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Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Posted by markywonder 6A, Hartford CT (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 10, 07 at 15:34

Hey palm fans. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City has been growing the Fortunei palm in the ground for the past 10 years with good success. New York City is zone 7A so I believe the Fortunei is a reliable palm for New York City. Since New York City is zone 7A, I am so surprised that I don't see palms in people's yards in the city. This is a great palm opportunity for New York City.

Other reliable zone 7 palms include Trachycarpus Takil, Wagnerianius, needle palm, sabal minor, (Pindo Palm & Cabbage palm - marginal), and I'm sure there are others.

here's the link:http://www.bbg.org/cgi/bgbase/detail.cgi?950404

Here is a link that might be useful: Fortunei at Brooklyn Botanic Garden


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

markywonder, didn't I read somewhere that they protect these trachys there in winter, or am I wrong?


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Not so fast, markywonder! The Brooklyn Botanic Barden's Windmill Palm is a remarkable sight, but is NOT an indication that this is a reliable palm for zone 7. This palm is protected in winter by an unheated greenhouse like structure which is placed over it in the winter. This shelter probably does not keep the pakm much warmer, but DOES provide protection from wind and moisture on the crown during the winter. I lost two Windmill palms in zone 7b, probably as a result of rapid freezing right on the heels of a rainstorm. Zone 7 gardeners MUST either protect this palm in some way, or plant hardier varieties. Trachycarpus wagnerianus may prove to be a better choice, based on accounts I have read on this forum. By the way, a Colorado researcher has observed that damage is cumulative in palms. They tend to die of exhaustion after two or three years of winter damage, especially if a cool summer follows a damaging winter. If anyone knows of large, unprotected Windmill palms in New York or in New Jersey, I would be interested to know, and see these palms!


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

my bad. A staff member at Brooklyn Botanic did tell me that they have been protecting it with a large structure. However this year it is going unprotected. I don't see why why they need the cover since the Fortunei is rated for zone 7A.

Sorry, I was bored at work when I posted, and didn't do all my research. LOL!


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

I saw this palm in 1998 at the Botanical gardens in Brooklyn- 'A Tree- or palm tree grows in Brooklyn' yes-

The overall climate has warmed since I was there in June 1998- by about 1 degree- so while the palm is still protected- in years to come it should do well.


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Who has rated Trachycarpus fortunei as zone 7a? I am quite sure that this palm is marginal for zone 7b, and best in zones 8 & 9, for long term survival. Probably no one is having success in an eastern zone 7a without some form of protection. If anyone is, please share your experience, and photos, if possible, with all of us palm nuts!


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

palmfan - you could talk to nearly native nursery (GA) and Gary's nursery (NC), these growers I believe are in zone 7A, and they do very well with the Fortuneis.


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

I wonder if again, here, it is partly the zone, i.e. 7A, but the length of time the sub-zero temps hang around?

As we know, some places have much long cold spells and yet, are the same climatic zone as someplace else that has same lows, but not long stretchs of the lows.

Possible variable???


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Nearly Native Nursery is near Atlanta, GA (zone 7B) and Gary's Nursery is in New Bern, NC (zone 8A). T. fortunei is marginal at best in the warmer parts of zone 7A, and even then its long-term survival will depend upon good siting and microclimate.


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Wrong, Trachycarpus can be long term survivors in a hard Zone 7a here in Northern Virginia. There are several that have been in the ground and left unprotected after the first year or two of being planted. One faced the sub-zero winter of 1996 and is now 16.8 feet tall unprotected. I have never protected mine and they are doing fine. We luckily have a nice hot summer where they not only recover from the winter, but put on some serious growth. All this is predicated on a good setting and not overfertilzing late in the season. NYC should be able to grow them in the right location.


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Wow! I am sure that those palms [palm] has endured much colder conditions than what killed my Trachys. Genetic variation is probably a major issue here, as well as siting. Perhaps only a few trachys could have survived during that time period. My Trachys had the misfortune of two tough winters in a row, with a cool summer in the middle where even many Crape Myrtles failed to bloom.


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Palm fan: You must have more faith my friend, the Trachys and other palms are tougher than you think. The key is getting them through the first two winters where protection may be needed from a nursery grown specimen. Cold sowing the palm from seed seems to help increase hardiness significantly. You are correct in pointing out that there is a lot a hardiness variation as some growers in Northern Florida had spear pull at highier temperatures than my garden where the spears of the palms remained intact. Keep trying and eventually you will be successful in Zone 7a.


