Palms at Florida State University-Tallahassee,FL USDA zone 8b

Discussion in 'PALM TREES - WHERE TROPICAL STARTS' started by DavidMac, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. DavidMac

    DavidMac Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Havana,FL 32333
    Howdy all,
    I am David MacManus an Assistant Director of Grounds at Landscaping at Florida State University in Tallahassse,Florida. I have a degree in Horticulture from UF-so I am a Gator who works for the Noles.Gardening here can be both rewarding and challenging-we often have periods of several years when temperatures rarely drop to the mid 20's but years with hard freezes come and kill Canary Island Dates and Washingtonias along with other plantings that have grown for many years with minor injury. I have witnessed it dropping to 6 degrees F on January 21st, 1985- that was a very tragic freeze. I lost my pet Mule Palm (X Butiagrus nabonnandii) which Dr.Merrill Wilcox had given me in that freeze :( On the campus of FSU we have a few palms and will be planting more in the future. Our campus is warmer than other areas in town due to good air drainage from our hills and due to urban heat. Some spots on campus are very protected-we have Lady Palms, Chinese Fan Palms and Queen Palms in courtyards surrounded by other buildings that usually go undamaged by cold! Here is a list of the palms we currently have on campus-
    Butia odorata, Chamaerops humilis, Livistona chinensis, Livistona saribus, Phoenix canariensis, Phoenix dactylifera, Phoenix sylvestris, Rhapidophyllum hystrix, Rhapis excelsa, Sabal minor, Sabal palmetto, Serenoa repens, Syagrus romanzoffiana, Trachycarpus fortunei, Washingtonia robusta, X Butyagrus nabonnandii. I would love suggestions for new additions (seeds and plants would be nice too :) )
     
  2. DavidMac

    DavidMac Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Havana,FL 32333
    palms 010.jpg Here are some Phoenix dactylifera 'Medjool' on the campus of Florida State University
     
  3. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    4,845
    Welcome David! I have not seen the FSU campus in 16 years now. Tallahassee is were my love for palms started.
     
  4. DavidMac

    DavidMac Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Havana,FL 32333
    Thanks Scott-if you are ever up here you are welcome to drop by to tour the campus-hopefully a number of the changes over the last 16 years have been good ones.
     
  5. DavidMac

    DavidMac Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Havana,FL 32333
    IMG_2054.jpg Chinese Fan Palm (Livistona chinensis) at Cawthon Hall courtyard on the campus of FSU. Just a few miles away from campus Chinese Fan Palms are killed or badly damaged by our winter freezes.
     
  6. DavidMac

    DavidMac Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Havana,FL 32333
    queen.jpg This is the tallest of the 5 Queen Palms on campus-this one has not shown any cold damage-even when they were damaged 200 miles to our south in a recent winter! It is planted in a courtyard at the Williams Building and would be much happier with more sun which would most likely result in cold injury or death here. There are no large old Queen Palms in Tallahassee-but we are holding out hope that this one will continue to survive.
     
  7. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    4,845
    David, I am amazed with that Queen Palm in Tallahassee. My neighbor that lived across the street planted a 6 footer that froze the first winter. When I moved I dug my 2 Canary Islands and Chinese Fan (all leaves had been frozen off at the time) and planted them here. I lived out on the east side of town and it gets real cold out there. You should try Livistona decora (former decipiens) and Livistona australis they are as cold hardy as a L. saribus if not a little more.
     
  8. DavidMac

    DavidMac Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Havana,FL 32333
    Thanks for the recommendations Scott- I have 3 L.saribus that are still young (evil stems though) that were given to me from a palm collector in Kansas who is limited in his greenhouse space. I will try to buy some decora and australis when I head back down the state again.
     
  9. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    4,845
    David, Here is my australis planted from a 1 gal a little over a dozen years ago.
     

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  10. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    4,845
    and here is are a couple of pictures of the decora. This was also planted from a 1 gal at the time of the australis planting.
     

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  11. DavidMac

    DavidMac Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Havana,FL 32333
    Those are beautiful!
     
  12. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    David - I'd love to see palms on campus photos!

    Thanks, :)

    Ron
     
  13. DavidMac

    DavidMac Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Havana,FL 32333
    I will post some more-we now have boldly planted a couple of Pygmy Date Palms in the protected courtyard of the Stone Building-wish us luck ;)
     
  14. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    A well feed healthy palm protected from wind plus radiant heat from the stone building has a very good chance to thrive. Look forward to your photos! :D
     
  15. howfam

    howfam Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Jackonville, Fl. (8b-9a)

    DavidMac: I suggest you try the Washingtonia filifera or the hybrid Washingtonia Known as the Filibusta (filifera x robusta). Filifera is hardy into the single digits ; filibusta should go well into the teens without much damage. I'd love to see tally covered with these beauties.
     
  16. TikiRick

    TikiRick Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    455
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL Zone 10b
    David...So glad you made this post. As a grad from FSU, I can attest that the winter of '85 was the coldest ever in Tallahassee. The campus fountains froze over, pipes burst, and cars wouldn't start. I never dreamed it could get to 6F in Tallahassee. In fact, I think there were snow flakes coming down.

    Once at FSU for my graduate work, I too was taken by the diversity of the plants. Tallahasee is literally on the very edge of what I would consider subtropical to hardwoods, providing a great combo of each.

    I spent many hours walking campus admiring not on the Sabals, but the Phoenix, Livistona, Chamaerops, and anything esle that spoke of the tropics. I spent hours at McClay Gardens just sitting.

    It's great to have a palm advocate at FSU (despite being a lousy Gator).
    If you are ever in Ft. Lauderdale, please look me up. I'd be happy to search for some really cold hardy specimens with you. I rarely get up to Tallahassee these days, as I've sold my 'cabin in the woods' down in Wakulla County.

    Cheers!
    Rick:rolleyes:
     
  17. howfam

    howfam Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Jackonville, Fl. (8b-9a)
    DavidMac:
    Please try the Washingtonia hybrid W. filifera x W. robusta, known as the Filibusta palm. More hardy and can take the humidity due to robusta heritage./
    Howfam
     
  18. Alicehunter2000

    Alicehunter2000 Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    9a
    David I have a "filibuta" F2 for you when I get over that way. I got my MBA from FSU so I wouldn't be cheating.
     

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