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Old 02-28-2021, 05:48 PM
 
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How has the vegetation been impacted from the Feb freeze? How cold did it get there? Have all the palms died? I remember there being really nice palms all over the Riverwalk and Rivercenter. Did the buildings protect them, or are they gone? It made the area feel semi-tropical.
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:19 AM
 
Location: The "original 36" of SA
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It dropped to 9 degrees early Monday morning - only the 6th time, I believe, since 1899 (yes, 1899) that is has been in the single digits.
The Riverwalk will probably be fine, but it may be a few weeks before we really know. My neighborhood (built in the 1920's) has a few streets lined with palms, and while the frond ends are all brown, the center portions of the fronds are still green on many of them. I do have one palm I'm worried about, though, so it's a tree by tree basis.
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Kountze, Texas
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Our cousin in Houston has palms and they don't seem to be coming back. I had radishes and rosemary in my garden and covered them with a blanket folded 4x - they survived.
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Old 03-01-2021, 05:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GrandmaChris View Post
Our cousin in Houston has palms and they don't seem to be coming back. I had radishes and rosemary in my garden and covered them with a blanket folded 4x - they survived.
It's too early to say, palms don't recover in one week, it takes months.
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Old 03-01-2021, 05:54 PM
 
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I was just going to post on this topic. Especially in relation to palms and the hit they took.

This was the coldest (by far) that San Antonio has seen since 1989. Palm trees will be lost. However, many that appear dead now, will eventually recover. It will take them basically all year to look decent again. They don't recover in a week or two, you are looking at months.

Many of the thin trunked Mexican Fan Palm (Washingtonia Robusta) may have been lost. Some have already died. If the crown has already completely and totally collapsed, it probably will die. If there are a few fronds upright, even if brown, if may recover, but you won't know for at least a couple months...maybe more. Look for green growth at the center point of the palm in a couple months.

Resist the urge to remove any old fronds if they have ANY green on them. They will make food for the tree to produce new fronds. If the frond has completely collapsed down the side of tree and is totally brown with no green whatsoever, you can remove it.

All of the thicker trunked California Fan Palms (Washingtonia Filifera) survived. The fronds are brown, but they will recover just fine. All of their crowns are intact. The hybrids between the two palms will probably also recover.

All Sabal palms and Trachycarpus palms are completely fine and were barely fazed.

Canary island date palms will recover, but will look ugly for a very long time. The crown will take up to 2 years to completely recover. Again, resist the urge to remove any fronds with green life on them. If you must, you can remove the brown section and leave the green. True date palms will probably also recover in time. All of their leaves are fried right now.

This stuff doesn't happen overnight. If you don't see ANY new green by mid summer (July to Aug), then you can probably safely assume that your palm is dead and it can be removed. Do not prematurely remove a palm that may recover in time. It will look ugly for a while. A long while. I know a lot about palms so if you have any questions, ask. There will be a lot of palm deaths, but it will be mainly the super thin trunked Mexican Fan Palms that don't make it (and even some of those might).
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Old 03-02-2021, 12:16 PM
Status: "Just moved to TX from Vegas" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Alamo Heights, TX
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NBTX11 what is your thought on Sago's? I feel like I know a lot about Palms having just moved from Vegas but we have never had 9.7 degrees (at my new house before). I normally would have wrapped some of my palms in burlap but didn't even think about it.
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Old 03-02-2021, 08:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by trekwars2000 View Post
NBTX11 what is your thought on Sago's? I feel like I know a lot about Palms having just moved from Vegas but we have never had 9.7 degrees (at my new house before). I normally would have wrapped some of my palms in burlap but didn't even think about it.
Sago palms should recover. But it's not 100 percent. This is the coldest we've been in 32 years, and in some aspects as far as the length of freeze it's the worst we've EVER experienced in recorded SA weather history.

The good news, don't expect this type of cold any time soon again. It could be another 30-50 years until this happens again (or could happen again next year, anything that happens once could happen again). But the chances of this happening any time soon are very small.

Check the middle of your palm. Is it firm? Has it turned to mush? If the palm is firm and nice and solid, and shows any green at all, it might recover. It may take a while to push new leaves. Sago is like the only palm I am not that familiar with, it's actually a cycad, not a true palm. But I have read about them quite a bit. Ask me about any other palm tree and I can give you a straight answer as to what is going on, how hardy it is, if it will recover, etc. LOL.
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Old 03-04-2021, 07:19 AM
JH6
 
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Every palm I have seen downtown and in King William is SMOKED.

They look like they need to be cut back to nothing and new palms need to grow.
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Old 03-04-2021, 12:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JH6 View Post
Every palm I have seen downtown and in King William is SMOKED.

They look like they need to be cut back to nothing and new palms need to grow.
This is sad. Palms all over Houston are toast. Even Moody Gardens in Galveston, which is about as protected as it gets in Texas outside of RGV/SPI, is showing crown collapse of Washingtonia palms. That is surprising, since I didn't think it got THAT cold in Galveston. It got colder in Houston in 2018 than Galveston did this year, but the 2021 damage seems so much worse in Galveston than 2018 Houston. Southern suburbs of Clear Lake, Pearland, and Sugar Land, look so much worse than Galveston. Those are places that had lots of palms and even have national level palm nurseries.

If it's that bad in Houston/Galveston, the Riverwalk and all of San Antonio is smoked outside for maybe the sabals.

I hope they replant, as do not want to see these areas permanently changed due to one freak event, that may never happen again.
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Old 03-04-2021, 01:54 PM
 
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Y’all need to understand something about palm trees. They can recover from “being smoked”, “crown collapse”, “spear pull”, etc. It’a no guarantee but many of them do. The worst thing you can do is prematurely remove a palm that might recover.

A majority of the Washingtonia palms in Houston and probably San Antonio will probably recover, if given enough time (months). They just will. They’re resilient palms. Water and possibly fertilize them in the spring. Cut off obvious dead fronds if you must. Look for new green in a month or two, but it could be summer before they aggressively put out new fronds.

Washintonia palms survived -5 in El Paso in 2011. Not all but some. Some also survived -11 in Las Cruces New Mexico in 2011. Many with crown collapse. They are alive today.

Some will die, but that won’t be evident until summer. Some Washingtonia Robusta will recover. This is the tall thin palm. ALL Washingtonia Filifera will survive. They are already pushing green leaves. Those are the thicker trunked Washingtonias. ALL. Sabal palms will survive. Virtually all Canary Island Date Palms will survive in Houston and San Antonio but will take an entire year to recover. Maybe more. Most true date palms will recover (Phoenix Dactylifera). Windmill palms (Trachycarpus Fortunei) were hardly touched at all, completely fine.

From Austin north there will likely be massive palm death though, but I expect decent recovery in downtown SA and warm areas of Houston. Queen palms are toast though except in all but the warmest areas of Houston/Galveston. I expect most queen palms to die in San Antonio, they can’t really handle anything below 15-18.
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