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

I guess I need to qualify my remarks a bit. My own T. fortunei has only been in the ground for 3 growing seasons and through 2 winters, and relatively mild ones at that, so I should make it clear that I can't comment from first-hand experience about the longevity of this species in the Washington, DC area. However, I have personally seen most of the trunking specimens in our area and have met the owners who planted them. Each and every one of these palms is planted in a VERY sheltered location, all but one (that I know of) were protected during their first few winters, and all have been planted since our 1993-1994 winter, which was our area's coldest winter in many years. That was the last time it went below zero in the city and that winter killed several established windmill palms in our area. On this basis I would be very cautious about considering T. fortunei to be more than marginally hardy in zone 7a, when the oldest specimens are less than 15 years old and have not experienced anywhere near our colder winters.

There is one good-sized T. fortunei growing in Sterling, VA that was planted in 1994 and may or may not have experienced subzero temperatures; this is the one specimen I haven't seen personally but have seen photos, and have met and talked to the guy who planted it. Although this is a relatively cold location (outside the Beltway to the west), the specimen is planted up against the foundation of a house. In 1996 Dulles airport recorded -2 degrees on January 9, -10 degrees on Feb. 5 and -9 degrees on Feb. 6. (Oddly enough, on those same days National Airport registered lows of 15, 5, and 10 degrees, respectively; 5 degrees is generally considered the temperature below which T. fortunei will suffer major damage.) How cold it got in the microclimate where the Sterling palm is planted, or for what duration, is completely unknown. The owner remembers it being cold that winter, but doesn't remember the temperature going below zero at his house. Moreover, the palm was very small at the time and the heat from the foundation of the house would have provided quite a bit of protection.

So T. fortunei CAN BE long-term hardy in zone 7a IF: (a) you have a great microclimate (i.e., plant it in a very sheltered location); (b) give it some protection, especially while it's young and still getting established; and (c) you get very, very lucky with the weather. I guess you can call that "hardy" or "marginally hardy" depending on your point of view but if we get another winter like 1994-1995, I expect it to kill most of the windmill palms in our area. Of course that doesn't mean I can't enjoy having palms in my garden in the meantime!


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Thanks for your interesting discourse on Windmill Palm hardiness. I currently have a rather heavily "armed" Chaemerops humilis in a very sheltered spot on the south side of my house. I expect it will likely be a long term survivor in this location. Where my Windmill palm used to be I have a husky Mexican Fan Palm which is a long shot for survival. I collected it as a seedling in Phoenix a few years ago. It grew like a weed in my garden here in zone 7b. It is protected by a mulch around the whole trunk and crown. It survived 24 in December with NO protection and NO damage. It is now protected slightly for this cold spell.


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

I planted a Trachycarpus Fortunei var/bulgaria from Landcraft Environments last summer and in a small plastic shelter it seemed to do ok over the winter. Slight brown/yellowing of the leaves, but no real damage. We'll see how it comes back this spring. I just picked up 3 more to have a set of 4. I heard the the Trachy at BBG is dead. Anyone confirm this? Two years uncovered did it it? I an tending to believe that it is cold water and ice in the spear that get them not the temp alone.


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

I just picked one of these up at a Lowes nearby (in Rhode Island). Sold as a zone 7 hardy plant and I thought I would try it.

Here's my question, though. What constitutes a sheltered location? Which factors weigh heaviest?
sun vs partial shade
northern vs southern exposure
proximity to a house (source of heat)

If it has a wooden stockade fence on one side of it, a few feet away, do I want the plant on the north, south, east or west side of it?

Just trying to figure out where in my yard to plant it.


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

I have 2 of my windmill palms on the south side of my fence where they get a really good amount of sun. During the winter snow doesnt stick in that area very easily (because of the microclimate) and its always the first place snow melts. One of my windmill palms were unprotected and only had some x mas lights and it had no damage (and it was pretty small and sick).
I planted another windmill palm in shade on the northside of a wall so we shall see how that one fairs this winter. Its definitely not in a perfect spot.
I think windmill palms are prefectly tolerant of a zone 7 winter in a good spot and when older. Anything lower than 10 and damage might start to appear.


