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How far north...Mule palm


sashaeffer
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Curious does anyone have a Mule palm in the ground they successfully over winter with protection? if so how far north are you(zone)

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I've heard of it being grown in Raleigh with cover. I want to try to grow it without protection in the eastern part of the state

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Zone 8a Greenville, NC 

Zone 8b/9a Bluffton, SC

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I was thinking about trying it here in my 5B/6A climate.  I know people have had some luck with Butia's  but not me. I think we get too much moisture as no matter what I do they rot out.

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3 hours ago, sashaeffer said:

Wow, great to hear. How long in the ground and do you protect it during the winter?

I like where you are headed Scott.  Couple of mules would look great at your place. 

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It is its third year in the ground and would'nt be alive without being protected in winter. Additional I also use heating cables that go on when temperatures drop below -3/-4 celsius.

It is the most sensitive palm beside juania and j x s I grow.

The only palms I dont protect are grown up trachycarpus. Even chamaerops humilis needs protection

Edited by maesy
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Based on what I have seen I am pretty confident that JxS and JBxS are hardier than a mule.

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On 5/20/2017, 10:20:59, NC_Palms said:

I've heard of it being grown in Raleigh with cover. I want to try to grow it without protection in the eastern part of the state

I've got one that is going on its third summer in the ground in Wilmington.  Before that I grew it outside for two seasons from a small strap leaf liner to a small 3 gallon pot size, only bringing it inside when lows were forecast to be below 19.  In ground, I wrap it with lights and a thermo-cube, just the few nights of the year when lows are forecast to drop below 18.  Even after being exposed to an ice storm it only has shown some minor damage.  Hopefully it will get big enough to survive the damage it will get once I can no longer wrap it up

.  WP_20161007_028.thumb.jpg.3e30f639e1520a      

This is a photo last year sometime pre-hurricane Matthew.  It is already bigger now. 

WP_20160116_008.thumb.jpg.4a3e53d1b11c48

Protection for a cold night during it's first winter in the ground.  This palm will be huge this upcoming winter, so protection should be interesting.  

Edited by Joe NC
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On 5/22/2017, 1:48:20, Joe NC said:

I've got one that is going on its third summer in the ground in Wilmington.  Before that I grew it outside for two seasons from a small strap leaf liner to a small 3 gallon pot size, only bringing it inside when lows were forecast to be below 19.  In ground, I wrap it with lights and a thermo-cube, just the few nights of the year when lows are forecast to drop below 18.  Even after being exposed to an ice storm it only has shown some minor damage.  Hopefully it will get big enough to survive the damage it will get once I can no longer wrap it up

.  WP_20161007_028.thumb.jpg.3e30f639e1520a      

This is a photo last year sometime pre-hurricane Matthew.  It is already bigger now. 

WP_20160116_008.thumb.jpg.4a3e53d1b11c48

Protection for a cold night during it's first winter in the ground.  This palm will be huge this upcoming winter, so protection should be interesting.  

YOU

Are

NUTTY!

Love ya for it . . . .

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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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Just now, Joe NC said:

Thanks!  Nutty might be putting it mildly.  haha

Come to California, the land of the Nutty . . .

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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On 5/20/2017, 10:31:20, sashaeffer said:

I was thinking about trying it here in my 5B/6A climate.  I know people have had some luck with Butia's  but not me. I think we get too much moisture as no matter what I do they rot out.

with full, heavy protection (something like a greenhouse built around it) you would probably be able to grow one.  Butia Capitata are hardier than Mules though, and they even struggle at times in zone 8A.    Beyond 8A even those need full winter protection.   If they were able to reliably grow in 7B, we would see them all over the mid Atlantic in coastal cities, and they are not there.  You don't begin seeing full healthy ones until Va Beach where they are hit or miss without protection.  Mules  I do not think would survive with no protection in Va Beach even.   So your key is going to be to provide full protection in every  winter of its life.  With that you will likely be very successful.   I remember a man who grew a windmill to 25 feet tall in northern Minnesota. He built a greehouse around it every year.  I belive he became too old for the work and the palm became too tall and he had to let it go.   Please do share your protection methods with us!  Can't wait to see what you do! 

