Palms in Tofino

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by Deneb1978, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. Deneb1978

    Deneb1978 Active Member 10 Years

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    Hey all...

    I am wondering if anyone has tried (or seen) a Phoenix Canariensis or a Jubaea Chilensis in Tofino as I read that they are Zone 9... and get a more moderating influence from the ocean...
     
  2. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Yes ... I haven't personally laid eyes on them, but in photos only. I have been in contact periodically with one person specificly, and I haven't been updated on the progress of these palms.
    If memory serves me, I may have even sold a Phoenix canariensis to this person some years ago.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  3. Deneb1978

    Deneb1978 Active Member 10 Years

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    Cool...
    It would be great if someone had pics of them... I imagine a Phoenix canariensis could get pretty big there as it probably would need little protection if any during the winter... maybe convince the town of Tofino to plant rows of them along the highway in town or by long beach...
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Phoenix palms are not very hardy.
     
  5. Deneb1978

    Deneb1978 Active Member 10 Years

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    Well I read that they are hardy in Zone 9.. so should be fine there... I've seen pictures large of Phoenix canariensis that are planted in London, UK and in other parts of England which probably have a similar climate to Tofino.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    P. canariensis:

    "Hardy to 20F/-7C"

    P. dactylifera:

    "Leaves killed at 20F/-7C, but plants have survived 4F/-16C"*

    P. loureirii:

    "Hardy to 20F/-7C"

    P. reclinata:

    "Damaged below 25F/-4C"

    P. roebelenii:

    "Foliage browns at around 26F/-3C but recovers rapidly in spring"

    P. rupicola:

    "Hardy to 26F/-3C"

    P. sylvestris:

    "Hardy to 22F/-6C"

    --Sunset WESTERN GARDEN BOOK (2007, Sunset Publishing, Menlo Park)

    *Doubtless in a hot climate where such cold does not last long enough to freeze the soil and roots
     
  7. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Yes Deneb1978 ... the zone 9 designation is somewhat subjective. True, winters are relatively mild but even this past winter likely pushed Tofino into the 8b range which would have sounded the death knell. As well, there are many more factors which will not allow these to grow to maturity without some form of human intervetion.
    I grow one with an winter enclosure. This was the first time I supplied heat to keep the lows from extreme (below 20°F). Here it is today - April 8 -09.

    Cheers, Barrie.
     

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  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Not seen outside collections of specialists providing special protection until the Californian climate of extreme southwestern coastal Oregon is reached.
     
  9. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    And there are some nice mature specimen growing there. Even then, I did see a badly frosted one in Brookings OR back in the late 80's.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  10. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    I would love to see these Palms Phoenix/canerienisis proliferate on the Island/Coast but not even the Cordylines are able to survive the deep freezes that we have experienced over the past decade(s).
     
  11. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    A very few Cordyline managed the past winter in the mildest regions here.
    I witnessed an unprotected Phoenix canariensis fade over 4 or five winters in Ganges on Salt Spring Island. It was in a southern exposure at sea level in Grace Point, probably one of the mildest spots on Salt Spring, and all this prior to this winters indignity.
    I'll have to check on a well developed Jubaea chilensis at the same location. It was fairing many times better.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  12. Deneb1978

    Deneb1978 Active Member 10 Years

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    Cool.. well I guess after looking more closely at Tofino's climate... there is a chance every 20 or 30 years or so.. to get a really bad winter which will wipe out a lot of tender stuff like Phoenix and others... but I often wonder why you only see public plantings of Trachycarpus on west coast locations like Tofino or even the lower mainland where other palm species could be just as hardy.. I am pretty sure Jubaea Chilensis would be fine even in a bad winter if it got to a big enough size in Tofino... and what about Needle Palm and Sabal palms (Sabal palmetto and Sabal minor?) Sabal minor is from Oklahoma where they've survived -5F. That should easily tolerate any temps pretty much anywhere on the BC coast including the lower mainland could throw at it... I think there needs to be much more palm diversity... seeing Trachycarpus everywhere just gets boring after a while.
     
  13. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Rhapidophyllum (Needle Palm) and Sabal may need hotter summers than the Tofinoese climate supplies - they need much more summer heat than Trachycarpus does.
     
  14. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I keep encountering depictions of western Vancouver Island coast (and sometime even Victoria) being a Californian banana belt yet above reports indicate it is no milder than at this latitude. One might indeed wonder why it would be softer than the Washington outer coastal climate and the northern half of the Oregon coast, where plantings of Cordyline australis that retain their tops for longer periods are not noticeable from the highway until Coos Bay is reached (the same latitude where the required double digit degrees F. record lows begin).

    Cordylines grow up, freeze down, grow up, freeze down and Jubaeas etc. live for a time in Seattle also. There are also Bailey acacias - until it gets too cold. The Trachycarpus will be the only one seen used in general planting because that is the only one that persists (north of Coos Bay) without being mothered by a palm enthusiast or Zonal Denialist. I've even seen it reseeding in Seattle.

