Winterizing Palms

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by Palm Nut, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. Palm Nut

    Palm Nut Active Member 10 Years

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    When should I start protecting my palms and banana trees for the winter. When I saw burlap at the garden centre this summer I bought tons because last fall it was difficult to find any. I had to go to a fabric store. Although the burlap alone I wrapped around my med fan palms that are in the ground didn't survive that Jan cold snap. Should I also wrap them with bubble wrap or can you suggest a better way to protect the new ones I replaced them with. They were in 5g pots when I bought them. They did quite well and it would be a shame to loose them too.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I'd only cover marginal plants when cold fronts are forecast.
     
  3. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    I usually wait till there is a higher chance of frost.
    For my Bananas and plams I don't use burlap, I put chicken wire around the plant about 2ft off of the stem, then I fill with the maple leaves off the trees, or left over straw. I cover over the top of the plants also. They seem to like it as I get no real die back on the plants. ( this includes last January with all that snow.) I drive a long pole ( left over rebar from a job site) into the ground to hold the whole thing together
    I don't know if I would go with the bubble wrap it seems like it would promote the plant to rot from the moisture. Have you tried it before?
    Also I buy burlap by the role instead of by the meter, it's cheaper. Here we get it at the local nursery/feed store, but if your in the city maybe somewhere like Katos nursery in Abbortsford would have it.
    Carol Ja
     
  4. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    I have two palms,Trachycarpus fortunei, in containers - one is five years old. I usually sink their containers into the soil inside an unheated green house. However, I learnt recently that T fortunei is actually quite hardy, with reports of survival to minus 20C, and that what they are really vulnerable to is water collecting in the heart of the crown and then going through freeze thaw cycles. In fact I have seen umbrella like contraptions supposedly designed to keep their crowns dry through the winter.

    What about wrapping a string of outdoors christmas decoration light bulbs along the trunk of the palm, then, covering with a layer of whatever - burlap, e.g. - and switching the lights on during cold spells? Would that work?

    Disclaimer: Weekend Gardener takes no responsible if you should set your palm tree on fire using this method!
     
  5. new gardener

    new gardener Member

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    I have planted this year a T. fortunei in a terra cotta container that is 22" high and 24" across. (There is no option to plant it in the ground). The palm is actually in a slightly smaller plastic pot and I put pink foam insulation between the pots. The tree itself is about 2 feet tall and 3 feet across. I am subletting my place for the winter and need to leave simple instructions as to the wintering of my palm. Would wrapping a heating coil around the pot help? Poly around the tree? Burlap? And only for the cold snaps? Do you wrap the whole thing or leave the top free to let in light and rain? Is the cold going through the soil from the top the danger or through the sides of the pot? Would building a makeshift green house help? What should I do?
     
  6. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    P1010707.JPG This is a picture of one of our bananas we are burying in leaves. We usually do this with straw, but we didn't get the back fields done this year, hence the leaves. This works fine though we have used leaves before. I'm not sure about doing this to palms, but it works fine with the bananas and Sago palms, the palms we have don't seem to need anything.
    Carol Ja
     
  7. utahpalm

    utahpalm Member

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    Just a note: last year I planted one wind palm and one pinto palm about 4 ft, I wrapped them in Christmas lights and bubble wrap. I then installed an automatic 110 volt thermostat along with a wireless thermostat so I could monitor the temp from within the house. Both did just fine. I also placed about a 4 inch insulated foam around the roots. I live on the mountain bench in Salt Lake city, Utah. lots of cold and snow. They did so well, I bought a total of 14 more palm tree to try out this winter. One 30ft mex fan, 2 10ft cal fans 3 20 ft queens, 1 king, 5 Mediterranean, .. 1 giant bird of paradise... etc. :)... okok.. I'll need to buy alot of Christmas lights; however all have acclimated very well this summer and should do well this winter using my method of winterization.... I guess we'll see next spring... my yard however is a little oasis.... good luck with everything...
     
  8. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    I just realised looking at one of my previous post that I mention caging my . I don't do anything to the palms I have, just the bananas
     
  9. BCRUMB

    BCRUMB Member

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    That method of covering the entire plant is great for the small ones, but what about when they get 10 feet tall or more? I only live in Atlanta where it rarely gets below 10 degrees F. What I do is place pipe heaters around the plants. They are only a length of heater wire with a built in thermostat. You can get them at any home improvement store. The come in different lengths. They will automatically come on when the temp goes below freezing. You can spiral them around the trunk and make several loops through the very delicate crown, where the new fronds emerge. As I understand it, that is the critical part since there is no ground to hold the temperature up. In colder climates you can also wrap burlap around the tree and heater. You should get an idea of what temps your palm can stand and be prepared to do more if you hear is really going to surpass that temp. You could use bubble wrap for a sever cold snap as long as you remove it within a couple of days. I have a 15 foot Sable, 2 Sagos, a 6 foot and a 4 foot Trachy F(windmill), 2 Pindos(Jelly palms), and one Washingtonia. I don't even try to protect the Bananas, just let them die back and return the next year.

    Hope this helps,
    Bcrumb
     
  10. andypython

    andypython Member

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    I am planning on using a leaf filled cage and a rain cover to get a 15gl Butia through its first winter in my Victoria BC yard. It is in a large raised planter box that I insulated and has a buried heating cable just in case. I have a frame built and just need to add the roof and more leaves once the weather gets worse.

    I buried small med palms in leaves last year and they came through fine. I uncovered them when the weather allowed.

    I have also used the cage filled with leaves for bananas with good results.
     
  11. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    Andy what type of Butia is it?
     
  12. andypython

    andypython Member

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    capitata
     
  13. lcolbyjr

    lcolbyjr Member

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    This is for utahpalm check this picture out.
     

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