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Polar Vortex 2022...... who's ready?


Sabal King

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On 1/19/2023 at 4:36 PM, Chester B said:

December is our coldest month with the last two weeks of Dec and first two of Jan where we normally see our coldest weather.  Right on schedule this year.   Less than 4 weeks to go and I'll be in the clear.  

Technically than can be said of my area too although, the graduation in increased monthly temps is marginal and I'm not "out of the woods" until April. That's based on the last several el niño years were light frosts where occurring into mid April. Last year most of the stone fruit blossoms were damaged and very little fruit set. On the flip side, some years have been rather mild. The swing between good and bad years keeps me re-adjusting my garden thoughts. Regards.

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55 minutes ago, ChrisA said:

Of course I'm hoping as well that we will not have another severe freeze event in Central Texas, but my caution with relying on predicting the future weather based on the past is that the climate is changing.  So called 100-year, 1000-year events are happening MUCH more often than those terms would indicate.  The winters do seem to be getting warmer for many of us, but ongoing the wild swings in temperature and persistent drought (or flood) is a fairly new phenomenon in that its occurrence has been persistent.  I'm certainly not done with palms here, but I am ABSOLUTELY done with trying Queen palms ever again in San Antonio. 

I'm more in line with UK_Palms' cautionary words and think we should all be prepared to protect our palms until March is well under way.

The cooling stratosphere is a real worry! The climate change experts warn that it could continue and exacerbate wild temperature swings in the future as the climate reacts to changes in the atmosphere's chemistry as well as changes in ocean currents.

Here is to a quick return of spring for all of us!!

If everyone said they were done with queen palms, then there wouldn’t have been large queen palms in San Antonio up until Jan 2021. If everyone said they were done with Robusta because some died, then there wouldn’t have been 50 plus foot Robusta in San Antonio. 
 

Im going to plant another queen palm in spring in my most protected location and then try to baby it to 25 or 30 feet tall and then just let nature take its course. I live in New Braunfels. 

Edited by NBTX11
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6 hours ago, NBTX11 said:

If everyone said they were done with queen palms, then there wouldn’t have been large queen palms in San Antonio up until Jan 2021. If everyone said they were done with Robusta because some died, then there wouldn’t have been 50 plus foot Robusta in San Antonio. 
 

Im going to plant another queen palm in spring in my most protected location and then try to baby it to 25 or 30 feet tall and then just let nature take its course. I live in New Braunfels. 

LOL, it's just me giving up on Queens. Y'all can continue to plant them so I can watch them grow and drool over them.  :) I hope you'll be able to nurse them through any cold spells and maybe get a decade's break from Jack Frost's visits. Maybe I'll crack and try another who knows. Ha!

But I am personally deciding not to plant another queen palm. This was the second one I watched die. I am NOT done with Robusta though, robusta is much hardier than queen palms. And as has been said here, many have survived 2021 and will survive this past Christmas' cold snap.  I am planning on giving a few mules a shot and see how that goes!  

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21 hours ago, NBTX11 said:

If everyone said they were done with queen palms, then there wouldn’t have been large queen palms in San Antonio up until Jan 2021. If everyone said they were done with Robusta because some died, then there wouldn’t have been 50 plus foot Robusta in San Antonio. 
 

Im going to plant another queen palm in spring in my most protected location and then try to baby it to 25 or 30 feet tall and then just let nature take its course. I live in New Braunfels. 

 

I am done with Queens here. I can't even get them through back to back winters without defoliating. Sure they will survive and grow back the following summer, but they just look like crap for 9 months of the year and growth is so slow also due the repeated defoliations. I got them through last winter fine with no protection, since it was fairly mild, as many of my winters are here, but this winter has been a reality check for me. The winters of 17/18, 20/21 and 22/23 were pretty bad. Whereas 18/19, 19/20 and 21/22 were pretty mild with no damage.

So about 50% of my winters have been mild since I started growing palms/exotics and 50% of them have been bad. Queens getting defoliated every other year just isn't worth the time and effort to grow them here. They'll get through winters okay in London and protected south coast areas, but not where I am this far inland with no UHI. I should stick to Butyagrus and the various Syagrus hybrids with Butia/Jubaea. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get any Mules or Syagrus hybrids here in over 3 years of trying. That is partly why I just went with Queens.

Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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40 minutes ago, UK_Palms said:

 

I am done with Queens here. I can't even get them through back to back winters without defoliating. Sure they will survive and grow back the following summer, but they just look like crap for 9 months of the year and growth is so slow also due the repeated defoliations. I got them through last winter fine with no protection, since it was fairly mild, as many of my winters are here, but this winter has been a reality check for me. The winters of 17/18, 20/21 and 22/23 were pretty bad. Whereas 18/19, 19/20 and 21/22 were pretty mild with no damage.

So about 50% of my winters have been mild since I started growing palms/exotics and 50% of them have been bad. Queens getting defoliated every other year just isn't worth the time and effort to grow them here. They'll get through winters okay in London and protected south coast areas, but not where I am this far inland with no UHI. I should stick to Butyagrus and the various Syagrus hybrids with Butia/Jubaea. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get any Mules or Syagrus hybrids here in over 3 years of trying. That is partly why I just went with Queens.

Sounds like a mule would fit the bill. 

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1 hour ago, UK_Palms said:

 

I am done with Queens here. I can't even get them through back to back winters without defoliating. Sure they will survive and grow back the following summer, but they just look like crap for 9 months of the year and growth is so slow also due the repeated defoliations. I got them through last winter fine with no protection, since it was fairly mild, as many of my winters are here, but this winter has been a reality check for me. The winters of 17/18, 20/21 and 22/23 were pretty bad. Whereas 18/19, 19/20 and 21/22 were pretty mild with no damage.

So about 50% of my winters have been mild since I started growing palms/exotics and 50% of them have been bad. Queens getting defoliated every other year just isn't worth the time and effort to grow them here. They'll get through winters okay in London and protected south coast areas, but not where I am this far inland with no UHI. I should stick to Butyagrus and the various Syagrus hybrids with Butia/Jubaea. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get any Mules or Syagrus hybrids here in over 3 years of trying. That is partly why I just went with Queens.

What have your low temperatures been.  I looked up the London forecast recently and saw lows of 27 or 28F.  Not too bad but definitely cold.  

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28 minutes ago, NBTX11 said:

What have your low temperatures been.  I looked up the London forecast recently and saw lows of 27 or 28F.  Not too bad but definitely cold.  

The forecast here is useless not very accurate. Sure parts of London are definitely getting frost but here in central London they never seem to predict the lows accurately. I would say queens are fully hardy here in central London and in the outskirts they will probably be ok if they are in a fairly urban area. The BBC forecast is showing -5c tonight and saying it's already 0c right now, that's never going to happen! Let's look at the temperature right now, very clearly not 0c. Use tonight if you like for why you should never trust the forecast here! The funniest is AccuWeather completely useless the highs and lows are WAY off. According to them the city of London got to -8c in December but the weather station show 29f there, secondly when I walked around there cannas were green still in flower, howea forsteriana were undamaged ect.  Whilst it's frost free here where UK palms is probably gets down to the low 20s on the coldest nights during this cold spell.

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2 minutes ago, NBTX11 said:

What have your low temperatures been.  I looked up the London forecast recently and saw lows of 27 or 28F.  Not too bad but definitely cold.  

 

I have been getting absolutely smashed here this winter. I had at least one night down to 17F during the December freeze and a few nights of 18-19F either side of that freezing 17F night. Similar lows to what you guys experienced a week or so after me last month. I saw perhaps 36-48 hours below freezing at one point with the coldest day not rising above 31F.

A month of mild, frost-free weather followed that, however we have been plunged back into the freezer again over the past week or so. We are having another freeze event here pretty much, although not quite as bad as the one in December. I have had a run of nights down to 25-26F now and last night went down to 22F. I'm expecting a low of about 18-19F tonight probably as this cold snap peaks. The daytime temps have generally been recovering to 40-45F however this time round as the sun is stronger than in December. 

BBC has my low down for 18F tonight!

1421069935_Screenshot2023-01-22at19_01_40.thumb.png.a36e5c30518b4836451ac91bad85bdfc.png

 

Here's the BBC forecast for central London. Low of 29F tonight.

1940355255_Screenshot2023-01-22at19_02_42.thumb.png.948bdf65b71f13f1314fc52de96f2283.png

 

The Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall for comparison...

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Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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4 minutes ago, UK_Palms said:

 

Here's the BBC forecast for central London. Low of 29F tonight.

