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Georgia & South Carolina, USA: January 2018 freeze


Sandy Loam
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Off topic, but I love your former SC governors necklace, she’s putting Sabal palmetto on the world stage at the UN now.  Hope you guys don’t freeze to death,  we suffered thru lows of 29, 28, and 30 here in TC.  The high temp Jan 2 was 35F. 

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On ‎1‎/‎3‎/‎2018‎ ‎11‎:‎32‎:‎18‎, Sandy Loam said:

What!  That was YOU in the swerving Fleetwood?!!

On ‎1‎/‎4‎/‎2018‎ ‎8‎:‎10‎:‎33‎, DoomsDave said:

Nope, was a bystander.

Nasty, scary, but no one got hurt

Just kidding -- I was pretending to have been there in 1976. 

Scary indeed.  I'm so glad I no longer live in a place where it snows. 

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Spent most of the morning cleaning the garage from a burst water pipe, then got some photos of the carnage.

Mule palm:

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W. 'filibusta'

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L. Decora

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Dioon edule

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Cycas revoluta sago.thumb.jpg.b4f7077c1a0937fd1eb0d0854

Cycas panzihuaensis doesn't look that bad so far.  Small ones (2" caudex +/-) were toasted.panz.thumb.jpg.4e22ae8cc22ddb61a52000bd7

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Both Cycas look fine, don't they?  There is something a bit bleached out looking with that Cycas Revoluta, but I can't tell from the photo whether it's actually damage.

Sorry about the three palms.  I am surprised that the Washingtonia filibusta was damaged.  If the weather had been dry at the same temperatures, maybe it would have ended up unscathed.

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46 minutes ago, Sandy Loam said:

There is something a bit bleached out looking with that Cycas Revoluta, but I can't tell from the photo whether it's actually damage.

The leaves are bleached and dead - they just haven't turned brown yet.  Same as is happening on a few of the C. panzihuaensis leaflets, and the D. edule looked like this a couple days ago.  I suspect most of these will survive but not sure about the palms.  We actually had very low dew points here, and no rain the week prior - not at all like the coast.  Everything basically got freeze dried including the W. filibusta (which was the one I expected to do better).

On the positive side, I left a few Trithrinax brasiliensis seedlings out in 4" liners - they look OK so far.

Steve

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I could be wrong but I can't imagine any sweet orange trees or lemons, limes, grapefruit surviving that. They are supposed to have major dieback from below 20F. I heard those temps split the bark and the trees go into a slow decline and eventual death or become the rootstock. On the other hand I visited a citrus grove in Alabama in spring of 2014 after a 14F low and those trees came back to this day. Here is hoping Laaz it all comes back fine.

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15 minutes ago, mthteh1916 said:

I could be wrong but I can't imagine any sweet orange trees or lemons, limes, grapefruit surviving that. They are supposed to have major dieback from below 20F. I heard those temps split the bark and the trees go into a slow decline and eventual death or become the rootstock. On the other hand I visited a citrus grove in Alabama in spring of 2014 after a 14F low and those trees came back to this day. Here is hoping Laaz it all comes back fine.

When I hear about 20 degrees splitting citrus it was usually preceded by prolonged nice and warm temps and the trees were actively growing, full of flowing sap etc. They will fair better if it had been cool for a while, which I imagine the case to be in SC. Certainly no sweet orange etc. likes sub 20 temps but it isn’t necessarily a complete death sentence. Let’s wait and see and hope the damage is recoverable. 

Corpus Christi, TX, near salt water, zone 9b/10a! Except when it isn't and everything gets nuked back to the stone age of zone 8.

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Even for my area of Virginia this was rough. We have had the low temperatures before, but for about eight days straight it was below freezing! Normally we have a few times a winter where it is about three days maximum below freezing. 

PalmTreeDude

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I have two small citrus trees planted out, clementine "Nuclem" and mandarin orange "calamandarin".  They burned back severely last year at 22F but that was a late freeze.  Not looking too bad so far but damage may not be showing yet.

Steve

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Our Cycas looks like that after most winters here and they will flush and take off without problem.  I'm convinced that Cycas Panzhihuensis is the most cold hardy cycad period and it will take low single digits to kill a trunking one.  I've had dioon edule die, but never burn like that so fast. That is really odd.   

Your mule, livistona, washingtonia are all goners. 