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Plant it on the SOUTH side of a structure - a solid fence should do but a house is better. Cover it with plastic once frozen precipitation starts or below freezing winds start up - especially if you are zone stretching a 6b to 7a.

They even struggle here sometimes because we are a cold 7a in Brooklyn NY and its best to cover them and not plant out in the open where winter winds of 10* desicate the leaves.


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

I have said this before and I will say it again:

For the record- I have seen numerous Trachys growing in Alpine Italy. Specifically, the Vale d'Aosta, which lies between the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc, no small hills these.

Spare me the talk about climate change or European moderating effects. This place has perpetual snow in the winter. Over a period of 7 years, I visited in both winter and summer and curiously stared at the 18 foot Trachy across the street. Loved it when it was covered in snow all winter and then green again in summer. Saw a bunch more like it.

No protection. None. If they protected it in its formative years, I do not know. I should have asked. But if they could grow there, Brooklyn, where I have lived, would be a cakewalk. You heard it here.


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Ok then jacklord, then your post begs the question, WHY are they not nearly as common in the NYC area as they are in some colder European climates, or even the DC area southward? If they really are such hardy palms, then surely they would have caught on in the United States over the past 100 years. Furthermore, why do we often see people from the NYC area having difficulty growing them, even in protected locations, as well as having to protect them. If that climate in Italy is the same, if not colder than the NYC area, then as you state, the NYC area should be a cake walk. But the facts do not agree with you. the NYC area is not a cake walk for Trachycarpus.

I'm certain that there are climatic differences between the areas if Italy you list, and the NYC area. I'm also pretty sure that not nearly enough research has been done on the palms themselves, nor their native habitats. Snow is one thing. It does not have to be below 32F (0C) for there to be accumulating snowfall. I'm also curious if those areas that you say are in "perpetual snow" during winter, ever see low temperatures that go below the mid 20s to lower 30s. If that is the case, then even with LOTS of snow I would think the palm has a much better chance of survival than in an area with little snow, that often sees single digits.

Also, no one here mentioned climate change until you did. That is a discussion for a completely DIFFERENT board.

Of course I am not disputing that Trachycarpus are one of the hardiest palms around, and the hardiest arborescent palms in the world, we know they are. Perhaps it really IS a matter of getting the palms established and to maturity before they can really be as cold hardy as possible, and THAT is the major challenge that is faced in the colder climates of the United States. That said, they, and other cold hardy palms do appear to be spreading in popularity and in actual plantings in the United States.


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Don't get to caught up in "zones"there is a big difference between a mountain climate that is dry
has dry(low moisture content snow)and a wet east coast or any wet winter climate.

Trachys will or course survive in New York over winter but they will need help.

I think Johnnieb's is pushing the northern limits of survivability,unprotected unless in a great micro-climate.

I thought last winter was going to be the fist winter for the Brooklyn Trachy?

Trachys,specifically Takil growing at almost 8000ft in it's native range live in a zone 7 climate
but it is a mountain climate with heavy monsoon rains in summer and sunny winters with some snowfall.

The statement that Takil grows where snow covers the ground Nov-March is a little bit of a stretch but my understanding
from a guide there is about 5' of snow during the winter!

The coldest climate I have seen them growing in is John Hetzler's growing in z5b Colorado springs Co.

He covers them for sub-zero events.

Click for Fairfield, Iowa Forecast


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Ok then jacklord, then your post begs the question, WHY are they not nearly as common in the NYC area as they are in some colder European climates, or even the DC area southward?
-------------------------------------------------------

That is easy- lack of information. Most people in the New York or DC areas- actually the entire USA- do not have the slightest idea that there is such a thing as a hardy palm. And that's good, because a 5th Avenue or Grand Concourse lined with Trachys would resemble something out of a Tim Burton film. IMHO, and an opinion is all that it is, the sporadic cultivation of hardy palms north of their natural habitat is fine. Mass cultivation, OTOH, would be akin to trying to make Florida look like Vermont.

Europe, on the other hand, is long familiar with them. Why that is, I do not know.


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Novaplantguy:

I'm certain that there are climatic differences between the areas if Italy you list, and the NYC area. I'm also pretty sure that not nearly enough research has been done on the palms themselves, nor their native habitats. Snow is one thing. It does not have to be below 32F (0C) for there to be accumulating snowfall. I'm also curious if those areas that you say are in "perpetual snow" during winter, ever see low temperatures that go below the mid 20s to lower 30s. If that is the case, then even with LOTS of snow I would think the palm has a much better chance of survival than in an area with little snow, that often sees single digits.
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Answer: Aosta is very, very cold with lots of snow. New York City is much milder in general. While I am a layman when it comes to such comments, I find it hard to fathom a hardy palm stands a better chance in the Alps than in New York City.

