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Defining a zone


ruskinPalms
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(ruskinPalms @ Sep. 03 2006,21:09)

QUOTE
[Larry, that foxtail is terrifying! I have a few of these planted way too close to my house if they ever get that big. Actually, there are a few planted in downtown Sarasota that rival middle age royals. When I saw those, I thought it would take 50 years of perfect Sarasota weather to get that big, but 10 years?!? I guess my logic was flawed anyway because foxtails really haven't been in cultivation that long (50 years).

Bill-

As Ive been thinking about it, I believe she told me the palm was actually planted in 1997-98...which would make it 8-9 years!

She also told me this palm came through the 2001 and 2003 freezes (2001 might not have been a freeze technically as it was radiational and temps varied greatly depending on where one is located) but 2003 was windy and just about everyone was in the 20's (including downtown St. Pete).

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Heres a nice row of Archontophoenix that seem to have done OK considering they probably dont get much care.

Palms_0626.jpg

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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This is one of my favorite Royals.  Its not towering yet, but sure is a fat boy!

Picture_0162.jpg

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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This photo might not be 100% germaine to the "defining a zone" topic, but this is about the tallest Bismarckia I have seen around here.

Palms_0628.jpg

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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(ruskinPalms @ Sep. 03 2006,21:09)

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Larry, that foxtail is terrifying! I have a few of these planted way too close to my house if they ever get that big.

You and me both Bill!  Ive got something like 15 Foxtails in the ground, many of which are close to the house/patio, etc.

But, I feel that they will gently develop curves to account for this proximity.  In fact, Im pretty much sure that will happen as Ive already seen it starting.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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These palms impress me.

But, this is another "cheater" as they are planted at a house very close to the Gulf.

Picture_0168.jpg

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Also a pretty respectable Royal....but certainly post 1989 based on its appearance.

Picture_0170.jpg

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Well, Larry, it is interesting that Ruskin is very 'Ficused' up but has very few examples of zone 10 palms, and Tarpon Springs is awash with zone 10 palms and apparently has few big ficus. Maybe the old local population's tastes or something else is going on. Maybe Ficus can take the freezes and frosts of Ruskin better than crownshafted palms and bounce back but aren't too crazy about Tarpon's decidedly cooler daytime highs in winter. Whereas, frosts and freezes are much less likely in Tarpon Springs in the winter so the crown shafted palms are happier there. All are rated zone 10 which makes 'defining a zone' all the more difficult...

Parrish, FL

Zone 9B

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(ruskinPalms @ Sep. 03 2006,21:10)

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OK, I am definitely jealous now! Zone envy!

Bill-

If streets down my neighborhood looked like this, then Id say you could have zone envy.

royals-street.jpg

In reality, your area and mine are probably about the same climate wise...decent, but just cold enough to get PO'ed when we look at the low temps in the really prime areas!

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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(spockvr6 @ Sep. 03 2006,20:54)

QUOTE

(ruskinPalms @ Sep. 03 2006,20:40)

QUOTE
Larry, there are no royals around here like that, but I might be missing some here and there. How common are royals like that up in Tarpon Springs? I have seen some young royals (5 or 6 years?) growing along a bayou off of the little manatee river near here. And there are several other 2 to 3 year old ones near those along the bayou. I doubt they saw frost last year.

Bill-

The lion's share around here are also younger....Id guesstimate post 1989?

But, in the warmer areas near the Gulf there are some older ones that appear to have escaped the 1980's, albeit with trunk scars as trophies.  

If you go into areas in the southern part of Pinellas (downtown St. Pete and Pinellas Point), there are Royals that make the ones in my photos above look like seedlings.  Theres no doubt this is the warmest part of the Tampa Bay area.   All the rest of us play a distant second fiddle.  But, in those areas such palms are hardly "cool" as they are too common.

