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Florida Winter 2021-2022


JLM

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It ended up in the low 40s here in the morning, but it hit 37F in Bartow with frost in the open areas that already had brown grass.  There were a lot of stations close by that got below the forecast low of 40F.  This was one of those nights where the canopy advantage really comes into play.

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone (2012): 9b | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (1985, 1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a | 30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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11 hours ago, pj_orlando_z9b said:

The I-Drive coconut looks to have fared well in the last few weeks. Must love all that concrete around it.

It, along with its companions, looked pretty good when I stopped in a few days ago.  The Smashburger ones looked pretty good too.  I included them in the January 2022 Florida Freeze Report since they're pretty much the "gold standard" for inland Central Florida coconut palms.

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone (2012): 9b | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (1985, 1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a | 30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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I was watching the weather report tonight out of Tampa, Florida. The meteorologist said the Gulf water temperature was 61 degrees. Most of the lakes out my way in inland central Florida are in the low 60s. Property owners in proximity of the lakes (right on the lake) have a solid zone 10 climate. I dare say for most winters it's 10b. I know my friend that lives on the S.E. side of Lake June (second largest lake in Highlands County at 3,500+ acres) only dropped to 32 degrees on the coldest night in December of 2010 -- when it dropped to 20.7 degrees in my front yard near my house and 19.8 degrees in my field area.

Out my way, large bodies of water (large lakes) and elevation (Lake Wales Ridge) are the two biggest factors affecting higher winter nighttime temperatures on radiational cooling nights. During advective cooling events their thermal effects are much more negated. But if one is on the S.E. side of a large lake when the cold wind is coming from the N.W., the air does get moderated a little, maybe several degrees.

Central Florida lake temperatures for 2-11-2022: https://lakemonster.com/map?siteid=886

Gulf water temperature for 2-11-2022: https://seatemperature.info/gulf-of-mexico-water-temperature.html#:~:text=Water temperature in some cities,°F (in Galveston).

 

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Mad about palms

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On 2/10/2022 at 9:00 AM, Matthew92 said:

Yeah, the forecast has been underdone here lately as well. The forecast low was 36 two nights ago and it ended up getting to 31. And this morning it got to 34. 

The dynamics of the system that is bringing the next cold spell this weekend is similar to the one that brought the coldest temps in FL two Sunday's ago. While the computer models aren't showing it as much (much as they didn't show such widespread cold temps with that last big event), based on what I'm seeing just with the set up with this- I predict freezing temps down to at least Ocala. 

Ok that was a little senseless of me to make such a bold statement (and trends are now showing it not as cold). I expect a freeze at least here in the colder parts of the Panhandle with this next cold event.

Euro

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I think we are relatively safe from any deep cold blasts over the next week or so. Expected to get into the low 70's next week as the next front approaches. Maples beginning their flowering cycle up here.

Palms - 3 S. romanzoffiana, 1 W. bifurcata, 4 W. robusta, 1 R. rivularis, 1 B. odorata, 1 B. nobilis, 2 S. palmetto, 1 A. merillii, 2 P. sylvestris, 1 BxJ, 1 BxJxBxS, 2 BxS, 1 C. nucifera, 1 P. roebelenii, 1 H. lagenicaulis, 1 H. verschaffeltii, 9 T. fortunei, 1 C. humilis, 2 C. macrocarpa

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4 minutes ago, JLM said:

I think we are relatively safe from any deep cold blasts over the next week or so. Expected to get into the low 70's next week as the next front approaches. Maples beginning their flowering cycle up here.

I hope so because I ended up trimming the cold damage from the rest of my palms LOL.  I wonder why my maples never end up really flowering compared to others. 

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I have to imagine the window is closing on Central and South Florida freezes? The sun angle and daylight hour total is climbing by the day….

It hit 80 in my yard today. Was lovely weather to build up the berm around my new Livistona nitida. :) 

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Hi guys. Been a reader to Palm Talk and learning a lot the last few years. And thank you for giving a place to both lament and encouragement. I too am over this winter and poor forecasting. Im a few years transplant from the north and suffering from hard knocks (and a hard head) about cold-hardy palms. Of my palms, i have a triple robellini, 2 small majesties, a mid sized Anonidia, a 10’ 4 year old Dypsis decaryi, 2 12’ Archotopheoonix Alexandra’s (king), 2 large Sylvesters, 2 smallish bizmarks,. I thought protection would do the trick. I was wrong. Extensive protection this year included generous application of protective spray (Leaf Guardian - supposed to provide +6 degrees) and wrapping - see pics - I too have begun lopping off the damage and hunting for cold hardy replacements for the Kings and the Anonidia and Im hoping to save my Bismarck’s…ouch!. Noticeably, even though here in St Augustine we are right on the cusp of north and Central Fla and where pockets of cold made their serious mark in some places and spared others (closer to the beach did better than some inland spots) I felt as if we did a lot of covering that just did not help ( my robellini, and my white and orange Birds of Paradise took a beating this year - but they will slowly recover) Im looking at replacing the big palms with Trachycarpus - just don’t know which ones yet) any suggestions or comments are welcome.