1940355255_Screenshot2023-01-22at19_02_42.thumb.png.948bdf65b71f13f1314fc52de96f2283.png

 

The sky is crystal clear so I don't know why it's showing cloud for Chelsea I can look at the sky slightly east and it's definitely not cloudy in Chelsea. No clouds here also on the metoffice cloud cover map

Screenshot_20230122-191803611 (1).jpg

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13 minutes ago, Foxpalms said:

@UK_PalmsThe BBC forecast is saying it will be -8c tonight for you, I wonder if where you are it's also very inaccurate. 

It is already down to -3.4C / 25F at 7pm here with another 10+ hours of radiational cooling to go. I am probably going to go down to -7C / 19F at least tonight. They forecasted -8C for me a few nights back, but it only went down to -5.5C in the end, so the forecast is probably overstating it by about 1-2C. I am hoping it 'only' goes down to about -6C / 21F. We'll see though. I wouldn't be surprised if I do end up going down to -8C / 17F come sunrise. If that happens, it is the first time I have ever had 2 separate freeze events go down to -8C / 17F in the same winter.

I'm just too far inland away from any coasts or estuaries to help moderate the temperature during freezes here, especially radiation freezes. I am also in a tiny village with no urban heat island to prop up the temperatures. On top of that I live in a bit of a frost pocket in general around here with the surrounding valleys channelling cold air down to my location. Plus sandy soil that cools much quicker. It just isn't a good spot really to grow palms here. I experience some of the hottest temperatures in the country during summer here, but also some of the coldest temperatures in winter for southern England. The sooner I move down to the south coast, the better.

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Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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42 minutes ago, UK_Palms said:

It is already down to -3.4C / 25F at 7pm here with another 10+ hours of radiational cooling to go. I am probably going to go down to -7C / 19F at least tonight. They forecasted -8C for me a few nights back, but it only went down to -5.5C in the end, so the forecast is probably overstating it by about 1-2C. I am hoping it 'only' goes down to about -6C / 21F. We'll see though. I wouldn't be surprised if I do end up going down to -8C / 17F come sunrise. If that happens, it is the first time I have ever had 2 separate freeze events go down to -8C / 17F in the same winter.

I'm just too far inland away from any coasts or estuaries to help moderate the temperature during freezes here, especially radiation freezes. I am also in a tiny village with no urban heat island to prop up the temperatures. On top of that I live in a bit of a frost pocket in general around here with the surrounding valleys channelling cold air down to my location. Plus sandy soil that cools much quicker. It just isn't a good spot really to grow palms here. I experience some of the hottest temperatures in the country during summer here, but also some of the coldest temperatures in winter for southern England. The sooner I move down to the south coast, the better.

I really think you need to move. 😂 And I'm also confused because in general the weather is supposed to get milder and here it already is, and the wind is still coming from the east at the moment. I don't expect any frost this night at all and you are getting dry iced. You really live in a cold pocket I guess.

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Yes it's me Hortulanus 😂

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The setup for beginning of February isn’t looking good for the central and eastern US, lots of cold and moisture around for much of the south from Texas to the east coast. Might be in for another round of late season cold. 
 

Footnote: 

I figure if I state this publicly it won’t come to fruition, so here I am doing just that. 🤞

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On 1/22/2023 at 7:55 PM, Foxpalms said:

The forecast here is useless not very accurate. Sure parts of London are definitely getting frost but here in central London they never seem to predict the lows accurately. I would say queens are fully hardy here in central London and in the outskirts they will probably be ok if they are in a fairly urban area. The BBC forecast is showing -5c tonight and saying it's already 0c right now, that's never going to happen! Let's look at the temperature right now, very clearly not 0c. Use tonight if you like for why you should never trust the forecast here! The funniest is AccuWeather completely useless the highs and lows are WAY off. According to them the city of London got to -8c in December but the weather station show 29f there, secondly when I walked around there cannas were green still in flower, howea forsteriana were undamaged ect.  Whilst it's frost free here where UK palms is probably gets down to the low 20s on the coldest nights during this cold spell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are the fronds of your archontophoenix still intact? I have grown them in the past with trunk protection but i noticed the fronds browned out at temperatures not that cold.

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2 hours ago, Axel Amsterdam said:

Are the fronds of your archontophoenix still intact? I have grown them in the past with trunk protection but i noticed the fronds browned out at temperatures not that cold.

