Palm trees in Tennessee (3rd thread)

tennesseestorm(6B-7A (N.E. TN))January 15, 2008

Well, I tried to post an update to the below post on the "other" thread, but it said it was FULL and to start a new one... so here goes. :)

Just wanted to update... its mid January 2008 and I have had my Windmill palm for a couple of years now I think. It survived the winter of 2006-07 with stride. We dropped to 8 twice and there was no damage at all. It grew well summer of 2006 and grew alot more summer of 2007, but not as much as I had hoped. I am hoping summer 2008 that it will flourish! Its about 4-5 ft. now. I want it to get to at least 7 ft this year, but I know thats not

My Washingtonia perished by December- no suprise. It was not the hardy one anyway. :(

My Sabal Birmingham has been VERY disappointing. Very little/no growth in the two years I have had it. I am thinking of yanking it out of the ground and trashing it! It stays green, but its thin and not growing... I fertilized it as well.

I have had good luck with my other "DEEP south" trees... my Southern Live Oaks have did well, as has my Spanish Dagger, but my Spanish Bayonet is glum. It does OK in the summer, but does not grow near as large as my other yuccas and it dies out in the winter for some reason and its not out of zone! It has not got that cold here, yet it dies out.

I have thought about trying my luck with a Sabal Minor this year and maybe even a Cabbage palm (really pressing my luck). Oh, I also got some Spanish Moss... so far, so good. NOt sure how long though.... ??

Oh, someone in Kingsport has some large palms planted... a large Cabbage palm and several Windmills. This person may visit here? If so, please step forward! I would love to discuss those palms. Someone posted photos on the city-date forums. I would post them here, but the links never work when I post them.

Thanks for any updates! Hope all is well!

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Posted by abercrombie4me03 z7 TN ( on Thu, Jan 3, 08 at 19:48

Hello Hello it has been a very long time I see that anyone has responded... but I guess I won't be shy to post. I still have my king sago survived last nights big freeze with protection and my trachy fortunei has'nt showed a single sign of any stress the trachy took last years freezes with no problem! so no worries there my washingtonias however got killed last winter and never revived was worth a try any updates anyone?

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amazindirt(7A mid-TN)

Well, my Mexican and European fan palms are doing well in their pots so far. I did end up moving them to a sheltered site (in a corner of the house) and covering them with pine straw. So far, so good!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 10:05PM
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myrtleoak(z7 TN)

Tennesseestorm, I am surprised that your Spanish Bayonet has done so poorly. I see many 10-12 ft specimens here in Knoxville. Maybe drainage issues? Windmill, needle, and saw palmetto all sailing through another winter. Hardy red oleander has a bit of browning toward the tips but seems ok. Pittosporum looks great. Thinking of trying European fan next year, but I need to figure out an excellent drainage plan. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 11:44PM
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tennesseestorm(6B-7A (N.E. TN))

Ew, not sure Myrtle... do you have a hillside you can use? I have several hillsides here on my property.

As far as my Spanish Bayonet goes, its well drained... its on the top of a bank that slightly slopes. Back when I first got it, the cats loved to lay at the base of it on the mulch. I ended up putting a little metal fence around it... I am wondering if that has something to do with it? Maybe its just a bad plant? I am at a crossroads. I have a Spanish Dagger thats doing well. I need to move it though, as its too shady in the summer where it is located. Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 1:30AM
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My palms seem to be doing well this winter.I even have a washingtonia that still has its leaves. They usually have fallen off by now. I have 4 planted on the southern side of my home.3 have lost thier leaves. I have over 30 palms in my yard right now. Most are small that I started from seed. I have 3 takil palms in the ground. My largest one has about a 10inch trunk.I also have many Louisianas and many
Sabal Palmettos that I grew from seeds collected from vacations at the beach. My largest louisianas are just now starting to produce fan leaves.I have not had any problems overwintering any of them over the last few years. I have some cabbage palms that sprouted from seeds that I planted out in the yard that I have been testing without any protection for the last 2 years and I have not lost a one.
I just ordered a sabal tamaulipus to give it a try and a Hayes stiffy hybrid. I have many bananas and other tropicals. I have many differant kinds of cannas and I will have plenty to share if anybody wants any or would like to swap some plants for some. Mostly red stripe and musefolia.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 7:29PM
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amazindirt(7A mid-TN)

