Help Winterizing my Windmill Palms - New Enthusiast

Brownb85October 2, 2012

I am new to the group. I need some help with winterizing my 2 - 48" Windmill palms. Should I create a box around them, or use Heat tape and Burlap? I planted these in early spring and they have done very well all summer and early fall. Now I just need to learn from the experienced growers about how to correctly protect them from Michigan winters.

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tropicalzone7(7b)

Heat tape does pose a fire risk so I would avoid using that if possible. I find that christmas lights work pretty well, just make sure you get ones that give off some heat. Make sure to keep it protected from precipitation during the cold winter months. A plastic garbage bin will get the job done well when the palm is young, but building a shelter is also a possibility, it just takes more work.

Good luck with your palms and welcome to the hobby!
-Alex

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 5:26PM
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statenislandpalm7a(7a)

What zone are you in ?

In zone 7 and warmer heat isn't necessary just protection from rain and wind. In anything colder Christmas lights are good for heat.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 6:01PM
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californiamike

Hey. Contact me at californiamike64@aol.com. Can help you winterize

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 4:44PM
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islandbreeze

The best piece of advice I can give you right off the bat is do not start protecting them yet. Wait until it gets colder, like mid to late November.

I am also in Michigan, on border of Monroe and Wayne counties along the water. I use a sheet of lattice and bend it to make a cylinder. Then I take another thinner piece of lattice and make an arch over the top side of the cylinder to repel snow and rain. Looks a little like an arbor. Line the inside of the lattice with insulation.

Next, tie the fronds up and wrap the palm in Christmas lights or rope lights. Place the insulation-lined lattice structure over top of the palm. Cover with a clear plastic bag. I use zip ties to fasten the structure together and bungee cords to secure the base of the bag down to keep it from flying off.

This method works really well for my larger palms. I have been using that method for probably the last 5 years. Only turn the lights on when temps get down to 10 degrees. It is helpful to keep an electronic thermometer inside the structure so you can monitor temps. Make sure to lift the base of the plastic bag up on warm days to keep temps from getting too hot in the structure. I don't like my palms going over 60 degrees in winter.

The benefit of the plastic bag is that you're using the sun to heat up the structure to thaw things out and give the palms a break during the day from freezing temps without using energy. At night, they drop back down to the outdoor nighttime low, maybe a few degrees warmer.

Hope this helps. How big are your palms and where in MI are you?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:18PM
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Brownb85

I'm up in Midland. Thanks for the help. Should I be covering the palms during the nights when it goes below 30? I've been covering them the past 2 days as the nights hit 28. Then uncovered during the day. Both of my trees are 4ft tall. The trunks are about 2 ft.

Do you have a photo of your winter units? An image might help with your description. You can email me at Brownjr3@dow.com or you can Facebook book me as well. You can find me searching Billy Brown and add Dow Chemical or Freeland,Mi. There will be multiples of my name if you just search by name.

Thanks again!

Billy

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:38PM
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LagoMar(USDA 8/AHS 7)

Windmills will survive temps down to the teens with no damage at all. Not too sure about how well they will withstand ice and snow in the teens, however. Keep them snow and ice free. You don't need to protect them in the 20's.

Here is a link that might be useful: Virginia Beach Weather

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 11:26PM
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subtropix

Best fo keep snow and ice out of the crown in my opinion. I know snow can be an excellent insulation for plants but I don't think it's helpful in the crown. Also, if you do decide to use lights for extra heating--be careful. Even those little X-mas lights generate enough heat to burn leaves--esp. the non-blinking ones.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 9:29AM
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jimhardy

My advice would be...keep the growth points dry going into/during winter.

As mentioned,no need to cover above 20 and even below if it is dry.

I however would not push them to much the first winter.

Heres what I do early in the winter season(late fall)for the cactus to keep them dry starting Oct 1.


Early heat in March made Jimmy plant his Castor bean plants and tropicals early(March :)-but luckily,I have all this protection laying around....

I also did this for the Washy as I don't like it getting any moisture until thing REALLY warm up!

protecting some palms with spear-pull coming out of fall/winter...

a>

More serious protection,2 layers of fencing with 2 layers 1"
bubble wrap and a layer of foam in between,tops are insulated garbage can lids...

Having a temp sensor in there is crucial if you want it to live...

The(Washy) process....

I use a thermocube to keep temps between 35F and 45F at the low end...the enclosures get warmer inside on sunny days..

