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What is the hardiest palm tree there is?


ChicagoPalma

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In my opinion, I think one of the hardiest palms in this world are Trachycarpus Fortunei, when they get mature, but I'd like to hear some opinions from others, since from what I heard the Filibustas survived the texas freeze of 2021, It they are that hardy, it would survive Chicago winters like it was northern Florida, we only get colder temps in the negatives for a week or two (lowest we got was record breaking -30 F couple years ago) Worst could be around -19 in a normal winter. So I'd like to hear from everyone!

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4 minutes ago, ChicagoPalma said:

In my opinion, I think one of the hardiest palms in this world are Trachycarpus Fortunei, when they get mature, but I'd like to hear some opinions from others, since from what I heard the Filibustas survived the texas freeze of 2021, It they are that hardy, it would survive Chicago winters like it was northern Florida, we only get colder temps in the negatives for a week or two (lowest we got was record breaking -30 F couple years ago) Worst could be around -19 in a normal winter. So I'd like to hear from everyone!

Im not sure that any washingtonia would survive a 1-2 week long spell of below zero temperatures.

Just because a palm can survive an "extreme" temperature doesnt mean it can survive in that extreme for a long period of time. Duration matters a lot.

T fortunei is quite hardy, ive never seen one damaged by cold in person. There had been a few living unprotected just outside of Nashville, TN until they did construction in that area and took them out.

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

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Nothing will survive -20F to -30F in Chicago without decent protection. Nothing. Not even a Sabal Minor or Nannorrhops, which are the two hardiest palms about. If you have snow as well to factor in, those two types wont take anything below 0F there. Even at 5F you are likely looking at extreme damage or death in your location due to the longer, colder winters.

Trachycarpus Fortunei will also burn badly below 10F, get completely defoliated below 5F and likely killed by anything below 0F, especially in your more northern location where the cold is more prolonged with no proper warm-up for months, unlike say in Texas. You can try a Sabal Minor or Trachycarpus Fortunei, but you won’t be able to get away without protecting it properly.

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11 minutes ago, UK_Palms said:

Nothing will survive -20F to -30F in Chicago without decent protection. Nothing. Not even a Sabal Minor or Nannorrhops, which are the two hardiest palms about. If you have snow as well to factor in, those two types wont take anything below 0F there. Even at 5F you are likely looking at extreme damage or death in your location due to the longer, colder winters.

Trachycarpus Fortunei will also burn badly below 10F, get completely defoliated below 5F and likely killed by anything below 0F, especially in your more northern location where the cold is more prolonged with no proper warm-up for months, unlike say in Texas. You can try a Sabal Minor or Trachycarpus Fortunei, but you won’t be able to get away without protecting it properly.

Would be better off keeping a container garden than to try and fight with protection every year. You did also make a good point there about warm ups. @ChicagoPalmamentioned that a filibusta could survive a Chicago winter like it does in northern Florida. This is certainly not the case because temperatures in northern Florida can be at around 20F at 6 am then be in the upper 30's or low to mid 40's by noon. This does not happen in Chicago, where it can stay below freezing for weeks at a time. A filibusta would die very quickly in a Chicago winter unprotected.

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

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We have a Trachy it has a box over it, and -30 was a record breaker some years ago, the palm tree box has stayed in the temps of 30-37 Farenheit when there were temps in the negatives. So it can survive with protection, and it's worth it, costs only around 50-70 bucks if you are using wood to build a frame, but if you use only foam, it should do well. Check out James Palms, that guy grows trachys and washingtonias in canada.

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1 hour ago, UK_Palms said:

Nothing will survive -20F to -30F in Chicago without decent protection. Nothing. Not even a Sabal Minor or Nannorrhops, which are the two hardiest palms about. If you have snow as well to factor in, those two types wont take anything below 0F there. Even at 5F you are likely looking at extreme damage or death in your location due to the longer, colder winters.

Trachycarpus Fortunei will also burn badly below 10F, get completely defoliated below 5F and likely killed by anything below 0F, especially in your more northern location where the cold

is more prolonged with no proper warm-up for months, unlike say in Texas. You can try a Sabal Minor or Trachycarpus Fortunei, but you won’t be able to get away without protecting it properly.

Yes, and decent protection for the trachy we do have.  It was not too expensive, and the winters really start in January until the start or middle of march.

