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Date Palms in Ocean City MD


WRH

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I just wanted to put this conversation up on the web to see if anyone can shed light on something that appears, simply put, impossible. I recently saw three date palms (canary or other species?) found growing by the Holiday Inn in Ocean City MD. I have pictures of them though for some reason I can’t upload them. Though I am regularly in nearby Delaware, I can only speculate that these trees are left entirely unprotected during the winter given their size. I seem to vaguely recall having seen them as newly planted trunkless individuals probably at least seven years ago, though I can’t remember for sure. Remarkably, two individuals had volunteers scattered around the base of the trunk, suggesting that successful germination has occurred as well. Most imported non-hardy plan in the area are Coconut or Queen, so I am really inclined to believe these have been here for several winters at least. Any thoughts on what is going on here??

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On 12/29/2020 at 2:50 PM, WRH said:

I just wanted to put this conversation up on the web to see if anyone can shed light on something that appears, simply put, impossible. I recently saw three date palms (canary or other species?) found growing by the Holiday Inn in Ocean City MD. I have pictures of them though for some reason I can’t upload them. Though I am regularly in nearby Delaware, I can only speculate that these trees are left entirely unprotected during the winter given their size. I seem to vaguely recall having seen them as newly planted trunkless individuals probably at least seven years ago, though I can’t remember for sure. Remarkably, two individuals had volunteers scattered around the base of the trunk, suggesting that successful germination has occurred as well. Most imported non-hardy plan in the area are Coconut or Queen, so I am really inclined to believe these have been here for several winters at least. Any thoughts on what is going on here??

I have done a lot of exploring of Ocean City on Google Maps, as I live in Maryland, and I have actually come across this palm several times. It surprised me as well because the palm appears to have been there a good number of years according to Street View. This is quite perplexing. I was thinking that there was no way a date palm could survive so far north. I looked at the Street View from 2014 and the "volunteers" or younger date palms under the biggest one appear even bigger than in 2019. When you say volunteers, are you talking about little seedlings or the 3-4 foot palms visible on Street View? As much as I would absolutely love there to be a long-term date palm growing outside in Maryland, my guess is that the palm, like so many others in Ocean City and Rehoboth, DE, the date palm is replaced annually with a similar-sized palm and the same goes for the smaller date palms. Now if there actually are small date palms volunteers, then that changes things. I would love to hear more about these palms, this is very interesting to me. Thanks and take care!

PalmsUSA

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On 12/29/2020 at 1:50 PM, WRH said:

I recently saw three date palms (canary or other species?) found growing by the Holiday Inn in Ocean City MD.

Welcome to Palmtalk!  As @PalmsUSA mentioned, this area has a reputation for planting several tropical palms and then removing them in winter.  The Christmas palms (Adonidia merrillii) at the Holiday Inn from the image Chester posted are clearly not there year-round.  And if you are referring to the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) in the Google Maps image at the hotel, those are not volunteers around the base but suckers growing from the base of the trunk of the palm which is quite common with this species of palm.  Volunteer seedlings from germinated seed would appear as long blades of grass and this would only occur if that palm were a female plant and there was a male Phoenix palm nearby.  The one in the image does not look mature enough to have flowered and there's no evidence of a spent infructescence in the image.  Maybe the palms are replaced with new palms each year or maybe they are simply dug up and overwintered in a greenhouse then returned in spring.

Jon Sunder

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14 hours ago, Fusca said:

Welcome to Palmtalk!  As @PalmsUSA mentioned, this area has a reputation for planting several tropical palms and then removing them in winter.  The Christmas palms (Adonidia merrillii) at the Holiday Inn from the image Chester posted are clearly not there year-round.  And if you are referring to the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) in the Google Maps image at the hotel, those are not volunteers around the base but suckers growing from the base of the trunk of the palm which is quite common with this species of palm.  Volunteer seedlings from germinated seed would appear as long blades of grass and this would only occur if that palm were a female plant and there was a male Phoenix palm nearby.  The one in the image does not look mature enough to have flowered and there's no evidence of a spent infructescence in the image.  Maybe the palms are replaced with new palms each year or maybe they are simply dug up and overwintered in a greenhouse then returned in spring.