Yes the cunninghamiana but the Alexandrae has damage. It only went down to around -1c in the spot it's in. I bought the cunninghamiana from a greenhouse that wasn't heated and the owner said it got to -5c in there multiple years in a row. When I bought it the palm had some damaged on it he also said over half of them died so it weeded out the weakest ones. It's done well being in ground for 2 years. Starting to trunk. In spring I will post an update of how some of the palms have done.

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On 1/22/2023 at 6:23 PM, UK_Palms said:

 

I am done with Queens here. I can't even get them through back to back winters without defoliating. Sure they will survive and grow back the following summer, but they just look like crap for 9 months of the year and growth is so slow also due the repeated defoliations. I got them through last winter fine with no protection, since it was fairly mild, as many of my winters are here, but this winter has been a reality check for me. The winters of 17/18, 20/21 and 22/23 were pretty bad. Whereas 18/19, 19/20 and 21/22 were pretty mild with no damage.

So about 50% of my winters have been mild since I started growing palms/exotics and 50% of them have been bad. Queens getting defoliated every other year just isn't worth the time and effort to grow them here. They'll get through winters okay in London and protected south coast areas, but not where I am this far inland with no UHI. I should stick to Butyagrus and the various Syagrus hybrids with Butia/Jubaea. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get any Mules or Syagrus hybrids here in over 3 years of trying. That is partly why I just went with Queens.

Agree with the Mules they are hard to get here compared to North America. I know some places that sell them but only in big sizes that are too expensive for me. I once had a seed grown one but when I was on a holiday the seedling dried out and died unfortunately.

Yes it's me Hortulanus 😂

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2 minutes ago, Hortulanus said:

Agree with the Mules they are hard to get here compared to North America. I know some places that sell them but only in big sizes that are too expensive for me. I once had a seed grown one but when I was on a holiday the seedling dried out and died unfortunately.

Also there are no mule palms for sale in the UK and the very few websites that ship to the UK with phytosanitary certificates don't sell mule palms. Also very few companies that ship to the actually grow palms in a protected environment such as a greenhouse ect so thanks to the UK import laws it's very hard to get palms. If UK palms moves to the south coast I'd just go with regular queen's and a mule too if one ever comes up for sale. Parajubaea is also extremely hard to find for sale here unfortunately.

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5 minutes ago, Foxpalms said:

Also there are no mule palms for sale in the UK and the very few websites that ship to the UK with phytosanitary certificates don't sell mule palms. Also very few companies that ship to the actually grow palms in a protected environment such as a greenhouse ect so thanks to the UK import laws it's very hard to get palms. If UK palms moves to the south coast I'd just go with regular queen's and a mule too if one ever comes up for sale. Parajubaea is also extremely hard to find for sale here unfortunately.

I once had a Parajubaea torallyi var. torallyi planted out and it got damaged not because of frost but because of snow. It wasn't even a lot of snow and only for a couple of hours but all of the fronds snapped, including the spear. It grew back in spring but as the trunk was not visible under all the canopy of other plants I didn't notice that another palm was constantly directing water into the Parajubaea's crown. Mostly not even rain water but watering by myself. After I while I looked after it because I wondered why it's not coming up again and I saw that the whole crown was soaking wet and mushy and the palm died and never came back. That was a real pain because this thing cost me an arm and a leg. Snow is very rare here even during cold snaps that's why I didn't think much of it but still I've never seen any plant that was so wimpy because of snow.

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1 minute ago, Hortulanus said:

I once had a Parajubaea torallyi var. torallyi planted out and it got damaged not because of frost but because of snow. It wasn't even a lot of snow and only for a couple of hours but all of the fronds snapped, including the spear. It grew back in spring but as the trunk was not visible under all the canopy of other plants I didn't notice that another palm was constantly directing water into the Parajubaea's crown. Mostly not even rain water but watering by myself. After I while I looked after it because I wondered why it's not coming up again and I saw that the whole crown was soaking wet and mushy and the palm died and never came back. That was a real pain because this thing cost me an arm and a leg. Snow is very rare here even during cold snaps that's why I didn't think much of it but still I've never seen any plant that was so wimpy because of snow.

