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Palmageddon Aftermath Photo Thread


ahosey01
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On 2/19/2021 at 1:25 PM, boaterboat said:

We are in Central Texas, just west of Austin. I believe we had a low of 7-9 degrees, which all started with ice covering everything before we could protect it. I ran a long heat cable near the heart of these Livistona Chinensis and even ran a propane patio heater underneath for a few hours at a time, off and on. I don’t have high hopes for these. I’ll add photos of my others palms as well. 

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Here is an update on Livistona Chinensis. Not looking good but I did climb up and find a small amount of green. No spear pull, but I’m assuming it’s a matter of time. 
 

Lots of spear pulls on my Mediterranean fan palms. 

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The past few days have been in the 70Fs in Dallas with today in the low 80Fs. This warm weather exacerbated the effects of last weeks deep freeze if 3F. It is very easy to tell ALL the palm vegetation is dead on the  most common arborescent palms. Examples would be Washingtonia and Sabal mexicana. The dried out fronds and smell of rotting vegetation is a hallmark of the damage caused in Texas last week. All leaves including the last emerging leaf spear is toast.  
We have had a few of these winters in my life time. The 1F if 1989 did similar Palm damage. There were a row  of filifera on Lucas street in Dallas that came through that event and this is what encouraged me to plant that species around town.

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No pics.  I've been busy working on my crinums.  Their necks are all mushy.
All my Sabals are fine.
Med fan palms look horrible.  I was not expecting them to look like toast.  Spear not pulling.
Livistona chinesis future TBD.  I protected the bud as much as I could. 
Trachycarpus is fine

 

Edited by PricklyPearSATC
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Sorry, no pictures.

I had to go to the Medical Center near Loop 410 and Babcock in NW San Antonio today.  So I traveled from New Braunfels towards San Antonio, then Loop 410 past I10 to Babcock.  This is what I saw.

All Washingtonia Robusta everywhere look like someone took a blowtorch to them.  There are already deaths.  Some really old, tall specimens have totally collapsed crowns.  Others are in various degrees of collapse.  But, on the other hand, a lot of Robusta still have complete crowns in tact, they are just completely brown.  The petioles have not all bent up yet and are still stiff on some.  This gives me home that there might be a decent amount of recoveries.

All Phoenix Dactylifera look like someone took a torch to them.  However, again, all crowns are completely in tact for this species.  Fronds are not drooping yet and have not bent.  This is good news.  P. Canariensis have bent fronds but look like they will recover.  Same with P. Sylvestris.

All Sabals (Palmetto and Mexicana) look flawless.  Looks like there wasn't even a freeze.  You realize just how many Sabals there are out there since they stick out as the undamaged palm.

W. Filifera look great, although there is a touch of frond burn here and there.  All will recover just fine.  Not worried in the least about these palms.

Butia Capitata look pretty good, although they are not planted in large numbers here, I did see some large ones that still looked solid with completely intact crowns with a little bit of burn.

In short, if San Antonio were in say, North Florida, where Sabals are planted everywhere, you probably would notice the freeze a LOT less.  But since Washintonias are king, the damage is very evident to the Robustas.  

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42 minutes ago, NBTX11 said:

In short, if San Antonio were in say, North Florida, where Sabals are planted everywhere, you probably would notice the freeze a LOT less.  But since Washintonias are king, the damage is very evident to the Robustas.  

This is what I notice across Houston as well - the washingtonia robustas seem to be the most commonly used palm for landscaping across the area. I actually like the look of sabal palms, both the mexicana and the palmetto, but they seem to be very slow-growing based on what I've seen from this site.

I really hope that the robusta can pull through in San Antonio. Do you think the icing from freezing rain is worse for the palms, versus the more solid sleet or the softer snowfall? Or was it the multiple days below freezing in certain areas of town? I haven't been able to look across Houston in recent days, to see how the palms were doing there.

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16 minutes ago, AnTonY said:

This is what I notice across Houston as well - the washingtonia robustas seem to be the most commonly used palm for landscaping across the area. I actually like the look of sabal palms, both the mexicana and the palmetto, but they seem to be very slow-growing based on what I've seen from this site.