First of all, @WRH welcome to Palmtalk! Sorry I forgot to say that in my earlier post. Secondly, yes, I think the only possibilities are that the palm is either replaced annually or dug up and brought into a greenhouse during the winter months. I highly doubt a Holiday Inn would invest in protecting their palms and wrapping them up in winter, but then again, if they are willing to spend so much to have them replaced every year, they should really think about protecting their palms instead. That said, what they should really do it they want the "palmy" atmosphere is just plant hardier palms such as Trachycarpus fortunei, which is still arborescent but actually has a good chance of survival with minimal to no protection. Thanks and have a good one!

PalmsUSA

Edited by PalmsUSA
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Ocean City MD minimums since 2010

 

4, 12, 15, 9, -9, -6, 12, 5, 1, 11, 20. Safe to say there wont be unprotected date palms of any kind let alone ones that live and reproduce. Sabal Palms look impossible as well almost.

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On 12/30/2020 at 7:46 PM, PalmsUSA said:

I have done a lot of exploring of Ocean City on Google Maps, as I live in Maryland, and I have actually come across this palm several times. It surprised me as well because the palm appears to have been there a good number of years according to Street View. This is quite perplexing. I was thinking that there was no way a date palm could survive so far north. I looked at the Street View from 2014 and the "volunteers" or younger date palms under the biggest one appear even bigger than in 2019. When you say volunteers, are you talking about little seedlings or the 3-4 foot palms visible on Street View? As much as I would absolutely love there to be a long-term date palm growing outside in Maryland, my guess is that the palm, like so many others in Ocean City and Rehoboth, DE, the date palm is replaced annually with a similar-sized palm and the same goes for the smaller date palms. Now if there actually are small date palms volunteers, then that changes things. I would love to hear more about these palms, this is very interesting to me. Thanks and take care!

PalmsUSA

They can survive with protection.

Nothing to say here. 

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48 minutes ago, EastCanadaTropicals said:

They can survive with protection.

Yes but the hotels and resorts that plant them never go to the trouble of protecting them, and instead they just let them die and spend a ton of money replacing them each year. I really hate that they buy non-hardy palms that have no chance of survival instead of hardy palms that could actually survive in places like Ocean City. Take care and Happy New Year!

PalmsUSA

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12 hours ago, PalmsUSA said:

Yes but the hotels and resorts that plant them never go to the trouble of protecting them, and instead they just let them die and spend a ton of money replacing them each year. I really hate that they buy non-hardy palms that have no chance of survival instead of hardy palms that could actually survive in places like Ocean City. Take care and Happy New Year!

PalmsUSA

They usually do that with all the Coconuts, Adonidia, foxtails, but with Phoenix species?  I would wonder if they overwinter them somewhere like Fusca alluded to, especially considering how expensive mature ones can be.    Looking at the 2014 streetview, it looks like the same plant, I assume they have a greenhouse they keep it in during winter 

 https://www.google.com/maps/@38.3888975,-75.064269,3a,31.6y,173.98h,90.84t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sMlm_PEtio2iUaJf17KtYEw!2e0!5s20140701T000000!7i13312!8i6656

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6 minutes ago, Mr.SamuraiSword said:

They usually do that with all the Coconuts, Adonidia, foxtails, but with Phoenix species?  I would wonder if they overwinter them somewhere like Fusca alluded to, especially considering how expensive mature ones can be.    Looking at the 2014 streetview, it looks like the same plant, I assume they have a greenhouse they keep it in during winter 

 https://www.google.com/maps/@38.3888975,-75.064269,3a,31.6y,173.98h,90.84t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sMlm_PEtio2iUaJf17KtYEw!2e0!5s20140701T000000!7i13312!8i6656

Quite possible. The plant definitely looks similar in 2014. I would just be surprised if the hotel did that, but they very well may. After all, it is much smarter and more cost efficient than buying new palms annually. Thanks and take care!

PalmsUSA

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These on the street view look like just annual plantings by the landscape company.

