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Best palms to grow here in Chicago


ChicagoPalma

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3 hours ago, MSX said:

729583947_CHIL.jpg.cac1746ec5d261f4658488d5f6dd8b8e.jpg

That growing season in Chicago is longer than Corrales, NM.  Much, much longer.  Both zone 6 tho.

 

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31 minutes ago, jwitt said:

That growing season in Chicago is longer than Corrales, NM.  Much, much longer.  Both zone 6 tho.

 

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Yeah, but the ground doesnt freeze there does it? Or at least not as hard...

Lucas

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52 minutes ago, Little Tex said:

Yeah, but the ground doesnt freeze there does it? Or at least not as hard...

A heated box will mitigate that.  Trachycarpus roots sustain initial damage at 20F, Washingtonia roots initial damage starts at 28F. 80% of Trachycarppus roots are within 18" from trunk.  Thus Trachy can survive in areas of ground freeze if mulched 2 feet around trunk with a 6" or more wood mulch.   A guy in Pittsburgh has had many Trachycarpus palms for a long time and they have a frost depth of 44".

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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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I am originally from Chicago (born and raised,) and when I first moved to Florida in 1980 and lived there until the late 90's. I then moved back to Bartlett,IL for several years. I brought with me from Florida a huge needle palm for a few of those years but it was always in a container but the container was in the ground. But one really cold year did it in, temps went to well below 0 for days, there was no way it was going to survive.  So I would think you may get away with it for a little while but you will need some major protection if you want to get any size and years out of some hardy palms.

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Lived in Cape Coral, Miami, Orlando and St. Petersburg Florida.

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I'm here for the sheer entertainment value. 

BTW, I'm 3 1/2 hours SE of Chicago and having success with a Needle Palm. Minimal protection. No heat.

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4 hours ago, Little Tex said:

Yeah, but the ground doesnt freeze there does it? Or at least not as hard...

A couple inches for short periods. 

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6 minutes ago, Quasarecho said:

I'm here for the sheer entertainment value. 

BTW, I'm 3 1/2 hours SE of Chicago and having success with a Needle Palm. Minimal protection. No heat.

I think I saw another posted from Illinois nearer to St Louis here on palmtalk.

Edited by jwitt
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I remember a beautiful trachy in Kenosha......like flawless....

And other stuff.

Basically greater Chicago 

 

 

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6 hours ago, ChicagoPalma said:

The ground does freeze for a long time, but I water with warm water to keep the ground thaw.

Wet/muddy soil in the winter is not a good thing, the soil has to stay as dry as possible you can try soil heating cables for that purpose

Edited by MSX
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13 hours ago, ChicagoPalma said:

Nice, especially for Maine.

 

Thank you, I like many who live here suffer in winter from seasonal depression.  Once Everything besides evergreens is dead, the daylight hours fade, we lack the weather allowing us to get outside and get direct sunlight, fresh air. I live on an island off the midcoast of maine. As a lobsterman I get to be outside on calm days but, winds don’t like to stop in the winter. I chose to do the greenhouse not only to hope for the palms survival but also as a way to help me deal with seasonal affective disorder without medications. Even on a snow filled morning I have a taste of summer in plain view. 206D3ED2-4C04-4CFE-A118-9892C395C6F7.thumb.jpeg.e7a3ff15cf8acd5fd8f4c250a9af3819.jpeg2831DBD2-C2B9-47BC-9FB7-526AB9C1F076.thumb.jpeg.f3ce74de31f78c7a07eefcdfceb6ce4f.jpeg
A7681B26-43AF-4F55-9321-C8CD1611355B.thumb.jpeg.62fa805e4f1b4d8a0da5b923b21633d0.jpeg

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11 hours ago, Palmaceae said:

I am originally from Chicago (born and raised,) and when I first moved to Florida in 1980 and lived there until the late 90's. I then moved back to Bartlett,IL for several years. I brought with me from Florida a huge needle palm for a few of those years but it was always in a container but the container was in the ground. But one really cold year did it in, temps went to well below 0 for days, there was no way it was going to survive.  So I would think you may get away with it for a little while but you will need some major protection if you want to get any size and years out of some hardy palms.