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My uneducated guess is that a mule palm won't die at sixteen degrees (didn't PalmTalk AliceHunter's survive 17 degrees with flying colours?), although all of the snow, persistent cold and repeated freezes this past week in Charleston, SC won't have helped.  I have never had a temperature as cold as sixteen degrees here, so cannot speak from experience.

Also, I keep hearing that livistona chinensis is more bud-hardy than Washingtonia Robusta, even though the livistona chinensis may defoliate at such a cold temperature.

Anyway, my fingers are crossed for you, Laaz!

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10 hours ago, Sandy Loam said:

My uneducated guess is that a mule palm won't die at sixteen degrees (didn't PalmTalk AliceHunter's survive 17 degrees with flying colours?), although all of the snow, persistent cold and repeated freezes this past week in Charleston, SC won't have helped.  I have never had a temperature as cold as sixteen degrees here, so cannot speak from experience.

Also, I keep hearing that livistona chinensis is more bud-hardy than Washingtonia Robusta, even though the livistona chinensis may defoliate at such a cold temperature.

Anyway, my fingers are crossed for you, Laaz!

Those are baby palms and are nowhere near as hardy as large palms. L. Chilensis is more bud hardy than robusta,  but only when trunking, mature plants. Mules that size cough up spears at lower 20s and outright die at 20.  Livistona much larger than that have outright died at 20f dry for me, while large specimens never spear pulled at 12. 

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12 hours ago, Sandy Loam said:

My uneducated guess is that a mule palm won't die at sixteen degrees (didn't PalmTalk AliceHunter's survive 17 degrees with flying colours?), although all of the snow, persistent cold and repeated freezes this past week in Charleston, SC won't have helped.  I have never had a temperature as cold as sixteen degrees here, so cannot speak from experience.

Also, I keep hearing that livistona chinensis is more bud-hardy than Washingtonia Robusta, even though the livistona chinensis may defoliate at such a cold temperature.

Anyway, my fingers are crossed for you, Laaz!

 

My livistona chinensis has takne quite a few mid to high teens and the foliage will burn and die from that but the spears are still green and strong. From what Im told they come back from events like this even around here so should be fine in Charleston. But take that with a grain of salt as I havent had a post winter spring with mine yet. 

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 hour ago, Laaz said:

My surprise is my lytocaryums. Just threw a tarp over them. No burn at all.

That sounds great. did you throw a frost cloth or tarp over any of that beautiful citrus you have?

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3 hours ago, Laaz said:

My surprise is my lytocaryums. Just threw a tarp over them. No burn at all.

What species of lytocaryums?

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We didn't get any ice or snow in zone 8b Montgomery but we had nearly a week straight of lows near 20F with an absolute low of 18F. At the worst point we went 40 straight hours below freezing. 

I didn't bother protecting my Butia odorata and it breezed through this event as expected. 

My Phoenix roebelinii suffered its first damage since I planted it nearly three years ago. The heater I was using in my greenhouse cut off for about an hour at 2am when it was 22F(until I realized the problem and turned it on again) and now all of the outer fronds are a bronze color. Thankfully the bud is still green and it should make a full recovery in spring.

I used light protection(Christmas lights and a blanket) on both of my two year old mule palms and they haven't suffered any damage that I can tell at this point. However I did treat their crowns with some hydrogen peroxide as a precautionary measure. Last year I almost lost one of my mule palms because of a bacterial infection. 

I attempted to protect my Chamaedorea cataractarum by wrapping it in lights and a blanket because that worked during a shorter duration event last winter but it's completely fried. I guess the only good thing is that it should regrow from the ground in spring but I might replace it unless I'm willing to place a small greenhouse over it next winter. 

Then there's my Queen palm that was too large to protect. It's still showing some signs of life but if I had to guess it's probably not going to make it. It was fun to give it a shot but our climate is just a little too harsh for Queens. 

And lastly, I am very impressed with how my Moro blood orange tree handled this prolonged cold snap. I built a small greenhouse out of pvc pipe around the orange tree and then covered it in plastic. I created warmth from lights and on the coldest night I filled bowls with hot water and placed them underneath the tree. It seems to have worked because the tree is showing no damage. 

 

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Yep, expecting death on the palms, but will start up the peroxide treatment on the off chance of a survivor.  Unfortunately I was not paying all that much attention ahead of time and neglected to protect anything in the ground.  I was not expecting it to be this bad - we were significantly worse than forecast several nights.