Yes Larry, I feel the southern tip of Pinellas and Tierra Verde down to Anna Maria are as close to 10B in central Florida as you can get. If I am staying in the bay area, I may want to relocate to southern Pinellas or even Indian Rocks area  :;):

Parrish, FL

Zone 9B

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I have read accounts of Royals growing farther nort in FL than they are able to survive now. Wouldn't that indicate that there have been warm and cool cycles since Europeans arrived to the US? Also, I've read that since alot of swamps in FL have been drained for urban development, that temps are a bit colder in the winter because of the absence of lake effect.

Los Niños y Los Borrachos siempre dicen la verdad.

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(ruskinPalms @ Sep. 03 2006,21:28)

QUOTE
Well, Larry, it is interesting that Ruskin is very 'Ficused' up but has very few examples of zone 10 palms, and Tarpon Springs is awash with zone 10 palms and apparently has few big ficus. Maybe the old local population's tastes or something else is going on. Maybe Ficus can take the freezes and frosts of Ruskin better than crownshafted palms and bounce back but aren't too crazy about Tarpon's decidedly cooler daytime highs in winter. Whereas, frosts and freezes are much less likely in Tarpon Springs in the winter so the crown shafted palms are happier there. All are rated zone 10 which makes 'defining a zone' all the more difficult...

Bill-

I suspect lot size could also have something to do with it?  In north Pinellas (Dunedin/Tarpon/North Clearwater/Palm Harbor, etc) most lots are small as the area is generally congested.  Certainly much more so than mos areas of Ruskin I have been through.  That is beautiful country out there.  And, there still seems to be some space left in the warmer areas east of US41.

I think the average temps in Ruskin and Tarpon Springs are pretty much the same.

Ruskin

ruskin.jpg

Tarpon Springs

tarponsprings.jpg

I suspect the areas are pretty similar in extreme cold events as well....just a hunch.

If one travels to south Pinellas into some older neighborhoods, there are lots of gigantic Ficus (as well as the largest Mangos I have ever seen...I saw one with a trunk that was 3+ ft in diameter).  

North Pinellas is definitely colder than the prime areas south Pinellas.  Weather data shows this and "Darnall's Dictum" (i.e. whats growing in an area truly defines the zone) shows it!

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Yes Larry, I feel the southern tip of Pinellas and Tierra Verde down to Anna Maria are as close to 10B in central Florida as you can get.

No doubt about it....if one wants to grow tender palms/plants...those areas are the best around here.

If I am staying in the bay area, I may want to relocate to southern Pinellas or even Indian Rocks area  :;):

Watch your location carefully in southern Pinellas.  Some of the most prime areas climate wise would require, in the least, one to carry some sort of weapon at night!  Pitbulls seem to be standard issue in most yards as well.

And, the schools are generally terrible (if you have, or plan to have) children in the public school system).

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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(alex_7b @ Sep. 03 2006,21:38)

QUOTE
I have read accounts of Royals growing farther nort in FL than they are able to survive now. Wouldn't that indicate that there have been warm and cool cycles since Europeans arrived to the US? Also, I've read that since alot of swamps in FL have been drained for urban development, that temps are a bit colder in the winter because of the absence of lake effect.

I have read the same Alex.

Who knows....maybe a few hundred years ago, "the" central FL palm to try and define if one was in a cold spot was not Roystonea and Cocos, but Cyrtostachys!

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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(spockvr6 @ Sep. 03 2006,21:44)

QUOTE
I think the average temps in Ruskin and Tarpon Springs are pretty much the same.

BTW - I always wonder how applicable some of this historical data really is, especially with average lows.  The average low for August is supposed to be 73F, yet I did not have a single morning at 73F this past August.  The same goes for June/July data.

I have a weather station which logs to my PC so I can readily see this.  

