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  #201  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2012, 10:25 PM
Toronto6A6B Toronto6A6B is offline
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According to this nursery, windmill palms "Grows in Zones 5b -10. Refer to Zone Map"
http://www.willisorchards.com/produc...5#.UL_HfYNLV2A

So why not Windsor or Toronto ? Are we residents in S/SW Ontario too slow in introducing this subtropical look into our streetscapes, front and back yards ?

I hope at least residents in the Niagara regions (zone 7a) talk to their parks officials, turn this tourist region into a subtropical look in some selected locations !
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  #202  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2012, 10:33 PM
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Someone grows a Windmill palm successfully in Milwaukee WI (5b) with some protection.

Quote:
Here's my windmill palm in zone 5b. I'm just north of Milwaukee, WI about 3 miles inland from Lake Michigan. It has been in the ground since July of 2008 when I planted it as a 3 gallon. I keep it covered from end of November until early March.
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/l...543317588.html
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  #203  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2012, 2:40 AM
subtropicalbc subtropicalbc is offline
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Yes mature ones are quite hardy do u think fan palms will grow in Victoria at zone 9b?
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  #204  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2012, 2:51 AM
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Originally Posted by subtropicalbc View Post
Yes mature ones are quite hardy do u think fan palms will grow in Victoria at zone 9b?
I don't know because I am very new to this palm world. I am still exploring the possibility of growing one windmill palm (the hardiest palms with trunks) in my back yard.
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  #205  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2012, 4:07 AM
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^^^ I'm not sure how old you are, but I've lived in Toronto for several years, and I'm old enough to remember years where the temperature in Toronto has dropped to -30° C or colder. In fact, throughout the 70's, 80's and early 90's, it wasn't uncommon to have the temperatures fall deep into the -20's and even below -30°

For the past decade, Toronto and areas around here have been blessed with winter temperatures that have been significantly milder than normal, so much so, that I fear some people assume that this milder weather is the new normal.

It's still too early to tell if this recent spate of milder than normal winters is indeed a new norm; but I suspect, given the law of averages, that at some point average winter temperatures will eventually revert back to the mean. This implies that at least one winter in the near future will have colder than normal temperatures, and if that were the case, then without question, any outdoor palm or tropical plant in the Toronto region would be killed... root, stalk and all.

Given this law of averages, it is therefore prudent to over-winter one's tropical plants inside a greenhouse, especially if the goal is to keep them growing for more than one year.
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  #206  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2012, 4:50 AM
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It will be interesting to see if we've just had a warm period lately or if there has been longer-lasting climate change. There was an interesting post on one of the gardening forums from somebody who claimed that there were lots of more exotic perennial plants in Halifax around the 1950s or 60s (or so; marginal plants like monkey puzzle trees) that disappeared during the colder 1970s and 80s. It's not hard to believe that there have been longer term oscillations in climate, though we are also seeing a long-term warm-up.

I looked at one station in Nova Scotia (Brier Island) and since 2005 or so their average January high has been +3 and their average January low -2.5. The coldest it got during that period was around -14; that's a USDA zone 8a. It doesn't seem hard to believe that you could have overwintered a well-situated windmill palm there during the last few years. Many stations appear to be 1 to 2 degrees above the 1971-2000 normals as well. That doesn't make a big difference if your mean winter temperature is -15 in the winter, but it makes a big difference for places that are right around freezing.
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  #207  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2012, 5:21 AM
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Yes even here the last 10-15 years have been much different less variation with the exception of December 2008.
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  #208  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2012, 12:06 PM
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Toronto used to have white Xmas every year I think but not in the last 2 decades I think. The other extremely cold winter I recall was the one in the 90's. Having said that, Toronto could get down to -15C during the cold spells, each lasts for a few nights. So protection is needed.

Yes the fear is one extreme cold winter will kill all the windmill palms if unprotected. I was thinking growing a windmill palm in a pot in the first few years, move it indoors in Nov-Mar as some nights in Nov & Mar might have temperatures below 0C. That's one approach.

Another approach is to plant it outside right from the beginning but will definitely build something to protect it from the cold spells in Jan & Feb.

The bottom line is I will be stuck with the ugly structure, the work involved & cost for 2 months to enjoy the windmill palm for 10 months. This is the price to pay living in the cold climate I suppose.
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  #209  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2012, 1:53 PM
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This nursery listed zones 6-10 for Windmill palms (see map from link).
http://www.tytyga.com/Pool-Landscape-Plants-s/2178.htm

Quote:
For palm planting around pools in Northern locations, the Windmill Palm tree is a top contender for it's cold hardiness (Canadian plantings) and clean habit with little or no leaf drop and a lack of maintenance requirements. The salt water tolerance makes this palm tree O.K. to plant on coastline gardens like Long Island, New York. Planting Windmill Palm trees less than 3 ft. do not survive winters. The Windmill Palm tree has a moderate growth rate and can be expected to grow 1 foot in a year
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  #210  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2012, 11:08 PM
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The city's parks department is very conservative in what it plants in parks and city streets, many are the usual suspects found everywhere in Ontario and the US Midwest.

