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Doomed in Zone 6

Discussion in 'PALM TREES - WHERE TROPICAL STARTS' started by adampps, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. adampps

    adampps Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Richfield, Utah
    Hello all

    Im new to this site. Im 28-M Married with a young family. I live in Richfield

    Utah, Zone 6. I am a palm fanatic. I wish I could have one grow here. AM i

    doomed? I have done alot of research and many web-sites claim the Trachy-

    Fortuneii is the panacea. Has anyone had any luch with Trachys in zone 6?

    There is lots of info on Trachys in new england...but not in the mountain

    west. Bring on the comments

    -DOOMED IN ZONE 6
     
  2. Kim

    Kim Active Member

    Messages:
    232
    Location:
    San Diego, California USA
    You'd have to really work at protecting the palm. With extra care and effort, you might manage. There are stories of a Trachycarpus f. surviving for a while in Alaska, but not exactly thriving.

    I just got back from a weekend in Utah and didn't see a single palm.:(
     
  3. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,846
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Don't feel alone. There are many that are just as "sick" as you are. :D

    There are stories of all kinds of crazy strategies and contraptions built to try what you are thinking about. Temporary winter structures, heaters, rope lights, underground cables, etc.

    What usually does the damage is just a few days or weeks during winter. The rest of the time, a Trachy could take it. It's just those few days of a severe storm that would do it in. Depending on where it's planted, you could get a fairly large one in a 24 inch box, and plant that in the ground (box and all), so that when that blizzard approaches, you could pull it up. Then plant it back out again. Or place it on a sunny side of a building, where you could easily pull some protection around it when needed.

    Of course, there is only one way to really answer you question. :) Remember the bigger it is, the stronger it is. And too much water during cold weather is a killer (rot).

    It would be worth a try just for the crazy looks people would give you, and the comments about your mental health that would be said behind your back. :D We would be interested in your saga if you try. Good Luck.
     
  4. adampps

    adampps Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Richfield, Utah
    Living in the Great Basin Desert of Southern Utah,...i hope rot wouldnt come into factor
    .......my town avg 8" of precip a year.....relatively little snowfall,.....the problem I will face is brutally cold temperatures........single digits and teens nightly in winter. Im thinking that if i try a trachy, I will get one in a 24" box and wrap it from december-march.

    Thanks for the insight
    -Doomed in Zone 6
     
  5. adampps

    adampps Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Richfield, Utah
    Did you go skiing? Lots of powder right now

    -Doomed in zone 6
     
  6. Kim

    Kim Active Member

    Messages:
    232
    Location:
    San Diego, California USA
    Snowboarding, missed the powder, but lots of fun anyway. Utah is a fun place to live if you like winter sports, but if you are a serious palm aficionado, you might think about planning your escape to a warmer climate. Or at least build a heated greenhouse.:)
     
  7. MattyB

    MattyB Moderator

    Messages:
    449
    Location:
    Spring Valley, CA
    Adam,
    Sounds like you've got a nice dry climate that would support the Mazari Palm, Nannorhops ritchiana. Another possibility is Rhapidophylum hysterix, the needle palm. Do some research on those and let us know if they'll jive with your winter lows. Good luck. Keep us posted.
     
  8. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,846
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    As Kim said, you may consider planting next to the house so you could construct a temporary enclosure around it in winter, and free it the rest of the year.

    Keeping it enclosed in a quasi-greenhouse, and getting a little help from the one side of the house, may prove to be enough. But single digits for more than a few nights would probably prove fatal.

    As far as the rot - I was referring mainly to overwatering. Lot's of new palm people tend to over water, and to water the crown of the palm - not good in cold weather.
     
  9. adampps

    adampps Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Richfield, Utah
    where can i find a good sized nanorrhops??....i have seen they are natice to Packistan...which is probably very similar to Utah...COLD winter and HELLACIOUS summers........100-110 degrees
     
  10. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,846
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Give Phil (or someone else) at JUNGLE MUSIC a call. That palm will be a little harder to find. I would think you will be taking a drive for one of those. Or maybe JM could send a 5 gal if they have one. If not, they may be able to give you an idea where to try. Phil would know, but I think he is out of town for a few more days.