Also, no one here mentioned climate change until you did. That is a discussion for a completely DIFFERENT board.
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Answer: A comment meant in jest. Text is a lousy way to convey humor and this site has no emoticons to emphasize that. Were that not so, said comment would have been accompanied by the obligatory grinning face or winking eyes to convey humor as in "ha ha."

Of course I am not disputing that Trachycarpus are one of the hardiest palms around, and the hardiest arborescent palms in the world, we know they are. Perhaps it really IS a matter of getting the palms established and to maturity before they can really be as cold hardy as possible, and THAT is the major challenge that is faced in the colder climates of the United States. That said, they, and other cold hardy palms do appear to be spreading in popularity and in actual plantings in the United States.
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Answer: While their popularity has increased, hardy palms are still a long way off from being part of the public's general knowledge. The reasons why would make an interesting discussion As I said before, I would prefer they remain a niche activity. However, I suspect I would be overruled on that one.

P.S. Hi neighbor!


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

jacklord,

Good answers. All of which are within the realm of possibility. Though I have to say I somewhat disagree with you on one thing. I would love for hardy palms to become at least somewhat more popular. At least to the point where people see a palm tree in a city like Washington DC and surrounding areas and do not look at it and think either they are going nuts, or we are trying to do something here we cant.

Yes, this board sucks like that. No emoticons.... avatars..etc. In fact, this board is VERY VERY far behind the times. I really wish they would upgrade to something like Vbulletin, or another up to date board software with full functionality.

My questions on why Trachys struggle so much in the NYC area still remians somewhat of a mystery to me, esp if NYC is one of the warmer climates they are attempted compared to some of those in Europe.

Also, you must be in the DC area no?

I would guess by your zone listing as 7a, that you must be in the colder burbs. =o)


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Im not really sure why windmill palms would struggle that much in NYC. They should be fine in most winters. Mine didnt recieve damage and one had little protection. But the lowest temp for the area was only 14F this winter but the duration fo cold and especially the snow was much mroe sever thean usual.

Heres a look at the min temperautures during the coldest night of the winter from the past few winters (at JFK airport in NYC). I got it from wunderground.

Winter of...

09-10 (14F)*
08-09 (7F)
07-08 (11F)*
06-07 (9F)
05-06 (14F)*
04-05 (6F)
03-04 (1F)
02-03 (7F)
01-02 (19F)**
00-01 (15F)**
99-00 (3F)
98-99 (10F)*
97-98 (15F)**
96-97 (5F)
95-96 (8F)
94-95 (7F)
93-94 (0F)
92-93 (7F)
(* is a zone 8a winter)
(** is a zone 8b winter)

The last time NYC went down to 0F was 16 years ago. Warmest winter in a 17 year period had a min temperature of 19F (thats almost a zone 9 winter). The coldest winter within 17 years had a min temperature of 0F (still a zone 7).
NYC is definitely a zone 7 and these temps arent too bad for growing windmill palms. When established they should be okay by NYC as long as they are protected from a severe winter.


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

I answered it for you,read above post.

Click for Fairfield, Iowa Forecast


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Hey NovaPlantGuy,

Yea I am in MoCo, literally a stone's throw outside the Beltway. I do not know if I benefit from the DC heat island effect.

I am funny about hardy palms remaining a niche, although let me stress I tell anyone who will listen and offer to help anyone as well. I am like that guy in Seinfeld who did not want anyone else to have his glasses. LOL!

I really think Trachys would do just fine in NYC. Most people in NYC have small yards, if any. They just have not made their presence known. But there a few guys here who have done quite well with them and others.

