Municipal pride

trishmick(z7NJ)September 7, 2013

Despite the less than ideal weather this Summer (it rained every day in June), I was very pleased with how quickly and beautifully my town repaired the beachfront and boardwalk post Sandy. Completed by Memorial Day and landscaped with this same setup at every beach entrance. There are 20 of those. Must have been a run on Christmas palms this year 'round here as my sister has them as well at her pool...

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bradleyo_gw

I never understood why they plant non-hardy palms at the Jersey shore and then let them die. I'm sure it contributes greatly to the extremely oppressive taxes there. After having seen how well trachies do there, I don't know why they continue to plant queens, cocos, and adondias. I would think even washies have a semi-decent chance unprotected and they are dirt cheap and grow like weeds. And palmettos might even survive most winters as well.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 4:56PM
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trishmick(z7NJ)

Because the town planted all of these, I suspect they will be removed before the cold hits. We'll see. There was a real push to complete a sturdier boardwalk by the beginning of the season. Pilings are sunk 25ft. into the sand now. Boards are faux wood and very nicely laid out, with beautiful light stancheons. maybe they planted the palms all over to attract as much attention as possible. It was important that everyone knew the beach was back in business. And, landscaping with palms is becoming almost too common around here. There was a program instituted called "Buy a Board" whereby you could donate money for the project in various amounts. A lot, and I mean a lot, of people got involved, including us. The property taxes are a joke, but I doubt that this has contributed much or anything towards that. I can assure you that the only trunking palm capable of survival around here is the Windmill...as my massive one outside will attest. People have tried washies and sabals, and they just don't make it through even mild Winters. I too wish people would plant the hardier species, but the ones who landscape with the more tender, tropical types have loads of money anyway. Cocos, dates, queens, and the like scream beach to them, so.....

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 9:12AM
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statenislandpalm7a(7a)

At the ocean front trachies must be protected.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 5:01PM
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trishmick(z7NJ)

Lo and behold,,,the town has indeed removed those palms from the beach entrances. Gets me thinking that they will try something similar next Summer. Feelin' good about the effort...

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 9:59AM
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subtropix

Trishmick, Sabal minor should be fine. Yes, they are slower at first but do pick up some--especially Louisiana (lots of variation, I find regarding robustness of growth). Needle palms should also be fine (don't think summer heat requirements on either should be an issue at the Shore). With Trachy, a lot depends on the particular site if left unprotected. Also, lots of good Yuccas for the shore.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 4:16PM
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trishmick(z7NJ)

Yes, nj, those sabals would do very well here...but I'm referring to the palmetto species. Probably the one palm I wish I could grow large outside here. Just ain't gonna happen without significant protection. Same with the washingtonia. Was going to buy a needle at HD this year, but opted out. I'm pretty sure that would be bulletproof, although I would protect for a season or two. Content for now with my windmill...especially since it is now an eye catcher from the side street it's becoming so big...And yuccas...they are all over the place here. Some really large ones too.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 11:54AM
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subtropix

I have had Med fans survive unprotected but they can be risky due to our wet winters--but they are strong clumpers, so they usually pull through. But my in-the-ground unprotected are restricted to T. fortunei, T. Wagnerianus, Needle, Sabal minor and S. Louisiana. Yuccas, I just got the Y. Gloriosa tricolor--stunning color!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 12:46PM
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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

You 'Jersey folk are dreaming if you think Sabal palmetto and Washingtonias can make it there unprotected. Once the temps dip below 15F they are going to be toast. The other factor is going to be the longer time to warm up in the Spring. The absolute northern limit for Sabal palmettos is Virginia Beach to be left unprotected and Sandbridge by the back bay in Virginia Beach is the upper limit for Washingtonias unprotected. Even there it is marginal. You can plant them but they will need protection.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 1:37AM
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trishmick(z7NJ)

Yes, precisely what I said, not once, but twice, in this thread...

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 7:45AM
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wetsuiter(7b/8a)

There's a pot grown sabal palmetto in Fenwick Island, Delaware a full 120 airmiles north of VB. Been in the ground since 2008 unprotected and pretty much out in the open. A few minor wind burns on outer edges of some fronds from last winter's cold nights around 12F, but it pushed out quite a few fronds this summer and must be 9' tall to the top fronds now. It was the inspiration for my three pot grown palmettos here on the Delaware coast, another 20 miles further north.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 11:20PM
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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

Ok, but a pot grown Sabal palmetto will get tall and the further the crown gets away from the ground, the more trouble it will have weathering the winter unprotected. When they are small and closer to the ground they seem hardier because of this growth issue.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 8:24PM
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wetsuiter(7b/8a)

Point taken on the pot grown palms (they are hardier than HC palms), you can't generalize and say VB is the absolute limit, until its been tried farther north. The southern end of the Delmarva shares an identical climate to VB, it's only a cultural barrier (small farming towns that time forgot vs a huge metro/resort) that has really kept palmettos from bring planted farther north. Literature on s. palmetto rates them as 8a, or 7b with good seating. Time will tell, and with winters trending milder odds are more favorable for long term survival.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 12:23AM
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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

Long term I am going to stand by my statement...but I would love to hear that I am wrong one day! LOL! Let's hope there are no "winters of the century" around the corner anytime soon. Also, I saw the small population of Sabal minors in Cape Charles on Virginia's eastern shore and the way they are growing and reproducing, they look like a wild population and not a planted and cultivated one. I believe Sabal minor and maybe Sabal palmetto can start to move north. I saw several decent sized Sabal palmettos that were planted in Ocean City, MD that have been there for a few years and they look like they were container grown and not the usual hurricane cut.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 1:52AM
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wetsuiter(7b/8a)

I haven't seen any palmettos in OCMD. Glad to hear! I'll have to poke around more carefully. I do know that pot grown or pot-regrown (HC) palmettos are a much better choice than a fresh HC palmetto for fringe areas like this. There was a HC palmetto at a garden center outside of Bethany Beach. It was doing fine, but a new garden owner first neglected it one winter, then cooked it with lights and plastic wrap last year and finally killed it. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt for now with winters trending milder than decades ago. I'm realistic, but hopeful. But also realize any palmetto here should be planted in a sheltered area. If you don't push the zone, you'll never know what really can make it.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 10:36PM
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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

They are the smaller pot grown Sabal palmettos that really don't have much trunk yet. It is accepted that because of the better root system the potted palmettos are best because they can transpire water and carbohydrate to their crown and fronds better in the winter months, vs a dug HC palmetto that needs about 2 seasons of good growth to regrow its roots and crown. You make an excellent point, you can over protect a palm to death. Christmas lights and a good frost cloth wrapping and cover would have allowed that poor HC palmetto to make it. There was a tall Trachycarpus at the Smithsonian in DC (not the ones there now and at the Air & Space Museum) that was literally cooked in what should have been a mildish winter. They wrapped it in plastic and cooked the core crown with flood lights. It would have been better to have just left it alone.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 11:16PM
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wetsuiter(7b/8a)

That poor HC palmetto was making a nice recovery this time a year ago. I had high hopes for it. Even if she had completely ignored it last winter with almost no snow and just two nights around 14, it probably would've looked great by now, had she not plasticized and cooked it! Clueless.

This post was edited by wetsuiter on Thu, Oct 10, 13 at 0:18

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 11:53PM
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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

I think marginal Sabal palmettos can make it there with some protection and some of the other palms will be fine like Trachys, Needle palms and Sabal minor.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 4:07PM
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