windmill palms in sw ohio?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by ron3215, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. ron3215

    ron3215 Member

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    hello all, i have been doing alot of research concerning the windmill palm. is it capable of living in sw ohio as alot are saying. if so, what do you do to protect it in the winter? is there any special way it should be planted in this climate? any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Careful seed selection would be the best way to succeed. There's some in Plovdiv, Bulgaria which came through -27°C in 1993: http://www.polarpalm.net/
    If you could get seed from them, they'd probably be hardy with you.
     
  3. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Michael, are you sure you got your number right? 27c is above 80 degrees F. It can get to well below freezing in Ohio. They are further north than us and we can get to 10 degrees F. That's -12 C. I don't know of a palm that can handle that temp, but I'd love to know!
     
  4. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    The oracle for growing southern & sub-tropical plants in cold climates is David Francko. Considering he is a Prof at Miami University (Ohio), his learnings are directly applicable to your location.

    His book is outstanding....Palms Won't Grow Here and Other Myths.

    Bottom line though, growing any palm in Ohio without substantial winter protection will ultimately be unsuccesful. This is especially true for the trunked plams. Duration of cold is as damaging to palms as the intensity and in Ohio, it's not uncommon to have extended periods where the temperature remains below freezing.
     
  5. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    -27ºC = -16.6ºF (a solid zone 5)

    I recall Fayetteville (AR) getting down to -20ºC (-4ºF) when I was living there in 1995 and that wasn't even a record. Friends recalled, being able to skate on local ponds when they were kids. Don't get too complacent in Siloam Springs :-)
     
  6. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Yep, it does happen. But that is not the norm for this area. Technically we're zone 7b. But until just a few years ago we were considered Zone 6. Most winters are mild with an occasional dip into the low 20's F. But we do have a lot of nights well below freezing. And every year we'll have at least one spell into the high teens. Two to three snows a year are common.

    I grow a ton of rare tropical stuff and we spend a lot of cash each year protecting those plants from the cold in a specially designed building. But I've found a few "tropical" plants that will survive our winters and I've got those planted in the yard as well. A palm would be nice, but I need to see some documentation that species can survive the extreme cold we do receive. Anyone have that documentation?

    And thanks for the book note. That will be a good addition to the library.
     
  7. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    I believe you'd be OK with a Needle palm or Sabal minor 'McCurtain'.

    A trunked palm is more of a challenge. I think there are a few in Little Rock but they benefit from altitude and latitude....and you're just as close to KC as you are to LR.
     
  8. ron3215

    ron3215 Member

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    would burlap around the trunk help in the winter months? im wondering if theres anything i can put in around the roots that will help provide heat
     
  9. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I'm not an expert by any stretch on palms. But I do know personally one of the world's best experts in Hawaii. Problem is, he doesn't have to deal with cold, but I'll ask.

    As for where we are, we're actually a lot colder than Little Rock. During the winter, at least 10 degrees on most days. That's because we're up in the "Ozarks". Same with heat. In the past week we finally began to break 90 with any consistency, but now it is scorching out there! As I'm sure you know, many areas have micro climates and our's is generally colder in the winter and not as hot in the summer.

    I did take the advice about Palms Won't Grow Here and Other Myths. I ordered it this morning from Amazon. Maybe I can find just what I need to know to grow some palms in my yard! My neighbors already think I'm nuts for all the plants I grow! Might as well give them a really good reason!
     
  10. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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  11. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Actually, it doesn't mean zone 5: the zone ratings are based on average annual minima, whereas the -27° in Plovdiv was an extreme (the second-coldest ever there, according to the polarpalms page); their average winter minimum is much higher.

    I've known places in zone 7 Scotland and Denmark get down to -27° in a very severe winter, so I'd guess Plovdiv also counts as zone 7 (or maybe 6, since they did get right down to -31.5° in 1942, long before the palms were planted).
     
  12. ron3215

    ron3215 Member

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    MY NEIGHBERS THINK IM CRAZY AS WELL, DONT SWEAT IT.....ANY INFO YA GET FROM UR FRIEND WOULD BE APPRECIATED
     
  13. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I sent him a note earlier today. As soon as I receive a response, I'll post it. Glad I'm not the only "nut" out there!
     
  14. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    My friend in Hawaii, who has authored numerous books on the palms and plants of Hawaii, responded with this note. I warned you, he doesn't have to deal much with cold over there!!

    Aloha. I do not know much about cold hardiness...but
    I do know that Trachycarpus and other genera of palms
    can be very cold tolerant...even to be covered in
    snow.

    The best thing to do is to surf to the PACSOA...Palm
    and Cycad Society of Australia website and see their
    cold hardy palm key...USDA zones 6-8. Good site with
    great information on palms and cycads.
     
  15. ron3215

    ron3215 Member

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    thanks for the info
     

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