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9a NE Florida: 2 Phoenix Sylvester; 1 p.robellini; 2 Bismarckia nobilis; 1 Trachycarpus fortunei; 3  livistonia chenesis; 1 Dypsis decaryi; 1 Rhapis excelsa; 1 Sabal palmetto; 1 (double) Copernicia alba; 1 Chamaedorea catractarum 1 Licuala grandis, 1 Beaucanea recurvata, numerous cycads, tropicals, orchids. Winter 2022/23 Low 25F

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4 hours ago, Almisa said:

Hi guys. Been a reader to Palm Talk and learning a lot the last few years. And thank you for giving a place to both lament and encouragement. I too am over this winter and poor forecasting. Im a few years transplant from the north and suffering from hard knocks (and a hard head) about cold-hardy palms. Of my palms, i have a triple robellini, 2 small majesties, a mid sized Anonidia, a 10’ 4 year old Dypsis decaryi, 2 12’ Archotopheoonix Alexandra’s (king), 2 large Sylvesters, 2 smallish bizmarks,. I thought protection would do the trick. I was wrong. Extensive protection this year included generous application of protective spray (Leaf Guardian - supposed to provide +6 degrees) and wrapping - see pics - I too have begun lopping off the damage and hunting for cold hardy replacements for the Kings and the Anonidia and Im hoping to save my Bismarck’s…ouch!. Noticeably, even though here in St Augustine we are right on the cusp of north and Central Fla and where pockets of cold made their serious mark in some places and spared others (closer to the beach did better than some inland spots) I felt as if we did a lot of covering that just did not help ( my robellini, and my white and orange Birds of Paradise took a beating this year - but they will slowly recover) Im looking at replacing the big palms with Trachycarpus - just don’t know which ones yet) any suggestions or comments are welcome.

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Think of this as the learning curve. When protecting cold sensitive plants, the covering should not touch any of their foliage and must make it to the ground. Otherwise, you don't keep the cold wind outside of the tent and you don't benefit from the warmth radiating from the ground. In addition, depending on how cold it is going to get, you would need an artificial heat source to generate warmth. 

I would refine protective measures for next winter because if you went to all that trouble, you may as well correct cold protection techniques as opposed to replacing with second choice or cold hardier palms. Because that is still work and you won't enjoy them as much.

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2 hours ago, chinandega81 said:

Think of this as the learning curve. When protecting cold sensitive plants, the covering should not touch any of their foliage and must make it to the ground. Otherwise, you don't keep the cold wind outside of the tent and you don't benefit from the warmth radiating from the ground. In addition, depending on how cold it is going to get, you would need an artificial heat source to generate warmth. 

I would refine protective measures for next winter because if you went to all that trouble, you may as well correct cold protection techniques as opposed to replacing with second choice or cold hardier palms. Because that is still work and you won't enjoy them as much.

Thank you!!

9a NE Florida: 2 Phoenix Sylvester; 1 p.robellini; 2 Bismarckia nobilis; 1 Trachycarpus fortunei; 3  livistonia chenesis; 1 Dypsis decaryi; 1 Rhapis excelsa; 1 Sabal palmetto; 1 (double) Copernicia alba; 1 Chamaedorea catractarum 1 Licuala grandis, 1 Beaucanea recurvata, numerous cycads, tropicals, orchids. Winter 2022/23 Low 25F

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2 hours ago, chinandega81 said:

Think of this as the learning curve. When protecting cold sensitive plants, the covering should not touch any of their foliage and must make it to the ground. Otherwise, you don't keep the cold wind outside of the tent and you don't benefit from the warmth radiating from the ground. In addition, depending on how cold it is going to get, you would need an artificial heat source to generate warmth. 

I would refine protective measures for next winter because if you went to all that trouble, you may as well correct cold protection techniques as opposed to replacing with second choice or cold hardier palms. Because that is still work and you won't enjoy them as much.

:greenthumb: :greenthumb: ^ this is perfect advice.. 

 

22 minutes ago, Almisa said:

Thank you!!

..Only other thing i'll add to the above comment from Chinadega is i your Kings are legit kings .. Some people refer to other Archontophoenix sp as " kings ", not all can stand up to cold as well..  While it might take a little time, they may surprise you and not suffer fatal damage.. Grown all over California and have survived some pretty nasty cold spells out there.. Same w/ both Orange Birds and Phx. roebelenii.. You have more heat to get all of them in recovery mode compared to some of the cooler locales out in CA where they grow to perfection..

Watch them of course, but your Bizzies should shrug off the burn and get tougher as they grow..

Adonidia are wimps, ..pretty, ..but total wimps, lol..   Mules, Beccariophoenix alfredi, ..even Majesties ..if cared for correctly,   are fairly hardy options you might look into.. Palms like some  Chamaedorea, and Arenga engleri  are two of several tropical looking, but decently tough things you might look at for smaller, non - roebeleni  palm options as well, where you might need them in your landscape.

...And welcome to the forum and Palmtalk btw :)

 

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12 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

:greenthumb: :greenthumb: ^ this is perfect advice.. 

 

..Only other thing i'll add to the above comment from Chinadega is i your Kings are legit kings .. Some people refer to other Archontophoenix sp as " kings ", not all can stand up to cold as well..  While it might take a little time, they may surprise you and not suffer fatal damage.. Grown all over California and have survived some pretty nasty cold spells out there.. Same w/ both Orange Birds and Phx. roebelenii.. You have more heat to get all of them in recovery mode compared to some of the cooler locales out in CA where they grow to perfection..

Watch them of course, but your Bizzies should shrug off the burn and get tougher as they grow..

Adonidia are wimps, ..pretty, ..but total wimps, lol..   Mules, Beccariophoenix alfredi, ..even Majesties ..if cared for correctly,   are fairly hardy options you might look into.. Palms like some  Chamaedorea, and Arenga engleri  are two of several tropical looking, but decently tough things you might look at for smaller, non - roebeleni  palm options as well, where you might need them in your landscape.

...And welcome to the forum and Palmtalk btw :)

 

Thank you, Silas! I was extremely eager and picky when selecting those kings. Any recommendations in helping them to survive? 

