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Palmageddon Aftermath Photo Thread


ahosey01
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Hi everyone,

I’ve mostly lurked here for quite a while, but I thought I’d share some photos from my neighborhood in Austin. 
It does look fairly grim, but I have hopes for lots of stuff. We had 6 days below freezing (a new record) and two nights in the single digits, plus the only ice and snow ice ever seen stick around here for more than 24 hours.

Washingtonia — those with more filifera look burned, but ok

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Mediterranean fan palms vary a lot with microclimate — lower areas of the neighborhood look grim, but higher areas especially with overhead cover have less burn.

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The one CIDP looks really sad, but I think that’s partly because of the 6.5” of snow and two ice storms, the first with 1/2” and the second with 3/4”. (Sorry it’s sideways, it’s from my phone and idk how to get it to show straight up).

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Various larger Sabals have some level of burn but are probably fine. Sabal minor looks completely undamaged, unsurprisingly.

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This pindo (I think? The shade makes it grow funky and I’ve never been 100% sure of what it is) has some burn but should be fine.

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Everything here had looked fine after our snowstorm back in January — only 1.5” of accumulation, but it snowed hard literally all day with wet, heavy snow that was constantly melting. That collapsed a few leaves, but this event was much harder on stuff.

In terms of other stuff, it looks like all the sagos are completely defoliated, but the caudices seem fine. The baby one I threw a bucket over before the cold didn’t even burn. I’m optimistic at least that some of the big ones will pull through — a few have 4-5’ trunks and I’d hate to see those die. This photo is pretty representative of the damage on the sagos around here.
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Edited by bananaman
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All images I post are shared under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND License

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5 minutes ago, bananaman said:

In terms of other stuff, it looks like all the sagos are completely defoliated, but the caudices seem fine. The baby one I threw a bucket over before the cold didn’t even burn. I’m optimistic at least that some of the big ones will pull through — a few have 4-5’ trunks and I’d hate to see those die. This photo is pretty representative of the damage on the sagos around here.

The sagos in my area look the same and should survive. Looks like they might be a zone 7 cycad.

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9 minutes ago, amh said:

The sagos in my area look the same and should survive. Looks like they might be a zone 7 cycad.

They might be OK in a warm zone 7. This neighborhood tends to be fairly mild. My weather station (on a slope, near-ish to my house) didn’t get colder than 9°, though that happened twice. I kind of doubt anything in my immediate area got below 5°, but it’s hard to say. My weather station is typically 1-3° warmer than Camp Mabry in the winter and 5° cooler in the summer.

I remember when I was a kid it seemed like sagos defoliated most years, but now it definitely seems sporadic in Austin.

Edited by bananaman
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All images I post are shared under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND License

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In central Austin I can’t remember if the low was 7° or 9°.

Sabal minor says, “what freeze?”

Two unknown Washingtonia (I assume filifera or filibusta).  The spear on the shorter one has turned brown.

...and a “during” photo of a Sabal palmetto. Other palmettos or mexicana in the neighborhood look frazzled but hopefully ok (sorry, no “after” pics of them yet).

Edit: sago’s look visibly discolored.

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Edited by CTho
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I'll spare the pics since mine were inside. I had a few yellow leafs here and there due to drying out, and my struggling calathea finally gave up. Fingers crossed that my pots of seeds didn't dry out too much. My a. Merrilli seeds were already a concern after the USPS took 2 weeks to deliver and they spent a night or 2 in a freezing mailbox. 

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3 hours ago, CTho said:

In central Austin I can’t remember if the low was 7° or 9°.

Sabal minor says, “what freeze?”

Two unknown Washingtonia (I assume filifera or filibusta).  The spear on the shorter one has turned brown.

...and a “during” photo of a Sabal palmetto. Other palmettos or mexicana in the neighborhood look frazzled but hopefully ok (sorry, no “after” pics of them yet).

Edit: sago’s look visibly discolored.

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Despite knowing what I know about trunkless Sabals and their ability to withstand cold... this picture is still completely bonkers.

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How's everybodies Chamaedoreas handle the freeze? So far my Chamaedorea radicalis and microspadix are surprisingly looking really well. Just threw a car tarp over them and they look amazing compared to the rest of the yard. Boston fern right next to my radicalis completely defoliated.

