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  #41  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2010, 3:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
Gardening is a big part of urban landscapes That is how it ties in.

But I do know that growing a palm in Ontario obviously takes much more work, and they will be far more stunted / grow slower than that of Vancouver or Victoria. The same as growing a palm in new York takes a lot more work than growing one in Seattle, which has the same climate as Vancouver.
It really depends what kind of palms. Most of them prefer heat(it's a palms after all) so they will grow faster in Ontario than in Victoria/Vancouver but it will need protection in winter.

For example the needle palm:
Quote:
Needle Palms need hot, humid summer temperatures to thrive and the species does not grow well in the Pacific Northwest.
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  #42  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2010, 4:14 AM
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But I have yet to see proof of palm trees in Ontario and Quebec as lush, tall and healthy as those along the south coast of BC, of any variety, that are grown outside, year round, without extraordinary care / attention, or simply replaced each summer, or put in a green house during the winter. While 10 foot banana plants are impressive to hear about in the east, most reach as high as 15 feet or even more along the Pacific Coast, such as the ones in my neighborhood, and these also grow back every year with no protection during the winter.

The palms along the south coast survive year round outside, the majority of them without protection.

While it is true that the Needle Palm will grow better in areas along the east coast from Long Island New York south than it would in the Pacific Northwest, I highly doubt that it would grow better in Eastern Canada than it would along the south coast of BC with no help in the winter. For it says that the needle palm is only tolerant to temperatures of -15C to -21C. And since even the warmest part of eastern Canada, Windsor Ontario, averages 1.6 days a year below -20, and 28.7 days below -10, it is highly unlikely that the needle palm would be able to survive on its own. It may survive an abnormally mild winter or two with no help, but eventually a colder than average winter would come to average out the temps. And keep in mind when they say a palm will survive these temps, it usually means they will survive them for brief periods and on isolated occasions, not for extended periods or frequent occasions. Coastal areas of New York is as far north as it can grow without help.

For a me to consider palms to be truly planted in an area they must survive year round outside with minimal winter help (or at the bare minimum, be firmly planted in the ground and not moved in the winter).

You have to admit that when it comes to exotics such as palms, coastal BC is the most hospital environment in Canada for them, since its climate is similar to that of Western Europe and central New Zealand.

As a side note, I was looking at the Tofino and Ucluelet area, along the west side of Vancouver Island, and it seems in this area of BC Cordylines are the exotic of choice, while it is the Windmill Palm in Vancouver and Victoria. I wonder if there is a reason behind that or if it is simply an aesthetic phenomenon.
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  #43  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2010, 4:20 AM
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Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
I have never seen a significant palm overwintering even in the mildest parts of Ontario despite the fact that I have friends who are into this sort of thing. I have seen attempts to grow very small palms (measured in inches and not feet) in very sheltered locations and although some have survived, I have yet to see one thrive. As I have said, the shrubby needle and sabal palms are better candidates for Ontario. The Chinese Fan Palm is considered hardy to brief exposures of 0F, so that eliminates all of Ontario for long-term survival. I have no doubt that a few people are trying Chinese Fan Palms in Ontario but it is unlikely that they will survive very long.

I know of a location where palms are planted on a Lake Erie beach in Ontario in front of beachside restaurant. Who knows, I could have been there when those pictures were taken and later posted on the Internet. I asked the restaurant owner about the palms and they are stored in large greenhouses each winter. They were certainly less hardy palms.

On the other hand, the hardy bananas that I mentioned can thrive and grow to significant sizes in Ontario if planted in the right location and with good fertilization. A ten foot banana tree is certainly possible in Ontario with huge leaves. I have a couple in my yard but I have poor soil so they have not grown to the size I was hoping for, at least not yet.
I am curious, after the leafs of your Banana plants die back (i know the leafs die at temps below -2), do you protect the roots in any way during the winter, or does the ground not freeze deep enough where you are for them to die?
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  #44  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2010, 4:38 AM
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I really dislike the idea of palm trees in Canada. It just seems so unnatural and doesn't go with the landscape/architecture in any way.
Nor does it go with all those crazies that mug you in the middle of the day. The type so intimidating that you don't even chase them down to get your stuff back. Am I right, or am I right?
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  #45  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2010, 6:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
I am curious, after the leafs of your Banana plants die back (i know the leafs die at temps below -2), do you protect the roots in any way during the winter, or does the ground not freeze deep enough where you are for them to die?
I am far from the warmest part of Ontario. I use a thick straw mulch and a tarp to keep as much moisture out as possible and plant next to the foundation. Growing the banana as vigourously as possible the first year so the roots and corms grow to a good size will enhance survival through that first critical winter. Less protection will be needed in the milder portions of Ontario. A friend in a slightly colder area than here has very large well established bananas, that grow beyond the eaves of his house. This and a large Gunnera and a cacti bed with Yuccas (and potted hardy palms that are wintered in the garage) gives his house a mediteranean look. Of course, there have been overwinter palm trials too, but nothing that has amounted to much so far.
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  #46  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2010, 1:43 AM
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What about growing palms in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia or Sable Island, Nova Scotia??
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  #47  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2010, 4:14 AM
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Sable Island I think would be your safest bet in Eastern canada, because it is far from the continental landmass, and therefore its weather is indeed more moderate. Winter is still colder and longer on Sable Island than it is along the coast of BC (and especially the south coast) but I bet one could plant windmill palms there and have some success (if not cared for in the winter I bet they would survive, but maybe more in a stunted shrub form)