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9a NE Florida: 2 Phoenix Sylvester; 1 p.robellini; 2 Bismarckia nobilis; 1 Trachycarpus fortunei; 3  livistonia chenesis; 1 Dypsis decaryi; 1 Rhapis excelsa; 1 Sabal palmetto; 1 (double) Copernicia alba; 1 Chamaedorea catractarum 1 Licuala grandis, 1 Beaucanea recurvata, numerous cycads, tropicals, orchids. Winter 2022/23 Low 25F

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@Almisa In addition to the suggestions above, if you want to see a few gardens in your area to see what is doing well, @Lou-StAugFL and @ChristianStAug have two of the nicer gardens in the area and have a lot of experience with conditions locally.

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone (2012): 9b | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (1985, 1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a | 30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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2 minutes ago, Almisa said:

Thank you, Silas! I was extremely eager and picky when selecting those kings. Any recommendations in helping them to survive? 

Best recommendation is just to watch them, esp. what the newest emerging leaf ( the spear ) is doing.. can mark the spear with a marker, as close to where it emerges from the center of the crown of the palm,  and see how it moves over the next several weeks.. Faster, ..or at a moderate pace is good.. Slower isn't horrible, but needs to be monitored closely.  Absolutely no movement isn't good.

You can also periodically ( unless to tall to do so ) give the spear (s) a light, but firm tug ..to see how solid they are. Stay where they should, good.. pulls out, more than likely goners unfortunately..

That said,  there have been circumstances w/ other palms where the spear rotted, but that damage didn't reach the heart / growing point inside the crownshaft, and new leaves eventually emerged, albeit the first several to emerge were damaged..  Pouring Copper fungicide, and / or Hydrogen Peroxide down the " hole " where the damaged spear pulled from can help..  but it has to be done right..

Other great members here in your area, and in Central FL.  can further direct you on how much to apply, and other things you can do to help them recover..

One thing i personally would not do.. fertilizing them right now ..unless you go real' light and use something organic ..until they are fully recovered.. Some people may say differently,  but too much ..or too heavy a feeding after a freeze can cause more damage, rather than help them along since the palm ( ..or other plants really ) are focused on recovering, rather than vigorous, active growth, which means the roots won't be taking up nutrients at the same rate..

Once it is obvious they are over any cold related stress / damage, you can resume normal, 3-5x a year feedings.

As for the damaged fronds, let nature take it's course and let them brown and fall off on their own, unless they are broken.. In that circumstance, cut off the damaged part, and leave the rest, letting what remains come off when ready.

Hope this helps.. Do update us on how everything is doing over the next several months.

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17 minutes ago, kinzyjr said:

@Almisa In addition to the suggestions above, if you want to see a few gardens in your area to see what is doing well, @Lou-StAugFL and @ChristianStAug have two of the nicer gardens in the area and have a lot of experience with conditions locally.

Kinzyjr - I will definitely make contact and check them out

9a NE Florida: 2 Phoenix Sylvester; 1 p.robellini; 2 Bismarckia nobilis; 1 Trachycarpus fortunei; 3  livistonia chenesis; 1 Dypsis decaryi; 1 Rhapis excelsa; 1 Sabal palmetto; 1 (double) Copernicia alba; 1 Chamaedorea catractarum 1 Licuala grandis, 1 Beaucanea recurvata, numerous cycads, tropicals, orchids. Winter 2022/23 Low 25F

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3 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Best recommendation is just to watch them, esp. what the newest emerging leaf ( the spear ) is doing.. can mark the spear with a marker, as close to where it emerges from the center of the crown of the palm,  and see how it moves over the next several weeks.. Faster, ..or at a moderate pace is good.. Slower isn't horrible, but needs to be monitored closely.  Absolutely no movement isn't good.

You can also periodically ( unless to tall to do so ) give the spear (s) a light, but firm tug ..to see how solid they are. Stay where they should, good.. pulls out, more than likely goners unfortunately..

That said,  there have been circumstances w/ other palms where the spear rotted, but that damage didn't reach the heart / growing point inside the crownshaft, and new leaves eventually emerged, albeit the first several to emerge were damaged..  Pouring Copper fungicide, and / or Hydrogen Peroxide down the " hole " where the damaged spear pulled from can help..  but it has to be done right..

Other great members here in your area, and in Central FL.  can further direct you on how much to apply, and other things you can do to help them recover..

One thing i personally would not do.. fertilizing them right now ..unless you go real' light and use something organic ..until they are fully recovered.. Some people may say differently,  but too much ..or too heavy a feeding after a freeze can cause more damage, rather than help them along since the palm ( ..or other plants really ) are focused on recovering, rather than vigorous, active growth, which means the roots won't be taking up nutrients at the same rate..

Once it is obvious they are over any cold related stress / damage, you can resume normal, 3-5x a year feedings.

As for the damaged fronds, let nature take it's course and let them brown and fall off on their own, unless they are broken.. In that circumstance, cut off the damaged part, and leave the rest, letting what remains come off when ready.

Hope this helps.. Do update us on how everything is doing over the next several months.

I was trying to be brave -and this has helped to encourage me not to throw in the towel too quickly!  Luckily, the palm tree guy we purchased from gave me a one time replacement guarantee and he also has advised that I wait it out for a few months. We did cut the fronds as they were badly broken/some had fallen. So all that’s left is for hopefully new spears to appear. My local nursery where I purchased the Bizzys suggested a specific copper fungicide treatment for them. I’ll look into the proper approach for using on the kings as well. And watch …with patience. I will follow up with (hopefully) progress. Big thanks again, Silas.