I do open them up to dry/air out when temps allow...if fact,I leave them all opened/uncovered .

This better help (-;

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 11:26AM
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wetsuiter(7b/8a)

I think it is beneficial for them to be exposed to some cold to help make them hardier from the start. So, I agree. Don't wrap them until December. If you have some early snow, just shake it off and let it dry out before putting it to bed.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 12:04PM
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Brownb85

I will take the recommendations of not covering until later in the year. Sure does scare me though! I'm sure after the winter is done with, next year will be a breeze with little concern about the Windmill Palms.

Is it normal for the Palms to turn a lighter green after cold nights?

Below is a photo of my palms when I purchased them in May. I haven't taken any recent ones, they haven't changed much, just more prongs. We are having a fiberglass inground pool installed in March/April 2013 and I plan on purchasing more Palms if this winter goes well with my current two.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 1:05PM
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Brownb85

Another shot of my Palms in May 2012.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 1:06PM
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jimhardy

Your welcome

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 6:07PM
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tropicalzone7(7b)

The palms look great. Usually my palms turn a dark green after a cold night, I've never had then turn a light green from cold.

Good luck!
-Alex

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 10:01PM
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LagoMar(USDA 8/AHS 7)

Jim Hardy, you are a die-hard palm guy! There aren't too many people out there with the dedication to go through what you do to protect your plants. Quite impressive. Brown85, you have an awsome outdoor space there. I love the fountain! I am betting it gets dem cold though with that open field behind you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Virginia Beach Weather

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 11:47PM
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Brownb85

LagoMar, it gets fairly windy with the open field behind us. We just built the house 2 years ago, and the backyard landscape and fence has been put on a standstill until our inground fiberglass pool is installed in early spring 2013. I'm hoping to block as much wind as possible.

The fountain I built myself. I bought the stone from a Home store in Michigan called Menards, its like a Home Depot but better. If you do things my way and finish projects yourself, you can save a lot of $$$ from labor. The company that manufactures the waterfall parts, spillway and basin is located near me. Check out Pondbuilder.com and my fountain will be called "Formal Falls". Pricey, but well worth it.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 8:19AM
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jimhardy

" *

"Jim Hardy, you are a die-hard palm guy! There aren't too many people out there with the dedication to go through what you do to protect your plants. Quite impressive. Brown85, you have an awsome outdoor space there. I love the fountain! I am betting it gets dem cold though with that open field behind you."

Thanks

More to do every year...easy to forget when spring planting fever hits.(-:

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 10:22AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Everyone!!

Just popping in to say that Jim does a great job displaying his methods..

Thank YOU Jim for taking the time to post pics..

You do a wonderful job protecting everything.. im always impressed with you dedication...

Brown... Love the fountain as well.. quite beautiful!!

The pool will be beautiful in your yard... Love the Windmills.. I agree with Wetsuiter.. wait until late Nov and then cover.. if you worry about it and it bothers you . Alex does a great job with taking plastic trash cans and covering them and placing lights underneath.

I personally used heat tape in the beginning when my trees were just planted in the ground without any problems . I also used Burlap tucked all around the heart of the palm.

These trees were a little large when planted though. So i couldn't make a protection like JIm.. Im not in a zone 5 or 6.. so you guys do a great job with your trees.

Artictropical also does a great job protecting his trees in Utah. You could do a search for his methods..

Take care everyone!!

Laura

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 1:52AM
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jimhardy

Thanks Laura

You are a sweetheart!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 10:18AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

;-)

Thank you!!

Laura

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 11:59PM
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wxman81

Here's my windmill palm in zone 5b. I'm just north of Milwaukee, WI about 3 miles inland from Lake Michigan. It has been in the ground since July of 2008 when I planted it as a 3 gallon. I keep it covered from end of November until early March.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 8:55PM
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LagoMar(USDA 8/AHS 7)

That is a beautiful Windmill, wxman! One of the nicest I've seen. Too often people get too excited to see a trunk and overprune it, but yours looks just right. Too bad it looks like it might overcrowd your walkway though. Don't move it. Think 4D. It will be overhead in just a couple of years.

Here is a link that might be useful: Virginia Beach Weather

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 12:53AM
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Brownb85

wxman81- Very nice tree there. Do you have any photos of the tree from the 3 Gallon size? I'm curious how much it has grown since you planted it. Our climates are quite similiar.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 10:10AM
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Adrianbesh1234(5a)

Hey guys, I am also new and i have bought a 5-6 foot tall pindo palm and was wondering how i should make a shelter for it.

