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Update on Storm-damaged Palms


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Yesterday, January 1, I took many photos of our devastated yard, including current survivors, 3 months after Hurricane Ian rampaged through. Some of these palms barely squeaked through being crushed by falling vegetation. Some I was sure had been rubbed out of existence sent up tentative green leaves weeks later. Whether all of them will survive long term I don't know. Palms have the ability to be dead and not know it until months later when they collapse. I may not get a complete casualty list until next summer. But these individual palms are giving survival a shot. I will organize the photos by garden location

GARDEN LOT: our largest garden, a 3-lot, 125' x 125' corner site landscaped except for our 10' x 16' garden shed. Ian shredded all our landscaping and left the shadeless Lot open to the brutal FL sun

Copernicia baileyana - many broken leaves but we won't cut them while they are still green


Sabal palmetto Lisa x2 - note how the wind ripped pleated leaves to ribbons


Gaussia gomez-pompae x2 - leaning east


Bismarckia nobilis & Sabal blackburniana - Bizzie was the smallest of 6. One other survived. We are digging seedlings out of the roadside swale. The Sabal now has full sun.


Chamaerops humilis - thought it had been crushed and taken away with debris until it sent up a leaf weeks later


Hemithrinax ekmaniana - crushed along with 3 other siblings. It survived (maybe?); the others did not


Sabal minor - see Chamaerops above. I grew it from seeds of a Savannah, GA, minor that the sender told me might be dwarfed. Is it? I don't know


Sabal or Coccothrinax? - too soon to tell. I alternated species along the edge of the Lot


Attalea phalerata - Ian snapped its crown in two but missed the growing point. Only surviving Attalea


Tahina spectabilis - growing slowly but growing


Sabal grethereae - crushed flat but sending up two leaves


Borassus flabellifer - largest of two, no damage. Now enjoying full sun after Ian took out the mahoe shading them


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Palms of Victory I shall wear

Cape Coral (It's Just Paradise)
Zone 10A on the Isabelle Canal
Elevation: 15 feet

I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus' garden in the shade.

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Some tough palms you have there! I hope winter will not present additional challenges to them. Some may be very happy to soak in the full-strength sun and grow faster as a result -- or am I being too optimistic?  The Borassus flabellifer looks awesome!

I note the palms in the distant background don't look so hot either, so "punk haircuts" for palms is the look until next summer. Embrace it. ;)

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Kim Cyr

Between the beach and the bays, Point Loma, San Diego, California USA
and on a 300 year-old lava flow, Pahoa, Hawaii, 1/4 mile from the 2018 flow
All characters  in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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Moving on to:

Side Yard West

Hyophorbe verschaffeltii x2 & Latania loddigesii + Latania lontaroides  (R) -  Spindles and both Lantanias took on Ian with no damage or lean. Tough palms


Damaged Palms (mainly Archonotophoenix)


Heterospathe elata - only windburn


Saribus rotundifolia planted next to Elaeis stump


Back Yard Jungle

Elaeis guineensis - whole leaf


Howea belmoreana - windburned and hiding behind the mutant oil with no canopy. Will it survive FL swelter?


Livistona drudei - long hampered by shade, now in full sun. Dead leaves caused by Ian


Archonotophoenix purpurea - doing okay even after Ian


Caribbean Garden

Thrinax radiata - took a hit from Charley in 2004. Took another hit from Ian in 2022


Sabal minor 'Blountstown Dwarf' - original mother palm still only 30" wide x 15" tall


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Palms of Victory I shall wear

Cape Coral (It's Just Paradise)
Zone 10A on the Isabelle Canal
Elevation: 15 feet

I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus' garden in the shade.

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Nice to hear regarding the spindles and latanias. In the pics at least they look to be in fantastic shape.

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Container Garden and East Side Garden - Before Hurricane Ian I kept a large container garden under canopy in the Back Yard Jungle and in the bird cage over our lanai. Ian destroyed almost all the canopy and ripped away screening. Rare shade loving seedlings and palms were shredded and exposed to sun that is brutal even in December. I moved the surviving palms up against the east side of the house where they are shielded from sun by landscaping palms and Sabal Row. There they may remain until canopy grows back


Sabal Row - In 2009 I planted alternating seedlings of Sabals causiarum, domingensis, mauritiiformis, martina and palmetto along the empty lot between us and the vacant home one building site removed. It was built in 2004, never occupied, bashed by Hurricanes Charley, Jeanne & Wilma, then abandoned for years during the Great Recession. Sabal Row proved itself a boon in 2017 during Irma and again during Ian in 2022. We suffered no house damage other than torn screening even though our yard was destroyed by both storms. Thing is, Sabal Row is not on our property and never has been. We knew it was on borrowed time when a builder showed up to announce he would be starting a house in November 2022. My husband pleaded that at least the Sabal causiarum be spared as it is his favorite palm. Then the real estate slump hit, followed by Hurricane Ian. The empty lot was trashed by fallen invasive Australian pines that also fell on our property and Sabal Row suffered many broken leaves shielding our home. We were overwhelmed with cleanup to our own property and had nothing left for someone else's. Fast forward 3 months + and the gung-ho builder is nowhere to be found. The lot is still trashed and Sabal Row untrimmed. Eventually Cape Coral Code Enforcement will come looking for this guy, assuming he hasn't already skipped town. Just another day in Paradise


Sabal palmetto trunk (L) & Sabal causiarum trunk (R)


Fallen Australian pines




Palms of Victory I shall wear

Cape Coral (It's Just Paradise)
Zone 10A on the Isabelle Canal
Elevation: 15 feet

I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus' garden in the shade.

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