Return to the Palms & Cycads Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Palm Tree Winter Protection

Posted by nwmstropics 7 (bulldog_bc68@yahoo.com) on
Mon, Jan 21, 08 at 1:22

Last spring I planted two California Fan Palms and one Mexican Fan Palm in my yard. These plants did excellent until the end of December when it got to about 18-19 degrees one night. I wrapped them in clear plastic hoping to keep the wind and cold off but the fronds turned brown. I clipped all the fronds off and wrapped the trunks with burlap and put a flood light next to the plant and covered with a clear plasic bag to hold in heat. I turn the lights on when its below 30. Is this enough protection to make them live through the winter? The trees are probably 3-4 years old I'm guessing. I am located just south of Memphis where we get the cold snaps that drop us into the 20's and upper teens occasionally, otherwise it is pretty mild. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Your doing the right thing mine has also dropped all there fronds but they will come back when it gets warmer.


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

There's a great book on tricks and tips for growing palms and other tropicals in marginal zones such as ours - "Palm Trees Won't Grow Here (and other gardening myths)" by David Francko. On the whole it sounds as if you're doing the right thing, but Washingtonias are among the more tender for zone 7 growing. I've had much more luck with the various species of Rhapidophyllum, Trachycarpus, Sabal, Butia, and Chaemedora (sp?),though these last have become defoliated during very cold weather. There are people that wrap heating tapes or cables (such as are used to provide bottom heat for seed germination in cold frames) around the trunks of palms during the wrapping process; I've never tried that, but it might be a more efficient method of delivering heat than using a floodlight. I use plastic, water filled tomato protectors ("walls-o-water") around any of my plants whose crowns are still less than 12" above ground level, and this seems to provide protection at night without the danger of overheating on our warm days (we can go from 70 one day to 20 that same night).


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

I am using a wrap with heat tape on my robusta, the kind used for keeping water pipes from freezing. They have a built in thermostat that comes on at 38*F. We went down to 0*F last night and the inside wrap temp was at 40*F. So far the robusta's spear looks good, no damage that I can see.


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

I know they look terrible with brown fronds, but for crown survival in future years, you are better off keeping the brown fronds on until frost danger is over. W. filiferas are hardier in your area but both of these should winter over if you don't go below 15 deg.


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

I'm thinking of trying cali wan a b's method with a Phoenix canariensis that i bought 3 years ago as a 15 gallon size. I want to use a narrow structure with plywood sides filled with straw and heated with heat tape. The structure would be narrow because I could get on a ladder and tie the leaves vertically for the winter. Right now it's in my living room and sorta outgrowing the space. Does it sound nuts to try this tree in 6a?


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Thank you for all the replies! Y'all have made me feel better about the methods I have tried. I am interested in this heat tape that cali mentioned. Is it available at Lowe's or HD? Also, I have two Canary Island Date Palms in pots that are kept in the shed. One looks great and the other has turned an olive shade of green. Is it on its way out or just suffering from the cold nights?


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Yep, you can get heat tapes at either lowe's or HD. Just make sure you get tapes rated for outdoor use and have a GFI outdoor recepticle, safety first!!. I sprayed the palm with a fungicide then wrapped a few layers of material around my robusta before I put the heat tape on. I didn't want to create any "hot spots" on the palm which could damage the trunk or spear. I then wrapped a few more layers of material around the palm and tape to insulate it. Leave a flap at the top to open on warmer days.

Concerning the date palms. It could be cold damage, but as long as the pot didn't freeze solid it should be fine.


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Question for cali-wanna-b:

I see your photo of your wrapped palm. I'm curious, what is the effect on the plant of having no light for long periods of time? I would have thought that would seriously harm the tree, but if you're having success, I guess I'm wrong. What is that material you wrapped it in?

I have a Trachy growing here in southern MN, so far so good, even though we've been hovering around the 0F temp all day for the past 10 days or so. I have it in a minigreenhouse with a space heater. The tree is about 5' tall, I put it in the ground last April.