Mahalo,

JL


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

I'm presently growing 1 trachycarpus fortune, 2 trachycarpus wagnerianus, 2 needle palms, 1 saw palmetto, and 1 butia capitata. The only palms that I am protecting for this winter are the trachys and the butia capitata. The butia is a zone 8 palm so I really have to protect it. However, the trachys are hardy to zone 7, but due to there relatively young age I'm protecting them. We just finished having a major blizzard here in the Bronx and my palms are very happy. I'm going to admit it though - every 6 hours I was cleaning the fronds of snow hahahaha. (these are my babies!) I am located in the South Bronx near Long Island Sound and the sound tends to keep this part of the Bronx warmer than other parts of the Bronx. I gave my mother a trachycarpus fortune as well, wrapped it and it's doing just fine in the same area of the city. I will post pictures very soon!


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Picture

Here are my trachys as promised!

Here is a link that might be useful: Trachycarpus fortunei


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Picture #2

More snow

Here is a link that might be useful: Picture #2


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Very nice palms! Just be careful not to let them see too much cold because they look like they are in pots and if they are they are much more suceptible to the cold. I lost a pindo palm in a pot last year after a low temperature only in the 20s! My pindo palm in the ground survived the low 20s in its protection without any damage and I plan on planting another next spring. I also am trying a livistonia, mediterranean fan palm, windmill palm, and sabal domingensis (and oleander) all new this year and a sabal minor and 2 windmill palms that are in their 2nd year.
Good luck!
-Alex


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Thank you for the feed back. Unfortunately I have no ground to put them in. I have them on a south facing terrace. I put them in bigger pots than usual and mulched them to death. I also wrapped their crowns too. I read in (Palms Won't Grow Here(, by David A. Francko that the higher they are the better, because cold air sinks to the ground being that it's denser than warmer air. So my palms are about 12 feet off the ground and they are facing south. I forgot to mention that I also have a Sabal Minor out there too. I started getting heavily interested in tropicals when I came back from Florida and looked around at the boring foliage that comes with the Bronx and started doing my research. Then I came upon these hardy plants and I was hooked! We'll see what happens this is their first winter. :-/


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links

Here's a link to the book I mentioned above.

http://www.amazon.com/Palms-Wont-Grow-Other-Myths/dp/0881925756
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0881925756.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Hi everyone - I hate to break the news, but the BBG Trachy has been dead for some time. Last winter it went unprotected, alas, it was dead by spring, and in the summer there was a mound of dirt where it used to be. Sorry to say.

If it's any consolation, the tree was in a pretty open area, hardly protected from any wind.


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

I also heard about the windmill palm in BBG being dead. Pretty said to see such a beautiful palm tree gone and Im not sure why it died because the lowest temperature was only 14F. My guess would be the duration of cold, winter moisture, winter exposure, and lack of experience with cold is what killed it.
HardyPalmFreak, Looking forward to hearing how your palm does. If you only have the option of keeping it in a pot, then it can definitely be done. Maybe you can put the pots they are in, into a bigger pot with mulch to act as a barrier from freezing temperatures. Usually the ground only freezes a few inches at most during the worst of a zone 7 winter, but a pot will freeze entirely even in most zone 8 winters!
Good luck!
-Alex


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

They are only zone 7 and 8 palms if planted in the ground with protection here in NYC. Pots freeze thru. Bring them in or the risk is too high on loosing them.

Like Alex said, protect them from cold and also they need to be covered and kept dry (if in the ground). Pots outside will not work in NYC. Once the pot freezes thru on very cold nights they will likely die - bring them in now and water lightly until April when they can go outside again. There's something protective about being planted in the ground.


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

  • Posted by cfa_li Zone 7b/8a (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 30, 10 at 15:45

One of these days I have to go back to that McDonalds in Springfield Gardens, Queens. I wonder how that Windmill Palm is fairing since it's on the NORTH side of a wall. It actually made it through last Winter just fine (unlike the Brooklyn one). The last tine I saw it was the night before Thanksgiving, it was dark and rainy but it was still chugging along, here's the pic I managed to get (had to brighten it up:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

As some here know I have had 2 large windmills in the ground going on 5 years, with a smaller one added 2 years ago. As stated well by jimhardy, tropicalzone7 et al, there are huge variations of climate within zones. Oklahoma City is technically the same zone as NYC and although we got 14 inches of snow in one storm last year and had sustained single digits, the two areas are vastly different in climate. I think we should agree that a hardy palm or any plant for that matter should be rated for a zone by its ability to thrive in that zone continuously without protection of any kind. The first 2 years my Trachys went unprotected and suffered bad damage from the wind and freezing rain. My Butia lived under a tarp with a 100 watt flood light happily for 2 years but died with the same protection after 3 days of temps below 12 degrees. I am confident all my hardy palms would not thrive without protection. I even lost a big Bismarkia in a pot from the heat last summer!

