A debate

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stephenprudence
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A debate

Post by stephenprudence » Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:44 pm

Question: Is the general concensus that exotic plants only really prosper in the south a reality?

Basically if you live in the north do you think a notable achievement like for example being able to grow a Phoenix canariensis_CIDP is generally ignored or played down because it is in the north... Is there a bias towards the south.

Personally I've noticed this a little.. Anyone who is able to grow plants in the north like Phoenix canariensis_CIDP, Yucca elephantipes or Cycas revoluta generally is swept under the carpet or the usual response is.. That is not a long term prospect, even though the plant is still there.

It's only a healthy debate so it'll be interesting to see the concensus of opinion... And remember say what you really think.
Heswall, Wirral, UK
USDA equivalent average temperature zone: 9a/RHS zone 3
AHS Heat Zone: 1
Last 5 winter minimums:
2007: -0.1C, 2008: -4.2C, 2009: -5.7C, 2010: -10.5 (record), 2011: -4.9C, 2012: -5.3, 2013: -4.5C (so far)


Steph
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Re: A debate

Post by Steph » Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:51 pm

Never having lived north of the M25, I don't feel qualified to judge.


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fieldfest
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Re: A debate

Post by fieldfest » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:09 pm

all depends how much effort northerners are willing to put in to protect. anything is possible. Will Giles is north of London and he does OK (wouldn't fancy his heating bill though)

Phoenix canariensis_CIDP still die in their droves down here unless they're 3ft from a house wall or on the seafront so not much chance elsewhere unless wrapped/heated for the winter


doncasterpalmguy123
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Re: A debate

Post by doncasterpalmguy123 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:18 pm

Like you stephen i too have noticed a slight bias towards tropical plants in the south, when i have contested in the past saying its unfair when people tell you your plants might as well be dead; i have been told its fact and its based on peoples experience, well the plants are still here so how can they judge? It seems to me that people mistake how much of a difference in temperature in the south and north there is. Its actually a rather small difference, about 3 degrees at the most generally (apart from like cornwall and devon, they're like the freaking maldeaves :lol: :lol: ).

People also don't take into consideration that there are other factors than just a southernly latitude which come into play. When on the isle of arran last year i saw the largest codryline australis' I've ever seen as well as tree ferns planted in native woodlands of all places, this is because of the gulf stream which makes parts of western scotland a balmy zone 9 where many places in southern england are zone 8 like myself here in doncaster.
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Conifers
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Re: A debate

Post by Conifers » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:25 pm

Plenty of exotic plants that prosper in the North, it's just that they aren't "tropical" exotics, they're cool temperate exotics from places like Canada :lol:


otorongo
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Re: A debate

Post by otorongo » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:28 pm

fieldfest wrote:Phoenix canariensis_Phoenix canariensis_CIDP still die in their droves down here unless they're 3ft from a house wall or on the seafront so not much chance elsewhere unless wrapped/heated for the winter
I'm so used to seeing CIDPs around here that I don't even think of them as difficult plants. If not for this forum, I would think they're no more challenging than trachys.

Although many of them are indeed 3ft from a house wall (which is dictated by the limited space, in particular our small front gardens... and it's the front garden ones you're the most likely to see), there are also quite a few 'public' ones on roundabouts etc.


Tom2006
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Re: A debate

Post by Tom2006 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:39 pm

Undoubtedly things grown better darn sarf. That said until recent winters we had large cidps and huge cordylines growing in east Yorkshire. Most killed winter 10 and 11 though. I must admit the growth of plants does seem much slower up here.
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stephenprudence
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Re: A debate

Post by stephenprudence » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:39 pm

I agree that south coast has had the better of things recently, and the huge CIDPs, Butias, and in some cases Washingtonias are a testament to that, however, part of Northern England and North Wales can in some cases rival the south coast for speciments grown - it's just that the north isn't seen as a holiday destination so public plantings are sparse.. and I don't necessarily believe these palms and other plants are on borrowed time any more than south coasts specimens are. The mature species in Portsmouth and Cornwall, as well as the Essex coast, could easily be wiped out with one freak cold spell, just as they were in many parts of the north 2 winters ago.

My opinion is we need to move away from that idea that north has virtually no chance of long term palms (which to be fair is engrained psychologically), whilst the south is fine.. I believe in terms of climate were all on a level playing field with coastal areas of Scotland, NW England, Isle of Man and Northern Ireland, having an equal chance of long term survival with 'half hardy' palms and plants as the south coast.

However where I do agree is that specimens in the south will grow faster as the climate down there is warmer in Summer, so ultimately these half hardy exotics will be both larger and faster growing in say the south coastal areas.

Of course this is not personally to my garden.. I'm fully aware that in my own garden many species of palm that can be grown south and also north of here, are not viable here.
Heswall, Wirral, UK
USDA equivalent average temperature zone: 9a/RHS zone 3
AHS Heat Zone: 1
Last 5 winter minimums:
2007: -0.1C, 2008: -4.2C, 2009: -5.7C, 2010: -10.5 (record), 2011: -4.9C, 2012: -5.3, 2013: -4.5C (so far)


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Yorkshire Kris
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Re: A debate

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:19 pm

You can't deny that when it's a cold winter it's usually worse up north and lasts longer up north. Due to latitude spring also arrives earlier down south so things start growing earlier and therefore the growing season is longer down south. Following on from this slower growing plants e.g. palms develop quicker down south.


