How soon to put up my huts and enclose my windmills?

wheelman1976October 28, 2011

This is my first winter with my windmill palms that I planted in July here in Michigan and I'm now starting to see lows in the low to mid thirties but then highs up in the 50s yet. My question is how soon should I get my palm huts erected and enclosed in plastic with my c9 bulbs? is there a good rule of thumb with the temps?

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Hi Wheelman. Also in Michigan here. I usually don't go so much by temps, as I do by precipitation. If a snow event or cold rain followed by freezing temps is in the forecast, that's usually when I cover my windmills. I don't plan on covering mine yet, because we can still see some decent weather this time of year in this part of the state. 60s and even 70s are not uncommon. If temps are in the 60s and 70s outside, then inside the enclosures, temps can get into the 90s, and you don't want to encourage growth with those kinds of temps followed by cold weather. That's when damage can occur. Windmills can handle a lot colder weather than this. I'll probably cover mine around the beginning of December or very late November.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 1:37AM
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I usually don't think about covering my palms until the lows are starting
to consistently go below 20F,even those temps won't bother
them but if rain is coming before the cold thats a different story.

Keeping rain out of the crowns this time of year helps....
also,there is no need to water them again until spring.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 7:04PM
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I just built up my frames and will enclose them at a later date. I'll see if I can get a photo up.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 7:43PM
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Nice yard goodjob

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 8:24PM
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I live in NYC and I just closed mine, we had 2 inches of snow and temps around 32...very rare for us this time of year. usually i cover mine around mid November, but did it early this year. I have a greenhouse built around both and they do fine even in warm temps during the winter. I wait until march to remove or depending on the forecast of warm weather.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 9:30PM
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I didnt cover up any of my palms yet and I probably wont for at least a month. We had a pretty freak weather event this weekend, but next week still has temperatures into the upper 50s and 60s which is way too warm to put protection on my hardy palms. I only start protecting my palms when temperatures get into the 20s (pindo palms and sabal minor get protected below about 26F, trachys get protected below about 20F and the rest get protected somewhere between there)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 11:54PM
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Alex, I'm surprised you protect your sabal minors at 26. I always thought they were one of the cold hardiest palms. I added several minors to my garden this year and wasn't planning on doing any "heroics" for them. I've never protected my windmills; last year they had some minor damage to emerging fronds due to a few nights in the mid to upper teens.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 11:17AM
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brooklyngreg(7a NYC coastal plain)

I would have a plan soon and start covering when temps drop below freezing. Its the wind and cold/froozen precip combination that palms hate and damages or kills them. I am behind on this as well. I rather be safe than sorry.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 12:00PM
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Most sabal minors are, but for some reason, mine gets damage when temperatures dip below about 20. Northern Populations of the species are MUCH more cold tolerant than southern Populations and mine was probably from somewhere like Florida.
Last year I only thew a garbage bin on my windmill palms when it snowed and it survived the winter with no problems.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 3:13PM
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I haven't covered my 15' trachy yet, and we've had 16 degree temperatures at night. Years ago, it dropped to 10 degrees one night and it was not covered. I covered it when it dropped to 10 degrees. It had no damage to any of the fronds. They're pretty hardy. You might want to see my picture of it with snow covering the fronds from a snow storm last Saturday. It's in a fairly new post in this forum.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 12:31PM
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