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9a NE Florida: 2 Phoenix Sylvester; 1 p.robellini; 2 Bismarckia nobilis; 1 Trachycarpus fortunei; 3  livistonia chenesis; 1 Dypsis decaryi; 1 Rhapis excelsa; 1 Sabal palmetto; 1 (double) Copernicia alba; 1 Chamaedorea catractarum 1 Licuala grandis, 1 Beaucanea recurvata, numerous cycads, tropicals, orchids. Winter 2022/23 Low 25F

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8 minutes ago, Almisa said:

I was trying to be brave -and this has helped to encourage me not to throw in the towel too quickly!  Luckily, the palm tree guy we purchased from gave me a one time replacement guarantee and he also has advised that I wait it out for a few months. We did cut the fronds as they were badly broken/some had fallen. So all that’s left is for hopefully new spears to appear. My local nursery where I purchased the Bizzys suggested a specific copper fungicide treatment for them. I’ll look into the proper approach for using on the kings as well. And watch …with patience. I will follow up with (hopefully) progress. Big thanks again, Silas.

:greenthumb: 

Great the nursery you purchased from offered you a one time replacement guarantee, if needed..  Definitely monitor the spears..

..One last thing i'll add:  for any # of reasons, many people refer to Archontophoenix alexandrae as " Kings " whereas actual Kings are Archontophoenix cunninghamiana..  If..  you do end up having to replace the alexandrae, research / see if you can track down cunninghamiana, if of interest..  Those are typically a few ticks hardier.  Alexandrae can be a bit more tender.

Btw, unfortunately, for all the claims, those sprays that are supposed to help keep things from experiencing cold / frost / freeze damage, rarely -if ever- actually work, ..at least as claimed..  Been awhile, but we've had several discussions regarding them here in the past.

May have missed it in your original post, but curious just how low it got where you're located..

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24 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

:greenthumb: 

Great the nursery you purchased from offered you a one time replacement guarantee, if needed..  Definitely monitor the spears..

..One last thing i'll add:  for any # of reasons, many people refer to Archontophoenix alexandrae as " Kings " whereas actual Kings are Archontophoenix cunninghamiana..  If..  you do end up having to replace the alexandrae, research / see if you can track down cunninghamiana, if of interest..  Those are typically a few ticks hardier.  Alexandrae can be a bit more tender.

Btw, unfortunately, for all the claims, those sprays that are supposed to help keep things from experiencing cold / frost / freeze damage, rarely -if ever- actually work, ..at least as claimed..  Been awhile, but we've had several discussions regarding them here in the past.

May have missed it in your original post, but curious just how low it got where you're located..

Yeah I failed to mention the temps -here in the southern most part of St Johns County, St Augustine 9b, we suffered a late January weekend that went down to 28degrees F on one day and big wind for several days prior with chills feeling like mid 20’s. It was a rough few days. The weekend before we hit 35/36 a few days even though the data says otherwise. On the kings there still seems to still be controversy as to whether cunninghamiana -even with its reputation-has the edge-but you are definitely correct on them being known as hardier. Let’s see what happens. and thanks for the comment on the sprays..total waste of money! But I learned for myself. I even wonder if the spray coating could have been a detriment to leaf respiration because every plant (in addition to the palms) I coated really suffered -except my rubber tree -which is different leaf structure altogether of course. Anyway-no need to resurface that discussion on my behalf -I’m going to focus on improving our protection measures per the original advice to this string.  Good stuff!

 

 

 

 

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9a NE Florida: 2 Phoenix Sylvester; 1 p.robellini; 2 Bismarckia nobilis; 1 Trachycarpus fortunei; 3  livistonia chenesis; 1 Dypsis decaryi; 1 Rhapis excelsa; 1 Sabal palmetto; 1 (double) Copernicia alba; 1 Chamaedorea catractarum 1 Licuala grandis, 1 Beaucanea recurvata, numerous cycads, tropicals, orchids. Winter 2022/23 Low 25F

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In my environs, I officially declare winter over with as of today, 2-14-2022. Spring will be mostly skipped, and summer will start later this week.

Lake Placid 10-day forecast 2-14-2022 - Copy.png

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4 minutes ago, Walt said:

In my environs, I officially declare winter over with as of today, 2-14-2022. Spring will be mostly skipped, and summer will start later this week.

Lake Placid 10-day forecast 2-14-2022 - Copy.png

Yes! Now if we can skip the dry season and have regular weekly rains that will be the icing on the cake.

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After what felt like ages, the temp and dew point finally went into free fall around 3 a.m. Bottomed out at 37 in Osteen, but that occurred right before sunrise. Definite advection cold because it stayed windy through the entire overnight. Bone dry cold!

I am going to side with @Walt! Winter over! Please!

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If long range forecast models are correct, then the southeast should have mild temperatures going into March. 70's reaching the Carolinas with upper 70's to low 80's in North FL, mid to upper 80's south (possibly higher). Not a forecast, something to watch for, but it has been rather consistent and the Climate Prediction Center is forecast above average temps.

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Palms - 3 S. romanzoffiana, 1 W. bifurcata, 4 W. robusta, 1 R. rivularis, 1 B. odorata, 1 B. nobilis, 2 S. palmetto, 1 A. merillii, 2 P. sylvestris, 1 BxJ, 1 BxJxBxS, 2 BxS, 1 C. nucifera, 1 P. roebelenii, 1 H. lagenicaulis, 1 H. verschaffeltii, 9 T. fortunei, 1 C. humilis, 2 C. macrocarpa

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Dare I saw that was the last gasp for winter here.  We are in the 60s tonight, with 50s yesterday night.  Looks like low temps at night in the mid to low 70s starting tomorrow with highs around 80 during the day, for the upcoming days.  With the sun exposure and days getting longer, busts of spring growth should start up pretty soon here.   Then the problem of heat with the dry season begins, and my watering requirements shoot way up until the wet season starts.  

