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Northeast Windmill Palm on an island, in a flood zone - how to protect?


badafada

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New to the forum, hey all.   I planted this windmill palm this past summer - looking back maybe the location isn't the best choice – it's on a little island on the creek!  It's in a flood zone (although rare this island can sometimes be underwater).  But something was calling me to put it there.

 

My question is how can I properly protect this on its first winter.  I've read a couple other threads on this forum and they had some great information on how to sort of box in the palms with a frame.   I see that as being difficult to do here given that it's a flood zone.

 

It's been pretty mild temperature-wise here but this week it might hit the 20s and before I go away for a few weeks I want to put up some kind of protection.   

 

I have a bunch of extra burlap - can I simply wrap a thick layer of that around the trunk of the tree?

 

Here's some photos:

Thanks for your suggestions

image.thumb.jpeg.f518389884b3207a31cbd71711a8c60e.jpeg

 


image.thumb.jpeg.7ab348e747d97da508008c25f398d2fc.jpeg
 

 

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Depends on where your located, what’s your USDA zone?

 

that’s my zone too 6b. I doubt you will have it survive there but I’d be curious if the riverbed doesn’t freeze up the roots, if it survives. Here I’ve had trouble with moisture. The constant freeze/thaw does a lot of damage and I’ve lost many needle palms because of it. A Trachy isn’t as tough till it’s got a good trunk and hight established. 

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@Brandon James@Las Palmas Norte Thanks - I'm not expecting it to survive but would like to give it the best chance possible.   The creek doesn't freeze and is flowing all year round.   I'm thinking of putting a very thick layer of mulch around the base before I wrap it in burlap – is this ok or will it "suffocate" the trunk?

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One that floods is trouble.  Best you can do is tie up fronds and build a un heated shelter.  If it didn’t flood I’d tell you to fill with dry leaves.  You might could fill bottom with something like a tall pile of mulch higher than flood level then dry leaves.

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

 

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14 hours ago, badafada said:

@Brandon James@Las Palmas Norte Thanks - I'm not expecting it to survive but would like to give it the best chance possible.   The creek doesn't freeze and is flowing all year round.   I'm thinking of putting a very thick layer of mulch around the base before I wrap it in burlap – is this ok or will it "suffocate" the trunk?

The best attempt I see is build a frame around it with 2x4s and buy burlap for the sides and plywood for the top, the wood will keep the air more dry and burlap will let any possible sunlight in 

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@Allen@steve617@Brandon Jamesthanks for your thoughts 

 

Taking a step back, is the idea when covering the tree - to not "smother it" and thus the frame allows airflow?   Is that why it's maybe not good to wrap burlap directly around tree but instead around a frame?

What about something like:
- 4 posts around corners of tree, ug securely into the island, with a wooden top secured

- wrap burlap around frame

- fill wrapped frame with dry loose leaves 

- mulch?


I am curious as to how the tree reacts to getting so much less sunlight.  Is the airflow more important when wrapped like this, or sunlight?

Also wondering if now is too early to wrap the tree.  We are hitting low 20s next week but likely won't go below that until deeper into winter. 

 

Thanks all - really appreciate your help

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1 hour ago, badafada said:

@Allen@steve617@Brandon Jamesthanks for your thoughts 

 

Taking a step back, is the idea when covering the tree - to not "smother it" and thus the frame allows airflow?   Is that why it's maybe not good to wrap burlap directly around tree but instead around a frame?

What about something like:
- 4 posts around corners of tree, ug securely into the island, with a wooden top secured

- wrap burlap around frame

- fill wrapped frame with dry loose leaves 

- mulch?


I am curious as to how the tree reacts to getting so much less sunlight.  Is the airflow more important when wrapped like this, or sunlight?

Also wondering if now is too early to wrap the tree.  We are hitting low 20s next week but likely won't go below that until deeper into winter. 

 

Thanks all - really appreciate your help

 

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You’ll want gravel probably not mulch. In riverbeds with constant freezing/thawing temps the trees are vulnerable to root rot. Not to mention fungus growth on the trunk and in the crown. The structure will take care of the trunk and crown. I would leave it gravel on the ground for radiant heat from sunlight. E435BB90-4A90-497C-B311-2826A0856094.thumb.jpeg.8838c78e39a86f29c05d0bb59d14c669.jpeg
this is the structure I did around mine, I wanted to have a greenhouse and chose lexan glass with one side completely open. I’m on the coast of maine here.

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Thanks @Brandon JamesI really like how you did yours with the glass for the sun to heat things up.

 

For now I don't have time to construct something in-depth today so I'm just doing something quick and dirty before I go away.  I took your tip on the gravel and started doing this plus a little retaining wall:

image.thumb.jpeg.253875cc587cce5344401f6223b8ef6b.jpeg

 

I'm going to wrap burlap around it and fill some loose dry leaves inside.  I think maybe on top would nice for a plastic glass to let in sun.

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Here's where I got:

 

What I'm wondering is –

 

1- how does sunlight get through?  If I have 2 layers of burlap around there is not a lot of sunlight getting in.

2- is the frame around the tree too small or is this good?

3- do I fill dry leaves inside on the bottom? It seems like it would be a great insulator but I'd be worried when they get wet, it will encourage fungus around the trunk

4 - no use for mulch at all?  I have so much left over from the season

 

Thanks fellow palmers

IMG_1075.thumb.jpg.495c06df2500ceb5fb052c9e320ea1a8.jpg

 

IMG_1073.thumb.jpg.aa817e72abb24feffb477c233add2e76.jpg

 

 

IMG_1071.thumb.jpg.1de5e9d49d3116aefabad5fa390c2d40.jpg

 

 

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Palms can go months in complete darkness if you keep them cool and don’t have the protection heating up with the sun thru glass/plastic 

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

 

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Here's what I ended up with.  I only had about an hour to construct something before leaving so I'm happy with it.  We'll see what happens:

 

I put a little retaining wall on the front side and covered around the sides with mulch.  On the inside I put a layer of small river rock around the trunk

image.thumb.jpeg.c866a07d9535e815be6ae810921b1103.jpeg

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Damage can sometimes show very late. But sounds good for now. Considering the circumstances this is probably the best you could have done.  If the spot is good or bad is hard to tell, because in my experience Trachys are not so vulnerable to flooding, especially if the water is running not staying. Depending on your microclimate the spot could be very cold because the air flows down to the creek or it's a good spot because the air always keeps flowing and thus protect it a bit from burn. At this size it should survive at least -5°C to -8°C. If it makes through the winter you can build something for next year.

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  • 4 months later...

Do you have an update for us? @badafada

5-4-2023

Emerald Isle, North Carolina

USDA Zone 8B/9A - Humid Subtropical (CFA)

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