I would love the city to start planting more southern species that actually do well here without any protection, like evergreen Southern Magnolia, ( there is only one specimen i know of in Jackson Park, and it's about 20 ft tall) and the Hardy Silk tree ( which was planted on an island bed on Giles Blvd ) but nowhere else I know of on city property. I had two huge specimens when I lived in Lasalle. Acuba Japonica also does well here. Southern Flowering Dogwood ( Cornus Florida) is actually native to this part of Ontario, and should be planted more by the city. Southern Crape Myrtles can also grow well here.

The city could even plant some marginally hardy species here like Needle and Windmill Palms, and only give them minimal protection when temps get really cold on occasion.

With our climate warming more now than ever, these plants should be considered when designing new plantings, as they are more likely to thrive now than back when it was a bit colder.

Last edited by north 42; Dec 8, 2012 at 11:49 PM.
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  #211  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2012, 4:10 AM
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The Windsor Riverside area is crazy mild!
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  #212  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2012, 2:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by north 42 View Post
The city's parks department is very conservative in what it plants in parks and city streets, many are the usual suspects found everywhere in Ontario and the US Midwest.

I would love the city to start planting more southern species that actually do well here without any protection, like evergreen Southern Magnolia, ( there is only one specimen i know of in Jackson Park, and it's about 20 ft tall) and the Hardy Silk tree ( which was planted on an island bed on Giles Blvd ) but nowhere else I know of on city property. I had two huge specimens when I lived in Lasalle. Acuba Japonica also does well here. Southern Flowering Dogwood ( Cornus Florida) is actually native to this part of Ontario, and should be planted more by the city. Southern Crape Myrtles can also grow well here.

The city could even plant some marginally hardy species here like Needle and Windmill Palms, and only give them minimal protection when temps get really cold on occasion.

With our climate warming more now than ever, these plants should be considered when designing new plantings, as they are more likely to thrive now than back when it was a bit colder.
I agreed with you The Parks Department is very conservative but it's got to start from somewhere !

Windsor is the one of the warmest regions West of the Rockies, the other being The Niagara area including St Catharines, Niagara Falls.

It's a 7a hardiness zone.

I would suggest the following:
(1) Windsor residents talk to their city councillors.
(2) Believe me, if no one initiates the whole process, the Parks Department will do nothing about it.

Also, if no city councillors initiate the process, do you think the Parks Department would initiate the process themselves ?

The Parks Department will have lots of excuses not to do it though !
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  #213  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2012, 3:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by north 42 View Post
The city's parks department is very conservative in what it plants in parks and city streets, many are the usual suspects found everywhere in Ontario and the US Midwest.

<snip>

The city could even plant some marginally hardy species here like Needle and Windmill Palms, and only give them minimal protection when temps get really cold on occasion.

With our climate warming more now than ever, these plants should be considered when designing new plantings, as they are more likely to thrive now than back when it was a bit colder.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toronto6A6B View Post
I agreed with you The Parks Department is very conservative but it's got to start from somewhere !

Windsor is the one of the warmest regions West of the Rockies, the other being The Niagara area including St Catharines, Niagara Falls.

It's a 7a hardiness zone.

I would suggest the following:
(1) Windsor residents talk to their city councillors.
(2) Believe me, if no one initiates the whole process, the Parks Department will do nothing about it.

Also, if no city councillors initiate the process, do you think the Parks Department would initiate the process themselves ?

The Parks Department will have lots of excuses not to do it though !
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodelli View Post
Here are a few of several around here. This park has been recently re-landscaped after a new seawall was put in.
AFAIK these are seasonal only and generally head for the greenhouses in winter.


BTW I've lived outside Victoria and everything said on here is pretty much on the money.
So windmills are going in seasonally anyway. Maybe if the trunks mature they'll have a go at leaving them out all winter. The Canada geese that no longer fly south can keep them company.


A few years ago I saw what looked like needle palms in the medians of both Wyandotte and Ouellette but don't have the pictures to prove it.
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  #214  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2012, 4:44 PM
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Residents in the two warmest regions East of the Rockies, namely Windsor and the Niagara St Catharines regions (zone 7a based on revised hardiness zones I posted in previous posts) can form 2 groups who are willing to knock at the city councillors' door and discuss with those city councillors.

Recap what I know so far:

Zones: I already posted websites with "revised" zones for Toronto/Hamilton 6a6b, Windsor/Niagara/St Catharines 7a.

Windmill palms planted outdoors as proof:
(1) Some poster here from the region posted pictures of his/her windmill palms planted against walls (microclimate). We need update on those outdoor windmill palms such as how tall they are now.
(2) I saw one picture of a windmill palm from The Weather Network. Some poster from Hamilton Ontario posted his outdoor windmill palm that's planted at the middle of his backyard, this windmill palm is about 4-5 foot tall, with snow all over its leaves. I wish I had copied and saved that picture and repost here.

The above are the 2 outdoor windmill palms (Niagara & Hamilton On) I am aware of. I have yet seen any outdoor windmill palms from Windsor On.
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  #215  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2012, 4:52 PM
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OK, I found the picture of a poster from The Weather Network that posted his windmill palm in 22 Feb 2012.