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4 hours ago, Looking Glass said:

Dare I saw that was the last gasp for winter here.  We are in the 60s tonight, with 50s yesterday night.  Looks like low temps at night in the mid to low 70s starting tomorrow with highs around 80 during the day, for the upcoming days.  With the sun exposure and days getting longer, busts of spring growth should start up pretty soon here.   Then the problem of heat with the dry season begins, and my watering requirements shoot way up until the wet season starts.  

I’m hoping you’re right! I’m looking forward to this spring so I can get my first real round of palm choices in the ground. I’d much rather have to deal with extra watering too much sun then this cold! 

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On 2/12/2022 at 11:48 PM, kinzyjr said:

@Almisa In addition to the suggestions above, if you want to see a few gardens in your area to see what is doing well, @Lou-StAugFL and @ChristianStAug have two of the nicer gardens in the area and have a lot of experience with conditions locally.

Hi @Almisa! Nice to meet you.  It looks like you have seen first hand how tricky the weather is in our county. Even last night, I imagine there was frost at your place unfortunately. The key to growing tropicals inland here is definitely to get a nice overhead canopy going.  With live oaks it would take some time, but worth it if you're planning to stick around here for a while.  The next best thing is to look at frost tolerant species and plant those. I don't think you have to go as far as Trachycarpus only or something like that but they are beautiful palms, don't get me wrong.  I wouldn't be discouraged by the burned Bismarckia...they really don't burn until about 24 once they get big. Do you know what your low was this year? There are big boys along US 1 between St. Augustine and Jax (I am sure you have seen them) where frost is common each winter. For our area, the freeze event in late January was pretty typical. Robellinis and Giant Bird of Paradise, two common markers,  seem to burn just about every year west of US 1 but only about once a decade at the beach/Anastasia Island...at least in our more recent climate. It is not uncommon for temperatures to vary as much as 10 degrees on a radiational freeze from i95 to water. Happy to show you my garden later this Spring as I am sure @Lou-StAugFL is as well. He has a gorgeous underplanting of azaleas in his yard that will pop off shortly!

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Briefly hit 36 this morning. I think I'm officially over winter. I'm ready to get back to complaining about sweating as I leave for work at 530 in the morning.

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Jacksonville Beach, FL

Zone 9a

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12 hours ago, ChristianStAug said:

Hi @Almisa! Nice to meet you.  It looks like you have seen first hand how tricky the weather is in our county. Even last night, I imagine there was frost at your place unfortunately. The key to growing tropicals inland here is definitely to get a nice overhead canopy going.  With live oaks it would take some time, but worth it if you're planning to stick around here for a while.  The next best thing is to look at frost tolerant species and plant those. I don't think you have to go as far as Trachycarpus only or something like that but they are beautiful palms, don't get me wrong.  I wouldn't be discouraged by the burned Bismarckia...they really don't burn until about 24 once they get big. Do you know what your low was this year? There are big boys along US 1 between St. Augustine and Jax (I am sure you have seen them) where frost is common each winter. For our area, the freeze event in late January was pretty typical. Robellinis and Giant Bird of Paradise, two common markers,  seem to burn just about every year west of US 1 but only about once a decade at the beach/Anastasia Island...at least in our more recent climate. It is not uncommon for temperatures to vary as much as 10 degrees on a radiational freeze from i95 to water. Happy to show you my garden later this Spring as I am sure @Lou-StAugFL is as well. He has a gorgeous underplanting of azaleas in his yard that will pop off shortly!

Yes, I agree the best way to stretch a zone is with canopy to trap heat down.  Unless you use active heating(lights) like walt, a canopy will work better than a cover as the canopy traps heat rising from the ground under that canopy, much more heat than a cover.  The cover does help with frost when you have no canopy.  In 2010 my yard was hot with 28x2 nights plus frost.  After that, I increased my cold hardy palm count to provide more heat trapping.  Once palms get tall, the frost wont hit them as it forms down low since temps near the ground are a lot lower in frost events.   Windblock is also a good idea since wind carries away heat that rises from the ground, thus blocking it will help retain warmer temps when the wind is say less than 7 mph.  In a wind controlled event (advective with 10mph+ winds) you lose that of course.  I put my zone palms in a protected area, south of the house between the house and a wooded strip.  When I look around the neighborhood, palms close to the ground have all the damage from frost, my 35-40' royals no damage at all.  A neighbor who has(had?) a bunch of zone 10 palms less than 10' tall: adonidia, spindle etc had them all fried out in the open with no canopy.  The canopy plan requires some planning and time but its worth it and its the only practical way to protect numbers of palms.  IF you do have a special zone 10 palm, build a concrete paver fire pit recessed into the ground by half its depth, the concrete holds heat for a long time nd you can burn on the cold nights to warm an area within say 15' of it.  After all the warm winters recently, last year I was looking to get a sabarina magnifica(10b), glad I didnt.

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Formerly in Gilbert AZ, zone 9a/9b. Now in Palmetto, Florida Zone 9b/10a??