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YouTube https://www.youtube.com/@tntropics - 60+ In-ground 7A palms - (Sabal) minor(7 large + 27 seedling size, 3 dwarf),  brazoria(1) , birmingham(4), etonia (1) louisiana(5), palmetto (1), riverside (1),  (Trachycarpus) fortunei(7), wagnerianus(1),  Rhapidophyllum hystrix(7),  15' Mule-Butia x Syagrus(1),  Blue Butia capitata(1) +Tons of tropical plants.  Recent Yearly Lows -1F, 12F, 11F, 18F, 16F, 3F, 3F, 6F, 3F, 1F, 16F, 17F, 6F, 8F

 

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5 hours ago, Mr.SamuraiSword said:

I nominate you :mrlooney:

I actually considered calling before I posted in the thread but being a holiday weekend I figured 'those in the know' would have the weekend off.

I'll call them and ask.

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More photos of front of hotel and outdoor poolside with what look like to me to be queens. 
https://www.google.com/travel/hotels/Ocean City/entity/CgsIg7P75pLPldaNARAB/photos

The queens look planted in the sand along the beach. Wonder if they are in boxes and the whole thing gets dug up and overwintered in a sheltered area. Kind of shame to see the phoenix? in the planting bed under what looks to be the hotel drive up area. No sun or room to   grow its canopy. 

Nothing says beach like palms! I do recall someone years ago mentioning there were landscape companies, maybe even up near NY, that would rent or lease palms for special occasions or for the summer to companies or wealthy homeowners wanting that tropical look. They got stored in warehouses off season or while waiting for a customer. Certainly indoor malls with atrium ceilings can keep palms year round in cold climates.

Zone 9b (formerly listed as Zone 9a); Sunset 14

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Not a chance those are surviving year round. What's even funnier, if you look to the left with the street view link above there is a King Palm triple lol. 

100% imported for the season.

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The only palm that lives there year round every year is a neglected and poorly planted trachcarpus. On either mildest years the more tender palms make it to January but fry after that. OC is a terrible place where plants go to die....they make so much money that they don't have to care for landscape... hate it with a passion.

 

Its a shame as with a little care there is a handful of species that would thrive with some tlc and no protection. Just a little thought in placement and some give a damn.

Edited by mdsonofthesouth

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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the small palms under the date palm are not medjool they are pygmy date palms

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

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those xmas palms are toast once thanksgiving comes

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

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  • 4 weeks later...

I called the hotel.

ALL of them are replaced every year according to the woman I talked to. They are purchased from Florida.

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41 minutes ago, NOT A TA said:

I called the hotel.

ALL of them are replaced every year according to the woman I talked to. They are purchased from Florida.

that is so wasteful

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

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8 minutes ago, climate change virginia said:

that is so wasteful

Well it does give some people who might never see certain palms a chance to admire them. I'm sure the ones between the pool & beach give the area a more tropical ambiance which may lead to more reservations for that hotel vs. competitors. Growers get to sell plants, truckers get work, landscapers get work. It's probably cheaper to let them die although she did mention sometimes some will live through a winter. Sounded like she'd been there a while. I called a regular inside line not a reservation desk so may have been the manager? Being a beach tourist hotel during winter/covid and what not.

Lot's of touristy and other types of places have temporary landscaping. Think of all the annual flower displays that are planted. I remember going to an indoor rock climbing gym in Philadelphia and next door there was a nightclub with a tropical atmosphere which included large palm trees indoors that must have needed replacing periodically.

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8 hours ago, NOT A TA said:

Growers get to sell plants

Yep, someone in FL is very happy when this hotel calls every spring.

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They do this in Ontario, Canada especially at the beaches on the Great Lakes. However they crane the large palms out and overwinter them in greenhouses. There is a small industry of renting greenhouse space in winter. My Dads neighbor had decent sized queen palms and Sagos that spent half the year in ground in pots and half the year in the greenhouse. Its a full service deal where they pickup and deliver as well. 

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I don't know why they couldn't get palmettos from North Carolina after all they are the staple palm of the south they might survive a lot longer than those cocos. They could protect them with burlap and tarps every year its not that hard. It may cost more to buy them the first time around but it would cost less in the long run.

Edited by climate change virginia

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

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  • 3 years later...

we have sabal palmettos surviving outside in Bridgeport CT,, since 2009, way north of Maryland or Delaware, so a sabal could survive there

 

 

Sabal palmetto Bridgeport 2023 unwrapped.JPG

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