Chatham Island Nikau 'Oceana'

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Dave Brown
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Chatham Island Nikau 'Oceana'

Post by Dave Brown » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:38 pm

I bought this Nikau from the Palm Centre many moons ago, and have had great difficulty keeping it shaded during summer. The leaves used to frazzle if in direct sun leaving them unsightly. Eventually I sited iton the front north facing porch, where it was happy until it outgrew it. It is now in front of the porch, and finally seems to be able to cope with summer sun. :wink:

I have decided to plant it out next spring, in an area with some shade, although nowhere is shaded all day. I know it is not completely hardy, maybe down to -4C, but it is getting too tall to be housed anywhere. My theory is that I will plant it out, and gather the leaves up, then wrap fleece around it over winter. As they are perfectly happy in cool damp conditions rot should not be a problwm.

I know -6C causes total leaf destruction, as it was on the open porch under the roof, with one leaf sticking out. That leaf was absolutely fried where it was exposed to radiation frost, but the part under shelter was unscathed, as was the rest of the palm. :wink:

Has anyone successfully overwintered this planted out?

Next to the shady front porch
061207 Chatham Island Nikau.jpg
I love the leaves on these palms. This one has quite wide leaflets. :wink:
061207 Chatham Island Nikau leaf.jpg
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daz
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Post by daz » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:55 pm

Dave thats a cracker mate :lol: I have an idea! When you say its to big...Ill have it :wink: lol.No really mate thats lovely i hope it keeps going for you mate...daz


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Post by Adrian » Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:05 pm

Youve done really well getting it to that size Dave, great palms and I will try a good sized palm if I can get hold of one. Ive only tried from seed before but with little luck.
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Post by Dave Brown » Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:16 pm

Thanks Daz, but I think I will keep it for a while longer :lol:

Just been racking my brain cell, and Nikau Oceana rings a bell. Seems to have a more recurved leaf than standard R. sapida. Certainly worth a go Ade, but you will have to protect from the coldest of weather.

Speaking of which it is still 14C here @ 20:15 8)

Off to throw another sausy on the barby :lol: Apart form will be blown away :roll:
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Post by Nigel Fear » Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:06 pm

Dave you must let us know how it does over winter would love to own one of those beautiful palms,and geographically our climates etc are near identical i should think,[and would rather let you take the risk] :D ..Nigel F.


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Post by Dave Brown » Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:46 pm

I have been doing a bit of digging about the hardiness of Nikau Oceana. It seem it is not that hardy at all, with maybe -3C its minimum. As I said the leaves are totally destroyed in a -6C rediation frost. :roll:

Trebrown Nusury have conducted a UK equivenlent of the USDA Zones. Which shows me as being Zone 8b, whereas Nikau Oceana is rated at 9b or 10. My microclimate may just push me into Zone 9a on most years, but I'm gonna get colder every now and again, so this is going to be a touch and go planting. :roll:

Trebrown have gone even further documenting what I have said regarding USDA Zoning. We are about the furthest from the equator to have such mild winter minima, which leads to other problems such as lack of light. :wink:

Trebrown UK Zone Map

The ideal place for this palm is the balmy moist SW and SW facing Islands. Dyls this may be a palm for you :wink:
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Post by GARYnNAT » Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:06 pm

I aquired a reasonable sized R. sapida from Dave Poole ealier this year, it is in the lounge growing away well, just need a good spot to place it out in the summer :D

Gary


Mark

Post by Mark » Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:41 pm

GARYnNAT wrote: just need a good spot to place it out in the summer :D
Gary
Windsors nice gary :lol:


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Post by Dave Brown » Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:11 pm

GARYnNAT wrote:I aquired a reasonable sized R. sapida from Dave Poole ealier this year, it is in the lounge growing away well, just need a good spot to place it out in the summer :D

Gary
Has to be a spot in shade when small... under about 8 feet :lol:
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Post by Dave Brown » Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:31 pm

It has got so cold, so early tonight, I'm not taking any chances :roll: . At 7pm the screened temp was -0.2C but the grass surface which did not go above freezing today was down at -5.7C and falling. So I man handled the Chatham Nikau Oceana up under the porch with no leaves sticking out Weighs an absolute ton. Hopefully this will stop the leaves burning. :wink:
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Re: Chatham Island Nikau

Post by Dave Brown » Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:53 pm

It has survived unscathed under the porch as shelter and come through temps as low as -5.1C. I have done some digging into the conditions on the Chatham Islands and found.