    That is a much rarer palm, but a nice hardy one. And will never get very tall in your lifetime.
     
  11. MattyB

    MattyB Moderator

    Messages:
    449
    Location:
    Spring Valley, CA
    They have some really nice silver colored ones right now. Not much up top in the way of leaves, but the roots fill out pots like there's no tomorrow. Wierd spaghetti looking rootball. Probably need to be protected for several years until it gains some girth.
     
  12. marcel

    marcel Active Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Lucerne, Switzerland
    Hi Adam,
    I live in Switzerland and grow a lot of different palms.
    Our lowest temperatures are usually between 14 - 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
    every 5 - 10 years it can drop down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
    My palms are not that big yet, and are still easy to cover during the coldest nights.
    But a Trachycarpus fortunei can take 5 degrees unharmed when it has a certain age and a good rootsystem.
    Do you get permafrost at your place?
    That's more the problem I have to deal with. Like this winter, for almost three weeks the temperature stayed below freezing point!
    There are still many palms you could try.
    For example chamerops humilis takes at least 14 degrees. Probably lower when there is a dry clime. If the temperature falls into the single digits put a blanket over it.
    It can happen that it dies to the ground but it will regrow very fast in spring. Especially in your hot summers.

    Marcel
     
  13. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,846
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Marcel,

    Your experiences in Switzerland sound very interesting. If you would consider it, an article with some photos explaining what it is like to grow palms in such an unlikely climate would prove informative reading for everyone - not just those trying to do what many think is impossible.

    If you wrote something up and took a few photos, I would put it all together on Palmpedia so others could view it. I have thought about doing an online "magazine" for some time, and an article about your palms and methods would be a unique and valuable addition for the first issue.

    I would give you all the help you need, but it shouldn't be too much. Uploading to Palmpedia is very easy.
     
  14. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,846
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Adam,

    If your interested, I just added some photos of a Nannorrhops HERE.
     
  15. marcel

    marcel Active Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Lucerne, Switzerland
    Dean,
    I've just taken a few pictures outside, but it's not the best day today. Because there is no sun and it's chilly, only around 40° F after maybe 28 last night.
    Here the nature takes long to get going in spring. Since our weather many times falls back to some cold days with lightly frosty nights. Our last expecting date for frost is 15. of may. Although many years there is no frost anymore after 20. of april. But sometimes we still can get a light frost in hollow places in early june!

    Here are some of my palms that I grow:

    First of all the famous Sabal minor, which is an easy to handle plant. As long as you keep the ground away from freezing it is at least as hard as a trachycarpus fortunei. Mine is not at a very sunny spot, that's why it is growing not more than one leaf per season. It has taken three winter so far with no frost damage ever. Last winter it took more than two weeks of permafrost down to -11 at its spot. I don't cover the leaves that's why they suffer a bit when there is too much wet snow.
    It also gets likely some weird twisted leaves after winter. I hope that will soon grow out since it's been in the ground for a while now.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This is my Chamaerops humilis that is growing very bushy, since it has been frozen back to the ground three years ago. Sometimes I can pull some of its spears after winter or one or two leaves die off as you can see on the top left. But never the less a beautiful plant!
    I am still waiting for a bloom.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture three years ago after it was frozen back to the ground.
    [​IMG]


    Marcel
     
  16. marcel

    marcel Active Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Lucerne, Switzerland
    Trachycarpus fortunei "nainital". On this one I also had a spear pull in spring 2008. But it has recovered nicely.

    [​IMG]

    My Jubaea chiliensis I have planted in 2004 the first time, the after the second winter in the ground I could pull the spear it lost all its fronds. So I replaced it with a new one from on e-bay. And the old one I potted up. Then with the new one the same thing happened again after the second winter. But by then the old one had recovered and I planted it back on its former place last spring. :)

    [​IMG]

    A couple of Trchycarpus fortunei. They are seedlings that I pulled out growing wildly in a forest in ticino, south of switzerland. Planted last year. Very hardy.

    [​IMG]


    Marcel
     
  17. marcel

    marcel Active Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Lucerne, Switzerland
    This cycas revoluta I had totally covered with dry leaves and a rain shelter.
    It did not suffer any frost damage!
    The damages you can see is sunburn from last summer. I brought it from the living room out and put it at a sheltered place, but it still got about 40% leaf burn.