Damage continues to appear - one small Chamaerops humilis spear pulled and has heavy leaf burn, another has minor burn, silver one looks OK.  A ~5 gal size B. odorata in the ground has a brown spear, large ones look good.  Small waggie palms look bad.  Looks like most (or all) C. revoluta in town will 100% defoliate - even those under canopy are bleached now.   

It will be interesting to see if this wipes out all the mule palms in SC.  I doubt I'll buy more - will stick to JxB or BxJ if I can find them.

22 hours ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

Our Cycas looks like that after most winters here and they will flush and take off without problem.  I'm convinced that Cycas Panzhihuensis is the most cold hardy cycad period and it will take low single digits to kill a trunking one.  I've had dioon edule die, but never burn like that so fast. That is really odd.   

Your mule, livistona, washingtonia are all goners. 

 

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3 hours ago, nitsua0895 said:

I attempted to protect my Chamaedorea cataractarum by wrapping it in lights and a blanket because that worked during a shorter duration event last winter but it's completely fried. I guess the only good thing is that it should regrow from the ground in spring but I might replace it unless I'm willing to place a small greenhouse over it next winter. 

Aren't Chamaedorea Cataractarum known to have wimpy fronds, but to be quite bud-hardly at the same time?  I don't know how they will survive long-term in Montgomery, Alabama, but I have heard about them getting beaten up in chilly Tallahassee in the winter, only to bounce back in the spring or summer. 

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1 minute ago, Sandy Loam said:

Aren't Chamaedorea Cataractarum known to have wimpy fronds, but to be quite bud-hardly at the same time?  I don't know how they will survive long-term in Montgomery, Alabama, but I have heard about them getting beaten up in chilly Tallahassee in the winter, only to bounce back in the spring or summer. 

It looks like the bud on mine is still green so I hope that it's going to recover in the spring. I'm going to try a more cold hardy Chamaedorea this upcoming summer.

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2 hours ago, Turtlesteve said:

Yep, expecting death on the palms, but will start up the peroxide treatment on the off chance of a survivor.  Unfortunately I was not paying all that much attention ahead of time and neglected to protect anything in the ground.  I was not expecting it to be this bad - we were significantly worse than forecast several nights.

Damage continues to appear - one small Chamaerops humilis spear pulled and has heavy leaf burn, another has minor burn, silver one looks OK.  A ~5 gal size B. odorata in the ground has a brown spear, large ones look good.  Small waggie palms look bad.  Looks like most (or all) C. revoluta in town will 100% defoliate - even those under canopy are bleached now.   

It will be interesting to see if this wipes out all the mule palms in SC.  I doubt I'll buy more - will stick to JxB or BxJ if I can find them.

 

Mule palms in the southeast coast part of SC should be fine. They didn't go below 23F in Beaufort or Hilton Head. Downtown Charleston weather station reported lowest temp of 22F.

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Oh, I know... It was a last minute thing when I remembered the palm. Didn't use anything for support, just threw the tarp on tom of it & put rock at all four corners to keep it from blowing away.

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I had a bismarckia, arenga engleri, and livistona decora x maraie all covered with blankets. Surprised they don't look worse at this point but maybe will in time.

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Y’all had it good. :lol:

I had over 300 hours below freezing, which amounted to the coldest 2 week period on record. Bottomed out at 2°, one day had a high of only 12°, very rough compared to last winter which didn’t dip below 16°.

But thankfully we had a blizzard, I’m not the biggest fan of snow but it’s a great insulator, and it makes my job easier.

Trachy: (deceased coleus to the right)2Avp4vT.jpg

Needle:Pt4p0RS.jpg

We had way more snow than this of course, but much of it has melted.

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Cold damage can take days, weeks even months to show up. In 2010, I was losing palms up to 9 months after the Jan. 11 record cold blast. Then a record cold Dec. 2010 just added to the death toll - 2010 was not a good year for tropical palms in Cape Coral. Probably at least 80% of Adonidias were wiped out (not a bad thing; they were way overplanted) and survivors didn't flower or set seeds for two years. Now, after 7 mild winters, the pendulum is swinging back. That is the way things go and I've lived long enough to see it. Hopefully, those of you younger than I will live long enough to see it for yourselves too. Certainly be open-minded and ready to learn but don't buy whole hog into some egg-headed, jargon-filled, addled personal agendas of competing loudmouths trying to convince you they have all the answers. Enough said.

Meg

Palms of Victory I shall wear

Cape Coral (It's Just Paradise)
Florida
Zone 10A on the Isabelle Canal
Elevation: 15 feet

I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus' garden in the shade.

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