Personally I like the cocoides and sunkha the most but they are never for sale in the UK. There's large one in Cornwall around 25ft. Luckily it doesn't really snow here except in rare cases.

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3 minutes ago, Foxpalms said:

Personally I like the cocoides and sunkha the most but they are never for sale in the UK. There's large one in Cornwall around 25ft. Luckily it doesn't really snow here except in rare cases.

Like it does here but really! they seem to be very sensitive to snow. Cold air usually comes with clear skies here. Even now with lots of snowfall the last couple of day all over the continent and even not far from here, we don't get any. Idk if Syagrus is also sensitive to snow weight but Parajubaeas really seem to be. Cocoides is my next favourite of them and I believe sunkha is not that cold hardy. Not sure anymore but I don't think it would do good here.

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Yes it's me Hortulanus 😂

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22 minutes ago, Hortulanus said:

Like it does here but really! they seem to be very sensitive to snow. Cold air usually comes with clear skies here. Even now with lots of snowfall the last couple of day all over the continent and even not far from here, we don't get any. Idk if Syagrus is also sensitive to snow weight but Parajubaeas really seem to be. Cocoides is my next favourite of them and I believe sunkha is not that cold hardy. Not sure anymore but I don't think it would do good here.

sunkha should be fine here in 9b not and on the high end of 9b. I've never had any snow actually stick to my syagrus romanzoffianana so I'm not sure. The snow in December that night only stuck in the coldest spots and melted as the temperatures rose. You would have to go to the far outskirts to see snow stay around for a decent amount of time.

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40 minutes ago, Foxpalms said:

sunkha should be fine here in 9b not and on the high end of 9b. I've never had any snow actually stick to my syagrus romanzoffianana so I'm not sure. The snow in December that night only stuck in the coldest spots and melted as the temperatures rose. You would have to go to the far outskirts to see snow stay around for a decent amount of time.

If you can't get the plant maybe get some seeds? Or are they also hard to get into the UK? I know that the US has some strict laws and on RPS many palms are also labeld with "only shipping to EU" or something. Here snow usually appears during cold spells just 20-30 minutes away at higher elevations for example in Wuppertal. They also have way higher precipitation in general. But also decreasingly so because of climate change.

Yes it's me Hortulanus 😂

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8 hours ago, Hortulanus said:

Agree with the Mules they are hard to get here compared to North America. I know some places that sell them but only in big sizes that are too expensive for me. I once had a seed grown one but when I was on a holiday the seedling dried out and died unfortunately.

Occasionally on Spanish exotics retailers you can find them. Babypalms.eu (based in Spain) had mule seedlings last November (2022), and of course they sold out like hotcakes. Achat-vente-palmiers.com sometimes has them too, but only briefly.

Supply will eventually catch up to demand for cheaper mules in EU.

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7 hours ago, Hortulanus said:

If you can't get the plant maybe get some seeds? Or are they also hard to get into the UK? I know that the US has some strict laws and on RPS many palms are also labeld with "only shipping to EU" or something. Here snow usually appears during cold spells just 20-30 minutes away at higher elevations for example in Wuppertal. They also have way higher precipitation in general. But also decreasingly so because of climate change.

The seed laws aren't strict I shipped about 1000 seeds back to the UK from the canary Islands in November and they all arrived and I've ordered from places such as maderia ect and never had any problems. Parajubaea seeds also seem to be quite rare to find.

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9 hours ago, Zeni said:

Occasionally on Spanish exotics retailers you can find them. Babypalms.eu (based in Spain) had mule seedlings last November (2022), and of course they sold out like hotcakes. Achat-vente-palmiers.com sometimes has them too, but only briefly.

Supply will eventually catch up to demand for cheaper mules in EU.

Thank you. I know those sites but that's the point they are always sold out very fast or only available in large sizes, which are too expensive. I hope they just become more common and available. Supply of everything even seeds and plants is bad right now because of the pandemic anyways so let's hope that'll start to change already this year.

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Yes it's me Hortulanus 😂

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On 1/22/2023 at 11:23 AM, UK_Palms said:

 

I am done with Queens here. I can't even get them through back to back winters without defoliating. Sure they will survive and grow back the following summer, but they just look like crap for 9 months of the year and growth is so slow also due the repeated defoliations. I got them through last winter fine with no protection, since it was fairly mild, as many of my winters are here, but this winter has been a reality check for me. The winters of 17/18, 20/21 and 22/23 were pretty bad. Whereas 18/19, 19/20 and 21/22 were pretty mild with no damage.