 

Tom Blank

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On 2/15/2022 at 7:07 PM, ChristianStAug said:

Hi @Almisa! Nice to meet you.  It looks like you have seen first hand how tricky the weather is in our county. Even last night, I imagine there was frost at your place unfortunately. The key to growing tropicals inland here is definitely to get a nice overhead canopy going.  With live oaks it would take some time, but worth it if you're planning to stick around here for a while.  The next best thing is to look at frost tolerant species and plant those. I don't think you have to go as far as Trachycarpus only or something like that but they are beautiful palms, don't get me wrong.  I wouldn't be discouraged by the burned Bismarckia...they really don't burn until about 24 once they get big. Do you know what your low was this year? There are big boys along US 1 between St. Augustine and Jax (I am sure you have seen them) where frost is common each winter. For our area, the freeze event in late January was pretty typical. Robellinis and Giant Bird of Paradise, two common markers,  seem to burn just about every year west of US 1 but only about once a decade at the beach/Anastasia Island...at least in our more recent climate. It is not uncommon for temperatures to vary as much as 10 degrees on a radiational freeze from i95 to water. Happy to show you my garden later this Spring as I am sure @Lou-StAugFL is as well. He has a gorgeous underplanting of azaleas in his yard that will pop off shortly!

Hi Christian - thanks for the note and your experienced observations. We love it here, and yes - do plan on being here a while - learning as I go along. Looking forward to this spring and to see what in my young collection will survive the burn! I am starting to look at ways of creating canopies or other layered protections without installing an oak - my husband isn’t a fan - so the hardy varieties are currently under consideration for a few key spots .  Lou and I tentatively agreed to meet up towards the end of March. I look forward to meeting and learning from you!

9a NE Florida: 2 Phoenix Sylvester; 1 p.robellini; 2 Bismarckia nobilis; 1 Trachycarpus fortunei; 3  livistonia chenesis; 1 Dypsis decaryi; 1 Rhapis excelsa; 1 Sabal palmetto; 1 (double) Copernicia alba; 1 Chamaedorea catractarum 1 Licuala grandis, 1 Beaucanea recurvata, numerous cycads, tropicals, orchids. Winter 2022/23 Low 25F

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1 hour ago, Almisa said:

Hi Christian - thanks for the note and your experienced observations. We love it here, and yes - do plan on being here a while - learning as I go along. Looking forward to this spring and to see what in my young collection will survive the burn! I am starting to look at ways of creating canopies or other layered protections without installing an oak - my husband isn’t a fan - so the hardy varieties are currently under consideration for a few key spots .  Lou and I tentatively agreed to meet up towards the end of March. I look forward to meeting and learning from you!

You're also cordially invited to the 2022 Central Florida Palm And Cycad Society Spring Meeting in Vero Beach.  We travel well and I'd anticipate quite a few folks from NE FL in attendance.  There is a plant sale and auction after the garden tours, so you'll have an opportunity to grab some stuff not sold at the big box stores as well.

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone (2012): 9b | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (1985, 1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a | 30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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Flew into Miami and then Key West Sunday night and OMG did it feel cold with the howling wind after the front had passed. As we approached Key West they told us the crosswinds were so bad the previous flight had to turn around and go back to Miami because the pilots just couldn't bring the plane down on the tight runway (it is very short, and oriented east-west ,and the winds were coming from the north)...we had great pilots and got in, wobbly but safely, but upon exiting the plane and walking across the tarmac to the terminal I thought "Wow, this is freezing!!!" Ahem, it was, as it turns out, something like 66 degrees. So the plants weren't suffering, only the people. But for the points far north where temps hit freezing, such a thing really reminds me (from my days living in southern Mississippi) that when you have an advective cold event, your radiational protections go out the window. 25 with a north wind is going to really hurt (and dessicate) any relatively sensitive palm or other tropical plant. Out west in the Sonoran desert the wind (though often hurricane-force or nearly so) presages the cold, or any other change of weather, by a decent period of time, and when cold hits, it is generally very still., coupled with usually very low humidity/dew-point. Thus you can have Adenium growing out under open sky without worrying about it, as long as you have looked after the roots by planting on a mound, giving a very gritty soil, and having turned off the irrigation for the winter. Out west people lose such things, and their Plumeria, by refusing to turn off their irrigation in winter, and by planting in unamended clay...

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Michael Norell

Rancho Mirage, California | 33°44' N 116°25' W | 287 ft | z10a | avg Jan 43/70F | Jul 78/108F avg | Weather Station KCARANCH310

previously Big Pine Key, Florida | 24°40' N 81°21' W | 4.5 ft. | z12a | Calcareous substrate | avg annual min. approx 52F | avg Jan 65/75F | Jul 83/90 | extreme min approx 41F

previously Natchez, Mississippi | 31°33' N 91°24' W | 220 ft.| z9a | Downtown/river-adjacent | Loess substrate | avg annual min. 23F | Jan 43/61F | Jul 73/93F | extreme min 2.5F (1899); previously Los Angeles, California (multiple locations)

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10 hours ago, mnorell said:

Flew into Miami and then Key West Sunday night and OMG did it feel cold with the howling wind after the front had passed. As we approached Key West they told us the crosswinds were so bad the previous flight had to turn around and go back to Miami because the pilots just couldn't bring the plane down on the tight runway (it is very short, and oriented east-west ,and the winds were coming from the north)...we had great pilots and got in, wobbly but safely, but upon exiting the plane and walking across the tarmac to the terminal I thought "Wow, this is freezing!!!" Ahem, it was, as it turns out, something like 66 degrees. So the plants weren't suffering, only the people. But for the points far north where temps hit freezing, such a thing really reminds me (from my days living in southern Mississippi) that when you have an advective cold event, your radiational protections go out the window. 25 with a north wind is going to really hurt (and dessicate) any relatively sensitive palm or other tropical plant. Out west in the Sonoran desert the wind (though often hurricane-force or nearly so) presages the cold, or any other change of weather, by a decent period of time, and when cold hits, it is generally very still., coupled with usually very low humidity/dew-point. Thus you can have Adenium growing out under open sky without worrying about it, as long as you have looked after the roots by planting on a mound, giving a very gritty soil, and having turned off the irrigation for the winter. Out west people lose such things, and their Plumeria, by refusing to turn off their irrigation in winter, and by planting in unamended clay...