I really hope that the robusta can pull through in San Antonio. Do you think the icing from freezing rain is worse for the palms, versus the more solid sleet or the softer snowfall? Or was it the multiple days below freezing in certain areas of town? I haven't been able to look across Houston in recent days, to see how the palms were doing there.

The heavy icing and snow wreaked havoc on the Robusta, snapping already weakened petioles and leaf bases.  San Antonio got basically 3 ice and snow events, maybe 4.  By the last one the palms had already been through the wringer.  Once it melted off, the Robusta started collapsing.  As temps went into the 70's they started browning out more, to where now all are brown.  NOTE:  I did not inspect warmer areas of town such as downtown and the southside of SA.  They could look a lot better there.  I was only on the slightly colder North and NW side of town.  Like I said, what did give me some hope is that a lot of palms, maybe 60-70 percent or so, still have intact crowns, albeit brown, so maybe these palms will recover.  I sure hope so, it's hard to imagine driving around without skydusters on the skyline.  

I too like the look of Sabals, particularly tall Sabal Palmettos, however, this palm takes so dang long to grow, it's just not realistic for most people.  We can't ship them in from native areas in large numbers like they do in FL.  It's so much easier here to plant a Robusta from a small plant and have a 50 foot palm in 25 years or so.   But after seeing the damage with freeze has caused, I wish they were planted in greater numbers.  If everyone in town had planted a Filifera (or Sabal), every palm in town would be alive today. 

Edited by NBTX11
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48 minutes ago, NBTX11 said:

The heavy icing and snow wreaked havoc on the Robusta, snapping already weakened petioles and leaf bases.  San Antonio got basically 3 ice and snow events, maybe 4.  By the last one the palms had already been through the wringer.  Once it melted off, the Robusta started collapsing.  As temps went into the 70's they started browning out more, to where now all are brown.  NOTE:  I did not inspect warmer areas of town such as downtown and the southside of SA.  They could look a lot better there.  I was only on the slightly colder North and NW side of town.  Like I said, what did give me some hope is that a lot of palms, maybe 60-70 percent or so, still have intact crowns, albeit brown, so maybe these palms will recover.  I sure hope so, it's hard to imagine driving around without skydusters on the skyline.  

I didn't realize that there were more ice/snow events beyond just the one on the evening of 2/14 into early morning 2/15. That's really going to be very rough - I just looked at the data, and Del Rio, which stood out as quite lucky at first early during the week, ended up with 8 inches of snow,  and a low down to 11°F.

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6 hours ago, AnTonY said:

This is what I notice across Houston as well - the washingtonia robustas seem to be the most commonly used palm for landscaping across the area. I actually like the look of sabal palms, both the mexicana and the palmetto, but they seem to be very slow-growing based on what I've seen from this site.

I really hope that the robusta can pull through in San Antonio. Do you think the icing from freezing rain is worse for the palms, versus the more solid sleet or the softer snowfall? Or was it the multiple days below freezing in certain areas of town? I haven't been able to look across Houston in recent days, to see how the palms were doing there.

I think Houston looks pretty similar to what NBTX11 describes. There's a lot of collapsed crowns already. I'll try to take pictures at some point if Jonathan doesn't beat me to it. Best case scenario, some Washies survive. Queens are smoked. Phoenix sylvestris looks crispy.

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57 minutes ago, necturus said:

I think Houston looks pretty similar to what NBTX11 describes. There's a lot of collapsed crowns already. I'll try to take pictures at some point if Jonathan doesn't beat me to it. Best case scenario, some Washies survive. Queens are smoked. Phoenix sylvestris looks crispy.

If I’m not mistaken, I think almost all Phoenix species have weak foliage relative to their buds.

For example, I’m making this up... if dactylifera defoliates at 16, the bud doesn’t croak until 6.  Something like that.

Wonder how rupicola faired in RGV or SPI - if there are any there.

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28 minutes ago, ahosey01 said:

If I’m not mistaken, I think almost all Phoenix species have weak foliage relative to their buds.