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Won't try it then as I've had zero luck with Butia of any species in the ground with heated protection...I think mostly because ground can get and stay wet. I know some further north than me in Canada, yet technically same zone has grown some to large size.

 

Appreciate the advice.

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2 hours ago, DCA_Palm_Fan said:

with full, heavy protection (something like a greenhouse built around it) you would probably be able to grow one.  Butia Capitata are hardier than Mules though, and they even struggle at times in zone 8A.    Beyond 8A even those need full winter protection.   If they were able to reliably grow in 7B, we would see them all over the mid Atlantic in coastal cities, and they are not there.  You don't begin seeing full healthy ones until Va Beach where they are hit or miss without protection.  Mules  I do not think would survive with no protection in Va Beach even.   So your key is going to be to provide full protection in every  winter of its life.  With that you will likely be very successful.   I remember a man who grew a windmill to 25 feet tall in northern Minnesota. He built a greehouse around it every year.  I belive he became too old for the work and the palm became too tall and he had to let it go.   Please do share your protection methods with us!  Can't wait to see what you do! 

Yup, you're pretty much dead on with this. I feel like Butias also do well with inland heat. I'm not sure how prevalent they are in the inland gulf area, but as long as they're not subjected to constant heat and humidity from the coast they'll do fine in inland 8A areas. They do great here in Columbia and even when we had our ice storm and got down to 11 degrees I didn't see any with damage. Maybe some damage but it was so insignificant I couldn't tell while driving past. Last time I was in central Florida I was hard pressed to find many butias. They're there,but not that many; but thats probably because they can grow a multitude of other things lol

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  • 2 months later...
On 5/30/2017, 10:39:30, sashaeffer said:

Won't try it then as I've had zero luck with Butia of any species in the ground with heated protection...I think mostly because ground can get and stay wet. I know some further north than me in Canada, yet technically same zone has grown some to large size.

 

Appreciate the advice.

Scott, why not try a raised bed?  Add some sand to the mix to make it drain better.  If needed you could cover the bed with plastic the drain the rain and snow to outside the bed.

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4 hours ago, Hammer said:

Scott, why not try a raised bed?  Add some sand to the mix to make it drain better.  If needed you could cover the bed with plastic the drain the rain and snow to outside the bed.

Last one I tried was in a almost total sand base and still didn't make it. I now have a Fortunei/Waggie cross where the Butia was.

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4 hours ago, sashaeffer said:

Last one I tried was in a almost total sand base and still didn't make it. I now have a Fortunei/Waggie cross where the Butia was.

Here's my thinking though...

If the sand base was dug into the ground, did you essentially create a bowl of sand where water would sit?  If you raise the bed to 2 or 3 feet above grade and then use sand, that might provide the difference in your ability to grow a Butia or a Mule for that matter.

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9 hours ago, Hammer said:

Here's my thinking though...

If the sand base was dug into the ground, did you essentially create a bowl of sand where water would sit?  If you raise the bed to 2 or 3 feet above grade and then use sand, that might provide the difference in your ability to grow a Butia or a Mule for that matter.

Not to mention having a raised bed would also help warm up the bed faster than at ground level, and better cold air drainage.

Every little bit helps in colder climates. 

Edited by Palm crazy
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Anything is possible. We have Loess soil here so naturally drains well, the sand base was(in my mind) to help keep root ball drier but guess it didn't work.

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17 hours ago, Palm crazy said:

Not to mention having a raised bed would also help warm up the bed faster than at ground level, and better cold air drainage.

Every little bit helps in colder climates. 

This is interesting. I was always under the impression that the soil in raised beds froze quicker than the soil in the ground, since raised beds are a bit more exposed to the ambient air temperature.

