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Zone 11


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To All, I apologize for my inability to express with clarity my thoughts on Zone 11 and the USDA nomenclature. Once again, the USDA promulgated the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map recognizing that generally the most important adaptation of landscape plants to their environment is survival through winter.Simply stated,they attempted to develop a criteria that would assist grower's in determining what plant's could be grown in their respective Zones. As it relates to Zone 11, the criteria adopted by the USDA included those area's where the average minimum temperature over a specified period of time(10 or 15 years)was 40 degrees F. or higher.At the same time,it is fair to deduce that the USDA was attempting to designate those area's capable of growing the most tropical and temperature sensitive plant specimens with it's highest designation.Unfortunately, the criteria adopted by the USDA fails miserably at that goal.It fails because it does not take into account the high cumulative heat requirements of those plant specimens that qualify for the most tropical in the US.Because of this failure,Zone 11 is rendered meaningless.It is impossible to accept that a region(South Florida)can be considered less tropical when Coconuts(just one example) grow like weeds when a higher Zone cannot grow the symbol of the tropics.I greatly enjoy California and this issue has nothing to do with the state other than the fact that it meets a bogus criteria and therefore must become "Exhibit A".Until the USDA develops a criteria that takes into account the heat requirements of tropical specimens, it's Zone system can only be viewed as a fatally flawed mistake.

What you look for is what is looking

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Now I am confused. So, Bubba, you are agreeing now that zone 11 exists in California based purly on the methods used by the USDA to create thier zone system, but it is not useful to compare zone 11 CA with zone 11 FL because the amount of total heat received by the two zone 11 areas is too different making the whole USDA zone system worthless when trying to decide what one can grow in their area ??? I would agree with that to a certain extent, but I still find it useful to know if I will, on average, see between 25F and 30F (z9B like where I live) each winter. In my opinion, coconuts are not uber tropical palms, they can take a light freeze (maybe as low as 27F) once a winter in stride and look just fine - when grown in areas with tons of heat like in Texas and Florida where the duration of freezing temperatures is likely to be short. Like it has been said many times on this board, coconuts just don't care for poor draining soil, they don't like consistently cool soil temperatures, and don't like winter rain. These are all characteristics of California unfortunately, even in zone 11 California. I think if 2 out of 3 of these can be altered, then coconuts are possible in zone 10+ california. Alter 3 out of 3 and you almost have a sure thing. Sorry for the ramble...

Parrish, FL

Zone 9B

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I hate this wide screen stuff as I work on a laptop.

I don't really know what all the fuss is about as everywhere has micro-climatic conditions in various hills and valleys and no zone chart can cover all that.

Also it does not seem that the south western pacific islands even exist on Koppens Climate chart.

Located on Vanua Levu near Savusavu (16degrees South) Elevation from sealevel to 30meters with average annual rainfall of 2800mm (110in) with temperature from 18 to 34C (65 to 92F).

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To All, Fairchild Gardens= 10B ; Area's of Southern California=11?If you have been to Fairchild, you certainly know that the range of tropical palms and plants extends well beyond the Coconut palm,which is the symbol of the tropics. My question is how can a system promulgated by the USDA be deemed to fulfill it's stated purpose of predicting a plant's liklihood of surviving through Winter in view of this obvious contradiction.Their criteria is wrong and therefore should either be amended or disregarded.

What you look for is what is looking

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