Update on my palms --

I just checked on the fan palms yesterday. The Mexican fan looks like it may be toast -- dry dead fans -- but we'll see if the center survived once the weather warms up. The European fan looks bright-eyed and bushy-tailed -- no fan damage visible, even on the fans that stick up above the loosely-laid pine straw I spread over them.

Since the European fan is my baby and the Mexican fan was a sacrificial experiment for me, I'm very happy. For now. Gonna try to not get too excited before spring rolls around!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 2:40PM
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Our daughter has a new home in Nashville. We will help her with landscaping and are wondering where to get the palms that grow there.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 6:48PM
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Hi suebill
Try Blooms Nursery in Nashville off of Briley Parkway and interstate 24. The owners name is Calven and he has many tropical plants and palms. Check out the butterfly garden while you are there.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 7:43PM
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amazindirt(7A mid-TN)

Is he still there? I thought he closed a few months ago?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 10:18PM
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myrtleoak(z7 TN)

Has anyone tried/knowledgable of the Bermuda sabal species? Saw one in UT trial gardens the other day.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 11:37PM
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abercrombie4me03(z7 TN)

Update my Trachy is Doing AWESOME this year I do believe it has grown a foot since last year and also put on about 8 new fronds this year does great here in Nashville, TN. My sago palm is doing awesome.. I did have to give it protection in January from the big freeze. but it is really doing well this year brand new set of fronds on its crown. I purchased a European fan palm (chamerops humilis) this past spring. I Have it planted on a hill in my yard for drainage seems to be a very finicky palm but once planted and established does very well. I guess that sums all up my update... BTW! Blooms nursery unfortunately shut down this early spring I wanna say march a great nursery for palms cycads etc. However I was browsing around at k-mart in the nursery Believe it or not the other day and ran upon many many many palms and cycads and bananas amazingly fairly priced plants and in healthy looking conditions. sooo on that note any updates??!!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 4:47AM
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amazindirt(7A mid-TN)

Hey guys!

I am extremely proud of myself today. Darn, I am such a good shopper!! :-)

I just bought two LARGE pindo palms (Butia capitata). Their original price was $179 each. I just bought both of them for **$58** total!! Yippee!!

Am I good, or what?? ;-)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 5:59PM
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myrtleoak(z7 TN)

Where, amazindirt?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 2:33AM
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amazindirt(7A mid-TN)

KMart. They are in surprisingly good condition, too.

Kmart is having its "take it away, we don't want to water it any more" sale right now. The big pindos were already marked down to $58 each, but after a little schmoozing with the garden manager he gave me both of them and only charged me for one. I'm a happy camper! :-) (And sorry, but these were the only two that they had!)

I would never have had room for these buggers at my property here in Knoxville, but I am taking them over to Lebanon this morning. They'll give the entrance to my new place a wonderful tropical flair. Now, if I can just manage to keep them alive!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 8:29AM
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I'm pretty sure that this thread has been going for about six years now at least! Unless I'm wrong, which happens a lot, this is the easily fourth thread. I did see one of them that started in '04.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 9:45PM
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Hi Jeff . A big Hello to you and LaVonne, PICS !