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stephenprudence
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Re: A debate

Post by stephenprudence » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:33 pm

Yorkshire Kris wrote:You can't deny that when it's a cold winter it's usually worse up north and lasts longer up north. Due to latitude spring also arrives earlier down south so things start growing earlier and therefore the growing season is longer down south. Following on from this slower growing plants e.g. palms develop quicker down south.
It depends where in the north you're comparing too, I think here (we qualify for the north) we have a good punt for an earlier Spring here for example many places in the south away from the south coast. When I went to Akamba, on numerous occasions it could be noted how far along things were here compared to further south around Birmingham and Worcestershire.

If you mean the south coast though, yes, I would agree that they do, but that only dictates how fast things grow, and I don't think coastal areas, particularly around North Wales have a much worse Winter than the south coast. In fact I'd say due to it's coastal position, and it's sheltered position, Llandudno can lay claim to being as mild, if not milder than many south coastal locations in the winter.. and indeed Spring does arrive early there. That said many plants grown in locations like that, but it's only relatively recently people have realised what can be grown up this way (due to being told you can't because you're in the north). The specimens on the south coast have been there for much longer, and are therefore bigger to start with.

If it weren't for us on forums like this one, we wouldn't know what was possible in different places, only for a happy accident say.
Heswall, Wirral, UK
USDA equivalent average temperature zone: 9a/RHS zone 3
AHS Heat Zone: 1
Last 5 winter minimums:
2007: -0.1C, 2008: -4.2C, 2009: -5.7C, 2010: -10.5 (record), 2011: -4.9C, 2012: -5.3, 2013: -4.5C (so far)


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jcec1
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Re: A debate

Post by jcec1 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:37 pm

stephenprudence wrote:I agree that south coast has had the better of things recently, and the huge CIDPs, Butias, and in some cases Washingtonias are a testament to that, however, part of Northern England and North Wales can in some cases rival the south coast for speciments grown - it's just that the north isn't seen as a holiday destination so public plantings are sparse...
I'm sure this question has been asked before, but where is the Northernmost mature Phoenix canariensis_CIDP i.e. one that has trunked and not just recently planted? I haven't seen any other than the south coast or London.


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Yorkshire Kris
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Re: A debate

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:38 pm

Mild winters are only part of the story. The fact is the south has a longer growing season dictated to by it's latitude.


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Yorkshire Kris
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Re: A debate

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:39 pm

Apologies for my last apostrophe.


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stephenprudence
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Re: A debate

Post by stephenprudence » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:00 pm

The south coast or the south in general? Because I'm pretty sure some parts of NW England and N Wales have a longer growing season that some inland areas in the south. Don't forget too, in North Wales, foehn winds can ensure many more growing days in the lee of mountainsides, than elsewhere. I'd say the number of days in winter where double figure temperatures occurs is higher in N Wales and Cheshire/Wirral/Liverpool, than most places in the British Isles (Cornwall and London accepted), due to shelter, and foehn winds.

If the sun only dictated the growing season alone, I'd be inclined to agree that latitude is the be all and end all, but I'm not convinced it is.

However I accept that in terms of solar influence the south has a longer potential growing season.
Last edited by stephenprudence on Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Heswall, Wirral, UK
USDA equivalent average temperature zone: 9a/RHS zone 3
AHS Heat Zone: 1
Last 5 winter minimums:
2007: -0.1C, 2008: -4.2C, 2009: -5.7C, 2010: -10.5 (record), 2011: -4.9C, 2012: -5.3, 2013: -4.5C (so far)


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stephenprudence
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Re: A debate

Post by stephenprudence » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:03 pm

jcec1 wrote:
stephenprudence wrote:I agree that south coast has had the better of things recently, and the huge CIDPs, Butias, and in some cases Washingtonias are a testament to that, however, part of Northern England and North Wales can in some cases rival the south coast for speciments grown - it's just that the north isn't seen as a holiday destination so public plantings are sparse...
I'm sure this question has been asked before, but where is the Northernmost mature Phoenix canariensis_Phoenix canariensis_CIDP i.e. one that has trunked and not just recently planted? I haven't seen any other than the south coast or London.
Hard to say, possibly in Western Scotland or Northern Ireland, however there doesn't appear to be any documentation in terms of photos. There is however sufficient documentation of Phoenix canariensis_CIDP, Washingtonia and Yucca elephantipes growing outside in the Wirral peninsula at at least three locations, so this is the furthest north documented by evidence, that I have seen to date. Also there are numerous Phoenix canariensis_CIDP, and Yucca elepantipes growing in Llandudno.
Heswall, Wirral, UK
USDA equivalent average temperature zone: 9a/RHS zone 3
AHS Heat Zone: 1
Last 5 winter minimums:
2007: -0.1C, 2008: -4.2C, 2009: -5.7C, 2010: -10.5 (record), 2011: -4.9C, 2012: -5.3, 2013: -4.5C (so far)


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