As for Yarmouth, I believe it would face similar limitations as the south Okanagan in the interior of BC and extreme southern Ontario, where one would have to perform intensive care in the winter in order to keep a permanently planted palm alive, and even then it would be risky. Yarmouth still haves 2 months of the year where the average low is -7C and -6.8C. These lows are actually colder than that of a few spots in the south Okanagan in the interior of BC.

To give examples of the difference in winter weather from southern Nova Scotia, which has the mildest mid winter temps in canada outside of BC, to BC, here are a few January stats.

Sable Island, NS = H 2.8, L -3.5

Yarmouth, NS = H 1, L -7

Vancouver airport BC = H 6.1, L 0.5

Vancouver Harbour BC = H 6.8, L 2.7

Victoria airport BC = H 6.9, L 0.7

Victoria Phyllis Street BC = H 7.2, L 3.7 (This station is near Oak Bay, where many of the largest, most varied and lush palm trees planted in BC grow. The coldest temperature ever recorded at this station in January is -8, the coldest temperature ever recorded at this station is -11, once in February 1986. For a fun comparison, Las Vegas, Nevada's record low is -13.3)

Tofino BC = H 7.6, L 1.4

Richmond BC = H 6.6, L 0.2

Amphitrite Point BC = H 8.4, L 3.9

Nanaimo BC = H 6.2, L -0.8

Powell River BC = H 6.2, L 1.7

So as you can see winter temps along coastal BC are far warmer than that of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and decently warmer than that of Sable Island, Nova Scotia. (Most stations along the south coast of BC are 6 to 9 degrees C warmer than Yarmouth in the dead of winter, which is very large in climatic terms). This is what really gives coastal BC the edge in permanently planting many exotics in Canada.

Again, Sable Island would be Eastern Canada's best chance (since its climate does definitely have its own, smaller edge over the rest of Eastern canada), the only problem is that Sable Island only has a population of 5 people and it is protected by the Federal Government and one has to obtain permission to visit the island, so i do not think there is much gardening occurring on the Island.
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Last edited by Metro-One; Sep 16, 2010 at 4:26 AM.
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  #48  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2010, 8:39 PM
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In the case of Yarmouth NS, it depends on where official temperature readings are taken. Often this is done at an airport and those are often situated inland. On the east coast, there may be significant temperature variation between a coastal location and a short distance inland because of the direction of the prevailing winds.

I do know that Magnolia grandiflora (the evergreen southern Magnolia) is successful in Yarmouth NS so I think if any place in eastern Canada will be successful with the Chinese Fan Palm, this would be it. I would like to see someone there with a sheltered garden close to the coastline try it.

You really have to think whether Sable Island is suitable for growing much of anything as it is likely windswept with salt spray.
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  #49  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2010, 9:58 PM
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Yeah, the East Coast weather stations aren't actually that comparable to weather stations in BC and Ontario. There's no urban weather station in Halifax, for example (note that Victoria's lows vary by 3 degrees from airport to city), and Yarmouth is an airport station as mentioned (no idea how it is situated). The difference between being right by the water and being inland is much more significant than on the West Coast in the absence of large changes in elevation.

Temperature swings and precipitation are also important and aren't captured by averages. Summer temperatures and growing season are also important - some plants like hot summer weather and some don't.

People do successfully overwinter southern magnolias, monkey puzzle trees, and banana plants in Nova Scotia. I have not seen these in Ontario but they may exist. Slightly hardier plants like rhododendrons, holly, and evergreen ivy varieties do very well (rhododendrons and some things bigger there than in BC for whatever reason) and are more ubiquitous than in Ontario.