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Sago + 2x Trachycarpus (I think?), again probably saw the same 7° or 9°.  I don’t know if the sago was covered.

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Edited by CTho
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2 hours ago, Jimbean said:

To Texans; wait until the end of the summer to get a better idea on what survives. 

Agree with Jim

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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On 2/20/2021 at 2:40 PM, NBTX11 said:

All Canary island dates I saw look surprisingly good. 

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Nice!  I've been thinking about trying to grow one of these but have been scared off by the zone rating.  It rarely gets below the mid 20s at my house, so I think I have a decent climate to grow one if they survived the bitter TX freeze.

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11 minutes ago, VAPalms said:

Nice!  I've been thinking about trying to grow one of these but have been scared off by the zone rating.  It rarely gets below the mid 20s at my house, so I think I have a decent climate to grow one if they survived the bitter TX freeze.

Well we hardly drop below 30 many winters, this year notwithstanding. 
 

CIDP do great at temps above 20, so if you are staying above 20 you’ll do completely fine. Below 20 they start having frond damage (bent fronds, browning, to complete defoliation). They do recover from low teens and single digits, but they can take a while to restore their crowns after sustaining damage. 

Edited by NBTX11
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We covered these right after the ice storm in Austin, then added Christmas lights before it got really cold. The coldest being around 7f, I think our rushed job of covering plus snow weighed them down a bit.

how do they look?

also not sure if they are pure robusta or a filibusta 

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These are some pictures from north central Austin, where plants probably saw 6-7 degrees as the low on Tuesday. Most of the sagos were torched, but I have a included a couple that have only partial damage. I am thinking maybe the microclimate was just slightly better there though. Another positive surprise was the Xanthorrhoea quadrangulata which seem very healthy. Trachycarpus and Sabals were pretty much the only unscathed palms.

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Here’s an example Sabal palmetto (or mexicana, I haven’t seen fruit to ID) that’s fairly sheltered and would have seen the same central Austin 7-9°f.  Other specimens (even unsheltered / tall ones) look similarly to slightly less damaged.

Also a small sheltered palm I haven’t identified (Trachycarpus or Chamaerops?) which looks zapped.

I’ll try to follow up on most of these after a few months for comparison.
 

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On 2/20/2021 at 1:30 PM, Reyes Vargas said:

My bottle palms look much better than my pygmy date palms.

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I have noticed this at SPI as well.  Perhaps bottles are just slower to show damage?  Another thing I have noticed is that only the very small (less than 5ft tall) norfolk island pines are showing damage.  I thought they were more tender than pigmy date palms. 

I have begun to see some damage to leaves on the tallest and highest branches of the black mangrove on SPI.  

On a totally unrelated topic.  Is it possible to quote a posting in another forum to here?  I wanted to quote a map that Xenon drew in another forum about approximate ranges of various tropical plants around the Houston metro and was unable to figure it out or find directions. Just curious.

Thanks!

Edited by Austinpalm
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Clay

South Padre Island, Zone 10a

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Here are my three palms (Jubaea x Butia hybrid and 2 Sabal Palmettos). Overall, not too bad considering we saw -1° air temp. Spears are still looking solid and green at the moment, but we'll see what happens over the next few months. Foliage on the Sabals is browning a bit, so I expect more of that considering the wind and temps it saw.

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2 hours ago, CTho said:

Also a small sheltered palm I haven’t identified (Trachycarpus or Chamaerops?) which looks zapped.

I’ll try to follow up on most of these after a few months for comparison.
 

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It looks like Chamaerops.  Check leaf petioles - Chamaerops has lots of nice spiky thorns along the petiole whereas Trachycarpus does not.  I have 2 Chamaerops - one I covered with frost cloth to help keep the crown dry and the other I forgot about.  Thankfully both show no visible damage (yet) from 9° here in SA and all spears are intact.

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Jon Sunder

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1 hour ago, Austinpalm said:

On a totally unrelated topic.  Is it possible to quote a posting in another forum to here?  I wanted to quote a map that Xenon drew in another forum about approximate ranges of various tropical plants around the Houston metro and was unable to figure it out or find directions. Just curious.