So about 50% of my winters have been mild since I started growing palms/exotics and 50% of them have been bad. Queens getting defoliated every other year just isn't worth the time and effort to grow them here. They'll get through winters okay in London and protected south coast areas, but not where I am this far inland with no UHI. I should stick to Butyagrus and the various Syagrus hybrids with Butia/Jubaea. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get any Mules or Syagrus hybrids here in over 3 years of trying. That is partly why I just went with Queens.

Queen palms are hardy in zones 9b to 11 but will do fine in 8b if protected whenever it gets down to 20F .Queens love the heat , humidity and sun.  The sun intensity plays a huge role that's why it takes ages for the crown to grow back in your area. Most queen grow anywhere down from 35°N to the equator on the northern hemisphere.  There's no subtropical climate in England. 

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7 hours ago, MarcusH said:

Queen palms are hardy in zones 9b to 11 but will do fine in 8b if protected whenever it gets down to 20F .Queens love the heat , humidity and sun.  The sun intensity plays a huge role that's why it takes ages for the crown to grow back in your area. Most queen grow anywhere down from 35°N to the equator on the northern hemisphere.  There's no subtropical climate in England. 

I think that is correct, queens seem to respond to strong UV/sun. They can survive and push 2 fronds in mild area’s with occasional UV6, but really start pushing in UV7/8 area’s like the south of France. 

Edited by Axel Amsterdam
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I used to live in Germany 51°N now I live in Texas 29°N  ,1500 miles south from my previous location.  On a sunny day even when the air temperature is mild the sun feels so much warmer and aggressive due to the closer distance to the sun I haven't felt this in Germany and England won't be different.  South England might get less  freezes than us but after each winter storm temperatures go up significantly here in the south of the U.S.  ,enough for a palm tree to start its recovering process.  England is cool and mild for the most part of the year with only brief summers with occasional heat waves kind of the same climate as the PNW.  Lots of gloomy rainy days.  You do find some cold hardy palms at certain locations in England just like in the PNW.  They don't grow as fast as they would do in the south.  You can't have great success growing a Queen in such climates . People forget it's not all about the Cold Hardiness it's about the Heat Zone as well and that's where we benefit from it the most.  Washies and Queens thrive in temperatures anywhere from 85F and up . They love our strong sun with 6 to 8 hrs of sunshine a day.  Here in Texas we only get 2 to 3 months of roller-coaster weather with temps mostly in the 50s and 60s sometimes even in the 70s for days in the row with less than 10 days of usually light freezes over night.  We do get our winter storms that can get pretty cold down to the teens in some northern TX locations but not ever year.  Our cold snaps are short . 9 to 10 months of the year it's warm , hot and very hot with plenty of sunshine. There isn't such a climate in England so no wonder his Queen looks like crap for the most part of it.  That's like me trying to grow a cherry tree in my yard . Wrong climate.  

 

 

3 hours ago, Axel Amsterdam said:

I think that is correct, queens seem to respond to strong UV/sun. They can survive and push 2 fronds in mild area’s with occasional UV6, but really start pushing in UV7/8 area’s like the south of France. 

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I also think the strong sun works both ways, during growing season the palm itself is warmer than ambient air temperature. During cold winter periods the palm also warms up more than the air temps. This is significant for the chances of survival in winter and for thriving during growth season. 

At our latitude a palm is almost never warmer than the ambient winter air temps. Perhaps slightly against a south facing brick wall, but even that works only for a slight distance off the wall. 

I once planted an archontophoenix cunninghamiana and protected it by an infra red lamp aimed at the trunk, connected to a timer during frosts. It easily surivived the cold frostnights in Amsterdam. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Axel Amsterdam said:

I also think the strong sun works both ways, during growing season the palm itself is warmer than ambient air temperature. During cold winter periods the palm also warms up more than the air temps. This is significant for the chances of survival in winter and for thriving during growth season. 

At our latitude a palm is almost never warmer than the ambient winter air temps. Perhaps slightly against a south facing brick wall, but even that works only for a slight distance off the wall. 

I once planted an archontophoenix cunninghamiana and protected it by an infra red lamp aimed at the trunk, connected to a timer during frosts. It easily surivived the cold frostnights in Amsterdam. 

