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Old 11-23-2011, 11:50 PM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
16,418 posts, read 22,222,261 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC6ZLV View Post
Where is here?

There are many more factors than temperature which determine what will grow where. For example, a plant native to coastal areas of Texas would likely tolerate the level of freezing temperatures, but they may have a problem with root rot in prolonged cold and wet soil, or require a high rate of photosynthesis. Most of the pines we have in California require dormancy (winter chill) to set fruit. Most require stratification to get their seeds to germinate. Several don't require stratification (Bishop and Monterrey pines). Monterrey pines will tolerate the heat and cold away from the coast but are susceptible to several root rots if they are irrigated in areas with warm temperatures.
Ah pines. California is home to more pines than any other region in the world.
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Old 11-24-2011, 12:38 AM
 
Location: Due North of Potemkin City Limits
1,237 posts, read 1,628,931 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC6ZLV View Post
Where is here?
North SD county.
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:50 AM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sealtite View Post
North SD county.
Plamettos require a wetter climate than anywhere in SD county. The second thing wrong is the rock hard so called soil in SD county. Especially if you're in inland SD county. They don't call it Penaquistos concrete for nothing.
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Old 11-24-2011, 10:54 AM
 
2,683 posts, read 3,726,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC6ZLV View Post
Tell that to the people here in Sacramento who insist we have a tropical climate because they see palm trees growing in town. They will not accept the explanation that some varieties of palm trees are naturally found in temperate climates, just as you can find species of pines native to tropical climates.
Well, those people are clearly idiots. But not everyone who plants palm trees in California is that stupid or unpersuaded by facts.
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:07 AM
 
2,683 posts, read 3,726,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC6ZLV View Post
I'm quite familiar with the distribution of palms. The palms you see in California are those that are available in the horticultural trade and don't represent their true distribution worldwide. Most of the palms available here are from areas with steppe or Mediterranean climates. These regions have areas with freezing temperatures, thus the cold tolerance. Coconut palms, King palms, and many others will not survive in California, but do fine in the southeast. You can grow several of the tropical palms in areas of Southern California. However, in the northern part of the state we are limited to those of Mediterranean origin. Both species of Washintonia do fine here. Chamaerops feel at-home here. I've seen them in Oregon and Washington. Date palms love it here. There are other palms that do well here, but the ones I mentioned probably account for 99% of the palms you are likely to see driving through town. People attempt to grow Queen palms here. Some have good luck. Most of them die from lack of humidity in the summer or the inability for them to synthesize with the cool winter temperatures and the not so bright sunlight at this latitude in Winter.
At the Palmetum at the Lake Merritt Garden Center in Oakland (open to the public), there are many mature tropical palms such as fishtails, king palms, nikau palms, and others. You can also see kings growing scattered around Oakland and SF (and I've seen them in the Fremont hills too). Anywhere there is no frost (i.e. near water) in California, you can grow some of the more tropical ones.

Inland, it's more limited, but queen palms are hardly marginal. To say "most of them die" is wrong. My parents have been growing them for years in the inland East Bay, and they do really well despite winter frost and dry summer heat. I've seen some very old ones around as well. In fact, they grow extremely fast -- probably a couple feet a year (they've had theirs for 11 years and they've grown about 20 feet). They are quite cold tolerant, but they are heavy feeders and need fertilizer applied three times a year to really thrive. Have you not noticed the explosion of queen palm popularity in NorCal over the past ten years? Go to any Lowe's or Home Depot in the main growing season (or even some of them now), and the queen palm now far dominates the supply of palm trees. Compared to the slower growing mediterranean type palms, they are much cheaper and sell in mass quantities, and they've virtually replaced the traditional ones we see around here. Queen palms are here to stay.
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:12 AM
 
2,683 posts, read 3,726,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentoo View Post
Plamettos require a wetter climate than anywhere in SD county. The second thing wrong is the rock hard so called soil in SD county. Especially if you're in inland SD county. They don't call it Penaquistos concrete for nothing.
Well, most people don't just stick plants in their crappy soil without amending it. The clay soil in the Bay Area is horrible in its own right -- in winter, it's a permanently wet, nondraining clay that takes weeks to dry, and in the summer, it's like hard, impenetrable adobe brick. People improve their backyard soil to suit ornamental plants. You could grow palmettos in San Diego with irrigation, or anywhere in California for that matter. Some of the specialty palm nurseries do carry them. However, they won't look their best. I'm fairly certain there are some growing near the Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park. I haven't definitively ID'd them, but I've spent a LOT of time in South Carolina and know what they look like, and I've definitely ruled out any of the livistona species that have some similar characteristics. But in the end, other palms look better in CA.
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Old 11-24-2011, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, Placerville
2,487 posts, read 5,084,995 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tstieber View Post
At the Palmetum at the Lake Merritt Garden Center in Oakland (open to the public), there are many mature tropical palms such as fishtails, king palms, nikau palms, and others. You can also see kings growing scattered around Oakland and SF (and I've seen them in the Fremont hills too). Anywhere there is no frost (i.e. near water) in California, you can grow some of the more tropical ones.

