Proper hardy tropicals!.

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karl66
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Proper hardy tropicals!.

Post by karl66 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:30 pm

Been having a tidy up of the garden this afternoon & noticed how many of my butia/Jubaea frond's have suffered with recent snow/wind & the mini breaks of sunshine inbetween :( , I'd like to know if others have come to the same conclusion re most feather palm's!............ most are crappe in our climate unless your extremly lucky & have the time to give them serious protection & heat cables. In the future this is what i'll stick with; fortunei,waggy's, chammerop's, bamboo's, fatsia, some yucca's, photinia red's, mahonia winter sunshine ........ & other small evergreen's that dont cost a fortune to replace if they kick the bucket!, i dont care it i get offered featherpalm's etc at silly money they wont be coming here anymore, my £500 butia caterinensis which came fully rooted & in great condition is now starting to go downhill despite having a healthy middle pushing through, i've just also dug up a massive eriospathia that was dead. karl.

MikeC

Re: Proper hardy tropicals!.

Post by MikeC » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:17 pm

Got any photos Karl?

My feather palms all look pretty good, most damage seems to be wind damage rather than frost.

Don't think anything is dead so far here.

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Yorkshire Kris
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Re: Proper hardy tropicals!.

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:57 pm

I think the problem might be buying too big.

Bigger plants take longer to establish and less likely to have the vigour of smaller plants. (Plant a one foot Trachycarpus and a 5 foot Trachycarpus at the same time and in 10 years they'll be the same height or the little one will be taller)

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karl66
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Re: Proper hardy tropicals!.

Post by karl66 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:41 pm

Kris, i disagree partly with what you say as firstly the damage to the capitata/odorata & the caterinensis have only suffered cold/wind damage, there not dead & surely any palm fully rooted & part protected is better off than a smaller less hardy version. I think other forces were at work with the eriospathia as it was my origional one which came over totally matted in clag/clay, when i inspected it the other day it came out the planting hole exactly the same shape as the pot it came in & had no root progression sideways or underneath!. In my experience the vast majority of trachys take fine as long as the growing medium is correct inc drainage, they'll take whatever is thrown at them, my bigger Trachycarpus's i.e 4/5ft trunked ones are motoring away & i doubt the small ones planted nearby will ever catch them up!!, if this was the case you'd never see trachys planted together at staggered heights!!. karl.

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Re: Proper hardy tropicals!.

Post by Tom2006 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:41 pm

Sorry to hear. You have to remember though that we are currently in one of the worst overall spells of weather (both winter and summer) for a long, long time. Many native plants are suffering badly let alone the sort of plants we like. That said, the plants you are saying have suffered, will normally be the first to suffer, without significant protection. Fingers crossed they do recover.
Most wanted list - Any Young Trachycarpus and/or fern.

RogerBacardy

Re: Proper hardy tropicals!.

Post by RogerBacardy » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:02 am

Yorkshire Kris wrote:(Plant a one foot Trachycarpus and a 5 foot Trachycarpus at the same time and in 10 years they'll be the same height or the little one will be taller)
Hmm, I'm not sure this is true. If it were, why would you dig up a tall Trachycarpus to transplant it (think it was you) if you'd have been better off with a smaller one, and why did you spend a lot of money buying a big jubaea?

I'd say that until they've established a decent and stable root system, palms don't grow too well and that perhaps smaller palms can establish more quickly as they are easier to prepare a decent planting hole for. But unless there's serious neglect I don't think a small palm will overtake a 4 foot taller palm in 10 years, if ever.

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Re: Proper hardy tropicals!.

Post by Tom2006 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:28 am

My larger trachies seem to be growing quicker than my smaller ones. icon_scratch
Most wanted list - Any Young Trachycarpus and/or fern.

jungle jas

Re: Proper hardy tropicals!.

