Is there any two palm species that I can cross-breed to make a palm tree hardy enough to grow well into zone 4? Just a thought. I'll take yes or no for an answer.
Just need to find a palm that grows in zone 6a and cross it with one that grows in zone 2a-.
Sorry but definitely no. Needle palms are the most cold tolerant and they are only reliable in zone 7 and up without protection long term, maybe 6b when very established. Zone 4a is way too cold for palms, if there was enough money in it, I'm sure they could genetically make palms a little bit more cold tolerant but that would probably be extremely costly and would not bring much money back in return.
I always wanted to see a Windmill and a needle palm cross, I dont think they are genetically similar enough to become a hybrid though unfortuantely.
If there were, I doubt anyone would fuss about palms anymore. The big attraction of palms is the fact that they are beautiful plants that remind us of a warmer latitude. A zone 4 hardy plant is nothing like tropical.
I believe Chamaerops,Trachycarpus and Rhapidophyllum Hystrix
are all compatible for crossing with each other...someone
on this board was trying to cross a Waggie and Needle palm.
A Brazoria crossed with a Birmingham would be interesting to see the hardiness. Hybrid vigor might create an offspring hardier than either of the parents, like a Birmingham that grows decently fast, and maybe hardier.
But obviously a needle and windmill would be the optimal hybrid for cold zones.
I'm not so certain that a windmill can cross with a needle. It probably would've been tried by now. Maybe not...
Jim, I definitely do believe it's possible! They probably arent easy to hybridize, but I heard of someone possibly crossing a Butia with a coconut palm (not a queen palm!) so if they can do that, then a trachy and a needle palm can probably hybridize too. That Coconut Butia hybrid still hasnt been proven yet and I havent heard much about it lately, but it looked pretty legitimate in the pics, it didnt look like a mule palm.
I would like to see more cold hardy palm hybrids in the future, a needle palm and a trachy would be a really exciting one to hear about.
And I definitely agree with LagoMar, the whole thing that makes palms so interesting to grow up north is the fact that they are usually only seen in the lower latitudes. If they were cold hardy down to zone 4 they wouldnt be special anymore.
How much of a beast would a T.Fortunei X R.Hystrix be....
would it sucker? Would you want it too?
Imagine how tough the leaves would be!
You would probably think it is fake until a needle got you.
the obvious cross is the windmill and the needle. possible throw in a sabal minor or somthing but I think were missing somthing. I really dont think its so much about the species but the species life. if you can find a windmill or a needle that has lives in zone 6A for awhile it might have built up a bit more of a cold tolerance. you take that paticular plant and cross breed it with another species that has had the same type of life you should end up with a more cold hardy plant from adaptation.. after a loooong time I think you could pull off a zone 5 or higher hardy palm.
I don't see any palm surviving this z5 even in a mild year,
would be interesting to let a mature T.Bulgaria loose here for
the winter and see if it could make it through one winter.
The only palms i have ever heard crossing successfully are those from the same area such as pindo/queen and robusta/filifera. I don't think that a windmill would cross with a needle. You'd be more likely to successfully cross a needle with a sabal . However I have never heard of a cross breed being more hardy than both parents.
Yes. Even a filibusta isn't as cold hardy as a filifera from what I have read.
Filibusta can be quite hardy and more so than Robusta.
Needles,Chammy and Trachys(I believe)same genus(sub-tribe) so,it should
be possible to cross them....I like them the way they are but
who knows....maybe a Rhapidophyllum x Trachcarpus would be the bomb.
Genera: Chamaerops - Chelyocarpus - Coccothrinax - Cryosophila - Guihaia - Itaya - Leucothrinax - Maxburretia - Rhapidophyllum - Rhapis - Schippia - Thrinax - Trachycarpus - Trithrinax - Zombia
But filibusta is not as hardy as filifera. The post was to theorize if a hybrid could be more hardy than either parent. I'd say definitely no.
I really dont know if its possible to croos palm to do a real palm grow without protection in zone 4 ...But we grow Needle palm easily in MontrÃ¯Â¿Â½al Canada with just a rose cone over :-)
and we grow Butia capitate, trachycarpus Takil and fortunei easily with a little heat in winter :-)
I send needle palm in zone 3 this spring...Will see if they survive this winter under a rose cone and under snow for 5 months.
A more likely solution would be to try and develop a systemic anti-freeze.
If I am not mistaken the "hybrid vigor" is part of the problem.
When you look at the short list(not including Trachys)all
seriously cold hardy palms are slow growers.
Slower growth,denser structure less water to freeze.....
even if you include Trachys my guess is that T.Nanus will be
right near the top and also true Takil which is said to be slow.
Go out and compare the leaf of a Needle to a Trachy,although
Trachy leaves are very tough,when you feel a Needle palm
leaf,there is no comparison.
Now that I have a sizable sabal Birmingham and two sabal palmettos, I'm surprised that their fronds are so much stiffer, sturdier than windmills and needles.
A needle crossed with a windmill may not be more cold hardy than the parent needle, but it may be hardier in that it would be able to recover from winter damage more quickly due to the windmill growth rate and ability to recover from spear pull.
I think it would be hardier than the least hardy(the Trachy) and faster than the slowest (Needle)..
Would be interesting...my friend Bill has a Bull Needle
a Tracheedle would look like a T.Nanus on steroids.
From what I understand, crepe myrtles have been bred to be hardier, now sometimes root hardy in at least zone 5. Any chance this could happen to a needle palm?
What would you hybridize with?
They are already so hardy,I think if there is somewhere they
can't make it through winter(even with a little help)maybe the
warm season would not be warm enough(long enough) anyway.
What is a "Bull Needle"?
Jim, I was just thinking along the lines of genetic mutation. Like a gene that didn't exist before.
I'm assuming a male needle palm?
I think some adventurous grower should just attempt the trachy/needle cross, then we'll know for sure if it can be done. If it could, they better believe there will be a pretty good market for such a palm. Just look how mule palms are growing in popularity.
I you scroll down you can see the "Bull Needle"
Here is a link that might be useful: Bull Needle
Hooters has been successful in growing palms outside out-of-zone.
I have heard their palms are only rated to zone 2,
they crack at temps in the -50F range and can
become projectiles if strong winds accompany these temps....
Its always something-
also,easy to establish but deathly slow growing.
Jim u r hilarious!