birth.)

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