For example, I’m making this up... if dactylifera defoliates at 16, the bud doesn’t croak until 6.  Something like that.

Wonder how rupicola faired in RGV or SPI - if there are any there.

There are/were actually some very established rupicola in the Houston Area. There's a real nice one directly on the water (south shore) in Texas City. Low there was probably around 18 to 20F...wonder how it fared...

 https://www.google.com/maps/@29.4213938,-94.9218192,3a,43.7y,315.35h,91.92t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sTcTyboshViHkLBx8ER-KUQ!2e0!5s20190801T000000!7i16384!8i8192

Jonathan

Katy, TX (Zone 9a)

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7 minutes ago, Xenon said:

There are/were actually some very established rupicola in the Houston Area. There's a real nice one directly on the water (south shore) in Texas City. Low there was probably around 18 to 20F...wonder how it fared...

 https://www.google.com/maps/@29.4213938,-94.9218192,3a,43.7y,315.35h,91.92t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sTcTyboshViHkLBx8ER-KUQ!2e0!5s20190801T000000!7i16384!8i8192

If you get a chance, you ought to take a look.

Only reason I’ve never planted one of these is conflicting cold hardiness reports. I’ve heard of total losses at like 27F and also of no damage at like 21F.  I have great soil in my front yard for it though.

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1 minute ago, ahosey01 said:

If you get a chance, you ought to take a look.

Only reason I’ve never planted one of these is conflicting cold hardiness reports. I’ve heard of total losses at like 27F and also of no damage at like 21F.  I have great soil in my front yard for it though.

That palm (at least 13 years in the ground) has definitely seen below 27F before, but not below about 24F. There are/were many very healthy pygmy dates in the surrounding houses as well as decently symmetrical Cook pine. Some big royal palms either succumbed to cold or were removed over the years. 

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Jonathan

Katy, TX (Zone 9a)

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thankfully most of the palms are alive but just a little damaged 

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

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1 hour ago, ahosey01 said:

If I’m not mistaken, I think almost all Phoenix species have weak foliage relative to their buds.

For example, I’m making this up... if dactylifera defoliates at 16, the bud doesn’t croak until 6.  Something like that.

Wonder how rupicola faired in RGV or SPI - if there are any there.

My tallest 30-35ft Sylvester is brown, but upright after 4f, snow and ice. . It did not collapse like CIDP. 

30 Year Zone Average 20F. Ryan: Contact 979.204.4161 Collectorpalms@gmail.com

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1 hour ago, Xenon said:

There are/were actually some very established rupicola in the Houston Area. There's a real nice one directly on the water (south shore) in Texas City. Low there was probably around 18 to 20F...wonder how it fared...

 https://www.google.com/maps/@29.4213938,-94.9218192,3a,43.7y,315.35h,91.92t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sTcTyboshViHkLBx8ER-KUQ!2e0!5s20190801T000000!7i16384!8i8192

Is that really a pure blood rupicola? I mean it's clearly not dacty or CIDP with those glossy leaves.  I really like P rupicola and wish there were more full size ones around to see.  If it's not a pure rupi it must be some kind of hybrid.

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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3 minutes ago, Xerarch said:

Is that really a pure blood rupicola? I mean it's clearly not dacty or CIDP with those glossy leaves.  I really like P rupicola and wish there were more full size ones around to see.  If it's not a pure rupi it must be some kind of hybrid.

Looks pure imo, note the smaller size, relaxed leaflets, and yes the glossy lime green leaves. There are actually two more in the backyard. 

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Jonathan

Katy, TX (Zone 9a)

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8 minutes ago, Xenon said:

Looks pure imo, note the smaller size, relaxed leaflets, and yes the glossy lime green leaves. There are actually two more in the backyard. 

The only way we can confirm is the aforementioned return trip.

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Just now, ahosey01 said:

The only way we can confirm is the aforementioned return trip.

It's 100 miles north to south and 60 miles east to west to cover the entire Houston Area, and that's not including fringe areas! Going to take some time haha 

Jonathan

Katy, TX (Zone 9a)

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I definitely hope Phoenix survive this in Houston, but it ain't looking good, either around town or in my yard.