I lived out in gilbert, arizona(sonoran desert) for 10 years.  Now I'm in in florida, those winds are not much compared to here, HAHA.   But yes the lowest temp cold is always radiative, still wind and rapid but short duration temperature drops that you get from low humidity.   Heat trapping with canopy was good for 7 degrees in the 2007 freeze, 21F in the open, 28F under canopy according to my weather station.  I had two phoenix roebelinii' clusters untouched under multiple palm tree (sabals, queens) canopy, yet three roebelinii clusters were totally burned out in the open, no green left.  The duration was short it was 50F by 11am that day and rose to 63F.  All roebeliniis survived though I nearly dug out the fried ones.  Never saw a palm come back after taking that kind of total damage, even the (previously green) leafbases were burnt.

Formerly in Gilbert AZ, zone 9a/9b. Now in Palmetto, Florida Zone 9b/10a??

 

Tom Blank

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On 2/16/2022 at 8:15 AM, sonoranfans said:

Yes, I agree the best way to stretch a zone is with canopy to trap heat down.  Unless you use active heating(lights) like walt, a canopy will work better than a cover as the canopy traps heat rising from the ground under that canopy, much more heat than a cover.  The cover does help with frost when you have no canopy.  In 2010 my yard was hot with 28x2 nights plus frost.  After that, I increased my cold hardy palm count to provide more heat trapping.  Once palms get tall, the frost wont hit them as it forms down low since temps near the ground are a lot lower in frost events.   Windblock is also a good idea since wind carries away heat that rises from the ground, thus blocking it will help retain warmer temps when the wind is say less than 7 mph.  In a wind controlled event (advective with 10mph+ winds) you lose that of course.  I put my zone palms in a protected area, south of the house between the house and a wooded strip.  When I look around the neighborhood, palms close to the ground have all the damage from frost, my 35-40' royals no damage at all.  A neighbor who has(had?) a bunch of zone 10 palms less than 10' tall: adonidia, spindle etc had them all fried out in the open with no canopy.  The canopy plan requires some planning and time but its worth it and its the only practical way to protect numbers of palms.  IF you do have a special zone 10 palm, build a concrete paver fire pit recessed into the ground by half its depth, the concrete holds heat for a long time nd you can burn on the cold nights to warm an area within say 15' of it.  After all the warm winters recently, last year I was looking to get a sabarina magnifica(10b), glad I didnt.

Thank You! Yes this is precisely what I am considering in my new plan. South side of my house as a very limited boarder depth, so Ive decided to install bamboo in planters along the 50’ screen enclosure there to help protect a few Birds of Paradise, cactus, horsetail and smaller palms. My house has a northern frontage and my robellini took a hit during the 2 27-28 degree days - it’s next to the house and will green up nicely once i prune all the damage next month. However, i am looking at adding a taller canopy tree, perhaps here’s where the Trachycarpus may come into play. Thank for your thoughts!

9a NE Florida: 2 Phoenix Sylvester; 1 p.robellini; 2 Bismarckia nobilis; 1 Trachycarpus fortunei; 3  livistonia chenesis; 1 Dypsis decaryi; 1 Rhapis excelsa; 1 Sabal palmetto; 1 (double) Copernicia alba; 1 Chamaedorea catractarum 1 Licuala grandis, 1 Beaucanea recurvata, numerous cycads, tropicals, orchids. Winter 2022/23 Low 25F

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1 hour ago, sonoranfans said:

I lived out in gilbert, arizona(sonoran desert) for 10 years.  Now I'm in in florida, those winds are not much compared to here, HAHA.   But yes the lowest temp cold is always radiative, still wind and rapid but short duration temperature drops that you get from low humidity.   Heat trapping with canopy was good for 7 degrees in the 2007 freeze, 21F in the open, 28F under canopy according to my weather station.  I had two phoenix roebelinii' clusters untouched under multiple palm tree (sabals, queens) canopy, yet three roebelinii clusters were totally burned out in the open, no green left.  The duration was short it was 50F by 11am that day and rose to 63F.  All roebeliniis survived though I nearly dug out the fried ones.  Never saw a palm come back after taking that kind of total damage, even the (previously green) leafbases were burnt.

That's impressive to see how many degrees the canopy bought you in 2007, and also that you mention P. roebelenii...having lived virtually all of my life in California and seeing them ubiquitously there in both coastal and inland settings, I always thought of that species as a rather hardy palm. But I discovered quickly while living in Natchez, Mississippi (zone 9a) that they cannot endure a longer southern-style freeze even to 26/27F. Every time I tried, they were killed outright and instantly, while other seemingly more tender species would survive (and certainly all other Phoenix species did fine). I also discovered that dense canopy in wind-protected positions in Natchez could buy me at most about 4-5F of protection, less in heavy wind or a more protracted duration, of course. You are so right about the advantages of short duration/quick rebound in the dry air out west vs these huge, wet, continental air masses that get a grip and won't leave for days at a time in the south/southeastern U.S. That 2010 freeze was something to really make you grit your teeth. Even if a decent portion of my landscape somehow rebounded, three days of continuous subfreezing, wet weather was something I had never experienced and never intend to again...and it chased me to the Florida Keys!