I used to live right down the road from you in Hoffman Estates and Algonquin, but to think anyone would actually try to grow a palm in that environment,  after coming down to TX and seeing our wimpy winters, is just a fools errand.  Like has been said, you may get away with it for a year or two, but why the hell would you want to start build insulated boxes to the sky for something like that?   You're better off spending the money on some nice potted palms and admire them from the inside when it's below 0 outside.  Or a big potted palm outside, and haul them in the garage come winter.  I came for the entertainment value but now it's like with my kids, we're providing attention to this nonsense.

Subscribe to my YouTube here  to follow along my Sabal obsession....  Quite possibly one of the biggest Sabal plantings in the US.

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sabalking.texas

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12 hours ago, ChicagoPalma said:

The ground does freeze for a long time, but I water with warm water to keep the ground thaw.

This cannot be a serious post, surely? Saturated souls are just going to add to the problem of winter protection and damage. It will make a difficult task even harder. Good luck getting a Washingtonia through winter there with wet soil. The water table is already high enough as it is without winter irrigation around the palms. Even with Trachy’s you would need to keep that soil as dry as possible there.

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Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

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

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1 hour ago, Sabal King said:

I used to live right down the road from you in Hoffman Estates and Algonquin, but to think anyone would actually try to grow a palm in that environment,  after coming down to TX and seeing our wimpy winters, is just a fools errand.  Like has been said, you may get away with it for a year or two, but why the hell would you want to start build insulated boxes to the sky for something like that?   You're better off spending the money on some nice potted palms and admire them from the inside when it's below 0 outside.  Or a big potted palm outside, and haul them in the garage come winter.  I came for the entertainment value but now it's like with my kids, we're providing attention to this nonsense.

I’m from New England and lived 20 years or so a stones through from the Canadian boarder. Coastal Maine is much milder then much of New England , as is the case with most coastal locations. I have a camp in western Maine that been in my family for 50 years.  The winters are long and hard there is no way I could grow any palms where I lived without massive protection. The ground with low snow winters would freeze 5ft down hard as a rock, we had water mains under roads one winter that burst that were buried 8ft down.  I’m with you now that I live in SC winters a dream compared to up north. Our days are easily an hour longer in mid December. I’m sitting here in shorts at 8:00 am and it’s 70 outside, 14 at my camp right now in Maine.  
 

sabal’s don’t seem to like being cooped up in an enclosure, trachy’s seem t be much better suited for this. I can’t  vouch for needle palms, however. My suggestion to the OP keep your palms in pots and bring them in during the winter. Much less hassle. No need to worry about power outages while trying to keep that enclosure warm during the winter. 

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5 hours ago, Brandon James said:

Thank you, I like many who live here suffer in winter from seasonal depression.  Once Everything besides evergreens is dead, the daylight hours fade, we lack the weather allowing us to get outside and get direct sunlight, fresh air. I live on an island off the midcoast of maine. As a lobsterman I get to be outside on calm days but, winds don’t like to stop in the winter. I chose to do the greenhouse not only to hope for the palms survival but also as a way to help me deal with seasonal affective disorder without medications. Even on a snow filled morning I have a taste of summer in plain view. 206D3ED2-4C04-4CFE-A118-9892C395C6F7.thumb.jpeg.e7a3ff15cf8acd5fd8f4c250a9af3819.jpeg2831DBD2-C2B9-47BC-9FB7-526AB9C1F076.thumb.jpeg.f3ce74de31f78c7a07eefcdfceb6ce4f.jpeg
A7681B26-43AF-4F55-9321-C8CD1611355B.thumb.jpeg.62fa805e4f1b4d8a0da5b923b21633d0.jpeg