 

Right , the amount of UV-A rays makes a big difference on plant growths.  A good example I'd like to come up with is New Zealand.  It doesn't really get that hot their , surrounded by the cold pacific, lots of rain and overcast weather but still gets a good amount of sunshine.  The ozone layer over NZ is a little bit thinner which allows UV-A rays to reach the surface at a higher concentration.  There're many exotic palms growing on the north island, it kind of shares the same climate as England just a bit nicer overall.  UV rays work like a microwave oven.  

 

 

7 hours ago, Axel Amsterdam said:

I think that is correct, queens seem to respond to strong UV/sun. They can survive and push 2 fronds in mild area’s with occasional UV6, but really start pushing in UV7/8 area’s like the south of France. 

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3 minutes ago, MarcusH said:

Right , the amount of UV-A rays makes a big difference on plant growths.  A good example I'd like to come up with is New Zealand.  It doesn't really get that hot their , surrounded by the cold pacific, lots of rain and overcast weather but still gets a good amount of sunshine.  The ozone layer over NZ is a little bit thinner which allows UV-A rays to reach the surface at a higher concentration.  There're many exotic palms growing on the north island, it kind of shares the same climate as England just a bit nicer overall.  UV rays work like a microwave oven. 

Google growing degree days calculator and input values.  Not all zones are created equal for example Canada has zones 8a/b as well but they don't get the same amount of sun.

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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),  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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3 minutes ago, Allen said:

Google growing degree days calculator and input values.  Not all zones are created equal for example Canada has zones 8a/b as well but they don't get the same amount of sun.

9b in England isn't the same here in Texas.  USDA Plant Hardiness Zone gives you only the information for average minimum temperatures.  If you want to know what growths best in your location take a look at American Horticulture Society (AHS Heat Zone Map for optimal growth as well. I combine these two maps for other plants for our yard now.  It makes it easier to identify what grows and not so well. 

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1 hour ago, MarcusH said:

Queen palms are hardy in zones 9b to 11 but will do fine in 8b if protected whenever it gets down to 20F .Queens love the heat , humidity and sun.  The sun intensity plays a huge role that's why it takes ages for the crown to grow back in your area. Most queen grow anywhere down from 35°N to the equator on the northern hemisphere.  There's no subtropical climate in England. 

 

I think you have to classify the Isles of Scilly as subtropical. During the two bad freezes we had in December and January, the lowest they got was +3C / 38F. So it stayed a 10b zone there this winter and is often 11a. That is ridiculous considering east London had its coldest outright temperatures in 33 years in December and then west London had it's coldest January temperatures in 36 years in the second freeze. Even in far southwest Cornwall it still went down to about -1C / 30F. Lands End had its coldest temperature in at least 5 years and possibly 13 years. Nowhere on the mainland escaped a frost, not even Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. The absolute mildest spot on the mainland still went down to at least -1C / 30F or possibly 0C / 32F in the most protected coastal areas.

Looking through the stats, it seems the Scilly Isles haven't had a frost for 5 years now and they haven't had a January frost in almost 25 years! It pretty much defies logic for somewhere that is at 50N of the equator. Remember there are crownshafts such as Archontophoenix Alexandrae & Kentia growing on Tresco, as well as the largest population of Rhopalostylis Sapida's outside of New Zealand, which are now naturalised on Tresco. Not to mention the Norfolk Island Pines that are almost 100 foot high now and self seeding. The UV levels in the Scillies really aren't any different to the south coast of England as they are only 5 miles further south, but the absence of frost allows subtropical species to thrive. Even with the lack of summer heat there, surely it has to be classified as subtropical? You can't have Archontophoenix & Kentia growing somewhere unprotected and it not be subtropical really. 

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Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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5 minutes ago, MarcusH said:

(AHS Heat Zone Map )

That is a good map

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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),  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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5 minutes ago, UK_Palms said:

 

I think you have to classify the Isles of Scilly as subtropical. During the two bad freezes we had in December and January, the lowest they got was +3C / 38F. So it stayed a 10b zone there this winter and is often 11a. That is ridiculous considering east London had its coldest outright temperatures in 33 years in December and then west London had it's coldest January temperatures in 36 years in the second freeze. Even in far southwest Cornwall it still went down to about -1C / 30F. Lands End had its coldest temperature in at least 5 years and possibly 13 years. Nowhere on the mainland escaped a frost, not even Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. The absolute mildest spot on the mainland still went down to at least -1C / 30F or possibly 0C / 32F in the most protected coastal areas.

