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Old 03-09-2007, 10:59 AM
175 posts, read 873,901 times
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I am going to Las Cruces to get some palm trees to plant at my new house in Rio Rancho,I need to know which are the best to grow in the Rio Rancho/Albq area.Which are the cold hardy palms, and also how do you think a Phoenix date palm would do here. any info would be great.
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Old 03-09-2007, 02:34 PM
Location: Metro Milwaukee, WI
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Default Here is your palm tree info!

Here are some common varieties that should work in albuquerque / Rio Rancho -

***The two (2) BEST "common" palm choices:

-Washingtonia Filifera (California Fan Palm)...this is a more cold hardy palm than the Robusta/Mexican Fan palm, its "cousin" which is grown quite a bit in El Paso / Las Cruces and you'll find even in ABQ nurseries, but this (the Washingtonia Filifera) is related to the Robusta and looks very similar. If you have the opportunity to either by a Robusta or a Filifera, opt for the Filifera. When buying the Filifera, I would try to plant it west or south facing (against a west or south facing WALL is especially ideal in ABQ/Rio Rancho) and plant it very early in the growing season...if a bigger one, with the warm weather we are continuing to have, you could plant it now likely. If a smaller, younger, one, I woud wait until mid-April With this variety, you could get away with buying a somewhat younger variety if given protection by a wall, but the bigger the better for our zone 7 climate. Next to the Trachycarpus Fortunei, this is the best "conventional" palm for ABQ.

-Trachycarpus Fortunei (Windmill Palm)...this is a lock for Albuquerque/Rio Rancho in terms of hardiness to the area; it grows well here and you can find many all over ABQ. The ABQ zoo has many of these growing, and occasionally you can find some 15-footers in yards, etc. They are the best at dealing with our winters.

***Ideally, I would stick to the two above palms for ABQ/Rio Rancho, however, if you are feeling adventurous, you could try these and they could work:

-Washingtonia Robusta (Mexican Fan Palm)...this is the LEAST hardy to cold palm, though, that would still work in this region, so if possible, buy this one big if you want to try it, plant it early in the growing season (but not until overnight lows are +45 degrees), plant it west or south facing - ideally against a wall - and in the winter, wrap its trunk if/ when a particular cold stretch is anticipated.

-Phoenix Canariensis and Phoenix Dactylifera...these two varieties have a different look to them, and they are commonly found in El Paso (although not quite as common as the Washingtonia varieties)...they are neat looking and have a more "tropical" look, perhaps more like you'd imagine seeing in Florida. They are not terribly cold hearty though, so would require just as much care as the Washingtonia Robusta. They are VERY RARE in the ABQ/Rio Rancho area, and would be very "iffy" here at best. You'd have to give them plenty of TLC in the winter months and plant them in an ideal area. I have seen a few though that grow and even thrive in ABQ, so it is possible.

Tips for any palms' care in ABQ / Rio Rancho:

-Plant them early in the growing season to have as long as possible to take root through the hot months and into fall before any frosts/freezing hits the next year

-No watering in the winter, although fertizlie them with palm fertilizer (available in nurseries) through the growing season, especially when young

-Keep them in sunny, warm areas (west and south facing best); if possible, especially the lesser hearty ones, plant near protected areas (eg: west / south facing walls)

-Prune the dead fronds off (the brown ones) at the END of the winter season (not before it is over though) to stimulate/encourage new frond growth (fronds here - the green growths - will die in the winter, it is nearly inevitable except for the Windmill Palm - but as long as the trunk / middle "spear" area is protected, it will regrow quickly in the spring)...

-Wrap their trunks with burlap (and maybe add a layer of plastic to prevent wetness) during cold stretches in the winter (sub-40 degree weather) and perhaps in winter tie their fronds all together tightly (it will look bizarre) where possible to protect the middle, growing area of the palm (the important area of the palm in terms of its staying alive...the area where new fronds grow out of the center of the trunk)

-Plant them where possible in sandy, easy drainage areas

-Buy palms (like those listed above) hearty ONLY to zones 7 or 8...any palms needing to be heartier than 8 (like zones 9 or 10) should not be planted here...they will not survive.

Again, I would use ONLY the palms on this list, and ideally try for Washingtonia Filifera or Windmill Palm...they will do well. If you try to get too crazy though with more tropical palms, they will die.


--You may wish to see this forum regarding conversation on palms in ABQ - lots of good info in here:


--As long as you are going down to Las Cruces to get these palms, I would encourage you to consider making the extra 30 minute drive to El Paso to go to East Side Discount Nursery in EP. I have been there several times when I visit EP...just was there two weeks ago...and they have HUGE selections of these palms, all greatly priced, and you'd be able to get whatever you want. I love that place!
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:28 PM
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thanks for all the information, do you have any idea how much I can get a windmall palm for or a california palm, in either Cruces or El Paso?
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Old 03-12-2007, 10:20 AM
Location: Metro Milwaukee, WI
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Originally Posted by councilor j View Post
thanks for all the information, do you have any idea how much I can get a windmall palm for or a california palm, in either Cruces or El Paso?
Not sure about Las Cruces, although I would imagine prices are similar in LC...maybe a hare more. In El Paso, you can get a good, healthy, large 5-gallon palm (California or Windmill) for $19.99...you can get a 15-gallon one (probably a better choice for Albuquerque/Rio Rancho) for $59.99...this size is a large, healthy palm, and would be ideal to grab. A good price for a good-sized palm. You could also get a really big one for like $79.99, which if in your budget, would be even better.

The bigger the palm you can start out with here in ABQ/RR, the better. However, having said that, I started my three (including a Mexican Fan) at the 5-gallon size and they do well every spring-summer-fall...just gotta give 'em good protection in the winter.
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:05 AM
Location: WPB, FL. Dreaming of Oil city, PA
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You are zone 8b(average annual minimum of 15f) and also your winters have a high of 60s many days so the cold doesnt last long. Prolonged cold is more damaging than brief cold(even if the brief cold is very cold) Youll have success with most species of palm trees except the highly tropical ones that need zone 10 or zone 11.
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