Palms popping up around Washington, DC

JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)June 11, 2012

Palm trees are popping up around our nation's capital! Perhaps emboldened by our unusually mild winters in recent years, quite a few people are planting hardy palms as year-round outdoors plantings in Washington, DC and most of them have done quite well. Every year I find more and more--here's a selection of windmill palms (Trachycarpus fortunei) that are planted in publicly visible places. I know of a few more, that I haven't gotten around to photographing yet.

National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution), planted spring 2011:

Smithsonian's Air & Space Museum, planted circa 2000:

Smithsonian Castle, planted circa 2008???

Scottish Rite Temple in NW DC, planted spring 2011 (not my photos, these are from Flickr):

Adams Morgan neighborhood (planted 2008?); thought I had a more recent photo of this one but apparently not--it's put out a lot of new growth since this photo and is looking much better now:

Shaw neighborhood (planted sometime prior to 2009):

And who knows how many are lurking in private gardens around the area!

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I hope this craze starts to catch on in the Pittsburgh area! I would love to see palms in y area (other than my Yard)!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 3:47PM
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Thats really great to see! Im sure there are many more in people's yards and the fact that they are being tried out in public spots proves that knowledge of these palms is defintiely growing (I guess mild winters and the internet are to thank for that).
Your yard is looking great as always. Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 5:40PM
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Lookin good John, seems like there are quite a few more palms in DC these days. Haven't seen you on in awhile, at least haven't seen your trachy in awhile. Getting big.

Richard, where in da burgh are you. I'm in North Huntingdon and I am also afflicted. Bananas and other temperate plants are becoming more prevalent, it seems in Pittsburgh. And many nurseries are carrying large sized "annual palms", but hardy palms are hard to come by outside of the rare blue pot specials here and there.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 6:04PM
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Nice. Ive seen palms and yuccas popping up around here too.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 6:38PM
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earthworm73(WA z8)

In my particular community you don't see very many palms per se. You will probably see more nanners than palms in ppl yards. That's weird because Vancouver, Canada is only about a one hours drive across the border from me and as soon as you cross you will see trachys and other palms and tropicals all over the place. Then down in Seattle you will again see palms and tropicals. But for some reason my community, which is much closer to Vancouver then Seattle is and there are a lot more ppl from the Vancouver area visiting/living in my community you would think the palm craze would be abundant here. I guess ppl living right here are much more ignorant to cold hardy palms and are sticking to their old (and tired) tried and true garden items such as rhoddies and azaleas and what not and refuse to believe that palms and other cold hardy tropicals won�t stand a chance in-ground long term.. I�m trying to change all of that. I planted some small trachys at the entrance of my subdivision (better to ask for forgiveness then permission I always say) and my boss gave me the go ahead to plant some trachys at our brand new office building! I can�t wait to help put them in. I am just one person but I�ll try my best to spread the madness.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 4:48PM
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Now, when global warming moderates our climate here that I see sights like this in Detroit, it will really be something to see.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 7:42PM
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Nice pics of DC Johnnieb!

Denninmi- I'm trying to start the trend here!! At least with Needles and sabal minor at my house. I think there probably are locations throughout downtown Detroit where a windmill would probably survive, although it might not look the best at times. Somewhere tucked in between buildings surrounded by blacktop and near the river.

I did hear that someone in Windsor has unprotected needles growing, but haven't had the need to head over the border in a while, so haven't checked it out for myself. I would love if someone could confirm this. Someone also said the Royal Oak library had a palm growing there. I did check it out for myself, and it turned out to be a yucca.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 9:22PM
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bradleyo- I live right outside metropoitan Pittsburgh! do you know any good nurseries near PIT? i'd love to get a Queen palm in my hands (for cheaper than the online nurseries)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 1:13AM
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Laurel Nursery in Latrobe has large palms as well as Martin's on 51 north of Belle Vernon. $75-150, large Christmas Palms, queens, foxtails, some smaller bizzies, washies etc... Also Quality Garden on 228 right across from Mars HS has some larger tropical stuff. There, now you have a place each on the north, south and east sides of the city. If you live near the airport, I can't help you. There are plenty of other good nurseries in Pittsburgh, but I haven't been there this year.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 7:38PM
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I'm on the airport side of PIT! but, im out and about all the time, and i'll stop at one of these soon :)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 1:27AM
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I think there are probably a few sheltered microclimates that might work, too, right along the Detroit River or Lake Erie shoreline. A place that would be really worth experimenting would be Pelee Island, Ontario, in the middle of Lake Erie.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 6:54PM
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