In this country? Washingtonia

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RogerBacardy
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Re: On the edge of extinction - in this country? Washingtoni

Post by RogerBacardy » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:10 pm

I know, it's the shade for nearly the whole day, apart from a bit of early morning sun. That's why I thought it was worth mentioning. In the shade, not protected, but still somehow surviving the last 4 winters, just about. Also, always with the old leaves left on. Will photo it the next time I go past.

I agree that old hanging down leaves are ugly, I like to manicure my plants, so it takes a bit of will to leave old cordyline leaves on for several months!

I agree that the growth point is more susceptible to damage, but IMO the trunk is eventually vulnerable too. If the crown is protected but the trunk freezes through solid, then, IMO, that would also kill the plant. The trunk would take much longer to freeze through then the more vulnerable crown, but with Barry's washy it is so tall that the crown is elevated sevral metres above the ground frost, thus naturally protecting the crown from the worst of the cold. Whilst the trunk would be down, exposed to the sub-zero temps, left to fend for itself, were it not for the natural insulation of the layers of numerous old leaves trapping warmer air around the washy.

I've seen cordylines which, after a deep freeze, reshoot from the ground due the trunk being frozen through. If it was only the crown which was vulnerable then surely they would sprout from higher up the trunk, if it was still intact.

I notice that with your washy you have rope light wrapped round the trunk.


greendragon
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Re: On the edge of extinction - in this country? Washingtoni

Post by greendragon » Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:57 am

In the USA big freeze of 2010 Washys in marginal regions up to 15ft high fell in half due to the cold.. we are talking temps of -15
2012 Highest Temp - May 24th: 27*C / 25th July: 28*c
2012 Lowest Temp - Febuary 3rd: -6*C
2013 Highest Temp - 13th July: 30*c
2013 Lowest Temp - 13th March -4.5*c.


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Nathan
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Re: On the edge of extinction - in this country? Washingtoni

Post by Nathan » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:54 am

Barry never used to keep the "skirt" on his Washingtonia, he has only had it like that for the last few years...

-8C is about the coldest a mature Washingtonia robusta could take, but in the UK you could probably take a degree or two off that figure, of course if you protect one then it can take lower as Dave's can testify...
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RogerBacardy
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Re: On the edge of extinction - in this country? Washingtoni

Post by RogerBacardy » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:06 pm

You sure it's just the last few years, Nathan? In the photo the trunk looks to be almost 4 mtrs tall and the old leaves just about reach the ground, suggesting that they have been left on for quite a few years, perhaps half its life...

IMO, anything to bulk up the thermal mass and/or insulate borderline hardy palms helps them survive sub-zero spells providing there is still sufficient air-flow to prevent rot.

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Re: On the edge of extinction - in this country? Washingtoni

Post by The Codfather » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:14 pm

its not even really pretty to look at though, is it !
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Re: On the edge of extinction - in this country? Washingtoni

Post by Dave Brown » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:08 pm

Roger, you can't really compare Cordyline and palm trunks, as they are anatomically different. Cordyline has a living layer just below the corky bark, and if that is frozen the trunk dies and rots. Palms have a totally different structure with the sap rising throughout the trunk. Also the base of my palm is 2 feet in diameter. It would take a hell of a freeze, to freeze it right through.

The rope lights are wound around the whole trunk as they are like Christmas lights, and all the heat rises into the parasol helping to keep the crown above freezing where possible. The rope lights are concentrated most around the top of the trunk around the growth point .

If I was really worried about keeping the trunk frost free, I'd wrap in reed screening :wink:
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Nathan
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Re: On the edge of extinction - in this country? Washingtoni

Post by Nathan » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:49 pm

RogerBacardy wrote:You sure it's just the last few years, Nathan? In the photo the trunk looks to be almost 4 mtrs tall and the old leaves just about reach the ground, suggesting that they have been left on for quite a few years, perhaps half its life...

IMO, anything to bulk up the thermal mass and/or insulate borderline hardy palms helps them survive sub-zero spells providing there is still sufficient air-flow to prevent rot.