Here is a link that might be useful: okcpalms


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Ditto the above comments about overwinter a Trachy in zone 7 in a container. Frankly, I doubt it's possible. There is no comparison between conditions in the ground and a pot. Pots will freeze solid in zone 7. Life in the ground is milder because of mulching, snow cover, and the mass of earth compared to one or five gallon container. I would move them somewhere cool but frost free until spring.

The Trachy in the photo was taken two days after the blizzard. I have a few other palms planted in the ground but all my containerized plant material--even hardy rhododendrons, get protection from hard frost. Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: Two days after the blizzard of 2010


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

I have been protected my windmills for a few years and they do fine...I am afraid to just let them be...I have put too much time and money into seeing them die. I have a needle palm in a pot and I put that under my deck during the winters and it seems fine. The plant does get sun and gets water so it survives. I also have a long needle pine in a pot and under the deck it does fine, had one outside and it froze to death.

anyone interested in contacting me, please feel free to do so, take care

mike
californiamike64@aol.com


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Part of the problem with NYC is how long the cold lasts for. If you consistantly get close the the minimum low a palm can support, it will decline.

The NOAA heating degree days is an interesting scale to look at.

All of the data below is from USDA zone 7-8. The only place where people have reliably cultivated palm trees (Norfolk and Raleigh, protected urban DC) have heating degree days at about 4000 or less. I think we place too much emphasis on the zone and not enough on the amount of heat and how long it lasts.

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/online/ccd/nrmhdd.txt

WASHINGTON NAT'L AP, D.C. 4055

NORFOLK, VA 3368

BALTIMORE, MD 4720

RALEIGH, NC 3465

NEW YORK (JFK AP), NY 4947

NEW YORK C.PARK, NY 4754


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

We dont get to those kind of temepratures many times a winter during an average winter. So far we got to 12F once in my yard and the next coldest day was 24F.
Last year was a bitter cold winter and we got down to 5F (much colder than DC because DC missed out on a lot of the coastal snow storms and all that snow allowed the cold air to stick out longer). But despite what I would consider the longest cold spell in NYC in my memory, we did not get to temperatures below 10F more than one time that winter and we did not get below 15F more than 2 times (the night of 5F and a night of 13F).
We have had a lot of winters where we do not get below 10F and in 2001 the lowest temperature was only 19F.
-Alex


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

hey it was very unclear on wot is acually being said so i decided to buy my own Trachycarpus Fortunei in colonia nj zone 6b/7a and with no protection one died and the other pulled through.... we will have to see wot happens next winter


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

p.s guys i went to seattle and they were every were i think seattle,WA is zone 8


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Unclear, because it depends. They are marginal in zone 7a...unprotected. Depends on...

1. Size of the plant.
2. Health of the plant
3. The particular genes of the plant
4. The particular site it's plantted in ( drainage, sun, wind protection, soil, proximity to a house or other structure, etc.)
5. The extent and duration of extreme cold, rainfall and/or snow.
6. How long it has been in the ground

Good luck with you Trachy.

PS., I had four newly planted ones pull through last winter unprotected, but lost two the previous winter.


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Last winter was a really mild one so definitely try and protect them next year since they may not pull through during the average winter unprotected. One of mine was unprotected last winter since there wasnt really a point where I felt it was cold enough long enough to do damage to a trachy and mine had no damage. Im in NYC (apparently 7b on the new USDA map) but even here they are pretty maginal (Trachys are the most common palm I see people overwinter in my neighborhood and most people just wrap them with no additional heat).

Winter moisture is a huge problem around here for Trachys, if it was dry all winter long, then zone 7 temperatures would not kill a trachy (except young ones, and older ones may be damaged), but add a wet snow to those temperatures and that can kill a trachy of any age.

Seattle is a zone 8, but coastal areas and parts of the city are a zone 8b. Trachys love their comfortable summers and cool (but rarely extremely cold) winters.
-Alex


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RE: Trachycarpus Fortunei grows in Brooklyn New York

Trachy probably wouldn't grow in NYC without protection in the worst winters, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't try it if I lived there! I would think Needle Palm should grow there no problem though. Sable Minor might be worth a shot too!

Here is a link that might be useful: Virginia Beach Weather


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