windmill rot

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by honolua, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. honolua

    honolua Active Member

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    Hi,
    HELP!!!!!! I have two windmills, about 4 feet tall in total. Last winter, no problem with no winter protection. This winter was too much! The fronds are brown with that awful rot black spotted bit all over them. One of them is rotten to the point that the centre spear is pulled out with ease. The other does not pull out, but looks rather pale.

    Is there ANYTHING I can do to save them? I did apply fungicide immediately when the symptoms first appeared, and here in the Pacific Northwest where they are in abundance, I am shocked to see mine did not survive! Help, as I really want to save them. I heard that for the one that is completely without centre spear now, that I should cut it down to where I find green and then pray (saw the top off). Is this a good idea? I am interested to see what LPN might suggest.....fire away!
    thanks
     
  2. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Hello honolua, you have most likely lost the Palm that has rotted at the top growth node... the other if it is still firmly attached to the crown will likely survive. Not much you can do at this point, except be mindful of next winter, and wrap the crowns during the next deep freeze...once the very top growth is dead, so to the plant is effectively dead. Very sad to happen, as we all cherish our palms who usually thrive on the Coast....the extreme weather is adversely affecting our sub tropicals....
     
  3. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    honolua ... I've heard of some of the trouble that some folks have experienced regarding their Windmill palms (Trachycaprus fortunei) over the past devisating winter. It's very difficult to make any serious diagnosis without a photo detailing what has happened.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  4. PalmNut

    PalmNut Member

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    It may or may not be dead. Don't write it off until at least june.
    Spear pull does mean it is experiencing bud rot. Treat with fungicides for now and wait.
    On small Trachys I even treat with hydrogen peroxide to help kill the fungus causing the rot.
    Don't give up on it yet and assume its dead and remove it.
    I've seen them come back after spear pull.
    As far as removing part of the crown down to live tissue, it works for Washingtonias and Butias, but not sure about Trachys.
    Randall
     
  5. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    I hope I am wrong, as it is truly a shame to loose these palms.... but Randall, I have yet to see any Trachycarpus survive frozen top rot especially when the freezing winds and temperatures hover below minus 12c. or 16c. for days at a time, and this winter was not kind....
     
  6. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    If those noted temps where in your area, ya, expect some serious trouble.
    Here, the cold wasn't as severe. My digital overnight low temperature recordings for the Dec/08 cold wave was;

    Dec. 13 - 28.4°F
    Dec. 14 - 17.6°F
    Dec. 15 - 16.9°F
    Dec. 16 - 27.0°F
    Dec. 17 - 19.3°F
    Dec. 18 - 19.3°F
    Dec. 19 - 13.0°F (the killer freeze)
    Dec. 20 - 21.2°F
    Dec. 21 - 25.3°F
    Dec. 22 - and onward, where no lower than 26°F.

    A total of 24 consecutive days with freezing nights, and even some days during the worst where it didn't rise above freezing.
    All Trachycarpus fortunei (Windmill palm) established, planted palms are fine with none or very minimal damage.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Windmill timbers can decay if not treated with preservatives. If you get modern metal / composite turbines like the ones below (public domain pic), they should be decay proof.
     

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  8. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    These are not-native to the region, and should be considered invasive. I recommend pulling with large socket wrench and cables. Also worth noting that the term 'windmill' is an anglo-saxon imposition on an invention with Persian orgins: the persian term should be used in all cases unless we are discussing a sub-type, in which case it would be proper to use the original dutch.
     
  9. Tbolivar

    Tbolivar Member

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    Hello everyone

    I agree with everyone that has experienced the windmill palm devestation that has occured this winter. I believe I have lost both my 4-foot (Trachy) Windmill palms as well. These two 7-year olds where in 50-gallon ceramic pots and where sheltered from the snow and wind, but I can only guess they where taken by the blistering cold windchill. I even had them wrapped on the coldest nights. Ironic as it is, this is the only year I hadn't brought them into the garage during the coldest weather, (serves me right I guess).
    But, needless to say it was definitely the nastiest, I had a reading of -19C on my deck without the windchill a couple nights, and this lasted about two weeks. It was definitely the coldest and quickest approaching winter I've seen here in a long, long time. I hope it's not repeated for many years.
    As a matter of fact I checked the spike on the one palm (the first one to turn) and it pulled out, rotten down as far as I could see. I checked the second palm, pulling on the spike, but it still seems fixed.
    Unfortunately for the first one it seems likely it was hit the hardest. I believe even as early as early March it had already gone. Breaks my heart to see two lovely palms like these go so quickly from that cold weather and quick thaw. So much for our Zone 7B-8A. I also lost all my Dracnea palms from the cold blistering windchill. Even some of my Bonsai are showing sign of damage. I feel for all of you that have suffered the loss of your Trachy's.
     
  10. Tennesseestorm

    Tennesseestorm Member

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    Hi guys - new here and a palm tree lover too! I have been experimenting with hardy palms for a few years now. I live in the southeast (northeast Tennessee), but upper southeast and in higher terrain, so palms are not native here. I am on the 7a-6b USDA border.

    I have had the same issue as many others. I have lost all of the foliage from my 5 year old Windmill, which had got pretty big. We got down to 5° a couple of mornings last winter (which was well below average- about 22° below our coldest average low) and fool that I am, didnt protect it. It had took 8° the previous winter with stride. A few weeks after that 5° low, the fronds started speckeling and turned brown.... then doing the spear pull test, it came out and was mushy and had bugs crawling on it... looked like maggots. Yuck. I guess it was "rotted" as well. We are 12 weeks (at least) into our growing season and I see no new growth. All I see is a little green on the stem of a old frond. I have cut off all of the dead. I had heard about this perozide thing - should I now pour some peroxide down the spear hole, or is it too late? Needless to say, I was devistated when my 5 (maybe 6) year old palm appears to have perished.

    I went yesterday and purchased another Windmill palm, its about 3 ft tall that I soon plan to plant. I have been told to use potting soil, but when I planted my last one, I simply filled back in with the dirt I removed. Was this a no-no?

    Thanks for any tips/advice.
     
  11. Tennesseestorm

    Tennesseestorm Member

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    Forgot to mention I am in zone 7A. Edit - sorry, yes I did. Blah, been a long day! :)
     
  12. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    5°C won't hurt it at all. It is hardy down to around -20°C, exceptionally even lower.
     

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