So.....perhaps things are getting warmer at night and this historical data hasnt reflected it yet.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Wow, I am surprised that the average highs in summer are lower in ruskin than tarpon?? I guess there is a wicked daily sea/bay breeze out of the west here as well though. My craptastic walmart digital thermometer read 107 degrees once this summer out in the sun  :D . yeh, I know I need a solar sheild etc. Really, I am not worried about the daytime highs. It is the lows... I guess no one cares in the summer, but I have noticed that radiational cooling is in full effect even in the summer on a clear night along with proximity to water. I can't vouch for the accuracy of my walmart thermo, but I have read nights here as low as 72 degrees F in August when Tampa, Brandon, NWS Ruskin etc may report 74-78 at the same time of the morning. My car tends to read 4 degrees above the Wally world thermo...SO I guess I will take an average of the 2 in the future. Anyway, my point is that I don't trust any of my thermometers. That's why I wanted to know what plants to look for to define my zone. So far, the main +'s for my area are the numerous ficus that are medium to large in size, but I don't feel that one genera of plant can define a zone.

Parrish, FL

Zone 9B

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(alex_7b @ Sep. 03 2006,21:38)

QUOTE
I have read accounts of Royals growing farther nort in FL than they are able to survive now. Wouldn't that indicate that there have been warm and cool cycles since Europeans arrived to the US? Also, I've read that since alot of swamps in FL have been drained for urban development, that temps are a bit colder in the winter because of the absence of lake effect.

Yes, I feel that the draining of the swamps has certainly adversly affected the climate here. Previous swamps and hammocks are high dry scrub land now susceptible to radiationaly cooling. But, there may also be long term cycles at play that have nothing to do with human activity. ie physical distance of the earth from the sun., solar activity, etc.

Parrish, FL

Zone 9B

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Those are amazing photos!! I really wish more people in the Orlando area would try more tropical-looking palms like y'all have over in TS. We have basically the same climates, except we may get the two-hour freeze one night. And protecting them for one or two nights is definitely not a hassle or nowhere near time consuming. Though, I have seen a a few cocos that look a few years old and there are a few large royals and PLENTY of foxtails.

Avg:    Hi        Lo       Mean    Rainfall     Record Hi              Lo

Jan   72°F   50°F   61°F   2.43 in.   87°F (1991)   19°F (1985)

Feb 74°F 51°F 63°F 2.35 in. 90°F (1962) 26°F (1996)

Mar 79°F 56°F 67°F 3.54 in. 92°F (1994) 25°F (1980)

Apr 83°F 60°F 72°F 2.42 in. 96°F (1968) 38°F (1987)

May 88°F 66°F 77°F 3.74 in. 100°F (1962) 48°F (1992)

Jun 91°F 71°F 81°F 7.35 in. 100°F (1998) 60°F (1984)

Jul 92°F 73°F 82°F 7.15 in. 100°F (1998) 64°F (1981)

Aug 92°F 73°F 83°F 6.25 in. 100°F (1980) 64°F (1957)

Sep 90°F 72°F 81°F 5.76 in. 98°F (1988) 56°F (1956)

Oct 85°F 65°F 75°F 2.73 in. 95°F (1986) 43°F (1957)

Nov 79°F 59°F 69°F 2.32 in. 89°F (1992) 29°F (1950)

Dec 73°F 53°F 63°F 2.31 in. 90°F (1978) 20°F (1983)

Courtesy: Weather.com...I don't know how to get the pictures up like you all do. I'm not computer-savvy. Haha.

..Going to SeaWorld tomorrow, so I'll take a picture of anything beautifully exotic. Anyone know exactly what palms are where? I've heard there are some large cocos.

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(ruskinPalms @ Sep. 03 2006,22:00)

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Really, I am not worried about the daytime highs. It is the lows... I guess no one cares in the summer, but I have noticed that radiational cooling is in full effect even in the summer on a clear night along with proximity to water.

Oh yes...still in full effect!

The water effects lows even in summer as can be seen in this NWS graphic for tomorrow mornings low temps.

I watch these graphics very carefully (especially in winter) and the trend is more or less the same on radiational nights........as the corrolary of Darnall's Dictum states..."There are no substitutes for large bodies of water in central FL when one is concerned with night time lows"!

tonightslows-1.jpg

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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(ruskinPalms @ Sep. 03 2006,22:00)

QUOTE
My craptastic walmart digital thermometer read 107 degrees once this summer out in the sun  :D . yeh, I know I need a solar sheild etc. I can't vouch for the accuracy of my walmart thermo, but I have read nights here as low as 72 degrees F in August when Tampa, Brandon, NWS Ruskin etc may report 74-78 at the same time of the morning. My car tends to read 4 degrees above the Wally world thermo...SO I guess I will take an average of the 2 in the future. Anyway, my point is that I don't trust any of my thermometers.

