A Palm Tree grows/ grew near Ucluelet.

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Chris Green, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. Chris Green

    Chris Green Member

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    Location:
    Savona, B.C.,
    When I lived in Ucluelet in the school year of 1966/67, our landlord had a palm tree of some kind growing n his yard. He had started it from a seed or coconut given to him many years before.

    I don't know what type of palm, but it would have been something capable of withstanding short periods of -5C or so.

    If anyone is driving into Ucluelet--or lives in the area-- it was planted by Chris Fletcher on his property at the head of the bay on the west side of Ucluelet inlet. It's at roughly the center of the arc between the highway and the bay on the satellite map at these co-ordinates:

    48.949055N, 125.574331W

    Hmmm. The property, and the clearcut to the northwest of the little bay seems to have grow in a lot in 40 years....

    Mr. Fletcher was in his 80's when I lived there- I recall he had his 84th birthday in April of '67--, so the property has undoubtedly changed quite a bit since then. Still worth a look-see, though, since this might have been the most northerly palm tree in the world.

    Anyhow, I thought I'd take the opportunity of this forum to put this info on the record, so that folks know about this.

    Cheers,

    Chris Green.
     
  2. SUNRIZE

    SUNRIZE Active Member

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    Location:
    Florida, USA zone 8B
    Hi Chris,

    How about a picture for some of us who won’t be able to drive over and see it.
     
  3. Chris Green

    Chris Green Member

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    Sorry, can't do that: I live in the interior of B.C., several hundreds of miles away, and don't have any immediate plans to be in the area any time soon.

    However, there might be someone on this forum who does live near there, or who will be in the area, who can take the time to look around for it. The tree may have been 12-15 years old in 1967, or even older, so it might have lived it's life in the 40 years since--I don't know how long palm trees live--or it might have succumb to weather or changes made at the site.
    Then again, we might get lucky and it might still be there, hidden within the re-growth that seems to have covered the site of the buildings there. A palm tree would certainly stand out from the typical natural mix in that area.

    Cheers,

    Chris Green.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Sorry, nowhere near, I'm afraid!

    There's mature Trachycarpus fortunei at Inverewe in northwest Scotland at 57°46'N, and young ones at Tórshavn in the Faroe Islands at 62°N.

    I've also read claims that there's supposed to be some young ones being tried at Reykjavik in Iceland at 64°N, though I've not been able to find any verified details.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Specimen planted by Mr. Fletcher likely to be the same kind.
     
  6. Chris Green

    Chris Green Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks for the botanical name. I found this at the tree's Wiki site:

    Its tolerance of cool summers makes it highly valued by palm enthusiasts as the palm that can be cultivated the furthest north in the world, being grown successfully in such cool and damp but relatively winter-mild locales as Scotland and the panhandle of Alaska. It is commonly grown in gardens in the British Isles, in Continental Europe (Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark), the Pacific Northwestern United States, and coastal regions of the Canadian province of British Columbia, as well as extreme south locations, such as Tasmania. It does not however grow well in hot climates. The greatest reported cold tolerance is −27.5 °C, survived by four specimens planted in Plovdiv, Bulgaria during a severe cold spell on 6 January 1993 and placing it hardy to USDA Zone 7;more commonly lower tolerance limits of −15 °C to −20 °C are cited for mature plants. Young plants are less hardy, and can by damaged by only −8 °C.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chusan_Palm

    Photographs I uncovered look pretty much like what I remember seeing in Ucluelet, as well, especially the pair (?) growing by a house in Lubbeek, Belgium, which is 50.8833N.
    http://travel.webshots.com/album/125199994TFytLw

    There's a large website about "The Polar Palms of Bulgaria," maintained by Kiril Donov, MSc, Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture. The trees are at his Polar Palms Nursery.

    http://www.polarpalm.net/

    Plovdiv is 42North, but it does catch the cold continental outflows from Russia every so often.

    Thanks to all who have replied.

    Cheers,

    Chris Green.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Since USDA Hardiness Zones are based on average annual minimum temperatures for 15 years it doesn't really work to say if a plant survived a particular temperature it is hardy to a particular zone. That would be possible if the USDA Zones were based on record lows, or even the coldest temperature occurring during the 15 year window used as the basis for determining the zone. But they aren't. It could get much colder than 0-10F the same winter a new specimen was planted in USDA 7.

    It's probably fairly realistic, at least with subjects hoped to last a long time to choose those thought to be hardy at least 5-10 degrees lower than the average annual minimum temperature range given by USDA. Some insular climates might be expected to have plunges considerably more than 10 degrees below the range indicated, I suppose.

    In 42 years here in USDA 8 (10-20F) we have had temperatures below 10F at least twice that I can think of, and probably at least several additional times also - we do not have a max/min thermometer.
     
  8. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I can't speak for Ucluelet, but here's an old Trachycarpus fortunei in Tofino.
    Cheers, LPN.

    (photo courtesy of Vlad Pomajzl, Saltspring Isl.)
     

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