    Chamaerops humilis also lives here but is prone to occasional freezing back. There are now a number of them in plantings visible from Seattle streets but I know of no tall ones. I tried one or two supposedly more hardy forms on Camano Island that froze within a few years; however the planting site there has proven to be murder on numerous plants that would not be nearly so tender in my garden near Seattle.

    Even though it freezes down rather often the cordyline is cheaply (except for named forms with colored leaves) and abundantly available in small sizes - and frequently planted as a summer annual, only to overwinter and grow large. It also frequently re-grows from the root crown after losing the top to cold.
     
  15. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    RonB ... It certainly is by a Canadian perpective. What it is not, is any milder than the US locations you've pointed out. Anyone that believes that is wrong. The "Banana belt" designation simply gets used anywhere climates are milder (less frosts) than other areas in the region. I've heard Canadians in the province of Ontario refer to the southern portion as their "Banana belt". I'm sure Alaska has it's banana belt too.

    Cheers, LPN (Barrie).
     
  16. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The Acacia baileyana at Tofino for instance has been held up as an indicator of a Californian climate there. That species is quite tender and if there is one that has lasted for much longer than would be possible down here then that would appear to indicate the planting site for that specimen at least was more mild than the prevailing general condition here. The only old Bailey acacia I have seen in the PNW was under glass in the Wright Park Conservatory in Tacoma. It was there for years but eventually sprouted conks; last time I was there it had been removed.

    The only other florist mimosa-type acacia of any size and duration I have seen is the A. dealbata against the church in Bremerton; B. Brown has put multiple photos of it on the internet. It appears to me that it can be seen to have frozen to the ground in the past and come back from the crown. Brown has been finding seedlings beneath it in recent years. No other similarly large and persisting examples of this species are known to me to be present in the PNW.
     
  17. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I've even read of coastal stations in Antarctica being called 'banana belt' by people stationed at the south pole research station.
     
  18. Deneb1978

    Deneb1978 Active Member 10 Years

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    Cool.. well that all sounds good... I'm just wondering how much summer heat the sabals and rapidophyllum really need and will they just grow more slowly if they get less heat than elsewhere?... It would be great to see public rows of Sabal palmetto along west coast locations like Tofino or the GVRD..
     
  19. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Highly unlikely Sabal palmetto would ever be considered here for public plantings. Our climate can't compare to the short winters and long hot summers of the south, where these palms are native. Even cold snaps that do occur in their habitat, are of such short duration and infrequency, that the zone 8 rating is a rather poor reflection of the Sabal palmetto requirements.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  20. Deneb1978

    Deneb1978 Active Member 10 Years

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    Hmm.... I see your point... I guess in this sense the USDA hardiness zones are very misleading... and maybe not entirely all that reliable. I wonder if a species of palm tree high in the Andes such as Ceroxylon would do well in Tofino.... I was looking at the climate stats for La Paz, Bolivia and they are cool year round and even get frosts at night in most months (with an alltime minimum low of -15) ... I wonder what trees grow there and if they could grow in Tofino.
     
  21. Deneb1978

    Deneb1978 Active Member 10 Years

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    Hmm... Parajubaea Torallyi may work ... I just read it grows up to 3400m in the Andes and regularly experiences frosts at night.
     
  22. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    ... and 70F the next day. Parajubaea torallyii has been tried and killed on the east and south parts of the Island.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  23. Deneb1978

    Deneb1978 Active Member 10 Years

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    I don't think it gets to 70F during the day high in the Andes.. at least on a typical day... Check out these climate stats for La Paz, Bolivia:
    http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3?s=10258&refer=&units=metric

    And then look at the stats for Tofino...
    http://www.climate.weatheroffice.ec...rmalsClass=A&SelNormals=&StnId=277&&autofwd=1

    They don't look all that dissimilar except maybe the daytime temperatures in the coldest part of the year are a little warmer in La Paz. There may be other reasons why the plants from this area don't succeed on the west coast of the island but I don't think temperature is one of them.
     
  24. honolua

    honolua Active Member

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    Hi,
    I had a Phoenix Canariensis that I had purchased from Phoenix Perennials in Richmond BC and it grew beautifully this past summer. I protected it in the winter with a poly-greenhouse type thing. Unfortunately, due to the unusually malicious, record-setting winter we had this year (and despite my diligent care and attention), it died after going brown and a nice combo of cold & fungus got it. As for the Chilean Wine Palm, Cedar Rim nursery in Langley BC has at least a dozen when I was there last week..not cheap! For one that was about 2 feet tall in total, you are looking at a at least $200. They were lovely though, and appeared very healthy; I was tempted. English Bay in Vancouver has a couple that have grown nicely over the last few years, amongst the windmills, but I don't know if they survived this awful winter either.

    Good luck and if you have success in Tofino, let us know!
     

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