What's been your minimum temperature so far?

subtropixJanuary 28, 2014

Hopefully, this'll be over soon.

5 above was the lowest for me, so did not go below the average, expected minimum of 0 F.

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I am with you there. We bottomed out at 4.8. This winter cant end soon enough.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 4:53PM
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Yeah, we could sure use some mild and California and MUCH of the West could really use a drink. Wonder what that drought is doing to their palms. Most people think Mediterranean and desert palms grow in SAND and need to be watered like cacti; not realizing that they depend on water from aquifers and California's are rapidly being depleted as we freeze over! Looks like a pattern change though. I see low 40's in the forecast...but not before another 2 inches from your southern snowstorm which was supposed to bypass us. (The way this winter is going, would not be surprised to see them upping the amounts.) We've had much worse winters in terms of snow and ice, but not such a monotonous, stagnant, weather pattern. We need the weather to start moving from west to east again for all concerned.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 5:35PM
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Our lowest temp was -13 degrees. Enough said. Everyone, even older people, are saying this has been the worst, coldest winter they've ever seen. It's already the snowiest January ever, as we already have had more snow this month than we're supposed to have all winter long.

I'll be shocked if my less hardy Southern Magnolia makes it through this winter. The hardier one is an Edith Bogue, so it should survive no problem even with these brutal temps.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 8:00PM
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You guys in the Upper Midwest have definitely seen the coldest!

Island, which other M. granifloras are you growing other than Bogue? Edith B. was a clone from my old hometown in Montclair, NJ.. I have several M. grandifloras (including two Bogues). Your low of -13 F. is pretty much the region wide, all time minimum ever recorded in the area (so, about 13 degrees colder than the zonal, minimal, average). Good luck and wishing you an early Spring!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 10:55PM
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Got down to 3F in my yard. I never thought I would have to protect my fig but considering how bad it does to begin with (and it never has suffered die back), I can only imagine how much worse it would do if it did die back!
I think everything else that I don't usually protect will make it through the 3F okay. This sure has been a rough winter though!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 12:05AM
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Yes we definitely had some record-breaking temperatures around here, as well as record-breaking snow. Picture the worst winter ever and that's what we've had. Normally we don't get below zero during a typical winter.

I'm not sure what cultivar of magnolia I'm growing...It looks most similar to "Miss Chloe", leaves are larger, veiny, green on both sides, and end of the leaves comes to a sharp point. They don't cup at all. Here's a pic I found on Tropicsphere website that looks similar. Definitely not a hardy variety though.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 9:55AM
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28F. Coldest morning since 1998. Its changed my mind on what to plant.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 3:47PM
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Islandbreeze, most cultivars of Mags will succeed for me but there was one I removed this past Fall. I felt terrible about it but it just had too many issues with... Snow loads, ice storms, then the hurricanes. Not sure of the cultivar but it was also all green (a lighter green than most), very little to no coloration or fuzz on the underside (an attractive trait in my opinion), and grew very low branches (to the ground). It was also very, very fast growing. Amazing the range of temperaments and appearances for one species! If you wanna add more cold hardier Mags to the collection (in addition to the Edith B.), I can also suggest 'Victoria' (not a dwarf at all, but has nice 'compact' form and new growth buds are reddish like on a Rubber tree). I understand that Bracken's Brown is also good, but these don't seem too available in local nurseries around me. People usually only consider cold tolerance with these, but in my opinion, tolerance to wet snow loads is really important, and you can be above freezing to see problems with that!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 4:53PM
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3 degrees not counting any wind-chill factor. it wasn't that 3 degree dip that was a killer, it was the prolonged coldness of 3-4 days bouts of being in the mid single digits to low teens.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 11:58AM
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After the 3 day bout of prolonged cold I woke up to 2F this morning. Really! Guess everything will be dead by spring.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 12:07PM
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Overnight, got to 14 f. with all that snow cover. But this being part of the NJ/NYC megalopolis, there is a bit of a heat island and marine influence in winter and summer. In fact, if I drive only one hour northwest, I can be in a Zone 5b. Actually, a friend of mine is one hour south/southwest of me and he got down to -4 f. this morning...almost a 20 degree difference!

A big change to occur and now predicting 50F.on to Super Bowl Sunday. All the concern about a 'northern' game, yet it could easily have been a southern disaster this year if a timing was a bit later. Could be fog issues with the big warmup. January was colder than normal definitely, but if the trend continues, February and March will be warmer than normal. Have heard though that they are expecting the stormy pattern to contine.

Uncovered my Trachys today. Not looking bad really.

Chadec, which plants are you worried about? My house generates enough heat to protect them as they are close to the foundation...especially if covered, with lights etc. The only palms I have unprotected...in the field out back is a Needle and a few Sabal minors. There has been a decent snow cover and that is nature's mulch. Snow cover here is not reliable, some years there is very little, sometimes intermittent, sometimes snowbound. This year, the snow was around for the coldest periods.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 5:42PM
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k4idx(7 -GA)

2 degrees was the lowest here so far but have been between 5-15 several times. Trachys are fine but for the first time my Med Fan is totally fried. Have had a 100W flood lamp on the spear and trunk at a distance of about 12". Keeping my fingers crossed.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 6:57PM
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Nj, this was our first snow in 3 yrs. My washies defoliated back in Nov. My pindos are 100% defoliated from the 2nd vortex and that was after adding xmas lights. Didnt have them on last night because we were not suppose to drop down this cold. Even my silver and green med. has 100% defoliated. Trachy princep is starting to defoliate now. Hesper palm and trachy takil were the first to pull because the were so small. Even one of my sabal louisianas burn back to the ground! Now we are expecting another front next week. When is it gonna end?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 7:03PM
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JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)