There was a guy on here in the past who grew a Rupicola in Beaumont that he said was bud-hardy into the low 20s. I've always suspected that once trunking they are probably hardier than pygmy dates. I still doubt they can survive anything like this.

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NBTX11,

Yea, I'll put a piece of bitcoin on it. I've seen them make a full, eventual recovery from the likes of this.

Crown has not collapsed. Decent form. No guarantees but that's why they're called 'robusta'.

Quite a statement if it makes it, considering how cold it had to endure.

Be patient.

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Thought I would share a pic of a palm that I protected that looks like it will be OK.  Blue Copernicia alba.  Some damage to older leaves but spear and newest leaves look great.  Hopefully it stays that way.

 

IMG_20210224_173444.jpg

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Jon Sunder

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As I mentioned earlier on this forum, I know for a fact that the Sugar Land area outside of Houston has quite a bit of robusta, even queens, growing and thriving - even after than Jan 2010 freeze, where temps down to the mid-teens were recorded in the area. The streetviews definitely testify to that.

If that is a good enough benchmark, then I expect quite a few specimen of robusta, dates, even queens to pull through - especially areas along/south of I-10 and along/east of I-69.

Edited by AnTonY
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1 hour ago, AnTonY said:

As I mentioned earlier on this forum, I know for a fact that the Sugar Land area outside of Houston has quite a bit of robusta, even queens, growing and thriving - even after than Jan 2010 freeze, where temps down to the mid-teens were recorded in the area. The streetviews definitely testify to that.

If that is a good enough benchmark, then I expect quite a few specimen of robusta, dates, even queens to pull through - especially areas along/south of I-10 and along/east of I-69.

Jan 2010 was nothing compared to last week. The minimums last week were lower (~10 degrees lower in Central Houston and close to the bay and coast) and the duration was much longer. 

I think robusta and dates will have a decent survival rate across the wider area. Queens are probably toast if not more or less within sight of the coast or the southern shores of the Galveston Bay network. Maybe a few survivors close to town, specifically the inner SW Loop around Montrose, Midtown, and TMC. 

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Jonathan

Katy, TX (Zone 9a)

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9 minutes ago, Xenon said:

Jan 2010 was nothing compared to last week. The minimums last week were lower (~10 degrees lower in Central Houston and close to the bay and coast) and the duration was much longer. 

I think robusta and dates will have a decent survival rate across the wider area. Queens are probably toast if not more or less within sight of the coast or the southern shores of the Galveston Bay network. Maybe a few survivors close to town, specifically the inner SW Loop around Montrose, Midtown, and TMC. 

Agree. 
Queens are pretty much "temporary" in the San Antonio area.  They may appear to thrive for awhile, then a hard freeze takes them out.   (I think they disappeared in 2010?)
I was starting to see them show up again, but I don't think they will be around for awhile!

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5 minutes ago, PricklyPearSATC said:

Agree. 
Queens are pretty much "temporary" in the San Antonio area.  They may appear to thrive for awhile, then a hard freeze takes them out.   (I think they disappeared in 2010?)
I was starting to see them show up again, but I don't think they will be around for awhile!

2010 killed like 75-80 percent of them.  Before 2010, there were actually a lot of fairly large queens around SA.  Before that it had been probably 1989 before anything had killed them.

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Hundreds of photos rolling in from customers in the area. Only large trunking palms not completely burned are a few sabal palmetto and trachycarpus. Everything else is toasted in DFW 

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25 minutes ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

Hundreds of photos rolling in from customers in the area. Only large trunking palms not completely burned are a few sabal palmetto and trachycarpus. Everything else is toasted in DFW 

Can you post any?

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22 minutes ago, ahosey01 said:

Can you post any?

Once you seen one you have seen them all! I’d check back in late spring for any new growth pictures, because at this point in time it’s all dead or borderline iffy for zone 8. The severity of the freeze is that bad! Covered palms don’t really count, but glad to see it may have helped a few smaller rare palms. 
Also just happened that zone 8 in Texas saw a 50/100 year event and zone 9 in Texas did NOT, so they are still due for another bad year soon ( Houston, Corpus Christi , San Antonio, the RGV), which means we in zone 8 will have to do this over again, and next time will likely get more areas to our east. (NOLA-Florida)

However, If your belief is in climate change, than these cold punches will be more localized events, unlike the 80s.