I'm totally jealous of your setup it's simply awesome.🌴

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5 hours ago, Brandon James said:

Thank you, I like many who live here suffer in winter from seasonal depression.  Once Everything besides evergreens is dead, the daylight hours fade, we lack the weather allowing us to get outside and get direct sunlight, fresh air. I live on an island off the midcoast of maine. As a lobsterman I get to be outside on calm days but, winds don’t like to stop in the winter. I chose to do the greenhouse not only to hope for the palms survival but also as a way to help me deal with seasonal affective disorder without medications. Even on a snow filled morning I have a taste of summer in plain view. 206D3ED2-4C04-4CFE-A118-9892C395C6F7.thumb.jpeg.e7a3ff15cf8acd5fd8f4c250a9af3819.jpeg2831DBD2-C2B9-47BC-9FB7-526AB9C1F076.thumb.jpeg.f3ce74de31f78c7a07eefcdfceb6ce4f.jpeg
A7681B26-43AF-4F55-9321-C8CD1611355B.thumb.jpeg.62fa805e4f1b4d8a0da5b923b21633d0.jpeg

I'm totally jealous of your setup it's simply awesome.🌴

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5 hours ago, Brandon James said:

Thank you, I like many who live here suffer in winter from seasonal depression.  Once Everything besides evergreens is dead, the daylight hours fade, we lack the weather allowing us to get outside and get direct sunlight, fresh air. I live on an island off the midcoast of maine. As a lobsterman I get to be outside on calm days but, winds don’t like to stop in the winter. I chose to do the greenhouse not only to hope for the palms survival but also as a way to help me deal with seasonal affective disorder without medications. Even on a snow filled morning I have a taste of summer in plain view.
 

I know all to well what you go through in the winter. My wife worked in a pharmacy up north, the anti depression medications they dispense during the winter were astronomical. She still does pharmacy work down south and the amount of anti depressants dispensed is a small fraction of what was done up north. It’s real, and many suffer from it during the winter in northern latitudes. I would get severe cabin fever come December through early March. The sun setting while getting the kids off the bus was very depressing. 

kudos to you for growing what you do to help yourself. 🥳
 

A screenshot of the back of my camp. 

 

A83D8E7B-1C03-4BA9-A37E-2B23FD79F00E.jpeg

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@ ChicagoPalma.

Yes, you can grow palms in Chicago, go for it.... just don't think that you can beat mother nature, There's a guy in Mirabel, Quebec, who sells palms and offers winter wrapping protection($$$) for palms. He has been doing it for a long while. 

Where this nonsense has to stop is talking about Palmettos and mule palms.

Heck, even I can purchase a 10 feet tall Palmetto here in Montreal (1000usd) I would never spend that much money on a palm.

I too, have palm outside year-round. Trachy/sabal/needle with styrofoam and insulated blankets, yadi yada...C9, thermocube...

My point is YES you can👍But you should start with proven stuff and if successful then tackle something more exotic. 

I've lost a pindo/trachy/minor so far playing against nature....but every palm that I've lost was priced at around 200usd. 

Pictures of that guy in Mirabel 20230224_113911.thumb.jpg.cd14ca3524bdb34d0f51891aee0208a2.jpg

20230224_113837.jpg

Edited by Alex Zone 5
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My biggest concern with much of this homemade heated insulation concept is ... fire. Use extreme caution when erecting structures and the required devices that accompany these. Secondly, too much of this stuff begins to look unsightly. Depending on where you live and what the city by-laws, HOA's, Fire Dep't regs are, you could be asked to remove those structures or face fines. Not personally, but I have seen examples of both.

