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Trachy left to fend for itself in Sweden


Ringil

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Hi everyone,

First post in this forum for me. Hardy palms and other exotics are something I've been interested in for quite some time (decades) and I've tried my luck planting them out north of Stockholm - in a cold city called Uppsala (just south of 60N latitude and lot colder than Stockholm in winter) many years ago. Through the years it went surprisingly well - every time we had a big freeze I just covered the Trachycarpus and other exotics in snow, which we had a lot of some decades ago. They survived this way for quite a few years - until I moved to Stockholm for work. To my knowledge the fig trees are still there - turned into fat bonsai's by now. 

A few years back the family bought a summer house in the south of Sweden - on a peninsula called Kullaberg in the province of Scania, overlooking Denmark. (red mark in picture 1 and picture 2). The climate is a bit more favorable for growing than Stockholm, although probably not the best place in Sweden to try tender plants (that would be the island of Gotland and the Malmö region I guess). However, it has one advantage and that is the body of water to the northeast which provides some relief from really cold weather.  In the area you see a quite lot of Yuccas (Gloriosas etc) and especially fig trees,  but also camellias, monkey puzzle trees and Lebanon cedars, and last but not least Trachys which is the palm tree of choice in many of the nurseries. Nowadays wine growing has become a bigger and bigger business for the farmers on the peninsula (mostly solaris and pinot noir). The climate is changing. However,  with the Arctic's as your closest neighbor you never know when you get a once in a century kind of winter that kills of everything. 

In 2017 I planted a small Trachycarpus Fortunei that has been left to fend for itself as I normally reside in Stockholm. Somehow it has survived on its own. It grows in pure sandy soil so the biggest issue I've had has been yellowing fronds, especially in spring it can turn almost completely yellow until the weather heats up.  It gets some chicken manure every spring which has helped too and constant watering the first few summers (drought is a common issue nowadays).  I don't know how cold it gets in the garden but it mostly stays above freezing in winter. Every year I get surprised that is has survived. It has never been defoliated either, even in the brutal and record cold March 2018. Time will tell if it survives the winter of 2022/23 and beyond.  

Picture 1.

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Picture 2.

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Picture 3. April 2020 - roughly 120 cm tall

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Picture 4.  Early July 2022 - roughly 2 meters tall

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Picture 5. July 2022

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Picture 6. April 2019. A bonus picture and a bit of a benchmark for the area. Arild on the northern side of the peninsula (marked in cyan in picture 2). This one has been growing on this location since at least 2017. I don't know if its protected in winter but it looks like it has been provided some christmas lights around the trunk - either for protection or decoration or both.

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Picture 7. April 2020. Could it be a cross between fortunei and wagnerianus?

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Picture 8 July 2022

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Picture 9. July 2022. 

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Good info.

According to usda zone maps for Europe, that´s an 8A zone, right? Are you going to try more species? Do you know of any other palms growing outdoors in Sweden?

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  • 6 months later...

These aren’t in ground and May get pulled inside in winter but impressive nonetheless

6027F621-CAE2-49A8-BBD9-1A74922CE7BF.jpeg

A6D880B5-557A-4A83-B8DD-CEA781DDAC3E.png

EA5B2010-1C98-4E54-AC00-C53AFA3D675B.jpeg

5F549676-5BFC-44F8-A90A-9CC2CCFA3BFD.jpeg

Edited by DreaminAboutPalms
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