Edited by Collectorpalms
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30 Year Zone Average 20F. Ryan: Contact 979.204.4161 Collectorpalms@gmail.com

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Speaking of planting Syagrus- even up here in Dallas years ago Lowes & HD were selling them as like a good prospect for peeps with pools or even regular landscapers were tempted to plop some in as they're so gorgeous even with only a couple leaves! But I knew they'd be lucky to survive ONE winter up here! It is such a waste of plants, time & materials. Should be a law...

I'm still amazed at how some of the typical big palms I know of and have had time to see this week are mostly looking salvageable! I think it's way TOO early to be making any conclusions.

Remember and try to keep from urge to prune all the leaves off. You'll see areas of healthy green on petioles & even leaf blades! This is the only way for plants to make food so don't starve your plants ! I leave mine, ugly leaves and all, to the GREAT FREEZE OF '21 and I like petticoats on my Washys & Thrachys! Cold protection is why I think these palms ( Washy esp) have them. I see some Thrachys that naturally shed dead leaves while another keeps a thatch, I have both examples in my yard! I dare say the one with the petticoat looks better after last week!

PS- you know it's been god-damned cold when HONEYSUCKLE froze dead on arbor! GEEZ

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13 hours ago, Xenon said:

Jan 2010 was nothing compared to last week. The minimums last week were lower (~10 degrees lower in Central Houston and close to the bay and coast) and the duration was much longer. 

I think robusta and dates will have a decent survival rate across the wider area. Queens are probably toast if not more or less within sight of the coast or the southern shores of the Galveston Bay network. Maybe a few survivors close to town, specifically the inner SW Loop around Montrose, Midtown, and TMC. 

When I mentioned the Jan 2010 event, I was referring specifically to Sugar Land - the place apparently saw mid teens during that event if the NWS data is right, and it was all followed by another prolong freeze w/ icing on Feb the very next winter.

Therefore, I assumed that the outcomes of Sugar Land back then would represent a fairly decent proxy of what to expect across metro Houston after last weeks' event - in which case, there should still decent survival of washingtonia and dates as you mention, w/ a few queen survivors. Having that said, I don't remember if the 2010 event featured any wintry precip across the Houston area - I do know that the effects extended much farther east throughout the south than last week's event, which was more like 2011 in being more focused in Texas-Louisiana.
 

Edited by AnTonY
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58 minutes ago, AnTonY said:

When I mentioned the Jan 2010 event, I was referring specifically to Sugar Land - the place apparently saw mid teens during that event if the NWS data is right, and it was all followed by another prolong freeze w/ icing on Feb the very next winter.

Therefore, I assumed that the outcomes of Sugar Land back then would represent a fairly decent proxy of what to expect across metro Houston after last weeks' event - in which case, there should still decent survival of washingtonia and dates as you mention, w/ a few queen survivors. Having that said, I don't remember if the 2010 event featured any wintry precip across the Houston area - I do know that the effects extended much farther east throughout the south than last week's event, which was more like 2011 in being more focused in Texas-Louisiana.
 

I looked at 2010 how many hours were below 25, maybe 8, this year 30 plus I imagine there. Not in the same ballpark. 2010 was advective. I was at 17/18F, barely singed the tops of palms. This year I was all the way to 4F. According to the NWS, Rosenberg was 3F this year.

Edited by Collectorpalms
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30 Year Zone Average 20F. Ryan: Contact 979.204.4161 Collectorpalms@gmail.com

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Went for a walk. At one house with seven tall robustas, six had crown collapse. I'm bad at estimating height, but these compare with the tallest in town.  The best looking Washingtonia is a filifera near the elementary school. It has some canopy from a pine tree. Some filibusta-looking specimens look decent but are still burnt bad.

Best looking palms remain the Sabals and Butia. Some are starting to show damage. 

And then there's these guys...

IMG-0045.JPG

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