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I ordered 2 one gallon super mule palms last month from Moultrie Palms.  Unlike the queen/pindo regular mule palm, this hybrid has also been crossed with the Chilean wine palm in hopes of making it more cold hardy. Mine are still tiny and I'm not planting them in ground until they're too big to move around in containers.  I'm hoping they're big enough to plant after 4 or 5 yrs of growing in containers.I live in central SC about 100 miles from the coast, where temps bottom at 10f every 4 or 5 winters.  Since this hybrid is so new, cold hardiness hasn't yet been established.  The Chilean Wine palm is cold hardy to the single digits, so I have high hopes it can eventually survive my zone 8a winter.

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Wow.  I was not aware that a "super mule" palm of this hybridization was being sold.  Exciting!  Time will tell whether it is resistant to Fusarium Wilt or not.  Apparently, the regular mule palms are susceptible to Fusarium Wilt, although this is not a consideration for most PalmTalkers on this thread because you are mostly not located in Fusarium Wilt states like Florida.

DonnaCreation, we would be grateful to see photos of your Super Mule palms ..... In about ten years, then fifteen, then twenty... 

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1 hour ago, donnacreation said:

I ordered 2 one gallon super mule palms last month from Moultrie Palms.  Unlike the queen/pindo regular mule palm, this hybrid has also been crossed with the Chilean wine palm in hopes of making it more cold hardy. Mine are still tiny and I'm not planting them in ground until they're too big to move around in containers.  I'm hoping they're big enough to plant after 4 or 5 yrs of growing in containers.I live in central SC about 100 miles from the coast, where temps bottom at 10f every 4 or 5 winters.  Since this hybrid is so new, cold hardiness hasn't yet been established.  The Chilean Wine palm is cold hardy to the single digits, so I have high hopes it can eventually survive my zone 8a winter.

These are bxj pollinated with standard mule pollen per their website. 

Jxb and bxj f1 are much hardier than pure chilean or pure butia and miles ahead of mules.  I have high hopes for my jb x q and bjxq schaffer hybrids because mules dont do so well here. 

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Won't the queen (syagrus romanzoffiana) traits make those Patric Schafer hybrids less cold-hardy than a standard Butia Odorata x Jubaea Chilensis (and vice versa) hybrid?

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I have about as much confidence in the claims on the Moultrie Palms web site as I do about trusting what our current president of the USA (Trump) boasts (lies) about.

The only evidence I have seen of the "Super" hybrid (BxJ X BxQ) existing is a claim that Patric(k) Schafer sold one to Ben in Clayton Ca in Sep. '16. There is a ton of evidence for BxJ X Q and a little less evidence of JxB X Q.

They claim that the "Super" mule "will grow to between 25 and 30 feet tall", but if this is a new hybrid - how do they know?

As to cold tolerance they claim "we expect them to survive into the low digits". I assume they mean degrees F. If you go through the FREEZE DAMAGE DATA here on PalmTalk you can see some examples of what to logically expect to survive:

Butia capitata (s/b odorata) 12-14°

BxJ X Q 26°

JxB X Q 19°

BxJ 14°

Jubaea 14-15°

JxB 16°

BxQ 19°

They claim Jubaea "grows high in the mountains of Chile". AFAIK they are a riparian palm of the coastal semi-desert of Chile.

Why are no prices or sizes listed?

Who did all the hybridizing and when?

Time will tell...

Tom Birt - Casas Adobes, AZ

Hi 104°, Lo 73°
 - some showers

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Tom Birt - Casas Adobes - NW of Tucson since July 2014

formerly in the San Carlos region of San Diego

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The "Super Mule" sounds like it is  [(Butia X Jubaea) X Butia] X Syagrus as described on the website  not a  (Butia X Jubaea) X (Butia X Syagrus) as kind of implied above.   So it is still roughly 1/2 queen, not 1/4 queen, and is the typical Jubutyagrus that's been for sale and around for a while.  "Super Mule" is a little more marketable than the mouthful mashup of the three genera names.  Side note I'm growing one from Penny's palms, and it is a little slower and more squat than the straight mule I have.  

http://www.pennyspalms.com/jubutyagrus-hybrid.html

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I got two of these "super" mules from Penny's palms - as liner seedlings last fall.  To muddy the water more, mine came with a label that would indicate (BxJ)xS and that's the hybrid I was assuming.  However these are clearly the same source as Joe's, and this source may be Moultrie, but I am not sure on that.  I had missed the comment about the BxJ being F2 - and thus really (BxJ)xB.