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Since I live in zone 4, I have no choice but to give them full protection. Here are a couple pictures of styrofoam boxes I have built for them and also pictures during the summer. Two to three screw in flourescent light bulbs give them enough light and heat to survive -40 F. winters here. The boxes are on the palms from October till April. Two nights ago it got down to -23 F. and I didn't worry a bit. I've grown them for over ten years and when I take them off in the Spring they look as healthy and green as the day I put the boxes on in the Fall.

Winter protection for 8' palm, Zone 3-4

Winter protection for 6' palm, zone 3-4

8' Windmill Palm, Zone 3-4

Male Mediterranean Fan Palm, Zone 3-4

Female Mediterranean Fan Palm, Zone 3-4


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

DLN949

To answer your first question just look at Artics pics. His palms are getting little to no light and look wonderful. If you want to save the foliage this is the type of protection to use. I am not a biologist but I believe the need for light decreases with temperature. When the soil is just above freezing the palm is not in "active" photosyntheses. Thus there is little need for light. I open the top of my wrap when weather permits.

In my case I was not concerned about the loss of fronds. Robusta grow back quick. I am experimenting with this wrap more so for use on Butias, Trachycarpus and sabals. If I can keep a robusta going with this I shouldn't have any problems with more cold hardy types. The material I am using is a non-woven geotextile used in soil stabilization. It is like a heavy felt, but is porous enough to let out internal moisture and at the same time prevent the palm from getting excessively wet. I spray the fabric with "Boot Dry" water repellant also to help with excess water, although I have found that this is not needed with this material. It already has water repellent properties in it. The black color of the material also aids to heat the palm during the day, but will not get too hot like a plastic wrap will because it's porous. On a typical sunny day during winter, 25-30*F, the material alone adds 20+-*F to the internal temperature of the wrap.

I would like to add that my test is far from over, but so far so good.


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Arctictropical I am standing clapping my hands to you!! The palms look great!! I love the Trachy and the mediteranean palm. I have a question about the mediteranean. I have one with a nice full head of leaves, it has a little over a foot of trunk. I have been thinking of putting it in the ground. How do you protect this palm? Fold leaves cut leaves or leave the leaves? Also have you ever thought of trying a butia capitata for your yard? They have the exact same cold hardiness as the mediteranean palm.


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

artictropical, that is amazing for zone 4! Are you filling those boxes with leaves or some other material?


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

The 3 Washingtonias I planted are fairly young. Providing my protection methods work and they get older and start developing wood trunks, will they be more cold tolerant to the point I will use less or no protection? The book Bubba mentioned (Palm Trees won't grow here), is that available in most book stores?


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Thanks! In the past, I have taken some plastic twine and pulled the fronds together the best I could before putting the boxes on. This year I used some green burlap tree wrap that is readily available at nurseries on the trachy to pull the fronds together. This seems to work best. The boxes are not filled with anything but air. The 2-3 screw-in flourescent light bulbs are mounted at the top of each box with inexpensive ceramic or plastic fixtures. The styrofoam is such a good insulator that the little heat that the light bulbs provide gives them all they need to survive. I also have been growing a butia outside for the last three years and it is doing great. Unfortunately I did not take a picture of it. The Mediterranean Fan Palms have bloomed for the last several years. I found out that I have both male and female. One year I decided to hand pollinate the female with the male's pollen and got quite a large bunch of seeds.


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

I said it once and i'll say it again arctictropical
you are truly a zone jumper ! As mike says we can't stop
applauding you ! You realy give all us in lower zones hope.
This is what it's all about !


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Amazing!I have a trachy and small needle palm that I am using the leaf enclosure method. They got through last year, but my temps never went below zero.You should post these on the two forums I belong to."palmsnorth.com" and "hardy palms and more for the north east". They would provide much encouragement.I have never heard of such success in zone 4. we really struggle in zone 6!BUTIA? WOW!!


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Artic
Can you please post some pics of your light set up? I am curious as to how you have it hooked up.

Craig


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

I've never taken pictures of the light set up. I've just screwed the light fixtures equal distance apart at the top of each box after running wire between the fixtures. The lights are about one foot apart. I use the screw-in flourescent light bulbs that give off 100 watts worth of light. I think they are actually about 25-26 watts each, so my electric bill doesn't really go up much at all during the winter even though I have four palm boxes and two banana boxes (the smaller boxes by the 8' box). Years ago I used to used incadescent bulbs but they burn out too soon and you don't want that to happen in in the middle of winter when it's -40 F. or theres a blizzard howling. One year, I had an incadescent bulb burn out on one of the Mediterrean Fan Palms and so only had one light bulb lit. It got to -39 F. that winter, but was too cold to deal with it, so waited till Spring and found out the plam survived with only the newest one or two fronds that froze too hard to survive. The other fronds were fine. Here's a few more pictures of other tropicals in the yard.