I have bought a heater, humidifier and wireless temperature reader which shows both temp and humidity. I am just not sure how to make an enclosure for it that allows sunlight. Also i am not even sure if it needs sunlight. Like would i be able to build a massive Styrofoam box around the palm and would it live for 3 months without any natural or artificial light?

I need help asap because its starting to get cold here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Thanks a ton!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 6:49PM
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Brownb85

Adrianbesh1234- What type of heater did you buy? From everything that I have learned, a heater might be overkill unless you can control it to stay around 32-50 degrees F. With an encloser, the thermal insulation will heat up naturally and I've been told that the containers will be 20 or so degrees warmer than the outside air. The temperature will be much higher when the suns out. The last thing we want to do is bake our trees ;)

As far as an encloser, I made a wooden frame, and used insulation paneling to create shell. I'm keeping my tree entirely covered without light. I've been told and seen photos of trees that were burnt because of a clear viewing area in the enclosure. On warmer days abover 25 degrees, I will open the top and let the tree get a little light and fresh air.

If you have some photos, please post!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 9:31AM
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Adrianbesh1234(5a)

I live in Ottawa so the average high for Jan and Feb is about 10 degrees for the high and about - 10 to-25 degrees at night. That's the only reason I bought a heater. I just got a very small one from home depot, but I also bought a temperature reader that I'll place in the enclosure and it will transmit the temperature readings to the receiver inside my house so if I see it's getting too hot I will simply unplug the heater from the electricity.
What I was thinking of doing is also buying a greenhouse from Walmart or something. I just need to find one that will be able to house a 6 foot tall pindo palm.

What do you think of me placing a greenhouse tent over it?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 10:45AM
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Adrianbesh1234(5a)

I live in Ottawa so the average high for Jan and Feb is about 10 degrees for the high and about - 10 to-25 degrees at night. That's the only reason I bought a heater. I just got a very small one from home depot, but I also bought a temperature reader that I'll place in the enclosure and it will transmit the temperature readings to the receiver inside my house so if I see it's getting too hot I will simply unplug the heater from the electricity.
What I was thinking of doing is also buying a greenhouse from Walmart or something. I just need to find one that will be able to house a 6 foot tall pindo palm.

What do you think of me placing a greenhouse tent over it?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 10:46AM
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islandbreeze

Sorry about the late response. I had some trouble finding winter protection pics. This is all I could find.

I use rope lights for heat for those really cold nights. The bamboo covering isn't necessary, I just thought it looks nice, kind of a camoflauge.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 12:23PM
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DeeME61

Hello all. I too have had a windmill palm grown from a seed about 4 years ago. I finally took it out of the pot this spring and planted it. It is about 10 inches high, no bark yet but a couple of sets of fronds. I live in zone 5b I believe and would like to make sure I protect it properly for its first winter outdoors. It is in my yard which has southern exposure. How can I best do this?
Thanks

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 4:55PM
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jimhardy

Are you guys not seeing a plan you like or what?

There are so many pics/threads on this forum to look through not to mention the ones^

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 5:11PM
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miketropic

Jim do you have an email or somthing I can get in contact with you at? I have some questions about other plants and your winterizing that I want to discuss. I am a zone warmer than you but it does get down to 0 somtimes in feb-march. so your insight would be helpful

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 5:54PM
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dave1227

I live in longisland ny. Even though my windmill palms are winterized and have seen winters. I do not think they will come back after this one. I m looking forward to opening them up, come late march.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 7:49PM
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JediMasterMatt(6)

I'm trying to contact wxman81 about how he winterized his palm tree. Obviously he has been successful and I would like more details on his methods.

