Freezing Floridians - Scott, How Are You Doing???

Discussion in 'PALM TREES - WHERE TROPICAL STARTS' started by Dypsisdean, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    I got a shiver this morning just reading some threads on PalmTalk. It's sad reading about everyone's gardens.

    How much cold does it take to kill a full grown coconut? Are many being wiped out, or have they pretty much stopped planting them up into central Florida? I see how it will be just below freezing into Miami the last two nights. Will they survive? Will it only be the tip of Florida with coconuts after this?
     
  2. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    Dean, So far I feel lucky. I have had 3 mornings below 32f. Coldest temp. so far is this morning is at 29f and no frost, temp fell below freezing at 10:30 last night. Yesterday the temps stayed in mid 30s with rain mixed with sleet at times. The avg. temp should be 70f high 53f low. The Palms and Ti plants are on their own, but I covered the Crotons. As of yesterday no damage has shown, Coconut and Bottle palm still look good planted in protected locations. The forcast for is calling for 26F Monday morning. BTW I got a new Chain Saw yesterday. Scott
     
  3. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    This is the most impressive cold event in my nineteen years here in Fla. I moved here part time right after the '89 freeze and I remember how fried everything was from that event. It looks like we still have two more nights left before any let up. It has still been a zone ten temp. event in Vero Beach but the duration is what's troubling. These plants will likely resent being at <35f. lows for nearly two weeks. I will post some pics of the carnage in due time. I even saw a recently transplanted 15'oa. Bismark with heavy burn on it. Most of the seedling Coconuts are toast. The adults will look rough this growing season. All of my mega-therms melted last week. It will be a few months before any of us will know the extent of damage.
    This is a good reminder for all of us lulled into thinking we weren't in our respective growing zones. I'm dumb\crazy enough to keep planting improper plants every year but some people will likely consider this another benchmark for the limits of Florida horticulture. I am going to Fairchild tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what's up with them.
     
  4. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, it probably won't help, but I'll say it anyway. It sounds as if it could be worse.

    What's worrisome is that things will look even worse before they get better. I've been through my share of cold events, and I do remember that some palms succumbed much later due to fungus that started after invisible meristem damage.

    What you guys have going for you is that you will see some warmer temps soon. In California, it could be April (or June on the coast) before temps above 70º lasted more than an hour or so.

    However there is a learning opportunity here. I don't know how much you have looked at the Survivability Index, but I'm sure you are seeing some palms survive next to some other species that didn't. This gives up undeniable evidence of one species being hardier than another - with all the variables taken out due to differing conditions or location. Any knowledge you can gain from this experience would be good to document.
     
  5. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Dean, being the eternal optimist, I agree with you. We will gain a lot of valuable information from this event. If February isn't too cold we should come out okay. I began bleating about the NOAA climate models back in October and the latest El Nino update calls for even more below average temps. (add grain of salt here) for the next couple of months. It's all part of the thrill of growing beyond our zone. Yee-haw! The catch phrase for the next few months around here will be "apply fungicide" for sure!
     
  6. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    The palms will suvive this cold weather. I get these low temps here at least one morning every winter. I am just getting tired of the same palms getting browned and looking like crap. I gave away the easy to dig damaged ones last spring. I offered the large palms for free but the planting locations allow for no heavy removal. After this cold spell I have made my mind they will be removed and replaced with cold hardy palms. The temp. right now is sitting at 27f here in my yard. Tampa AP is reporting a record low for the date of 26f aprox. 5 miles south of me
     
  7. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    Walking around the yard this afternoon I noticed the Livistona chinensis are fried. Did not expect that. The list of tropical plant removal out of the garden is going to be long. I expect more damage to show on more plants also. I will get pictures in a week or so.
     
  8. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    I just got back from Fairchild "Tropical" Gardens tonight. They were not spared the wrath of this spell either. Even Key West took 42f. today. That's one degree above their all time low. Miami Airport read 36f. today. I still had a great time at Fairchild and will be posting an article on the park later this week. A fair part of My collection seems to have been spared so far. If my zone 10b palms die then I will toss more in the ground this spring and just keep chugging along. Scott, I hope things recover for you over there. This is an extraordinary event indeed!
     
  9. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    Temp went back below 32f at 10:45 last night, held around 30f now for 9 hrs. and just now has gone above 32F. Frost is heavy this morning. This has giving me a total of 30 hrs below freezing temps so far this year. The light is at the end of the tunnel... The forcast for Fri is a high temp. of 75f low of 60f.
     