Tropical Gardens, Zone 3-4

Banana, E.E. Caladium, Cannas

Cannas & Trellis Bench

Windmill Palm & Hibiscus, Zone 3-4

Red tinted Ensete

Banana & HIbiscus, Zone 304

Hardy Hibiscus, Zone 3-4

Moy Grande Hibiscus, Zone 3-4

6' Elephant Ear Caladiums, Zone 3-4


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Very nice!! Thank you for the info. I do believe I am going to have to try your boxes next year.

Craig


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Thats unfreaking believable Arctic! And we complain about it being 10 degrees. My hats off to you.


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

What thickness of Styrofoam do you use? Do you intentionally dry out the palms before putting up the shelters? I have set up an insulated shelter for my Butia capitata and Chamaerops humilis that I put in the ground in August/07. I use 3" styrofoam that is sold to insulate the outside of basements. I also insulate 2' into the ground to keep the frost off of the roots. The shelters have a hinged top to allow access

I am surprised that you can get away with using 3 x 23 watt CFC bulbs to heat your enclosures.

I have an enclosure that is 10' x 6' x 4' tall to shelter the 2 palms. It will also ultimately shelter gardenias and other Z 8 small shrubs and vines. I am using 2 30' heating cables that are 210 watts each. The cables have a thermostat that turns on at 37*F and turns off at 43*F. I also monitor the temperature inside and it has stayed at 28*F or higher with one exception when the temp dropped to a low of 21*F during a storm that had temps of -18*F with a wind of about 30 Mph. The wind chill was about -35*F. My enclosure has a lot more dead air space than yours and, in the interim I am storing my potted cycads, W. filifera, Sabal minor, T. fortunei seedlings and some Yucca elephantipes.

I am also interested in details of your protection for your bananas as well as the type of bananas you are growing. I will be putting Dwarf Cavendish, Musa Basjoo, Raja Puri and, I hope Dwarf Brazilian and Super Dwarf Cavendish bananas out side in the spring with the plan to try to keep them growing until they fruit.


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Artic....how do you tell a male fan palm from a female fan palm....by the way, your story is amazing. All I can say is WOW. Sure does look beautiful in the summer....I guess it makes it worth all the effort.


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Great job Allen! It's great knowing others are "fighting back" at the elements and trying something others have never considered trying. Part of the enjoyment is thinking of ways to make possible what others think is impossible. So far all I have used is 2" styrofoam. 3" would be great! One thing I forgot to mention is that it is very important to caulk the seams of the boxes after building them. Regarding watering, I have always watered the palms prior to putting the boxes on. I used to wrap a water hose around each plant with a small stream of water going through the hose since I must do this to keep my artesian well from freezing, but I quit doing this a couple of years ago. I quit worrying about the roots freezing and they seem to do well without any other protection than the boxes. The musa banana I have had success with growing from year to year is "Texas Star". It is supposed to be about as hardy as basjoo, and does produce edible fruit, although I've yet to see any fruit. The boxes for the bananas are the same as the palms, just smaller. I just have one light in each box, so if it burns out, I'm out of luck. I simply chop off the plants so that it will fit under the boxes. The taller ensete banana or "close relative" of banana I've never tried leaving outside. I transplant them into 5 gallon nursery pots and most years have stuck them in an unheated room in the basement without any light, until Spring. This year I placed them in a heated room in the basement with a little indirect light, and they are doing great.

gk5040, the male and female Mediterranean Fan Palms put out somewhat similar looking inflorescences, but you can tell them apart, and when you tap the male inflorescence, you can see the pollen falling, which does not happen with the female.


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Is that true for all types of palms?


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Thanks Arctic. I'll tap my fan palm when the inflorescence re-appears next summer.

