So How Did Washingtonia Robustas Do In Long Island?

Kokomo-JBDecember 14, 2013

These pictures were taken at Pop's Seafood Shack in Island Park, which is located on the South Shore of Nassau County.

The Robustas are huge, 16-18 footers. They are cheap and used as throw-a-ways by the local bars and restaurants each summer. An 18 footer can be as cheap as $200-$250. These were not done by Kokomo. I refuse to carry them because I know they can't make it. I might consider the Fillfera next year.

This post was edited by Kokomo-JB on Sun, Dec 15, 13 at 11:15

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As you can see, they haven't done very well. November almost killed them

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 1:51PM
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I'm not a huge fan of Robustas as cold hardy palms because I have seen them get foliage burn with temperatures in the 20s when young. But with the right protection they are great palms because of their really fast growth rates. If I ever plant a washingtonia in the ground though, it will definitely be a filifera. Filiferas can't handle our temperatures and wet winters without protection, but if they are given some protection (especially from moisture), they are pretty set.

I have to say though that those robustas sure are making that restaurant look nice and tropical.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 2:14PM
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Filifera's don't really like humid climates. Even out here in the West they are rarely seen near the coast- much higher humidity than inland and they look rather sad. They do not seem to mind humid wet winters, its humid summers they don't seem to like. I'd say your best chance is a hybrid of the two.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 2:15PM
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In the Palm Nursery Biz, Robustas and Sabal Palmettos are consider "weeds". They grow wild and fast and their wholesale price reflects that. Long Island is a strange animal, maybe a good home for the Filifera if what US Marine says is true.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 3:42PM
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I left out an important fact that might make my judgement on the Robustas unfair. The fact that I left out is that they were delivered root pruned and shoved into 40 gallon buckets where they remain to this day. Given that they were delivered back in April and the roots have no where to grow, maybe it makes sense that 9 months later after a full growing season it would die having nothing to do with OR making it more susceptible to lower temps ?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 5:33PM
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If the Robustas are in containers, then yes, they're definitely more susceptible to dying from the cold. I think the rule of thumb is potted palms are about 10 degrees less cold-tolerant that in-ground palms.

I agree with US-Marine, Filiferas wouldn't do very well there, at least they don't grow well for me here in Michigan. I grew two from seed to about 2 feet tall, and then both died. On the other hand, I have no problem growing Filibustas, a cross between Filifera and Robusta. In fact, they pretty much triple in size here every year in pots.

Really cool to see all those Washingtonias though.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 4:32PM
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Without testing myself, I'd assume as far as Cold Hardiness goes, I'd say the Filifera has a shot here on Long Island, with the right sitting.

Back when they had the 1939 World's Fair at Flushing Meadow, Queens....(Next to the US Open-Tennis and CitiField-Mets) they said that the Florida Pavilion planted Sabal Palmettos all around their exhibit. When the fair ended, the Sabals were left to fend for themselves. They wound up living for almost a decade totally neglected.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 5:41PM
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