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6 hours ago, Sabal King said:

I used to live right down the road from you in Hoffman Estates and Algonquin, but to think anyone would actually try to grow a palm in that environment,  after coming down to TX and seeing our wimpy winters, is just a fools errand.  Like has been said, you may get away with it for a year or two, but why the hell would you want to start build insulated boxes to the sky for something like that?   You're better off spending the money on some nice potted palms and admire them from the inside when it's below 0 outside.  Or a big potted palm outside, and haul them in the garage come winter.  I came for the entertainment value but now it's like with my kids, we're providing attention to this nonsense.

Yep, I know Hoffman Estates very well. I now live in Tennessee and have some palms, and do very well here with no protection. Even though this year we had a low of 4 degrees and had some damage, but Tennessee is certainly much friendlier to palms than northern Illinois.

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Lived in Cape Coral, Miami, Orlando and St. Petersburg Florida.

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Yes, but I am still going to try to grow the 10ft washingtonia, and maybe try to grow a 15 gallon (6-7ft tall) mule palm, these both I will protect heavily to see how they do, but usually january is the month of worry, and If I keep the same temps as the box I have for the trachy, around 30-40 Farenheit even during the negatives, they should survive the winter well.

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James palms grows washingtonias in Canada, same zone as us mostly, so we have mostly the same weather as them, so Ill be able to grow a washingtonia

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1 hour ago, ChicagoPalma said:

Yes, but I am still going to try to grow the 10ft washingtonia, and maybe try to grow a 15 gallon (6-7ft tall) mule palm, these both I will protect heavily to see how they do, but usually january is the month of worry, and If I keep the same temps as the box I have for the trachy, around 30-40 Farenheit even during the negatives, they should survive the winter well.

LOL come on a mule palm?  Bro... seriously.  I'm all for trying to do some special things but just come out as a parody account now, please, and just save us all.  This is like a car wreck that's hard to turn away from.

Subscribe to my YouTube here  to follow along my Sabal obsession....  Quite possibly one of the biggest Sabal plantings in the US.

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sabalking.texas

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As much as I know about the general climate of Chicago I don't think any palm could survive there without massive protection and probably artificial heat. If I was the one to try that I would get some real exotics that might even be somewhat frost tender and put some insulation already into the ground then build something like a removable conservatory that is well insulated with more than one layer of glass (or whatever is used). And the whole thing needs to get heated of course. In summer I would try to hide away the foundations of this structure. Imo that's the only long term solution that makes sense to me. It might be a hassle and quiet expensive but in the long run it will pay out. Lost palms, constantly improving constructions and heating cost because of bad insulation would eventually cost even more. I would probably go even so far to build some removable tube that diverts some heat from the house directely to the construction.

  

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2 minutes ago, Hortulanus said:

As much as I know about the general climate of Chicago I don't think any palm could survive there without massive protection and probably artificial heat. If I was the one to try that I would get some real exotics that might even be somewhat frost tender and put some insulation already into the ground then build something like a removable conservatory that is well insulated with more than one layer of glass (or whatever is used). And the whole thing needs to get heated of course. In summer I would try to hide away the foundations of this structure. Imo that's the only long term solution that makes sense to me. It might be a hassle and quiet expensive but in the long run it will pay out. Lost palms, constantly improving constructions and heating cost because of bad insulation would eventually cost even more. I would probably go even so far to build some removable tube that diverts some heat from the house directely to the construction.

why not just spend the money at that point and build a small greenhouse, or like you said, a real conservatory and just do it right?  Honestly, neighbors and like someone else said above, HOAs, etc aren't going to like big boxes and big insulated toothpicks outside for 6 months out of the year.... lol

Subscribe to my YouTube here  to follow along my Sabal obsession....  Quite possibly one of the biggest Sabal plantings in the US.

