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Old April 28th, 2011, 09:20 PM
Palm Crazy Palm Crazy is offline
RPT Newbie
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Newport
Posts: 4

Well right off there are very few cold hardy palms out there. Most except for the Needle Palm will have damage from long freezes. You may have noticed that some companies may say things like "can take 20 degrees or good in zone 6 or 7 with protection". My interpretation of this is that a palm that may take 20 degrees overnite, without any damage, is sure to die after 2 or 3 months of sustained cold, it is cold hardy but not adapted to a cold zone . I think when they say that they mean the palm will tolerate say N. Carolina where they may get a few freezes and a light snow each winter.
So getting back to the Needle Palm, the only thing that I have found that sets this one apart from the others is the needles around the base act like dead air spaces, much like fiberglass insulation works. It looks very much like the windmill but does not develop a long trunk and stays more a bush.
Also from my readings it seems age has a big factor to play, a young plant has a lower chance of surviving winter than an older established one. The delema is how do you raise an old plant in New England? I have tried potted and bringing them indoor in the winter, with only fair results. Though it will get through the winter the leaves usually burn when they are brought back out in the spring into the stronger sun. I am trying to keep them in partial shade for a few weeks, to see if that helps. You can see though as they get tall and the pots get heavier it is more difficult to move them indoors and out.
In closing I would also say you may have a better chance with a tree from as far north as you can find that has had some cold to adapt to rather than one from say hot Miami, that has never been exposed to cold, just my thought.
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