Here is the Florida state tree and the South Carolina state tree growing in the Cumberland Plateau Area / Highland Rim .
THE SABAL PALMETTO - aka Cabbage Palm of the deep south :

There are techniques to follow when caring for palms in Tennessee. The top photo is a b/b ( balled up in burlap ) and installed as a larger palm. These sometime require a little protection on a handful of winter nights. The second photo is trunking palmettos planted as 5 gallon potted palms about 8 years ago. These palms have defoliated during a couple of bad winters but have survived and look fine today.
You cant just stick one in the ground and scream Eureka , paradise found, there are minor maintenance requirements for tropicals in most pasts of Tennessee. I would be willing to offer any advice to anyone in need as all the other palm growers here would be. Just ask us.
That is the Sabal Palmetto.
Here is the Chinese Windmill Palm * not the Chinese fan palm.
and below it another couple of Windmill Palms ( Trachycarpus Fortunei ) as they appear after a bout of several lows near 3*f on several occasions this past winter , they were unprotected and tropical storm force winds accompanied those low temps if you remember the cold wind storms we had.
these palms are old and were planted as small potted palms.
It seems smaller palms appear hardier when allowed to acclimated to our climate. Again , they are minor techniques in growing these palms also.
All these palms survived -8* f on two different occasions in Jan.2003.
Here is a Washington Robusta (Mexican Fan Palm) that has to be trimmed back in October and covered with a garbage can to keep moisture away for survival
, but its worth having a palm like this growing where it shouldn't. Many gardeners dont like alien plants in the gardens but if you take a look at many we grow , very few are native to our region.
Here is the awesome Musa Basjoo Banana tree they makes a come back every spring in Tennessee.
this is a Japanese variety. The south American varieties can be grown here but are dig and store in the winter and these sometimes produce sweet small fruit.
and the Ice Angel Camellia blooms and puts on quite a show here in the highlands during late winter:

If I can do it here NORTH of Cookeville and Crossville , anyone in Tennessee can. We have the states worst winter conditions. If you really want to see Tropicals in Action , I suggest you visit Buckys link he provided above. The Southern Tennessee palm growers have been doing this for many,many years and have huge specimens to show that growing tropicals in possible with minimum care , and last but not least is a photo taken at my house recently of Tennessee's Oldest and Youngest palm growers.

Mr. Charles Cole met Lane friday at a palm gathering at my house in North Tennesee . There is a 65 year difference in their ages and they are both devout palm growers. Mr. Cole is Tennessees'palm God Father and has been growing palms way before Lane's parents were born. Half a century as a matter of fact. Lane is a grower of Coco - Butia - Windmill - Triangle - Robusta - Filifera - Date - Chineses - Areca - Bottle - and many varieties of the aforementioned and even more exotic palms and plants.
There could be others that may be as young as him that has a palm tree but he buys , plants , protects , researches all his work.
Mr. Cole loves meeting palm growers and is having an open house in SEPT. at his home in Quebec , Tennessee. He especially liked meeting lane.
He told me that it reminds him of when he was a young boy and got struck by palm fever.
To all that visited that day , thanks for making it a nice one for Mr.Cole. Thanks Lane.
Thanks everybody.
mountain-grown aka Rob No.Tn.Plateau

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 10:28AM
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Bucky posted this in the TROPICAL post.
I hope he dosent mind my placing it here.
Here is an awesome TENNESSEE LINK FOR PALMS IN TENNESSEE , provided by Bucky , a staff member of the Southeastern Palm Society"

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 10:57AM
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Robert if you don't call or email me I'm going to be upset!!!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 11:27AM
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amazindirt(7A mid-TN)

If there's anyone reading this in the Lebanon area, I just found a bunch of Livistona chinensis at KMart here. Originally $20, now $5-something, pretty good shape. I got one with HUUUUUGE fronds on it. :-)

I'm gonna have to learn a lot about overwintering potted palms this year!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 9:04PM
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myrtleoak(z7 TN)

There are several decent size sabal minors 50% off at Saplings Nursery near Farragut in Knoxville. The one I bought is producing seed. Also, if anyone wants a hardy Eucalyptus (E. cinnera), they have both small and large specimens. Got a small one for a friend. Also 50% off. Someone should ask if the large Trachys are also on sale...

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 1:43AM
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theiss87(7a Newark, DE)

I live near Newark DE, zone 7a, and was wondering if you could give an update on your Sabal Palmetto and how it has fared the past few winters? I did some rough comparison work and it seems we live in similar zones, although your region of Tennessee is a bit warmer in the summer time. Please see attached link to view. Also, any updated pictures??


    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 10:25PM
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