Looking through the stats, it seems the Scilly Isles haven't had a frost for 5 years now and they haven't had a January frost in almost 25 years! It pretty much defies logic for somewhere that is at 50N of the equator. Remember there are crownshafts such as Archontophoenix Alexandrae & Kentia growing on Tresco, as well as the largest population of Rhopalostylis Sapida's outside of New Zealand, which are now naturalised on Tresco. Not to mention the Norfolk Island Pines that are almost 100 foot high now and self seeding. The UV levels in the Scillies really aren't any different to the south coast of England as they are only 5 miles further south, but the absence of frost allows subtropical species to thrive. Even with the lack of summer heat there, surely it has to be classified as subtropical? You can't have Archontophoenix & Kentia growing somewhere unprotected and it not be subtropical really. 

I get your message but England or any country in the northern hemisphere above 40° N isn't subtropical.  You can't just look at the low temperature.  Subtropical climate is hot and humid with mild to cool winter "average " . There're exceptions !  My question do you see Foxtails , Royals or even coconut palms growing in the warmest part of England unprotected?  I don't think so.  England has a humid temperature oceanic climate (cfb) . If you look at Kentia they do grow at certain places in England apparently but prefer no hot summers.  Some palms can adopt to colder climate as long as it doesn't get too cold but most palms like it hot for best growth .Just because certain palms grow here in Texas doesn't mean it's the tropics.  You can be lucky to see certain palms in England because i didn't see any of them growing in Germany while I lived there most of my life.  It's not a competition or something .  It only takes one big event to take most palms out in England and those that surivive will struggle to recover because spring , fall and winter are just too cold for a speedy recovery.  Are there any palms that are 50 to 100 years old ? It's zone pushing at its best just like I do I just chose to plant the least cold hardy palm in my yard.  It will survive but for how long ? The good thing is you get light freezes if any on average.  Growing palms is our hobby . In our yard we can do a lot to protect sensitive palms to keep them alive but none native palms will struggle from time to time or even die at the end . 

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Notice

How the region with the highest winter solar energy(insolation) in the US is the same region holding the world's lowest known temperature survival for several palm species( filifera, robusta, PHX dact/CIDP, palmetto, trachy, med palm, jubuea, etc.).  

Definitely one part of the answer.

usa_insolation_map.gif

Edited by jwitt
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And i would like to emphasize that the discussion started around the lack of growth in queen palms at out latitude. That seems very much solar UV related. 

Archontophoenix, nikau and kentia are different palms which dont require the same amount of solar to grow as can be seen in Tresco and hopefully in London or the southcoast. 

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9 minutes ago, jwitt said:

Notice

How the region with the highest winter solar energy(insolation) in the US is the same region holding the world's lowest known temperature survival for several palm species( filifera, robusta, PHX dact/CIDP, palmetto, trachy, med palm, jubuea, etc.).  

Definitely one part of the answer.

usa_insolation_map.gif

Factors such as elevation,  ocean current, precipitation,  geography in general effects climate pattern but as a general rule average temperatures (UV rays) increase towards the equator and this is important to determine what can be planted or shouldn't be planted for long term success.  Most palms love the heat ( that's where the AHS Heat Map and USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map comes into play) and sunny weather but there're palms that don't like hot, humid weather .Some palms grow in shade but the majority of palms love to grow in mediterranean , subtropical or tropical climate where there's plenty of warm 🌞🌞🌞🌞.  My robusta probably grows 3 times faster than it would in Vancouver, BC . 

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32 minutes ago, Axel Amsterdam said:

And i would like to emphasize that the discussion started around the lack of growth in queen palms at out latitude. That seems very much solar UV related. 

Archontophoenix, nikau and kentia are different palms which dont require the same amount of solar to grow as can be seen in Tresco and hopefully in London or the southcoast. 

Absolutely that's why you see more palms than deciduous trees in the tropics. Makes a lot of sense.  I can't succefully grow a Queen, Foxtail, Royal palm in England no matter what CHZ, it needs the right amount of UV-A rays and hot air to thrive the way it supposed to.  

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