Post by jungle jas » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:07 am

karl66 wrote:Kris, i disagree partly with what you say as firstly the damage to the capitata/odorata & the caterinensis have only suffered cold/wind damage, there not dead & surely any palm fully rooted & part protected is better off than a smaller less hardy version. I think other forces were at work with the eriospathia as it was my origional one which came over totally matted in clag/clay, when i inspected it the other day it came out the planting hole exactly the same shape as the pot it came in & had no root progression sideways or underneath!. In my experience the vast majority of trachys take fine as long as the growing medium is correct inc drainage, they'll take whatever is thrown at them, my bigger Trachycarpus's i.e 4/5ft trunked ones are motoring away & i doubt the small ones planted nearby will ever catch them up!!, if this was the case you'd never see trachys planted together at staggered heights!!. karl.
Karl take a look on EPS on erios. icon_thumright

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karl66
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Re: Proper hardy tropicals!.

Post by karl66 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:07 pm

Thanks Jas, ive already been contributing towards that thread!!, the massive erio in stourport is not that far away from me. karl.

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Re: Proper hardy tropicals!.

Post by Dave Brown » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:19 pm

Newly planted palms sleep, then creep, then leap. Unless you have rubbish summers, then they creep until you get a reasonable summer.

It took me 20 years to get palms the size that most of you want today, or now, even. OK you buy the big palm, but won't give you an established max growth palm. Big palms aren't UK grown, as they take too long, so until the palm gets used to the fact it has drawn the short straw, and spring is the best it's gonna get, it will sit there waiting.

It's like rushing Brewing, doesn't work.
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karl66
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Re: Proper hardy tropicals!.

Post by karl66 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:49 pm

Dave, i appreciate all the good advice & totally agree, i wouln't dream of telling a granny how to suck egg's!!,i'm totally relaxed re waiting for palms to establish, thats why i've planted so many different sizes, it also gives me great satisfaction every time i plant Trachycarpus mainly because you no it's as good as there for the long term, what does get to me is the amount people can/do waste on border line palms which in all honesty require a lot of lady luck to establish into lovely specimens, despite dfferent views on growing medium's/ drainage etc i'm now almost convinced most feather palms with maybe the exeption of my 16year old Jubaea are destined for failure in the west-mids, without serious protection. karl.

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Re: Proper hardy tropicals!.

Post by Dave Brown » Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:37 pm

Karl, even in Spain they don't just plant large palms and walk away. Many have the leaves reduced in length, and have plastic wrapped around the crown for the first season. This is to stop desiccation, but without it 70 to 80% fail to establish before killed. UK is no different, there are challenges to growing most palms.
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dino

Re: Proper hardy tropicals!.

Post by dino » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:55 pm

Some places in Cornwall seem to do OK though

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Re: Proper hardy tropicals!.

Post by The Codfather » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:56 pm

Dave Brown wrote:Karl, even in Spain they don't just plant large palms and walk away. Many have the leaves reduced in length, and have plastic wrapped around the crown for the first season. This is to stop desiccation, but without it 70 to 80% fail to establish before killed. UK is no different, there are challenges to growing most palms.
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Re: Proper hardy tropicals!.

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:03 pm

RogerBacardy wrote:
Yorkshire Kris wrote:(Plant a one foot Trachycarpus and a 5 foot Trachycarpus at the same time and in 10 years they'll be the same height or the little one will be taller)
Hmm, I'm not sure this is true. If it were, why would you dig up a tall Trachycarpus to transplant it (think it was you) if you'd have been better off with a smaller one, and why did you spend a lot of money buying a big jubaea?

I'd say that until they've established a decent and stable root system, palms don't grow too well and that perhaps smaller palms can establish more quickly as they are easier to prepare a decent planting hole for. But unless there's serious neglect I don't think a small palm will overtake a 4 foot taller palm in 10 years, if ever.


I saved the large Trachycarpus because it was going to be chopped down. I would never buy one like that unless it was a real bargain. I bought the big Jubaea because these are much slower growing. Regarding my statement about the smaller plant overtaking a larger plant this can be seen in lots of situations e.g. if you grow a sunflower in the ground and keep another in a pot for too long then plant it out. The one that was in the ground all the time will grow better and be bigger than the pot-stunted one.

Back to palms and I've seen examples a few time on EPS where smaller palms have outgrown bigger palms in later years as the large palms take longer to re-establish.

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