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1 hour ago, JLM said:

Im not sure that any washingtonia would survive a 1-2 week long spell of below zero temperatures.

Just because a palm can survive an "extreme" temperature doesnt mean it can survive in that extreme for a long period of time. Duration matters a lot.

T fortunei is quite hardy, ive never seen one damaged by cold in person. There had been a few living unprotected just outside of Nashville, TN until they did construction in that area and took them out.

I agree, but we don't have that of a severe winter, worst temps we have every winter is around -20 Farenheit for maybe a day or two, but we have a week or two that sits in the negatives all the way up to 15 farenheit. to rephrase that.

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Long term survival rate of a filibusta or even filifera are 0% in your area. What CHZ are you 5 or maybe 6 ? Whatever you don't see growing in your neighborhood won't survive down the road.  You can only protect a palm until protection is nearly impossible.  Even here in South Texas where I live 8b/9a winters can get cold for a short time . February 2021 killed a lot of Robustas.  

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Its around 6a/5b, and if robustas are not that hardy, might as well get another trachy. But considering long term, it may get too big for protection, we will cross that bridge when we get to it.

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Everyone already knows the hardiest palm is either Rhapidophyllum hystrix or Sabal minor depending on your location.  This has been proven countless times.

The hardiest trunking palm is Trachycarpus fortunei, again proven over and over.  In very few situations/locales there are palms that will outperform it, but these are the exception to the rule.

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1 minute ago, MarcusH said:

Long term survival rate of a filibusta or even filifera are 0% in your area. What CHZ are you 5 or maybe 6 ? Whatever you don't see growing in your neighborhood won't survive down the road.  You can only protect a palm until protection is nearly impossible.  Even here in South Texas where I live 8b/9a winters can get cold for a short time . February 2021 killed a lot of Robustas.  

The reason why we in South Texas can grow so many cold hardy palms like Washingtonian Filifera, Filibusta, Robusta  , Sabal Mexicana,  Sabal Palmetto,  Butia Capitata, Phoenix Canariensis,  Chamaerops Humilis,  Sabal Minor, Brahea Armata,  Rhapidophyllum Hystrix, Phoenix dactylifera , Trachycarpus Fortunei and more tropical palms like Roystonea Regia and Syagrus Romanzoffiana grow successfully in the Rio Grande Valley IS because our artic winters are "usually " short just last a few days and it gets rarely below 20F.  Our climate is subtropical also the Gulf of Mexico we have helps to keep the worst part of each artic winter away from us . We already experiencing an UV index of 7.2 here in San Antonio that helps every palm to recover fast in our area . You live way up north large palms won't survive in your region it's too cold for too long . Try something that doesn't grow tall. As long as you're able to protect a palm you're good to go. 

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I have the resources to be able to protect larger palms, my worry for the bigger palms is for them not to exceed 25 ft. Otherwise, everything is good to go, and since my climate is very cold, the palm tree would grow slowly and not reach its full height.

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I would also like to talk about some hardy new hybrids, that can survive most areas. (Possibly not my area but I'd like to hear).

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Hey , you only live once and if you're able to protect a palm why not give it a try ? I'm a zone pusher myself I planted 2 Queens in our yard .  The youngest one survived our last artic winter and is recovering well so far. Protected only with a bedsheet and bucket.  Next time it gets that cold again I'm going to use a heating tap and real frost cloth .  If you aren't afraid of heights there're 28ft extension ladders to reach the bud lol 

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I live in zone 7a/6b, but unlike other places that are those same zones I have prolonged freezes. This is a killer on trachys. I can have sabal minors and needle palms with minor to no protection and be fine. Any palm "tree" will have the issue.  Also I have noticed when it fluctuates a lot between freeze spells and warm spells it affects the palm trees even more. 

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Needle Palm. I'm in Indiana and mine has survived going on 2 winters with minimal protection. It's protected from north wind but minimal protection and only during extreme cold snaps like we had at Christmas. 

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We share a similar climate, Im up north in the Chicago area , where are you in Indiana?

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If the warm spells don't go above 60, your palm should be fine.

22 minutes ago, Is that alive said:

I live in zone 7a/6b, but unlike other places that are those same zones I have prolonged freezes. This is a killer on trachys. I can have sabal minors and needle palms with minor to no protection and be fine. Any palm "tree" will have the issue.  Also I have noticed when it fluctuates a lot between freeze spells and warm spells it affects the palm trees even more. 