Do you take your boxes apart in the spring? I have built mine to knock down into 4 sides and a roof so that they are easy to store. I have been using 3/8" foam rubber to tighten the joints. I will go through everything this spring to properly seal the pieces when I take it apart.

I am going to consider not insulating below ground level with my next shelter(s).

My real test will occur over the next 4 or 5 days. It is forecast to reach lows of -25*F which is a record low for us over the last 6 winters.

I have left my palms etc to dry out a little over winter because I wasn't sure about how successful the shelters would be. My research shows that dry palms are more cold resistant. We watered the potted plants yesterday when it got up to 30*F as they showing some drought stress.

Allen


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

more questions to bother you with. How long do you leave the lights on daily, are they on a timer or constantly on?


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Hi gk5050, Not all palms have separate sexes. Most don't.

Allen, sounds like you really have some good ideas with your boxes. I do not take them apart, but store them behind a garden shed in the back of my yard where they are out of sight for the most part. That way I can construct them to be quite solid and not take the time each Fall to put them together, but It would be nice to store them without taking up so much space. Where the palms have survived in -39 F. temperatures in the past, I did not worry one bit the first part of the week when it got down to -23 F.

nucci60, I leave the lights on day and night with no timer. I suppose the little heat that builds up when the temperatures are higher in the daytime somewhat carries over into the night, but I really don't know since I've never recorded any temperatures within the boxes. I guess I've just taken a chance that this system would work, and so far, it has.

Besides the joy of experiencing the tropics in your own back yard, there is also the enjoyment of accomplishing something others thought was impossible, and seeing the wide eyes and shock on the faces of those who drive by, not expecting to see what they see. Isn't it fun drumming up ways to "cheat" mother nature's natural plan where we live.
Thanks for you other zone jumpers and for your great suggestions!


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

I live to surprise my neighbors. Our corner lot had to be relandscaped with a bobcat when we purchased a neglected rental property. Over the past 4 summers we have almost erradicated the thistle, crab grass and dandelions. We are redoing the property in perennials, shrubs, ornamental grasses etc. No domesticated grass. We put in 1400 tulips and daffodils this fall for next year's surprise. The Bananas might also surprise someone.


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Allen, where in the world did you get that many tulip and daffodil bulbs? Where can you get them at a good price? Make sure to take pictures.

Kevin (Arctictropical)


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Well..... I hate to say good things about Home Depot.

We had a warm fall and the Skyview HD here in Edmonton brought in way too many bulbs, anticipating that the building boom would continue. The mid priced new home demand all but died in July. They discounted their stock to 75% off. We got about 1000 bulbs there. The mall HD got stuck with some extra stock as demand for high priced housing slowed significantly. We got the rest there at 50% off.

We prepared the front sidewalk area to lay paving stones in the spring and lined both sides of the 47' long sidewalk with 4 rows of tulips and laid in a field of 350 Daffodils where the sidewalk meets the city's sidewalk. It took us all weekend. We should get about a months worth of blooms as there is about an equal amount of early, medium and late blooming bulbs. I still haven't decided what to overseed the bulbs with to give summer and fall color.

Housing prices took a nose dive this summer and fall but I am not all that worried. Our house went from $450,000++ to about $390,000, but I wasn't planning on selling. I only paid $131,300 for it 6 years ago and we have invested about $55,000 in renos so far. But I was able to get some serious bargains on the last of my reno fixtures as well as the bulbs.

Allen(alchris on Palms North)


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Allen, great job with the sale on tulips! I'll have to start looking for similar sales at Home Depot and Lowes this Fall. I think it's amazing that where I live in northern Utah we can get temperatures as low as Edmonton. Probably because of our elevation and being in a mountain valley. How cold have you seen it up your way?

Kevin


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

I forgot to mention that the tulips and Daffodils cost us around $250.