Image
Yes, he has regularly posted photos of his Washingtonia on the EPS forum & also in the journal 'Chamaerops' over the years & it is only recently that he has kept the 'skirt' on. It has shot up in height a lot in the last few years...

He is actually going to remove the 'skirt' too (or may have already done so).
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Nathan
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Re: On the edge of extinction - in this country? Washingtoni

Post by Nathan » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:06 pm

This photo of Barry's Washingtonia is from 2009 & you can see that the 'skirt' has only been forming for a year or two (as each year the lowest/oldest fronds tend to die) So I would say his has had the 'skirt' no more than around 5/6 years...
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Re: On the edge of extinction - in this country? Washingtoni

Post by greendragon » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:53 pm

The damage Nathan calls "no problem" people in California would call devastation.

Washingtonias are not supposed to lose any leaves during winter let alone the whole set. They are not hardy anywhere on this island. Hardy means being able to go through most winters with 0 damage.
2012 Highest Temp - May 24th: 27*C / 25th July: 28*c
2012 Lowest Temp - Febuary 3rd: -6*C
2013 Highest Temp - 13th July: 30*c
2013 Lowest Temp - 13th March -4.5*c.


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Re: On the edge of extinction - in this country? Washingtoni

Post by Dave Brown » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:08 pm

greendragon wrote:The damage Nathan calls "no problem" people in California would call devastation.

Washingtonias are not supposed to lose any leaves during winter let alone the whole set. They are not hardy anywhere on this island. Hardy means being able to go through most winters with 0 damage.
99% of what is grown in the UK, including native plants, suffer damage from time to time.

That attitude is exactly what Hardy Tropicals is NOT about. In fact it was that attitude which fired me up to prove people wrong 42 years ago. If you don't want to grow it the that is your choice, but the negativity on this topic I find very arrogant.
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Re: On the edge of extinction - in this country? Washingtoni

Post by billdango » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:28 pm

greendragon wrote:The damage Nathan calls "no problem" people in California would call devastation.

Washingtonias are not supposed to lose any leaves during winter let alone the whole set. They are not hardy anywhere on this island. Hardy means being able to go through most winters with 0 damage.

If I thought that 36 years ago I would have stuck to safe plants?

There is no plant that is 100 per cent hardy in these Islands and palms are no exception.

In cold spells I have had damage to my Cordylines and other palms and I even lost a favorite so called hardy climbing rose.

Exotic plant growing is still being worked out in this Country and a lot has still to be learned and many people will still lose plants in hard winters or dry hot summers.

I planted a Syagrus Romanzoffianum in my side entrance last spring and in spite of a cold February and some protection it came through with only slight damage.

Of coarse I may lose it if we have a terrible winter this year but its still worth the effort and thats what all members on this forum believe in.

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Re: In this country? Washingtonia

Post by JBALLY » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:46 am

I have bought a lot of plants and palms that are not uk hardy in a bad winter and have read post after post about the same type of plants being lost in the past few winters but that has not stopped me from buying the plants with the intention of evevntually planting them out if they they havent already been planted. I know this site is called Hardy Tropicals UK but the site itself is trying to push boundries and that is what I aim to do, if it was easy to grow these plants everybody would be growing them and I would not. The fact these types of semi hardy palms need to be nurtured and protected for a few weeks in the year and the challenge of getting them through winter being able to grow and keep them to enjoy for another year is what it is all about. I think Barry`s washingtonia looks amazing and would love to have it in my front garden, I would of course remove the skirt of old leaves but that is my preference. I will plant out my washintonia when its no longer possible to overwinter in my greenhouse and in my location will have to protect quite heavily but that is what I intend to do and every year it survives is a middle finger up to the UK winters , will it be here in fifty years, no but then I probably wont be here. If I want a plant to be here in fifty years time I wouyld plant an oak and not washingtonia.


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Re: On the edge of extinction - in this country? Washingtoni

Post by greendragon » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:20 am

Dave Brown wrote:
greendragon wrote:The damage Nathan calls "no problem" people in California would call devastation.

