Will it recover? (pics)

earthworm73(WA z8)January 26, 2012

This is my trachy nainital that is going through its first winter in-ground. As you can see its a mess from some recent high winds and a Christmas light debacle a couple of weeks ago. Basically I wrapped the thing in C7 lights during a cold spell but becaue it was my first time using the lights I put them in the crown and they burnt the poor thing. With the stems being brittle from the lights the wind snapped a couple of the stems. While the spear is not dark green and suffered the effects of the lights I tugged on it slightly and it won't budge. Just wondering even though it is in rough shape is there a chance for it to make a recovery come spring?

Here it is when after I planted it this past summer for comparision.

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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

They are pretty resilient and if the spear is fine then I think it will be OK, and there are more spears down inside besides the one you can see. But may I ask why did you even try to use the lights? If you are in zone 8b the tree should be fine without any special protection, other than maybe shelter from strong winds until it's rooted in well for a couple of years.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 10:34AM
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earthworm73(WA z8)

@ bill Yeah I know I'm in a 8b but I planted it kinda late in the season and we got really cold for a few days a couple weeks ago. We had two day time highs of 18* and 20* with a serious windchill and I didn't want to take any chances with it. So the lights went on. It was my first time using the lights and a lesson was learned.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:14AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I think it will be OK. It may take a while, but if you see growth of the spear that's a good sign. Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 5:46AM
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Not sure whats going on with those petioles...are they just burnt?

I think if the crown is just dried(fried out)it should come back o.k.-
assuming the roots are healthy and happy it should make a full recovery....
I would keep a close eye on the spear area,something doesn't look right there.

Click for weather forecast

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:12AM
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earthworm73(WA z8)

@ bill if I am not mistaken the I saw what appears to be the spear trying to push up. Again I tugged (gently) and everything feels super secure.

@ Jim yeah the petioles are damaged from the ligh bulbs being too close to them. I am sure the roots and everything else is find. Prior to the cold blast and my bonehead attemt to keep it warm with xmas lights the palm looked like it did in the bottom pic. All of what you see occurred after the lights were on. Fingers crossed we ride out the remainder of winter with "normal" temps for my area and no more sub-freezing daytime temps. Come spring I hope this thing responds with avengence putting out good growth. After all it is situated in my best microclimate so if the light bulbs only did cosmetic damage there should be no excuse for this thing to not have put out 5-7 new fronds by the first frost.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:44AM
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I think it might recover. Trachys are pretty good at recovering from spear pull and if you have to, you can maybe trunk cut it back just a little bit to get to a point where the growing bud might still be alive.
A lot of times its the heat of the protection that will kill a palm tree during the winter, and not the winter cold. Thats why they say too much love can kill plants!
I hope it pulls through for you.
Keep us updated!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:56AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I wouldn't cut anything yet.........and as you said the spear did not pull, so that's a very good sign.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 2:15PM
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