Michael Norell

Rancho Mirage, California | 33°44' N 116°25' W | 287 ft | z10a | avg Jan 43/70F | Jul 78/108F avg | Weather Station KCARANCH310

previously Big Pine Key, Florida | 24°40' N 81°21' W | 4.5 ft. | z12a | Calcareous substrate | avg annual min. approx 52F | avg Jan 65/75F | Jul 83/90 | extreme min approx 41F

previously Natchez, Mississippi | 31°33' N 91°24' W | 220 ft.| z9a | Downtown/river-adjacent | Loess substrate | avg annual min. 23F | Jan 43/61F | Jul 73/93F | extreme min 2.5F (1899); previously Los Angeles, California (multiple locations)

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We in Northern FL see frost in March much of the time- I expect this will happen again after this warm 2nd half of Feb...

 

Edited by Matthew92
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8 minutes ago, Matthew92 said:
We in Northern FL see frost in March much of the time- I expect this will happen again after this warm 2nd half of Feb...

 

Pain the butt. The western ridge seems like a permanent feature of winter. Freeze/Frost chances decreases everyday as averages temps move upwards and sun angle increases. I’m sure it will produce some unusually raw days. Early last March was pretty cold as well. 

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3 hours ago, Almisa said:

Thank You! Yes this is precisely what I am considering in my new plan. South side of my house as a very limited boarder depth, so Ive decided to install bamboo in planters along the 50’ screen enclosure there to help protect a few Birds of Paradise, cactus, horsetail and smaller palms. My house has a northern frontage and my robellini took a hit during the 2 27-28 degree days - it’s next to the house and will green up nicely once i prune all the damage next month. However, i am looking at adding a taller canopy tree, perhaps here’s where the Trachycarpus may come into play. Thank for your thoughts!

trachys have a very small crown, hard to get a good canopy effect.  In your area mule palms would be one of the best bets for a pinnate palm canopy, and sabal uresana, causiarum or a livistona chinensis multi trunk would be a big heat trapper.  I have a 5 trunk chinensis, it traps down lots of heat.  For canopy you want a wide crown if possible with lots of leaves.  There is a cold hardy list that Kinzyjr put together you should research that list for what you want in terms of a canopy palm for 9a.

Formerly in Gilbert AZ, zone 9a/9b. Now in Palmetto, Florida Zone 9b/10a??

 

Tom Blank

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3 hours ago, sonoranfans said:

trachys have a very small crown, hard to get a good canopy effect.  In your area mule palms would be one of the best bets for a pinnate palm canopy, and sabal uresana, causiarum or a livistona chinensis multi trunk would be a big heat trapper.  I have a 5 trunk chinensis, it traps down lots of heat.  For canopy you want a wide crown if possible with lots of leaves.  There is a cold hardy list that Kinzyjr put together you should research that list for what you want in terms of a canopy palm for 9a.

Ok. I’ll do some more homework.  Thanks for taking the time to offer these choices. I was limiting myself to only what looked good to me - however, that thinking is what has gotten me into trouble!  Lol.  Cheers, sonoranfans.

9a NE Florida: 2 Phoenix Sylvester; 1 p.robellini; 2 Bismarckia nobilis; 1 Trachycarpus fortunei; 3  livistonia chenesis; 1 Dypsis decaryi; 1 Rhapis excelsa; 1 Sabal palmetto; 1 (double) Copernicia alba; 1 Chamaedorea catractarum 1 Licuala grandis, 1 Beaucanea recurvata, numerous cycads, tropicals, orchids. Winter 2022/23 Low 25F

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15 hours ago, Almisa said:

Ok. I’ll do some more homework.  Thanks for taking the time to offer these choices. I was limiting myself to only what looked good to me - however, that thinking is what has gotten me into trouble!  Lol.  Cheers, sonoranfans.

Some palms look better but they may not be good for developing a long term canopy.   Livisona sp. decora, nitida, rigida, mariae, chinensis are all reasonably quick growing tough palms.   I have decora and chinensis, I used to have mariae(edited due to overplanting).  Also remember windblock makes the wind speed drop in your yard, lessening the amount of heat carried away.  I have found all livistona easy to grow.  For 9a feather palms the mules are nice and like I said PM kinzyjr for the list he has.  Consider your choices, research them online(palmpedia is great), and consider the mature crown widths before planting.

Formerly in Gilbert AZ, zone 9a/9b. Now in Palmetto, Florida Zone 9b/10a??

 

Tom Blank

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1 hour ago, sonoranfans said:

Some palms look better but they may not be good for developing a long term canopy.   Livisona sp. decora, nitida, rigida, mariae, chinensis are all reasonably quick growing tough palms.   I have decora and chinensis, I used to have mariae(edited due to overplanting).  Also remember windblock makes the wind speed drop in your yard, lessening the amount of heat carried away.  I have found all livistona easy to grow.  For 9a feather palms the mules are nice and like I said PM kinzyjr for the list he has.  Consider your choices, research them online(palmpedia is great), and consider the mature crown widths before planting.

I’m on it! Will send pics when they are in. 

9a NE Florida: 2 Phoenix Sylvester; 1 p.robellini; 2 Bismarckia nobilis; 1 Trachycarpus fortunei; 3  livistonia chenesis; 1 Dypsis decaryi; 1 Rhapis excelsa; 1 Sabal palmetto; 1 (double) Copernicia alba; 1 Chamaedorea catractarum 1 Licuala grandis, 1 Beaucanea recurvata, numerous cycads, tropicals, orchids. Winter 2022/23 Low 25F

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