They do summer plantings of palms in Halifax and around Southern Ontario but I don't think I've seen them overwintered. I've never seen anything comparable to the palm trees in Vancouver, which can be 10-15 feet tall.

Also, there are old photos (from maybe 100 years ago) of palm-like trees growing wild on Sable Island but I am having trouble finding them.
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  #50  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2010, 10:13 PM
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Here is another mainland NS weather station: http://www.climate.weatheroffice.gc....318&&autofwd=1

The record low is -21 and the station only sees -20 on average once per decade.

Another interesting weather station in Newfoundland: http://www.climate.weatheroffice.gc....s=&StnId=6552&

Mild winters for Eastern Canada but very cool summer temperatures.
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  #51  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2010, 2:32 AM
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Monkey puzzle trees should actually do well in climates that experience only moderate cold in the winter, such as the warmer parts of the east coast of Canada, because they are from southern Chile where they often experience temps in the range of 0 to -10 in the winter. They do not like temps below -20 though.

You see lots of monkey puzzle (or monkey tail as many call them around here) trees along the coast of BC. Some of the older ones planted 50 years ago or more are getting pretty huge now, as one would suspect.

Anyways, the Yarmouth weather station is no more than 1.5 km from the Ocean in Nova Scotia. Also, the only 2 weather stations I posted from the BC weather stats that could be considered "urban" are the Vancouver Harbour one, and the Richmond one (although this station is located in a large Nature Park reserve which itself is largely surrounded by Agricultural farm land, hardly "urban." This station is also around 7 km from the Ocean)

The Victoria Phyllis Street station is not really urban as well, as it is no where near downtown, it is surrounded by several parks and the properties that are there are all large estates with big lots, full of trees.

So I think the BC stations I have posted and the Nova Scotia stations I and someone 123 have posted are a fare comparison. I still feel that the warmest location in Eastern Canada in the winter will be Sable Island, since it is so far away from any continental land mass and much closer to the mild Gulf Stream than the rest of Atlantic Canada.
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  #52  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2010, 6:24 PM
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I have seen a few Monkey Puzzle trees in the Niagara region. It is truly experimental there and I highly doubt that the tree will ever reach maturity. I laughed seeing one planted in front of nursery that had died and was spray painted green. I suspect that it may survive a few mild winters in Niagara and then when a tougher winter comes, it is gone.
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  #53  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2010, 6:58 PM
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There are some sort of palms that are planted in the riverfront parks and in roadway medians here but they are placed in greenhouses during the winter.
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  #54  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2010, 6:30 AM
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what is this stuff - i took the pic today - is it papyrus?
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  #55  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2010, 8:09 AM
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It is indeed cyperus papyrus. It is so ironic that you posted that picture, because today in Maple Ridge, in the town square, a smaller papyrus planted in the garden caught my attention, haha! Where about is that one?
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  #56  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2010, 2:11 PM
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5 years ago I ordered some Trach. Fortunei x Wag. seeds from Banana Joe on Salt Spring Island and had quite a few germinate. Two years ago my parents put one in the ground in their front garden in Cape Breton, NS. Thus far it's survived two winters with nothing more then some mulch on top. It's been burned but has recovered quite nicely and has grown considerably in the time it's been in the ground. It receives no upkeep in the winter as my parents go to Florida.

I think there may be some others are growing trachy's in Nova Scotia. Considering that many areas are zone 7b and some 8a it's really not that big of a stretch.

BTW love all the pics. Always great to see exotic plants being attempted in different areas.

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  #57  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2010, 10:10 PM
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Another interesting spot in NS is Brier Island. I do not think they have climate normals yet but they report weather conditions there and have recent weather statistics. Here is 2008, which may or may not be representative:



Note that February is the coldest month there, which is true in many areas along the coast in Atlantic Canada.
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  #58  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 12:47 AM
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here's some more pics.

west vancouver

photo: http://www.poolspanews.com/2001/ideabook/con8.html

vancouver

photo by Sacreligecola on flickr.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/sacreligecola/

vancouver

photo by cwangdom http://www.flickr.com/photos/ms_cwang/188594775/

victoria

photo: http://i1.trekearth.com/photos/13543...e3dsc_2112.jpg
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  #59  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 9:17 PM
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Cordylines on Sable Island

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  #60  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 9:18 PM
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Cordyline? in Halifax Public Gardens

I guess the city stopped planting them? I haven't seen any in the ground around town.

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