  10. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    Justin, Good luck and keep chugging along. My days of zone pushing are over. I gave away the easy to dig damaged palms last spring, this year the chainsaw is on the menu.
     
  11. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    Having not yet seen all the damage yet, I will use one word to sum it up DISASTER. I had to go back inside yesterday after seeing the damage and only have looked at 25% of the yard. I noticed the 30' tall Phoenix reclinata clump looks to have 80% damage.
     
  12. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    Truly depressing. Believe me, as a veteran of three bad freezes after several years of zone denial each time, I know exactly how you feel. It hurt so much, it was a major part of the equation for leaving my 30 year old garden and home of 50 years.

    But P. reclinata and L. chinensis were never damaged for me in SoCal. It must have been bad.
     
  13. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Another interesting facit of this weather event. Is the fish kills. The reef fish were washing up in droves this week. Puffer fish, clown fish. And in the lagoon, hard head cats, Snook and black mullet among others.
     
  14. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    Here is a shot showing the damage done to the L.chinensis and a shot of my P.pusilla. When I went to take the picture of the chinensis I pulled the leaf down to get a close up shot, the leaf stem snapped.
     

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  15. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    4,851
    other damaged palms...
     

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  16. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    The really bad news is these guys in the picture will not be returning.
     

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  17. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    Location:
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    That brings back a lot of sad memories.

    It's been said, and I've witnessed it - and in Florida it should be much more prevalent. Unlike California. where there is 3 more months of weather that along the coast won't exceed 70º - the day time warmth has already returned to Florida.

    So I'm thinking if the weather continues to cooperate, many things will bounce back. They do, even in California. I know it doesn't seem possible, and having to look at that is depressing. But I would start marking spears, and if they are moving, the palm is still alive.

    As far as the crotons and Ti plants, you may just have to talk yourself into the fantasy that a gardener went wild and just trimmed things back way too far. But they will probably bud out again as well.
     
  18. Sihara

    Sihara Active Member

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    69
    Scott it sounds just awful - how discouraging! after all your hard work. Horrible. Hard to understand the damage to the reclinata... and livistona chinensis?? I thought they were good up to 9a/8b! In your photo of the rivularis, how tall is that - and how badly was it damaged?

    Here, everything is brown, black or dead. It all looks awful. There are a couple of survivors, but only a couple. Roebelinii and H. morrissii were champs - at least so far. The nasty thing is, we won't be sure till summer. All over the neighborhood, palms I've loved looking at are dead.

    For heavens sake even the SELLOUM is nearly fried!! That's a z9b plant! You know what that means? You CAN plant just to your zone and STILL get hammered!!!

    Thank goodness I didn't plant my special crotons out. Or the baby palmies either. They all stay in pots. forever.


    The sad part is - St. Pete is going to look a lot different now. Won't even look like FL. As far as I'm concerned, if it's going to look like GA here, I may as well move to GA.
     
  19. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine who has been growing palms and tropical fruit trees in Florida for nearly forty years has a great analogy for dealing with RARE unprecidented events like this one. If you can see yourself spending $20.00 on cut flowers and you will enjoy them while they are pretty, knowing full well they will fade away in time, then go ahead and invest in these plants as they will give you that joy even if for a brief time. Buying a Coconut or feather palm for $15.00-$25.00 that may last one year or twenty years is a good investment to me if it brings you the slightest joy for the time you have it.
    Having started growing palms right after the '89 freeze I've watched the Florida horticulture scene lulled into pushing the zone bounderies, since that event. I figure things will be reset for a couple of years. There will be a very conservative approach to landscape choices. If we have another series of mild winters it won't take long for everyone to forget the carnage and become hopeful again. This is exactly what has happened since '89.
    So, if this is one of your first major setbacks form freezing weather, just get back on the saddle and keep planting with the newfound sage that comes from these events. My friend that has been growing for nearly forty years has had to start over several times. There are still a lot of plants that will withstand these extremes. Read the damage reports, I have a feeling there will be some new stars that come out of this having insured themselves against extraordinary conditions. I already have a list of some palms that weren't here in the early '90's and they have proved themselves year after year, Including; so far, the new years freeze of 2010.
     