I had 5 degrees in my yard in Washington, DC in early January; the official low at the airport was 6 degrees. That was DC's lowest temperature in about 20 years. But that didn't hit my palms nearly as hard as the next 2 cold waves, which didn't have such cold lows but had more of them over two back-to-back extended periods. Here's a look at how my palms have come through so far:

Here is a link that might be useful: Freeze-dried palms

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 8:08PM
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I agree John, the next 2 cold waves definitely caused more harm for my plants than the first one. If the cold in early January was the only bad cold we had this winter, I think I'd have much nicer looking plants. The lowest temperature in my forecast is 15F which is still a bit too cold for me haha.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 9:38AM
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Johnnie B- Thank you for posting the progress of your palms this winter. Very useful information on cold tolerance. All of you growers on the mid to upper east coast who didn't protect are definitely contributing to cold hardiness information to give us all a real idea of what palms will handle.

For us here in the Midwest, the cold is not letting up any time soon. Here's this week's 7 day forecast. Notice the consistent single-digit lows. Most winters we may have 3 or 4 single digit nights. This winter it has become a regular thing.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 12:14PM
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prinbama(Alabama 7b-8a)

Thinks are finally looking up.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 12:47PM
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25 If this ends up being my low then I'll be happy. My 10 day looks great but I usually need till the end of February to be sure.

January's duration of cold was more an issue than the low temps for me. I bet it goes into the books as one of the coldest months for many of us.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 8:52AM
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Duration of cold is definitely a huge factor that is never able to really be properly measured when it comes to plants. The duration of cold was pretty bad here. My frostproof gardenia is already dropping leaves and my Southern Mag might even have some leaf drop too because of the duration of extreme cold we had. Now on the flip side, my med fan palm briefly saw 3F because it was unprotected for the coldest night, but it has been protected for everything else and it is still alive (although badly burned). I think it will survive and 3F is a pretty impressive temperature for a med fan palm to survive. The Oleanders saw the same temperatures and they are completely fried, but I have some hope that the branches are alive.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 12:18AM
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My hardy gardenia is covered in a snow bank near the house, so should be fine. Your Magnolia will gain in hardiness as it becomes better rooted. If it was recently planted (past season), it is not yet established (takes about three seasons). I might suggest next season you spray it with an anti desiccant spray in the late Fall. This reduces transpiration and sun scold during periods of subarctic cold. I really have not found this necessary though for established trees. Also, we have snow cover, so this tends to keep the ground milder. Make sure it gets mulched in the Fall as well.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 6:37AM
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The minimums were a radiational 1 and 3 above zero and an advective 2 or 3 above.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 9:23PM
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Brand new place this year... in mountains above Los Angeles... coldest day so far has been 22F but with a huge wind... not sure how wind chill affects plants, but was 50mph durng parts of that day... think the wind did more damage than the actual cold did... lost several Phoenix palms on that day, and Jubaeopsis. Oh well... more room for other ideas now.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 1:26AM
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Only 2 degrees minimum here, but extended periods of subfreezing temperatures. My needle palms seem to be holding up pretty well so far though.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 8:38PM
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44 degrees (at night) here in Santa Monica (coastal Los Angeles). The next day it got up to 67.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 11:53PM
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It's was -10 sometime in early January. And we've had very long periods of below freezeing temps. Very unusual for this area. I live 9 miles east of St Louis, Mo and our normal January highs are 35 to 40F.
I put one of my larger Trachycarpus Fortunei in the ground in the spring of 2013. Our winters have been so mild for the last 10 years I thought it would easily survive. Boy did I pick a bad year to experiment. It's toast. But I still have 8 others in pots that I will move outdoors come April 1st.

This post was edited by southern_il_boy on Wed, Feb 12, 14 at 16:31

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 4:18PM
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Coldest night here was 12F. My Mule palm and Chinese Fan palm are completely brown. All of the Washingtonia palms here are brown too. Sabal palms, Pindo palms, and Windmill palms are unaffected.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 10:45PM
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I saw -18F for Fairfield Iowa....they have had a staggering number of days below 1F...maybe almost 30 by now.

I believe Jan avg was 27F/6F

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 11:50AM
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-4F here in El Dorado, Kansas (just outside Wichita)...this has indeed been a VERY cold winter:( We go decades without seeing negative temps, however, we've seen -0 at least twice this winter:( Can it end already??!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 7:26AM
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NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)

I haven't posted a whole lot here in the past few years. Mainly because I just don't post that much anymore, period. I only have 5 palms left now, including a 5 & 1/2 foot windmill, which I have had for about 5 years. I also moved to a zone 6B/7A in the mountains of far Western Loudoun County, VA. This winter has been harsh. 63.5" of snow on the year here, and many nights at zero F or below, and many days with highs of 5-12 above. The lowest we saw this winter was -9F with 10 nights below zero period, and many many more at 0-5 above.

Today even, 3/26/14, after 3 more inches of snow yesterday, our high has been 27F. It should be about 55 by now!

Suffice it to say even in its protected location on the south side of the house up against it in full sun, my windmill is FRIED, completely. However, the spear is still as snug as ever.

If it has made it through this winter, it will be making a trip to Smithfield, VA to my partners mothers house and being planted there in her front yard. I suppose the next couple months will tell if it has in deed weathered what has been the harshest winter in 20+ years here.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 5:16PM
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wannabegardnr(7 Maryland)

I watched it go down to 2F myself. Problem is, different weather stations report different numbers. I don't think we went below 0.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 5:21PM
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