Allen


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Allen
Don't say bad things about home depot their all we got ! lol
:)


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Allen,, It is very easy to build yourself a nice shelter and still have the palm growing in the winter. Make the shelter 3 ft. higher and a ft wider. verticle is the direction palms grow. Then you can reuse it another 2 year or 2. Stud the walls. Insulate with styrofoam before putting together. 5 mil plastic on the outside walls. I go around 3 times. The interior walls I run burlap at least 3 times around. The plywood roof you need to shingle or use roll roofing. I cut a hole 2 by 3 ft. for a skylight. Just use plastic,plexy glass. Seal to roof with roofing caulk and screw perimeter. Forgot you want to frame the front for a 3 by 3 ft. window. I have another on the side too. Frame with 1 by 4's and screw on to frame. That is how I get in weekly to water and check everything. When its over 50degrees I take window off. Anyway make sure you have structure secured with post on each side incase of high winds. Thn get electric into structure . I have 3 floods and a fan. That keeps the temps above 50 all winter. It was 50 when it was 5 degrees. Most days its about 65 degrees. Remember to cut 2 vent holes in roof with vent cover. Anyway It is so easy to do. 3 hours to build no worries and you just lift it off with the help of another in late March. My sabal,windmill are looking like summer all winter. By the way I build houses so I have an advantage. But really anyone can do it and heck with praying all winter and watching the palm suffer,so it spends all summer just getting back to where it was in the fall...Good luck Allen


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Hi Kevin; I was waiting until this morning to answer your 'how cold' question. Before this week the coldest that we experienced in the centre of the city had been -29.3*C/-20*F over the last 5 1/2 winters.
We got lucky and the cold weather is getting pushed out of the area. Our low yesterday was -36*C/-32*F. I was out at Salisbury Greenhouse, just south of one of the suburban communities but only 6 or 7 miles away from home, and some of their exotic plants were dying. It had been -44*C/-47*F overnight and the greenhouse temp had fallen below 10*C/38*F. That was the first time that had happened since they built the new building 13 years ago.
I am hoping that the worst is over.

Allen


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Allen, thanks for the update on your temperatures. Your weather sounds like our weather, although I would assume you get the colder temperatures more often than we do. It does not sound like global warming exists, at least in our areas. We've been getting snowed upon every other day, and that tends to keep the temperatures from falling. I remember as a kid having periods in the winter when the temperature never got above 0 degrees F. for one or two weeks in a row. At least we haven't had that for a while. Good luck! We will survive to see the palm fronds unfurl. billn119 has some great ideas on shelters for palms. I guess I'm lazy, because once I put the palm boxes on in the Fall, I don't want to deal with them until the Spring. Most of my palm boxes have two feet of snow around the boxes and a foot of snow on top, so I'd just as soon let them be.

Kevin


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Hi Bill; I appreciate the advice. I will add the 5 mil plastic next fall. I am also going to paint the exterior a darker color. What wattage are your floods? I have a diffused 2 x 2 window on the south side. With the angle of the winter sun, a skylight wouldn't work very well.

I planned the shelter to allow me to add 2' stories as the need arises.

Have you tried using silvered material to line the inside of your shelter? It is supposed to reflect the heat and light back on the plants and reduce heat loss.

The temperature in the shelter got as low as -4.9*C/24*F over the last few days.

Allen


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

I mummy-wrapped one of my California fans in burlap and its still green underneath,my others I just wrapped the trunks and the fronds are all fried,my windmills look terrible from the winds and my Med.fan palm fronds are dry crispy and a faded green color,kinda like the color some yuccas get in the winter, but so far so good,I think our lowest temp so far was 11 degrees.Just thought Id let some of yall know.


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

That is too bad that they took a beating. I hope that they come back in the spring.


 o
wine and lobos

wineandlobos

Do you have any local nurseries who carry trunking yuccas at a reasonable price, who will be willing to ship? Something in the three+ foot range?

I'm looking for Thompsoniana or Elata or Faxoniana etc. Ones that can handle the seldom dip below zero.

Thanks, Alan


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

A message sent to me from a member reads:

Hi, I read about your experiment with the Trachy seedlings. I am very surprised that those seedlings survived the first year with the very simple protection you gave them.

I am in zone 4 (southern Minnesota), I have a Trachy F. that I planted outside last April. It was about 4' - 5' tall when I planted it. This winter I erected a portable minigreenhouse over it. Inside I put an electric space heater set to keep the minimum temperature right around freezing. So far, so good, the tree looks as good as it did in the summer.