Interesting question Clay.  I don't think it's possible, but what you can do is either right-click and copy the photo/image and paste it in a different thread - I've done that before.  Or use something like Snipping Tool in order to capture what someone wrote along with the image.  If you wanted to alert someone like what would happen in a normal quote you could always type the "@" + "username".  Below is an example using the Snipping Tool:

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You'd be limited to what is on one screen, but it works.  Probably not going to work from a phone but pretty easy from a computer.

Edited by Fusca

Jon Sunder

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2 hours ago, Austinpalm said:

I have noticed this at SPI as well.  Perhaps bottles are just slower to show damage?  Another thing I have noticed is that only the very small (less than 5ft tall) norfolk island pines are showing damage.  I thought they were more tender than pigmy date palms. 

I have begun to see some damage to leaves on the tallest and highest branches of the black mangrove on SPI.  

On a totally unrelated topic.  Is it possible to quote a posting in another forum to here?  I wanted to quote a map that Xenon drew in another forum about approximate ranges of various tropical plants around the Houston metro and was unable to figure it out or find directions. Just curious.

Thanks!

I think your right that bottle palms take a little longer to show damage.  Mine have started to show more damage as the days have gone by.  That being said I think that they will survive.  I'm a little shocked though since I thought pygmy date palms were more cold-hardy than bottle Palms.

Norfolk island pines are way more cold hardy that people give them credit for.  The Norfolk pine in the valley survived the ice storm we got in 2011 and that was worse that this go around.  If I'm not mistaken we got about .25" of ice.

I don't think you can quote from another forum to this one.  The best thing to do is take a screen shot if your on a phone or do like @Fusca said and right-click and copy the photo/image and paste it in a different thread.

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2 minutes ago, Reyes Vargas said:

I'm a little shocked though since I thought pygmy date palms were more cold-hardy than bottle Palms.

Pygmy dates are probably pretty close to bottles as far as leaf hardiness goes, but the pygmy dates are much more bud hardy.  I had one pygmy completely defoliate last year at 27° but it came back fine.  You can still see plenty of green around the center of yours.  How cold did you end up getting in Mercedes?  I didn't bother to protect my "temporary" roebelenii as I had other palms to protect and limited materials.  And they're easy enough to find and replace if I so desire.

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Jon Sunder

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As others have said, only the foliage on pygmy dates is tender. The bud is hardy into the low 20s. There's a reason they managed to last this long in Houston, where it is much colder than the RGV. 

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Jonathan

Katy, TX (Zone 9a)

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@AustinpalmHi Clay, you click the multi-quote button (+ sign) next to the quote button to quote from other threads. 

13 hours ago, Xenon said:

As far as where you want to live based on the palms (and only palms haha), here's a rough sketch:

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I'm not basing this on last week (that's just brutal) but rather the preceding 20-30 years with the benchmarks being the 2010, 2011, and 2018 freezes. Based on real observation by me and others; confidence level is lower away from the nucleus and coastal I-45 corridor. 

Blue = queen palms
Red = pygmy dates
Purple = majesty palm
Green = Norfolk pine
Orange = royal and foxtail palms 

 

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Jonathan

Katy, TX (Zone 9a)

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52 minutes ago, Fusca said:

Pygmy dates are probably pretty close to bottles as far as leaf hardiness goes, but the pygmy dates are much more bud hardy.  I had one pygmy completely defoliate last year at 27° but it came back fine.  You can still see plenty of green around the center of yours.  How cold did you end up getting in Mercedes?  I didn't bother to protect my "temporary" roebelenii as I had other palms to protect and limited materials.  And they're easy enough to find and replace if I so desire.

The lowest that we got here is 24°.  I didn't protect my Phoenix roebelenii either.  I just let them fend for themselves.  The bottle palms I did protect a little by simply putting a blanket over it so maybe that's why they look a little better.  I hope they both survive.  As for my royals I think those are toast.  It's a shame since I grew those from seed.  I'm thinking of just buying more of our native texas sabal palm.  I will still plant more royals but focus more on texas sabal.  Even my queens look fried.

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31 minutes ago, Xenon said:

As others have said, only the foliage on pygmy dates is tender. The bud is hardy into the low 20s. There's a reason they managed to last this long in Houston, where it is much colder than the RGV. 

That's good to know know.  So my Phoenix roebelenii palms should survive?