Washingtonias are not supposed to lose any leaves during winter let alone the whole set. They are not hardy anywhere on this island. Hardy means being able to go through most winters with 0 damage.
99% of what is grown in the UK, including native plants, suffer damage from time to time.

That attitude is exactly what Hardy Tropicals is NOT about. In fact it was that attitude which fired me up to prove people wrong 42 years ago. If you don't want to grow it the that is your choice, but the negativity on this topic I find very arrogant.
I accept that even native plants can suffer cold damage from time to time in brutal winters such as the ones we have had recently but how can it be considered "fine" or "no problem" for a Palm to lose a majority of it's leaves every winter even in fairly mild ones. My point was that people in areas where Washingtonias normally grow would be horrified to see them in the state that they end up in after every winter in this country.

I'm not trying to go against Hardy Tropicals attitude by saying that it is not fun to grow non-hardy plants. I am just saying that Washingtonia Robustas cannot possibly be considered hardy when even on the Isle of Wight they get severly damaged in an average winter as the pictures have shown.

billdango up to the last year and a half I didn't even think about exotic plants but now I have a Cyathea Medullaris, so clearly I don't think it's pointless to try non-hardy plants but I don't claim that they are hardy when they clearly get battered in the average winter and look terrible... I would try washingtonia just for the hell of it.


Dave go back a page;
Dave Brown wrote:
greendragon wrote: and the lows in my area were only around -10*c even in December 2010.
We are talking Washingtonia here :lol: Minus 6 is the lowest they can reliably take without protection, and wrapping can lead to rotting in very damp conditions. :roll:
Dave Brown wrote:That attitude is exactly what Hardy Tropicals is NOT about. In fact it was that attitude which fired me up to prove people wrong 42 years ago. If you don't want to grow it the that is your choice, but the negativity on this topic I find very arrogant.
...
2012 Highest Temp - May 24th: 27*C / 25th July: 28*c
2012 Lowest Temp - Febuary 3rd: -6*C
2013 Highest Temp - 13th July: 30*c
2013 Lowest Temp - 13th March -4.5*c.


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Nathan
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Re: On the edge of extinction - in this country? Washingtoni

Post by Nathan » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:48 am

greendragon wrote:The damage Nathan calls "no problem" people in California would call devastation.

Washingtonias are not supposed to lose any leaves during winter let alone the whole set. They are not hardy anywhere on this island. Hardy means being able to go through most winters with 0 damage.
Actually in inland & higher altitude areas of California some Washingtonia's DO suffer from extreme damage, as they do in other desert type climates in the US and yes they find it "no problem" too...

Washingtonia's are extremely fast growing, so any damaged fronds are quickly replaced, this does the palms NO harm at all...

Besides here Washingtonia's don't lose their leaves during the winter & even in the last couple of cold ones my Washingtonia only had partial damage to a few fronds,so I would consider them hardy here, as are Phoenix canariensis.
Hardy does not mean no damage, hardy means not killed. Musa basjoo is perfectly hardy in most of the UK, even in places where it ts cut back to the ground in the winter. It is still hardy as it comes back from the roots... icon_thumright

I really don't understand why you are even on this forum, perhaps you should seek out a UK native plant forum or one for growing roses :lol:
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Re: In this country? Washingtonia

Post by Dave Brown » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:11 pm

Greendragon, mine is proving hardy with a bit of help over the coldest part of the winter, 2 weeks in winter 2011/12. I am sure that most Washingtonia in California get far more help, in the form of summer irrigation, than mine does in winter protection.Those not getting irrigation look absolute rubbish as they almost defoliate. I imagine 99.999% of naturally sown seedlings die of desication out there, but using your definition of hardiness means it is not hardy in it's natural environment. :lol:

The problem in this topic seems to be the blanket use of "not hardy" shouted loudly, when they obviously are in some microclimates, as Nathan said. As far as I am concerned, mine has been hardy over the last 12 years outside, with minimal protection over the last 3 winters :wink:
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