  20. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    Sihara, I have 2 R. rivularis, they have aprox. 20' of clear trunk. This is how they look today. The first 2 pics also show my green C. alba that also is showing damage. The last 2 pics show the damage to P reclinata that is growing near the other R rivularis.
     

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  21. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    4,851
    Phoenix loureiri damage..
     

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  22. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    Royal, C obtusa, W bifurcata and Rhapis excelsa (I cant belive R excelsa was damaged).
     

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  23. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    Here are a few more pictures of the L chinensis damage.
     

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  24. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    This Coconut is a real trooper...:cool: minor spotting only.
     

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  25. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    more...
     

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  26. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Scott, after all of your photos, maybe you should disregard my pep talk and just find a more appropriate hobby for your area. Are you in a cold basin or what gives? You seem to be doing worse than most people. Sorry for your troubles. I still stand by my keep plugging away mantra but there are limits to these things.
    I could add to the misery by going down to my nursery and snapping pics of that scene. My partners and I are going to miss this years garden show circuit for the most part, palm wise because a lot of our stuff is a nice golden brown. I think I'll be able to scrape out enough to make a token presence but that's about it.
     
  27. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    Justin, We all complain about the damage, but we should be thankful... I keep thinking of all the natural diasters around the world now, and in recent years. This is nothing.
     
  28. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Scott, you are certainly right about that. It's all relative, which is one reason why I tried to put a positive spin on things a few posts back. But I was sincere when I said that I am sorry for your loss. You; like many of us invested quite a bit of time and attention to your garden and it is still a loss.
     
  29. Sihara

    Sihara Active Member

    Messages:
    69
    Yeah, that really puts everything in perspective and we have a lot to be grateful for.

    Has to hurt though when you see that kind of damage to everything you've worked so hard to create.


    Please don't give up - some of your garden, even the toasty ones, might come back. I see some serious green in there.

    PS - I do hope your Ravenea make it. Sensational palm. sometimes known to rebound from really bad cold.
     
  30. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    I knew planting this stuff what I was getting into. The Royal,Ravenea, Fishtail and Arenga get damaged most every year. I have grown use to it. But I do own the power to change it. It may look bad now... but its going to be better than ever, just a setback for now. Wait to you see pictures in a few months :D.
     
  31. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    It is really no loss to me only an excuse to change my mistakes. It will return better than ever, and I am excited about the changes I want to create.
     
  32. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    I have started the clean up. With the temps in the 70s this last week, new growth has started on a few Ti's already. My toasted green Triangle palm (top R pic 3rd sm palm back) has a new leaf now also.
     

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  33. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    Perseverance and a good attitude can get you a long way in life. :)
     
  34. Alicehunter2000

    Alicehunter2000 Member

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    Location:
    9a
    Alot of what you have shown will come back.....it'll look like crap for awhile though. Chinese get fried up here and pop back. All those phoenix will be ok. Lady palms...ok. All that 9a stuff will come back. Ti plants come back from the roots up here. Majesty will probably be ok too, same with the Triangle. the
    P. sellenum? will come back even if all the leaves melt away.....a common site up here.

    Royals, coconuts etc.......not sure?
     
  35. FRITO

    FRITO Member

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    26
    sorry to see the damage to your garden Scott. It a great place youve created.

    nothing will die, R. rivaulris can take low 20's here and come back. these are tough palms.

    That is surprising to see damage on Chinese and Rhapis excelsa. there must have been some radiational cooling going on.
     
  36. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    Luke, There are many damaged S. roms in the area also. The R. excelsa had frost cloth on top of them ( I had made a tent to cover the Croton collection ). My neighbors sprinklers ran the nite of the freeze and the R. excelsas were covered in ice. Your freaky S. rom did great and awaits the new home you will give it. I also have some other palms to give you if you want them.
     
  37. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    Oh, I forgot about the Freaky Queen. I'm glad she's all right. :)
     
  38. FRITO

    FRITO Member

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    Thanks for the report. Hmm, ice doesnt work well on palms like it does citrus! :(

    I am happy to hear the freaky queen is fine, I will let you know when I am down your way again, I am always interested in palmage.
     
  39. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    Spring has arrived and the growth is in full swing :)
     

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  40. freakypalmguy

    freakypalmguy Active Member

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    Excellent Scott, blue skies and warm weather, the cold will only be a memory before you know it.

    Matt
     

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