Palm Trees in ABQ - Questions For All Locals
Hi Albuquerquians -
I am new to this forum but have been reading posts here for about a year. I moved to ABQ about 1.5 yrs ago from a cold climate (Milwaukee, WI). I really enjoy palm trees (as evident by the user name) and have seen many really nice ones around ABQ, but wonder a great deal why they haven't caught on more here.
I realize the general response would tend to be the climate - I realize that freezes occur much, much more readily and often here than they do in places like Tucson due to elevation.
However, while the climate would mean species like date palms couldn't hack it here, I wonder why people do not readily plant Windmill palms and even W. Robustas?
I have seen beautiful examples of both in yards all around Albuquerque. There are many Windmill palms in various locations all over ABQ - 2 15-footers that I've been told have been in a yard for years right off of Academy and Carruthers in the NE Heights (not west or south exposure either), 2 15-footers in a yard on San Mateo and Commanche (also told they've been there for years), and many, many other mid-sized ones in yards in the NE Heights and the West Mesa.
Also, I know Robustas (Mexican Fans) are a little more high maintenance here due to cold resistance, but they - at least I think - are totally doable with some care. In fact, there is a newer house in the Far NE Heights near Eubank and Paseo Del Norte that has had some Robustas in their front yard with no protection for at least the two years I've been here. I have watched them closely and in winter, their fronds died largely off, but quickly in spring they grew wonderfully large, beautiful green fronds and appear to be thriving quite well again, and this was with no real protection.
I myself had initially planted 1 Mexican Fan and 3 Windmills in my yard, and they all are doing quite well. The Robusta was a bit shaky in the winter (it was a young one still), but came threw like gangbusters in the spring. (I know there is a house off of Commanche just east of Wyoming with tons of beautiful mid-sized / young Windmills and Fans).
I apologize for rambling a bit, but I just would really like others' input who have lived here for quite some time more as to why more people here do not utilize cold hardy palms? I love big yuccas, but I just feel strongly that people here think Albuquerque - especially away from the river - is colder than it really is.
In El Paso, they've got just a tremendous palm tree assortment all over - is it really THAT much colder in ABQ?
Sorry this is so long....I'd really love to hear people's thoughts!