If I could get away with something simpler, and without an expensive heat source, I would rather do that. What are your thoughts on this: Next winter, if I were to erect a simple styrofoam box around the tree, with no supplemental heat source, do you think that would adequately protect the palm tree? You see, when people say that such-and-such a plant is cold hardy, I don't know *exactly* what that means. Nor do I know how much protection the kind of "box" I'm thinking of would provide. Any thoughts you may have on this would be appreciated. I have other questions too, like, how important is it to keep the ground from freezing, and if that matters, what is the best way to accomplish that? Also, how much hardiness does a more mature tree have compared to a seedling? Thanks in advance.

-----------

Answer... A number of factors should be realized. The dirt I used was sandy, the plants were close to the house and covered by a small overhang, and it was not our usual brutal winter. I dont have all the answers, but perhaps because the plants were small they were kept close to the ground. I dont know if a 4 foot trachy would be OK. There was ample snow protection that year. With your greenhouse and heat, you should have good success. Your climate and mine is probably the same. Frozen ground does not seem to damage trachy at all, and lack of light throughout the winter is not a problem. Covering too early has proved to be a problem for me.. because animals destroyed the plants, and there is a potential for weak growth without sunlight. So it is better to keep them in a state of hibernation all winter. I have not lost a plant to extreme cold because of the protection and recent mild winters. This year I uncovered my trachys when we had a freak melt in Dec. They all looked pristine. I covered them again immediately. According to arctictropical, covering with styrofoam is adequate, although I checked the climate data for Logan and it is milder than Ottawa and Minnesota. In my opinion, young trachys can survive our winters if we box them in styrofaom or blankets and fill with leaves, cover the top to prevent ice, rain, snow buildup, and you protect the base from rodents looking for a treat in the winter (probably voles in my case). The thing is, we have cold snaps, but they tend not to last too long at any one time, so moderate protection can keep them safe until it warms up a bit. Next year I will try something more like artictropical did, but will paint the styrofoam black to absorb sunlight/heat. I still will not use a heat source. I have tried to keep dracaena (spikes) and musa basjoo out over the winter with protection, but always lost them completely. I've only ever had luck with trachy here. Hope this helps. Good luck!! By the way.. I am very envious that you have a 4 foot trachy to experiment with! :-) They are just impossible to find here.


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Trachy Matt, if you build styrofoam boxes, 2 or 3 screw in flourescent light bulbs is a sufficient and inexpensive heat source. A comment was made that Logan, Utah is warmer than Minnesota or Ottawa. I actually do not live in Logan, but live six to seven miles west in a much lower elevation in the valley. Since the coldest air in the valley flows to where I live, we can be 10 degrees colder than Logan in the winter, so we are in essense, one climate zone colder than Logan. From my experience, the temperatures in Ottawa and Minnesota are the same as where I live. Since the palms have survived -39 F. before, you can be assured that the light bulbs will work if you have a tightly built box that has been sealed with caulking. My electrical bill only increases a few dollars each month at most during the winter due to the 14 screw-in flourescent light bulbs heating six palm/banana boxes. Good luck!


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

That's good to hear Arctictropical. Since you have large palms, what is your opinion on cold resistance and size? Will a large trachy survive extreme cold better than a very small one, or vice versa? I only have seedlings outside. Since this is just the middle of winter, I don't know what the fate of mine will be by April when I can uncover them. So this years experiment is far from over. I wish I had constructed a better model like yours back in November. Might not be too late to do it now, although we have a lot of snow at the moment. if we get another freak thaw, I should be ready to re-cover them with styrofoam (instead of blankets which can get wet and then freeze hard, though hasn't been a problem for me so far). Maybe I will devise a simple bulb setup for next year and risk a bigger trachy. Cheers. Matt.


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Matt, it's great you are experimenting! That's what we all do until something works for us. Yes, larger palms seem to have better cold resistance than smaller palms, however, I when I purchased all of my palms, they were only one gallon size plants. I kept them inside for one year, and the next year they went outside. One winter, the 8' palm box blew off of the Trachy at that time (it was 6' tall then) while I was out of town because I had not secured it with enough twine and tent pegs. When I returned at about 9 PM, it was 10 F. outside. I simply put the box back on, and when Spring rolled around, it had no damage at all. I understand they will survive short periods of 0 degrees, although I would hate to try zero degree weather to find out! If your seedlings still look like they are alive if you can check them during a warm spell, I would go ahead a construct something now, in case your temperatures turn for the worse. Where I live, some of the coldest temperatures have been in February, not January, so you never know. Good luck!