I am with you....I dont generally trust these things!

Thats why I have gotten 4-5 of thermometers (some cheap...some good ones I have borrowed from work) and compared them all to find out whats the real deal.  That way I can have some confidence in the numbers.

I also made this for my weather station's sensor.  It is fan aspirated which allows excellent daytime high readings.  Along with the small ventilation holes on the side, there is also a large hole under the top "hat" which allows the fan to draw air through.  Its also improtant to ensure that the fan is drawing air across the sensor and not blowing it across it.  The fan will add a very small amount of heat to the airstream which will give a slightly higher than true reading.

Picture_0315.jpg

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Larry, those royals are showing characteristic growth with the hourglass shape.  There is no reason to blame "stress" in this case.  A 'scar' of one type or another or a 'bacon strip' of trunk would indicate damage.  The tendency to bulge is generally associated with royals of Cuban origin, the Florida (  R. elata when sanity and pride held sway) are more like Olive Oyle than Jessica Rabbit.

Bill, if you have missed the royals in Ruskin, look harder.  Also, cross College Ave, go south a few miles and weep as if you are Ponce De Leon and you are soaking in the Fountain of Youth (with strippers).

Frank Tintera in Tampa (west  of the Veteran's on Water's Ave) has two huge royals planted in 1990 that are a vision of perfection as well as a sugar palm that is so sweet.  (Big as Godzilla)

Also, pre-1962, Tampa had royals as street plantings, and giant mangos out the wazoo.  1962 was 18 freeking (real word rhymes with spelunking) degrees F.  One damn time.  And for the millionth time I harvested icicles on Siesta Key in 1984 (or '83 or '85) on Christmas day on the way back from church, coconuts and royals from then (as well as lots of others, I have said this so many damn times...) are still alive and kicking today-some predate the 62 crap also.

That Ficus is F. bengalensis in the one empty lot picture, its on 41 just north of college, right?

It is no F. aurea.  

Also, lay off the "it's gonna snow and freeze and kill all our crap even if we put mittens on the palms so we might as well just..."  Ray has got that covered.  A guy with palm sweaters and a grove heaters should be the last guy fretting over Jack Frost nipping at his betel nuts.

Here is what I have in the ground that I didn't do crap for this winter: (just a few to inspire disbelief, -which will one day - if luck is on your side - and I finally mow the grass to enable normies to pass (luck is what you really need) you will see first hand ( not just from  pictures that I will sometime in the future post) what selling your soul can do.

Salacca wallichinia

Salacca zalacca

Areca catechu

Licuala distans

There's more but I just wanted to brag a little.  I will wait till I can see "shock and awe" in person for the best stuff.  Bring a hankie.

Also, please keep in mind that I am being "funny" as to the cold weather scolding I delivered, but I am not making a funny with what I have in the ground.  I have "planned" for what weather this way comes that is why I was able to just stay up all night (obligatory for hard-core growers) and poke about with a flashlight (while on the phone with some nut-job doing a more active version of the same) on the coldest night this year.  Also, many of my "plans" are not well thought out or realistic (to normies) yet the one sane commonality is the adaptive nature of my plan and a belief that failure is just another way to say  try again.  Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose, and zone denial is my favorite way to enjoy freedom.

Zone envy can be overcome with zone denial.

Also, Bill, your location might be subject to cold air drainage.  This could be bad.

Larry, Tarpon Springs has some big tropicals near the sponge docks in the older 'hoods near there, saw them not too far back.  

ok, shagged out from this prolonged squawk.  Be gentle in your rebuttle as I cry easily.

Alan

oh, a watched palm never freezes.

Tampa, Florida

Zone - 10a

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(SoLando @ Sep. 03 2006,22:06)

QUOTE
Those are amazing photos!! I really wish more people in the Orlando area would try more tropical-looking palms like y'all have over in TS.