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sabalking.texas

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1 minute ago, Sabal King said:

why not just spend the money at that point and build a small greenhouse, or like you said, a real conservatory and just do it right?  Honestly, neighbors and like someone else said above, HOAs, etc aren't going to like big boxes and big insulated toothpicks outside for 6 months out of the year.... lol

That's what I meant by that. Just something you can remove in the summer. A spacious construction. My point is that in that climate it only makes sense to go for it completely. The only other choice I think is to bury a big potted plant and to dig it up every autumn, But you would probabaly have to pay somebody to do that for you and you need some place to store it correctly. So...

  

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1 hour ago, Hortulanus said:

As much as I know about the general climate of Chicago I don't think any palm could survive there without massive protection and probably artificial heat. If I was the one to try that I would get some real exotics that might even be somewhat frost tender and put some insulation already into the ground then build something like a removable conservatory that is well insulated with more than one layer of glass (or whatever is used). And the whole thing needs to get heated of course. In summer I would try to hide away the foundations of this structure. Imo that's the only long term solution that makes sense to me. It might be a hassle and quiet expensive but in the long run it will pay out. Lost palms, constantly improving constructions and heating cost because of bad insulation would eventually cost even more. I would probably go even so far to build some removable tube that diverts some heat from the house directely to the construction.

First of all, go back to see what Allen said, it’s complete nonsense what you are saying. I don’t need massive protection for  the palm in the climate i’m in, and the protection isn’t even that expensive, I don’t even need glass and all I need is just foam board and c9 lights. Maybe some pvc pipes or wood to support it, but it’s not that hard to protect palms here. Here is some proof, this only cost me like 30-50 bucks. Definitely under 70 bucks. Ignore the tape It’s there for the vent flaps I cut in there.

image.jpg

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1 hour ago, Sabal King said:

why not just spend the money at that point and build a small greenhouse, or like you said, a real conservatory and just do it right?  Honestly, neighbors and like someone else said above, HOAs, etc aren't going to like big boxes and big insulated toothpicks outside for 6 months out of the year.... lol

You are just trying to be a Jerk at this point, so maybe just at this point find someone else to pick on. Maybe it’s not as warm as Texas, but with some protection, palms can grow here.

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3 minutes ago, ChicagoPalma said:

First of all, go back to see what Allen said, it’s complete nonsense what you are saying. I don’t need massive protection for  the palm in the climate i’m in, and the protection isn’t even that expensive, I don’t even need glass and all I need is just foam board and c9 lights. Maybe some pvc pipes or wood to support it, but it’s not that hard to protect palms here. Here is some proof, this only cost me like 30-50 bucks. Definitely under 70 bucks. Ignore the tape It’s there for the vent flaps I cut in there.

image.jpg

That is not going to help a mule, or even a filifera, trachy survive, and thrive during winter..  Nor is that going to help you during a winter like this one for you.. Seriously, give up this thread already this is just such a disaster filled with half truths, and btw you'll have to show us your thriving palms come the spring.  Seriously, please reveal yourself as some parody account, it would be a relief for us all here.  

I am NOT trying to be a jerk, I am being realistic and there is a very big difference.  You will NOT have a palm survive long-term without serious protection in Chicago, you just won't.  If it was possible, there would be palms all over the place, but guess what, I lived there my entire life until three years ago, and there aren't...  lol.

Subscribe to my YouTube here  to follow along my Sabal obsession....  Quite possibly one of the biggest Sabal plantings in the US.

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sabalking.texas

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Just now, Sabal King said:

That is not going to help a mule, or even a filifera, trachy survive, and thrive during winter..  Nor is that going to help you during a winter like this one for you.. Seriously, give up this thread already this is just such a disaster filled with half truths, and btw you'll have to show us your thriving palms come the spring.  Seriously, please reveal yourself as some parody account, it would be a relief for us all here.  

I will do you one favor, I’ll be showing you a picture of an unwrapped windmill palm thriving with nice and green spears and fronds.

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8 minutes ago, ChicagoPalma said:

I will do you one favor, I’ll be showing you a picture of an unwrapped windmill palm thriving with nice and green spears and fronds.