Inland, it's more limited, but queen palms are hardly marginal. To say "most of them die" is wrong. My parents have been growing them for years in the inland East Bay, and they do really well despite winter frost and dry summer heat. I've seen some very old ones around as well. In fact, they grow extremely fast -- probably a couple feet a year (they've had theirs for 11 years and they've grown about 20 feet). They are quite cold tolerant, but they are heavy feeders and need fertilizer applied three times a year to really thrive. Have you not noticed the explosion of queen palm popularity in NorCal over the past ten years? Go to any Lowe's or Home Depot in the main growing season (or even some of them now), and the queen palm now far dominates the supply of palm trees. Compared to the slower growing mediterranean type palms, they are much cheaper and sell in mass quantities, and they've virtually replaced the traditional ones we see around here. Queen palms are here to stay.
I'll have to check out the garden at Lake Merritt.

The popularity of most horticultural commodities in the last ten years is largely driven by what the big box stores sell. Because they sell a lot of any item doesn't mean it is a quality item either.

Several builders had Queen palms planted in their subdivisions in Natomas. Most of them died. Some managed to make it. It seems as if they can make it 5 or 7 years they adapt to the local conditions a little better. I don't think it is the occasional freezes as much as it is that part of the year where it is overcast through the end of November through January. Most plants don't have the ability to photosynthesize in colder temperatures. When it is dark and grey they have that much more difficulty. This is different from, the Diablo and Livermore Valleys where they experience less fog, and the fog clears earlier in the day, and, the biggest factor, those areas quite often have days in the 60s when Sacramento, Stockton, and Modesto are experiencing drizzle and high temperatures in the 40s because the fog blocks the sunlight. And the air is usually hazy on the days the sun comes out after a foggy morning. And you mention San Diego. The humidity is higher there. I planted three Queen palms at my mom's place in Fresno. They survived the frost with some frostbite. It was 105 afternoons and 10% humidity that was the problem. The leaves burned because it couldn't keep up with the rate of transpiration in those conditions.

I'm not trying to argue that you can't grow them in California. I'm just saying some areas aren't that great for them. A Queen palm wouldn't be my first choice in Sacramento.
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:41 PM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
16,418 posts, read 22,222,261 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tstieber View Post
At the Palmetum at the Lake Merritt Garden Center in Oakland (open to the public), there are many mature tropical palms such as fishtails, king palms, nikau palms, and others. You can also see kings growing scattered around Oakland and SF (and I've seen them in the Fremont hills too). Anywhere there is no frost (i.e. near water) in California, you can grow some of the more tropical ones.
This is in face very true.
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:50 PM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
16,418 posts, read 22,222,261 times
Reputation: 8607
Quote:
Originally Posted by tstieber View Post
Well, most people don't just stick plants in their crappy soil without amending it. The clay soil in the Bay Area is horrible in its own right -- in winter, it's a permanently wet, nondraining clay that takes weeks to dry, and in the summer, it's like hard, impenetrable adobe brick. People improve their backyard soil to suit ornamental plants. You could grow palmettos in San Diego with irrigation, or anywhere in California for that matter. Some of the specialty palm nurseries do carry them. However, they won't look their best. I'm fairly certain there are some growing near the Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park. I haven't definitively ID'd them, but I've spent a LOT of time in South Carolina and know what they look like, and I've definitely ruled out any of the livistona species that have some similar characteristics. But in the end, other palms look better in CA.
Soil in the Bay Area is far more varied. Even within a single watershed the soil will change simply when you cross a stream bed. Tilden Regional Park shows a prime example of this; The canyon runs from north to south. The western side of the canyon contains a quite different plant community than the east. On the west there are California Laurel with a few Douglas Fir and an occasional Live Oak. The understory is covered with ferns and moss and lichens grow on the ground and on tree trunks. A very northwest-like feel to it. Cross the creek and it immediately changes to a drier, more savanna like habitat in areas where the Bluegums aren't growing. They too prefer that more eastern side. the soil there is drier and more claylike than the western side.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:21 AM
 
Location: GLAMA
16,584 posts, read 33,602,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentoo View Post
Cross the creek and it immediately changes to a drier, more savanna like habitat in areas where the Bluegums aren't growing.
Shouldn't that be ARE growing?
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