Quote:
Posted by: larry johnson // February 22, 2012
Hamilton, Ontario // Shot: February 22, 2012
984 Views
Snowy Palm (cold hardy Windmill Palm)
Unquote.

To see his outdoor Windmill Palm:
(1) Go to The Weather Network's Photos & Videos by clicking the following link:
http://www.theweathernetwork.com/ind...=searchresults
(2) In the search box, enter "windmill palm", and choose "photos" instead of "photos and videos", the click "search", and his beauiful outdoor Windmill Palm photo will pop up.

What do you folks think ?
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  #216  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2012, 4:54 PM
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I have a windmill palm that I bought at Colasantis in Ruthven, but since I now own a condo, I have to bring it indoors in November and back out in March. They are too hard to overwinter if they ar not planted in the ground here, although I'm positive it would have had no problem getting through last winter in a pot.
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  #217  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2012, 4:59 PM
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A great site for hardy subtropicals is the hardy palm and subtropical board

http://members3.boardhost.com/HardyPalm/
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  #218  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2012, 5:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toronto6A6B View Post
OK, I found the picture of a poster from The Weather Network that posted his windmill palm in 22 Feb 2012.

Quote:
Posted by: larry johnson // February 22, 2012
Hamilton, Ontario // Shot: February 22, 2012
984 Views
Snowy Palm (cold hardy Windmill Palm)
Unquote.

To see his outdoor Windmill Palm:
(1) Go to The Weather Network's Photos & Videos by clicking the following link:
http://www.theweathernetwork.com/ind...=searchresults
(2) In the search box, enter "windmill palm", and choose "photos" instead of "photos and videos", the click "search", and his beauiful outdoor Windmill Palm photo will pop up.

What do you folks think ?
I saw that a while back, windmill palms like that are possible to grow in Southwest Ontario with just a bit of protection, if well situated, unfortunately
Many people just don't realize what is possible to grow here when it comes to hardy subtropicals.

I think I may do a little guerrilla gardening in the spring and plant some hardy subtropicals like Hardy Silk Trees in along the riverfront park system and see what takes.
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  #219  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2012, 6:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by north 42 View Post
I saw that a while back, windmill palms like that are possible to grow in Southwest Ontario with just a bit of protection, if well situated, unfortunately
Many people just don't realize what is possible to grow here when it comes to hardy subtropicals.

I think I may do a little guerrilla gardening in the spring and plant some hardy subtropicals like Hardy Silk Trees in along the riverfront park system and see what takes.
I believe I saw some people who posted their windmill palms in New York city which is zone 7a, similar to Windsor and Niagara/St Catharines regions.

That's why I think taxpayers in those 2 regions can push for pilot projects to experiment windmill palms, OUTDOORS of course !

Here's what I think what tax payers in those 2 regions (7a) can do:
(1) Tax payers get together, either online or via telephones, to discuss strategies.
(2) Get a hold of their city councillors.
(3) Tell them (councillors) some tax payers are interested in these pilot projects and would like the councillors to push for it.
(4) Show them what we found: Pictures, websites that show windmill palms survive outdoors in Niagara and Hamilton without protection in some selected locations.
(5) Show them websites that indicates windmill palms are hardy to 7a or even 6ab.
(6) Tell them we, the tax payers, don't mind if the city plants a few MATURE windmill palms in some selected locations in the pilot projects such as some selected locations at the botanical garden in Niagara Falls (I am not familiar with Windsor)
(7) Tell them we, the tax payers, don't mind to wait but we do mind if we have to wait forever. Demand a time frame from the councillor, hence city officials from The Parks Department.
(8) Tell them to set aside a small budget for even 1 MATURE windmill palm. I think it cost $700/tree (my recollection but it could be cheaper) plus transportation and planting. Staff of the botanical garden can plant the tree, and tell the councillor it's their job (botanical garden's staff) to plant the tree at no extra cost to the city.
(9) Tell the councillor tax payer (our interest group) will participate, develop and MONITOR this pilot project. Let them know we are willing to help AND keep an eye on the progress.
(10) Tell them we will not take excuses such as "Oh, I forgot to wrap the windmill palm and turn on the light bulbs in the winter when the forecast indicates a -15C is coming ..." and "The poor windmill palm dies so we think they don't survive in the Niagara regions", that's not acceptable.
(11) Tell them if they (Parks official/staff) can't do their jobs, someone else can ! It's tax payers who pay them good salary and a gold plated pension. Let them know in advance we know what we are doing.

What do you folks think about my suggestions ? Any other suggestions ?

Isn't it nice to see windmill palms popping up in front of the botonical garden in Niagara Falls ? BTW, I saw ONE tall windmill palms inside the green house in Niagara Falls. So they (Parks staff) know them well. We, the tax payers, just have to push for these pilot projects.

Last edited by Toronto6A6B; Dec 9, 2012 at 7:09 PM.
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  #220  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2012, 12:56 AM
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My suggestion is to move to Victoria You can grow so many more but it would be nice to see Southern Ontario have Palms.
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