    [​IMG]

    Here are some more of my test plants.This two groupes of Chamaedorea radicalis I Icovered them the same way as I did the Cycas revoluta. Yes they have some damage, and I allready could pull one of the spears, but in general I am happy they made it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Marcel
     
  18. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,846
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Thanks Marcel,

    I'll put together a little article about "Palms in Switzerland." I doubt if we have had anyone with as much experience as you have, and it has to be one of the most challenging places to try growing palms.

    I'll send you the address where we will work on it. You will be able to add more pics and text if you wish.
     
  19. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,846
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Oh Marcel,

    How often do you see any other palms in Switzerland? I am very surprised you found wild Trachys there.
     
  20. marcel

    marcel Active Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Lucerne, Switzerland
    The wild Trachys are in the south, and the difference between northern and southern italian speaking Switzerland is huge!
    While we are in USDA zone 7a - 7b, ticino the southern canton is 8b - 9a!
    The oldest Jubaea chiliensis in Europe for example is growing on an island on the lake maggiore in Ticino. planted 1853!
    Because of the lakes the clime is very mild, comparable with the northern cost of the mediterranean sea. Warmer than more southern places in northern Italy.
    It is a beautiful touristic place, where they started growing palms more than 100 years ago!
    That's why in some places like parks, forests, private gardens you can see young Trachycarpus fortunei growing like weed.
    It is the swiss canton that gets the most rain, and is therefore a very green place.
    For comparison, the clime is maybe like an average california clime, so you can grow everything you can grow there.


    Have a look here, there is a new topic from a palmfreak in Ticino.
    http://www.palmsociety.org.uk/forum/topic.asp?boardid=1&show=31&page=0&topicid=1342&topicpage=0

    You can see Trachys every now and then, but the most people wrap them up with fleece for 4 - 5 month.
    I cover my Trachys only for the coldest nights. As you can see my palms are still small, but as bigger they get as less protection they need.

    Marcel
     
  21. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Hey Adam, Even though Palmpedia is THE place to hang, I would also suggest a site ring called zone denial. Therein is a site called Pennsylvania cold hardy palms. There's a lot of nice folks there that will steer you right with regard to your situation. There's even a guy there posting from Utah. They have made all of the mistakes and trial and errors for you. Join them and they will steward your love for palms. There is a photo in the back pages of that forum of a Trachycarpus growing in Altoona PA. that is two stories tall!! I enjoy watching these guys brave the winters every year.
    I was shocked When my wife and I were out in Utah ten years ago and in the southwest corner around St. George there were Washingtonia filifera everywhere. Also if I may impart some advice based on personal experience, go to Jeff Marcus' or other's web sites and buy seedlings to learn your mistakes with. Build a little green house and raise 'em up. It would be great if you're wealthy and you can go out and drop hundreds of dollars on mature specimans only to have them be a legacy of your learning curve. Keep us all up to date on your efforts. And feel free to write me with any questions. I am by no means an expert at anything, except making mistakes, and that is what may make me a good contact for trouble shooting. Cheers -Justin aka "palmnerd"
     
  22. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,846
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    It's funny - no matter where we are we always push the limits. It may sound odd, but for me pushing the limits means trying to grow a Lipstick Palm. I am in a little cooler area of Hawaii, and no other Lipsticks grow at my elevation. So what does that mean ??? --- It means I have to try and grow one. What is it about us that does that? Why do we always want what we can't have? :D
     
  23. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Hey Dean I think that makes up part of the obsession of growing palms. In the early stages we're happy to get things to grow and look good. But then as you mentioned we begin to want things we can't have. We also want to push our limits in my area. This winter tempered the hopeful notion that parts of Florida are moving to a more zone ten status. The old timers in this game just laugh when nature culls out the tropical stuff that newer growers were lulled into trying. I'm somewhere in the middle. Too wise to push it too far but to eager to insure the next discovery. Good luck with those lipsticks. We grew renda seedlings out for a couple of winters taking them down to thirty four or five last year. This year they got fried at thirty. I'll buy some more and torture another batch next year. -Justin
     

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