I also have one standard mule that I bought along side them.  The "super" mule hybrids have grown a hair faster and are not pinnate yet (the regular mule just went pinnate at ~3 gallon size). Otherwise they look almost identical - I could not tell them apart in liners.

I planted the regular mule with intent to protect it this winter...but opted to keep the "super" mules in pots (will plant them next spring, they'll probably be 5 gallon by then).  We will see in a few years how they handle zone 8 winters.  I've already accepted that they might all die, especially being that the cold hardiness of hybrids may be unpredictable. 

Steve

Edited by Turtlesteve
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On 5/22/2017, 4:48:20, Joe NC said:

WP_20161007_028.thumb.jpg.3e30f639e1520a      

This is a photo last year sometime pre-hurricane Matthew.  It is already bigger now. 

Yeah....Still months of growing left this season before I need to think about any winter protection, and its already huge.

mule2.thumb.jpg.ba5bec821f41e7b27271aa57

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I am not surprised by your photos. Those mule palms grow at lightning speed.  Mine came from Brooksville Palms and it has grown so quickly that its top-heaviness has caused it to grow sideways. It will correct itself later as it grows a trunk (soon).

It is good to hear that the Super Mule grows just as fast, even in hot, humid summer climates where a pure Jubaea Chilensis would not thrive.

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On 5/21/2017, 1:27:40, maesy said:

Here in Switzerland, in zone 7 with prolonged freezes!

 

IMG_20170521_092337.jpg

wow!!!

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

Sunset zone 24

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On 8/10/2017, 11:50:22, cm05 said:

This is interesting. I was always under the impression that the soil in raised beds froze quicker than the soil in the ground, since raised beds are a bit more exposed to the ambient air temperature.

In Nebraska the raised bed would have to be protected too.  

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Based on my experience in Dallas, I think the mule palm needs a minimum of a southern z9 for long term success.  I planted a strap leaf, 1 gal size mule in 2003.  It grew rapidly and had spear pull after it's first two winters, but quickly grew out with the start of warm spring weather.  It's grown admirably, but the cold blast of Feb 2011 was a very near death experience.   It was 100% burned after an ultimate low of 14*, 92 hours below freezing, ice and winds in excess of 30 mph.  In March of 2011 I began cutting sections of trunk from the top down until I found live tissue- 14" of trunk cut.  It grew out quickly to 8' of trunk and flowered yearly from 2013 - 2016.  The two day freeze in Jan 2017 again burned it 100% after two lows in the 15* range preceded by very warm weather.  In April I trunk cut 10" before I found live tissue. The mule is growing out but not as fast as it did in 2011.  This mule has handled quick drops to 20* without significant leaf damage, but the long duration freezes (2-4 days) are lethal.  Jubaea, Jubaea x Butia and Jubutyagrus are much more cold hardy.  I have a robust Patric Schafer (JxB)xS that has grown just as fast a mule with a larger trunk and came through January's two day freeze (15*) with the three newest leaves not burned (about 65% total damaged leaves) and growing quickly. JxB and Jubaea had no cold damage this year, BxJ had slight cold damage to the emerging spears.  From what I've grown in N & Central TX and seen at Merrill Wilcox's place in FL I think JxB and (JxB)xS are the ultimate pinnate palms for z8.  Pictured is the mule palm from late 2016.  

IMG_2547.JPG

IMG_2562.JPG

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Our nursery is a few degrees colder than Matt but he is spot on. My big mule died this year, large butia, armata and jubaea completely defoliated but the jxb and bxj only suffered 10-20% burn. They are far superior to either parent in this respect.

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Three hours south of Dallas. Todd Mission Texas. 100s of Mule palms of various sizes planted. Temps in the teens and snow. Owner tells me they bounce back every year.

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