 

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Go with a Needle Palm if you're open to protecting. Can withstand periods of down to -15F or so.

Also, a Needle Palm doesn't get tall like a Windmill Palm so it would be much easier to protect when needed.


Your best bet though would be to stick with palms in containers and bring them in when the cold sets in. That's what I'd do in Zone 5B.

2-16-2023

North Carolina - Zone 9A. Humid Subtropical Climate (CFA). Elevation - 8ft.

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No trunking palm in the world can survive outdoors in Chicago without a conservatory or major protection. Needle palm and Sabal minor are your go-tos and I consider them iffy in a Chicago winter. But many people who live in far northern climates focus on trunking palms in the hope they can fill their yards with palmy elegance. One thing to remember in very cold places is that the ground often freezes, sometimes for weeks and while you may protect foliage and trunks with lights and boxes, roots die from frozen soil. That may not always be the case in arid climates but in cold and damp areas, that combination is lethal. 

Meg

Palms of Victory I shall wear

Cape Coral (It's Just Paradise)
Florida
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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I have a windmill palm here in Chicago, and it’s doing pretty good, @Allensaid the spear looks fried by the c9 lights and yes some fronds look fried, but my luck is soaring because there was no spear pull since I found it like this in January and the spear looks like it is slowly pushing out.

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1 hour ago, ChicagoPalma said:

We share a similar climate, Im up north in the Chicago area , where are you in Indiana?

I'm in Yorktown.  About 40 miles NE of Indy. Zone 6A.  Just walked my front door and shot these. Nearly 2 years in-ground. No lights or heat. Near the South side of the house. I use about 2 or 3 feet of Oak leaves to mulch. Oak because the don't turn to mush and keep a lot of their fullness thru the winter.  Last winter (1st year in-ground) I covered with a garbage can and blanket for a few weeks here & there when down below 15F. This winter has been mild. I added a rug over the leaves for the polar week at Christmas and maybe one or two nights since. Looks like it's pushing up new spears. BTW, I was born in Chicago (near NW side) and spent the first few years there. Love it and visit about every year.

20230216_171522.jpg

20230216_171543.jpg

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1 hour ago, ChicagoPalma said:

We share a similar climate, Im up north in the Chicago area , where are you in Indiana?

Forgot to mention, in the fall when the soil dries out somewhat, I'll throw some plastic down around the base of the palm to shed water away from the base. Maybe 18 - 24" from trunk outward. Then I'll throw the leaves on top. Hope you can try the Needle with success! Next for me are some Sabal Minor McCurtain seedlings I'm growing and plan on trying to plant out this year.

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Try windmill palm, get like a nice big one, they will do well, I have a three gallon one and it grew nice over the summer, we actually have one growing here in Chicago area, but I accidentally fried it by the c9 lights, but the spear looks like it’s still pushing so it’s struggled and is now recovering

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2 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

No trunking palm in the world can survive outdoors in Chicago without a conservatory or major protection. Needle palm and Sabal minor are your go-tos and I consider them iffy in a Chicago winter. But many people who live in far northern climates focus on trunking palms in the hope they can fill their yards with palmy elegance. One thing to remember in very cold places is that the ground often freezes, sometimes for weeks and while you may protect foliage and trunks with lights and boxes, roots die from frozen soil. That may not always be the case in arid climates but in cold and damp areas, that combination is lethal. 

I think everyone up north understands that there comes the time where it's nearly impossible to protect a large palm .  You'll be surprised how many palms grow and survive many winters with protection up in the north. There's this guy James Palmes from Ontario Canada on YouTube his whole yard is filled with Robustas and a few other palms. Thermocube and Christmas lights that's all he uses for protection.  He successfully grows palm for years in Canada also they grow much slower it gives those palm lovers up north more time to protect them.  It can be done !! 

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I've watched some videos from James palms, but his winters are more 6a/6b, but similar climate. Also if the ground freezes, if there is deficiency during winter, use a foliar spray, and to protect the roots, try to bury some c9 lights or heat wire, or just water with warm water once in a while, it went a long way. 

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Most cold hardy palm would be an artificial 15ft Coconut Palm that you can purchase at Walmart.  No leave burn at any temperature plus you don't have to worry about winterizing it anymore.  

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Lol, but I like the real thing. I would like to recommend to you @MarcusH the 35 ft fan palm on Alibaba for around one grand.

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