Kevin


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Will do Kevin. I'll try and document it all for the forum. Between the lot of us, we should devise some pretty good schemes short of massive greenhouses and high heating expenses. Matt


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Hi, everybody!
I am amazed and impressed much more, than greatly!
Arctictropical, thank you very much for pecious experience and courage. This spring I also plant hardy palms here in Finland, hope it will succeed. Good luck!
With best wishes Anttisepp, Finland


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Hi All,

This past winter we had a freeze over and I was out of town. When I came back, it was apparent that my palm was affected. The fronds were brown so I cut them off.

Now, 5 months later, the plant is still green, except it has not grown 1 centimeter and looks like it is frozen in time (1/5 size fornds as I had cut the other 4/5. Even the new budding fronds from winter have not moved an inch). My neighbor said that it takes a long time for palms to die after they have been frozen.

Any idea if it is salvagable? If so, how can I save it?

Thanks for your advice.


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Glad I saw this thread. I just bought a Mediteranean Fan Palm. It hasn't arrived yet. Based from description, it's 8 to 12 inches in height. I was so encouraged when I saw arctictropical's pictures. It should arrive this week or early next week.

Since it's July right now, should I plant them to the ground or pot first? If ground, will it be fine during winter if I protect it? Does the light inside the box really required? Can I just cover it with a box with insulation inside like R13? :D


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

v1rtu0slty, I would probably keep your young palm plant in the house for two or three years if you have a sunny window, until the plant gets a little bigger before planting it outside. Older plants seem to be hardier. Or find a larger plant at a local nursery or garden center in your area. Occasionally they will sell the Windmill and Mediterranean fan palms. I bought all of my outdoor palms as one gallon size plants and kept them inside for a couple of years before planting outside. The Windmill palm is supposed to be the hardiest, but the Mediterranean fan palms are almost as hardy. They have all survived outside with no problem. I don't believe light is required to get them to survive since they go dormant with the colder temperatures. The flourescent light bulbs that I use are for a small heat source. In zone 5, I'm not sure if an insulated box will work with no heat source. You'd be surprised how much heat builds up in a tightly made styrofoam box from the light bulbs. Good luck!

Kevin


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Kevin, I never even imagined a landscape could look so good in a zone 4. Your cannas look so much better than any here in my zone 7. The heat is so hard on everything this time of year. Your soil and everything else must be performing to it's highest potential. Very nice!


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

donray, thanks for your comments. I'm very surprised at your comment about the heat being hard on everything. I always thought cannas loved the heat. It does get up into the 90's here during the day in Summer, but most nights it drops back to the 50's because of our low humidity. Besides having the cannas in raised beds which seems to help, most years I do add a pretty good mulch of dried steer manure that I obtain from my family dairy farm. This does help them to grow and keeps the weeds down. After several years of adding the dried manure, the soil is quite loamy and fertile.


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Hello Kevin what is the plant in # 3 picture behind the canna's, are they some type of banana? and where can I get them at , You have a absolutely beautiful yard for ant zone , I put out a sabal McCurtain and about 100 sabal minors this spring,, every ting I plant something, I'm thinking of your place,
Thanks Guy


 o
RE: Palm Tree Winter Protection

Kevin, when I say heat I mean hot! 8:00 pm central time and still right at 100 degrees. Our national weather service has us under a heat advisory warning through the weekend. Our springs are very nice early, pretty decent rain totals and farly mild temps. Then July hits, temps soar and rainfall averages below 2" for the month of July and August. So hot and dry. We have had several times of 100 + days of consecutive days above 100 deg. I noticed the west side of my neighbors Live Oak leaves were discolored from intense heat and east side looks normal. Not unusuall for plants to become sunburned and I have noticed even some decidious trees going into dormancy to try and protect themselves. Heat is responsible for deaths every year around here. I water early and late as much as I can, but we usually go into water restrictions about now and I can't seem to water enough. Things start to improve again late summer and early fall.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Palms & Cycads Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here