We'll have to chronicle your success over the years, please this will be fun.  I don't get why people have a problem with humility and pride.  You have an entire board of people who have a ton of experience trying to help you.  Again, your palm will not thrive long-term in Chicago, I will guarantee that.  By long-term I mean long enough to seed, that is the most important metric.

Subscribe to my YouTube here  to follow along my Sabal obsession....  Quite possibly one of the biggest Sabal plantings in the US.

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sabalking.texas

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45 minutes ago, Sabal King said:

That is not going to help a mule, or even a filifera, trachy survive, and thrive during winter..  Nor is that going to help you during a winter like this one for you.. Seriously, give up this thread already this is just such a disaster filled with half truths, and btw you'll have to show us your thriving palms come the spring.  Seriously, please reveal yourself as some parody account, it would be a relief for us all here.  

I am NOT trying to be a jerk, I am being realistic and there is a very big difference.  You will NOT have a palm survive long-term without serious protection in Chicago, you just won't.  If it was possible, there would be palms all over the place, but guess what, I lived there my entire life until three years ago, and there aren't...  lol.

I have no idea why you are giving him so much grief.  You are growing stuff as well that is sure to die in your zone.  I know another person that has had palms in N IL for years at this point.  Tough yes but doable with foam boxes.  Will some die eventually,  probably - but I think the OP knows that and wants to enjoy them while he/she can.  You should know what a hobby is at this point with palms.  Most of the palms grow slow up North so they can be protected for many years as they won't go over 10' for a long time.

Edited by Allen
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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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13 minutes ago, Sabal King said:

We'll have to chronicle your success over the years, please this will be fun.  I don't get why people have a problem with humility and pride.  You have an entire board of people who have a ton of experience trying to help you.  Again, your palm will not thrive long-term in Chicago, I will guarantee that.  By long-term I mean long enough to seed, that is the most important metric.

You are right about that for the washingtonia and mule palm. But they are only for show, not for seeds.

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2 minutes ago, Allen said:

I have no idea why you are giving him so much grief.  You are growing stuff as well that is sure to die in your zone.  I know another person that has had palms in N IL for years at this point.  Tough yes but doable with foam boxes.  Most of the palms grow slow there so can be protected for many years as they won't go over 10' for a long time.

Correct

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29 minutes ago, ChicagoPalma said:

First of all, go back to see what Allen said, it’s complete nonsense what you are saying. I don’t need massive protection for  the palm in the climate i’m in, and the protection isn’t even that expensive, I don’t even need glass and all I need is just foam board and c9 lights. Maybe some pvc pipes or wood to support it, but it’s not that hard to protect palms here. Here is some proof, this only cost me like 30-50 bucks. Definitely under 70 bucks. Ignore the tape It’s there for the vent flaps I cut in there.

image.jpg

Alright. I like experimenting. I was just giving you my opinion and how I would do it based on what I superficially know about your climate. If you want to try it, try it! If it's working out that's great because if you post it here it might inspire some other palmtalkers with a similar climate! I'm not trying to pull you down or anything. I just gave my view on this.

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Mk, i was just saying, but I thought you were going to side with Sabal King but thank you for the kind response.

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Here is a nice zone 5B garden.  Which of you guys has a better garden than this?  No no one?  It's in 5B which can't be done right, LOL.  Well maybe it's about more than your zone?  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otTvZh_R8_A

37 minutes ago, DreaminAboutPalms said:

https://www.nwestiowa.com/news/sibley-man-cuts-down-unlikely-palm-tree/article_6fc173c0-ecb8-11e9-81e5-efee02cc76e9.html

Former 20 foot Washingtonia in Iowa. Looks like The guy did put a greenhouse over it in winter though. 

Looks like he kept the smaller one.   He kept the bigger one for 20 years.  And this Washingtonia is zone 4B and a 70" frost depth for all you frost depth posters. 

Edited by Allen
  • Upvote 2

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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