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Bottles can take a while to show that they are dead. I experienced this a few years ago. Keep tugging on the spear, it'll eventually come out. Triangles are similar.

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50 minutes ago, Reyes Vargas said:

The lowest that we got here is 24°.  I didn't protect my Phoenix roebelenii either.  I just let them fend for themselves.  The bottle palms I did protect a little by simply putting a blanket over it so maybe that's why they look a little better.  I hope they both survive.  As for my royals I think those are toast.  It's a shame since I grew those from seed.  I'm thinking of just buying more of our native texas sabal palm.  I will still plant more royals but focus more on texas sabal.  Even my queens look fried.

Very surprised to hear that your queens are fried.  They still look good here at SPI, and I do not recall seeing any bad looking queens in Harlingen late last week.

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Clay

South Padre Island, Zone 10a

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5 minutes ago, Austinpalm said:

Very surprised to hear that your queens are fried.  They still look good here at SPI, and I do not recall seeing any bad looking queens in Harlingen late last week.

Yeah I was surprised myself.  I thought that they would be more cold hardy than that.  They looked good as recent as 3 days ago.  I'm pretty sure they will recover.

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On 2/21/2021 at 8:37 AM, Jimbean said:

To Texans; wait until the end of the summer to get a better idea on what survives. 

Yeah you're right

 everything I mentioned looked more burned the next day except for the bismarcks, the Pindos especially. The mejdool seedlings are still a contender... a couple of them look great at the base but all browned heavy at the top... seems like the largest ones shown the most promise.  time will tell for sure 

A few palms around Dallas held onto some green after a couple days. One Sabal Mexicana appears only lightly burned with others near it looking terrible, a nearly undamaged Palmetto and most of the sabal minors I drove past... the brazoria types i saw appeared around half damaged...

most of the smaller Washingtonias I saw were completely burned there is one really tall one that looked great... 

Below a thriving sabal with a strong MedFan next to it... also a photo of a burned Washingtonia (I think that's what it is)

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Edited by DallasPalms
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These all saw 1F unprotected in the dfw area.  Bigger filifera are about 3 years from a 1g liner from Cold Hardy Palms.  I have 3 more I grew from seed that were small enough to cover.  Fingers crossed.

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Really sad looking Sago in my apt complex. Sorry for the nighttime pic. It's pretty much pale yellow and brown. Was an absolute unit before. 

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Here's an update from Abq.. ill add more pics as soon as I get them and add separate updates. Overall it could have been worse but we still got some of the arctic air that came in from the canyons that brought the coldest weather for the entire winter.  I had 2 nights of ~10f..and the forecast for those 2 nights were 15f and 3f respectively..

Here are my 3 Washingtonia filifera TorC palms.. I took the pic around sunset tonight..but they are frazzled for sure.. there is still quite a bit of green... 

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Edited by SailorBold
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TonyDFW, thanks for the update! I had looked at pictures of your garden and was hoping for the best! Looks like you got hit pretty hard. I admire your smile on these pics (unless its a grimace).

I noticed some of the palms have a hurricane cut. Did you protect any?

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1 minute ago, TonyDFW said:

Some were protected by a tarp. Much of the time we were without power and heat. No supplemental heat. 

Awesome garden! Even if only half make it you'll still be ahead of everyone!   

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YouTube (TN Tropics) 60+ In-ground 7A palms - (Sabal) minor(7 large + 27 seedling size),  brazoria(1) , birmingham(4), louisiana(5), palmetto (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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Update from Westchase, Houston, lowest temp ~14f with 24 hrs below freezing.

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The fellow in the middle looks the stiffest, still a bit of green on the petioles.  Most likely of the 3 to survive.

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You can baaaaaaaaarely see a little green on the center one.  

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Number 3 looks the worst.  But they don't look any worse than they did after the 20f freeze on 17 Jan 2018, and all 3 of these weathered that one very well.

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20 hours ago, TonyDFW said:

Here are some pix from Dallas. We had a low of 3 and 220consecutive hours below freezing. Except one day where it was 32F for an hour. 4 inches of snow. 

Good, I was hoping you would post.  I have enjoyed seeing pictures of your beautiful garden in other threads, and have found inspiration in its resilience after past freezes.  Hope it bounces back just as well after this latest challenge.

Edited by mulungu
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