The Chatham Island climate may be described as “windy, damp, and cool”, with the mean annual air temperature around 51.6°F (July average, 45.4°F and January average 57.6°F). Mean annual rainfall ranges between 20–40 in. over most of the area with 50 in. in the higher south-west. Skies are often overcast, humidity is high, and the winds blow mainly from the south-west. Dry spells, however, are fairly common and may last throughout a month.

The Chatham Islands seem to be far cooler that NZ North Island. I have had difficulty getting climatic data as virtually no-one keeps weather data. I Have come across one set of records but these are not averaged over years, so to get a long term average would take some time. What I have done is taken a sample year 1990 and these are the temps for that year.

Also I can say that in January 2008 (Summer Month) no day exceeded 20C. Mine does not grow in months with an average max of more than 21C. Making this a palm for cool places without much frost. Dyls this is the one for you :wink:

Month Max Min
Jan 16.0 11.9
Feb 17.3 13.0
Mar 16.9 12.8
Apr 13.9 9.2
May 13.3 8.7
Jun 10.7 6.8
Jul 10.2 5.1
Aug 10.7 6.6
Sep 10.9 5.8
Oct 13.1 7.6
Nov 15.1 10.5
Dec 17.0 12.4

Coldest for year was 0.5C

I can now see why my Oceana grows best in Autumn as it almost replicates its natural growing conditions.

Picture shows the leaf bases with the silvery down which identifies the 'Oceana'
210208 Chatham Nikau Petioles.jpg
This shows the underside of a leaf. The leaflet are quite widely spaced along the midrib, but touch where the leaflets are at their widest.
210208 Chatham Nikau leaf underside.jpg
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Re: Chatham Island Nikau

Post by Dave Brown » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:47 pm

Somehow overnight onre of the leaves broke. :ahhh!: I have never had a leaf break on this palm before It is annoying as it only grows two leaves a year and this was the second youngest leaf. I checked the damage, and it seems to have been snapped sideways, but the midrib although split lengthway was still capable of carrying sap. I decided to splint it with a bamboo cane in an effort to keep the asthetic appearance of the palm.
Attachments
230208 Nikau broken leaf.jpg
230208 Nikau repaired leaf.jpg
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Re: Chatham Island Nikau

Post by Las Palmas Norte » Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:19 am

Although not from Chatham Island, here's a photo posted on the Panaramio web site.
Cheers, Barrie.

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/7907412


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Re: Chatham Island Nikau

Post by Dave Brown » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:09 am

Barrie, Really good pics on that site. I really want to visit.... and not come back. :roll:

Ben, mmmm.... having looked at the Baueri pics I took at the Kew meet a couple of weeks back, you could be right, but I thought baueri was less hardy coming from the Kermadec Islands almost in the tropics, 1000 miles north of New Zealand, and Aukland NZ is the same Lattitude as Costa del Sol, 36 deg off the equator.

I didn't say it was the wind... I said something. The strongest gust we had overnight was 31mph. and this palm has stood 60mph in the past. 2 posibilities... Yobs, as we have had to call the police twice this week for stone throwing damaging windows, or the palm has just been subjected to -5.1C and is possible the leaf has been damaged by cold which has made it structurally weaker.

Rhopalostylis baueri at Kew.
HTUK Kew Meet 090208 Nikau Baueri 01.jpg
HTUK Kew Meet 090208 Nikau baueri 02.jpg
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Mark

Re: Chatham Island Nikau

Post by Mark » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:42 pm

A bit off track Dave.......Did the police catch them or even turn up ?


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