I am new here so I apologize if this is slightly off topic.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 8:31PM
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sasha64

Hello! Everyone im new in this hobby and I would appreciate any advise from you guys! This year ive planted 3 windmill 4" and 1 needle palm Im new in this I put them in the ground in mid April and don't see any difference in growth and now is end of July is anyone cant tell me mayby I did something wrong? I gave them that Jobes spykes fertilizer and still the same no growth! And I heard a lot about wintering them but dont know the best way to protect them from the Michigan winter this first year hopefully somebody from Michigan can help me on this! Thanks. Sasha

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:00PM
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sasha64

Hello! Everyone im new in this hobby and I would appreciate any advise from you guys! This year ive planted 3 windmill 4" and 1 needle palm Im new in this I put them in the ground in mid April and don't see any difference in growth and now is end of July is anyone cant tell me mayby I did something wrong? I gave them that Jobes spykes fertilizer and still the same no growth! And I heard a lot about wintering them but dont know the best way to protect them from the Michigan winter this first year hopefully somebody from Michigan can help me on this! Thanks. Sasha

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:01PM
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sasha64

Hi everyone again im trying to winterize my windmill palms and im new here I would appreciate im anyone would give me an advice so its first winter for them here in michigan thanks

    Bookmark   October 29, 2014 at 2:04PM
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islandbreeze

Hi Sasha,
I am in Grosse Ile. I don't cover mine until early December and uncover in March. I have been using the same protection method for years and it seems to work fine. We're not that out of the zone for windmills to survive here, we're just at the point where they would almost make it.

I wrap mine with rope lights, hook that up to a thermocube, wrap with burlap. Then I take a lattice sheet and make a cylinder out of it with zip ties. Take another piece of lattice and zip tie an arch over the top of the cylinder. Cover with a clear plastic furniture bag.

I used to use house insulation, but I find wrapping with burlap is easier. This method pulled my windmills through -13 degrees, our worst winter in recorded history.

Any questions, just ask.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2014 at 8:46PM
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sasha64

Hi islandbreeze ! Im in Warren Mi just north of Detroit was gonna have only one and end up with 3 windmills 4 foot high 1 needle 2 sago from inside planted out and 1 pindo 7 year old 6 feet its first michigan winter for them but I just winterize them with 1 layer fancing 2 layers bubble wrap and foam wrap in the middle no heat inside but I put leaves half way inside and mulch bottom on the base outside .well I have temp reader on the base inside and looks like its 20 degrees warmer then outside temp dont know but will see in the spring because now is about 30 degrees outside and dont know should I open them litle if weather allows? So do you have an email or something so we can talk more about and sent you some pictures thanks for advice. SASHA

    Bookmark   November 16, 2014 at 1:15PM
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islandbreeze

Sasha, regarding opening them when it's 30 degrees, I would not. I don't open mine until highs are in the 50s-60s. If the temp inside is in the 50s during the day, then that's perfect. It keeps them in dormancy but gives them a break from freezing temps. I have 3 inground windmills 4ft, 5ft, and 6.5 ft tall that get this protection method and 5 sabal minors that only get mulch and a rose cone cover. I have lots of bananas, 3 different varieties that stay in ground and just get mulch. I used to have needle palms but they didn't do well so I ripped them out. My email should be on my home page.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2014 at 2:51PM
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sasha64

Thanks islandbreeze could not find yr email but I would like to sent you some pictures

    Bookmark   November 16, 2014 at 3:07PM
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sasha64

Thanks everybody and Islandbreeze for an advice but as I can see now we have 28 degrees up here in michigan and inside temp is only 37 degrees im afraid that the only leaves inside they wont make it I should do probably with christmas lights like you islandbreeze but its to late now my email satagiuricici @gmail.com and snowing little today!! Thanks islanbreeze! Sasha

    Bookmark   November 17, 2014 at 5:44PM
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Jayne1960

I'm new to this site an I'm in need of sum advice plz
I live in England an I'm just wondering if I need t cover my palm for winter?
I have got sum Frost Fleece I cud use also Iv read sum people use heat for them cud I use the Fleece an put sum polystyrene inside the Fleece to keep it warm?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2014 at 5:58AM
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Jayne1960

I'm new to this site an I'm in need of sum advice plz
I live in England an I'm just wondering if I need t cover my palm for winter?
I have got sum Frost Fleece I cud use also Iv read sum people use heat for them cud I use the Fleece an put sum polystyrene inside the Fleece to keep it warm?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2014 at 12:55PM
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brooklyngreg(7a NYC coastal plain)

Clear corrugated plastic from HD with Christmas lights works well for me in zone 7. My windmill did not even have leaf burn although the winter was severe in NYC. The big thing is winter wind protection. The cold winds wipe out the fronds.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2015 at 1:05PM
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sasha64

Hi ! Brooklyngreg! Do you have some pictures of winterizing yrs? Because im in Detroit Michigan and its they're first winter here i would like some advice! Im in zone6

    Bookmark   January 28, 2015 at 5:35PM
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