Im sure they are out there....just gotta find em!

Also, I suspect that the warmer parts of Orlando (the locals know where they are) are pretty much the same climate-wise as Pinellas.

Also, the killer freezes tend to be advective (windy) in nature.  This also means that one's low temp is pretty much defined by one's latitude. So, in such horrible windy freezes (which i think is what most everyone is eventually limited by), then things probably arent much different in Pinellas than in Orlando.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Oh geez, talking about radiational cooling in summer compared to winter is like comparing a fart to a hand grenade.

When there is humidity the radiational cooling is insignificant.  Also night temps above 80F piss many plants off as their metabolism is programmed to conserve at certain times.  The most tropical plant you have heard of grows when nights dip into the upper 60'sF (with humidity) and days are whatever - hot or warm, I am thinking of breadfruit - some might say otherwise but since I actually have grown (and still grow) breadfruit and make careful observations and IGNORE those that say CAN"T 'cause they couldn't (or more likely never tried) but based on the data available and most importantly TRYING and learning from both successes and oopses.  That is the only way to learn just why and when a certain organism says " I am outta here" and be able to get it to stay for one more dance.  (even if it needs crutches and a paper bag over its head for a bit.

Ok, I just have this to say - What the hell are you talking about summertime nightime radiational cooling for?  Knock that crap off.  Talk about how hard-core you are not about your creamy innards.  Hard boiled, not poached. Dang!!!

Your palm parkas and whatnot are great, say how who gives a crap what NWS says, I got palm pullovers.  Radiational what?  I have central air with a heat pump. All this weather fear mongering can only lead to something worse, like hurricane tracking - stop it.  One time in like a million years central florida gets a menage a vortex and everyone goes nuts with 5000 watt generators and cones of uncertainty like it was crack flavored candy in 100 dollar bill wrappers.  I have had enough VIPER and TITAN to last forever.

I need a day off - bad.

Alan

Tampa, Florida

Zone - 10a

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(Alan_Tampa @ Sep. 03 2006,22:45)

QUOTE
Ok, I just have this to say - What the hell are you talking about summertime nightime radiational cooling for?  Knock that crap off.  Talk about how hard-core you are not about your creamy innards.  Hard boiled, not poached. Dang!!!

HAHAHAHAHA!

You had me rolling again.......But......I am not hard core....While perhaps not poached, I am over easy :D

In seriousness, the relative nighttime lows in winter and summer correlate fairly closely.  The areas that are cold in winter are cooler in summer and vice versa.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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(Alan_Tampa @ Sep. 03 2006,22:45)

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Your palm parkas and whatnot are great, say how who gives a crap what NWS says, I got palm pullovers.  

I got Ma Nature covered....at least until each palm gets over about 15 ft :D

After that I aint riskin' this [points to face] for no stinking palm!  LOL!

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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(Alan_Tampa @ Sep. 03 2006,22:45)

QUOTE
who gives a crap what NWS says

On the NWS note.....their graphics are top notch in my book.  I follow these colored beauties almost nightly during the winter.

I am with you.....not sure why we need all these TV weather folks when the NWS is there (and free) for all.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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This guys yard is full of tropicals...and succulents!   There must be 50 different cactus and cactus like plants in the yard.

2424252560037238133dySqxZ_th.jpg

by spockvr6

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Heres a nice triple Spindle.  This guys yard used to eb laoded with other palms, but I noticed the house is for sale and hes apparently taken most of his palms with him!

2026095750037238133uZQkLv_th.jpg

by spockvr6

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Heres one that is not seen every day (at least not around here).

I believed it to be Thrinax radiata and Jeff Searle confirmed this in another thread.

2279445080037238133zrmZAT_th.jpg

by spockvr6

2131660250037238133eOKhel_th.jpg

by spockvr6

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Respectable plumeria...but I dont find these to be super accurate zone indicators unless they are huge in size.

2104183820037238133xQFOwr_th.jpg

by spockvr6

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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