California Palm

Diposting oleh alexandria joseph | 13.00

Taken in Agua Caliente Park in October 2010

We begin with the hardiest of palms that survived our record breaking cold freeze this year.  There is a reason this palm outperformed all other palms is a native to our deserts.  This palm was considered endangered years ago as they were only found in canyons and oasis areas around Southern Arizona.  Today this hardy palm is off that list because it is used widely around landscapes.  If you look around town, you will see severe damage on the fronds from this past winter on other palms....just not as bad on this particular one.  Many people see several varieties growing around town and don't know the differences between the various palms.   The California Palm has the larger and thicker trunk.  It's a quick grower and if you're not careful, it will seed itself around your property.  The "palmlings" are like weeds and will grow everywhere!!! Like for example in this pic, below.....

Unfortuneatly this palm had to be removed from the planter as it was pushing out the sides.  What about saving it?  We tried, but unfortuneatly palms don't transplant well and it died.  Once you've found a spot, make sure it's in the right place.  Plant these in groupings of 3-5.  We have a mother California palm on our property that stands by itself at a height of 30 feet with a trunk width of around 3 feet.  It's a monster. I tried to plant 3 more palms around the courtyard to bring this large palm in sync with the rest of the garden, but the freeze killed all of them except one.  So I'll be starting over in summer again.......

"California Fan palm trees are Cold Hardy to around 15 degrees (lower depending on the age and growth of the cold hardy palm tree). California Fan palm trees are fast growers and drought and salt resistant. The genus was named in honor of George Washington. The following is detailed information on the cold hardy California Fan palm.  Stately and distinctive, the California Fan Palm tree is one of the most widely grown palms in subtropical climates. The California Fan palms massive gray trunks are barrel shaped and ringed with old leaf scars, and may reach over 3' in diameter at the Palms widest point. The petioles (leaf stems) of mature palms are armed along the margins with curved thorns; those of young palms are largely unarmed. The individual leaflets are pendulous and swing freely in the wind. Abundant cotton-like threads on and between the leaflets persist even when the California Palm tree is mature. If old leaves are not removed, they form a continuous "petticoat" from the crown all the way to the ground. The California Fan Palm tree produces numerous branching flower clusters that project out and often downward from the leaf crown. The bisexual blossoms are white and yellow and give rise to oblong or round red-black fruit, each about a half inch in diameter. The fruits of California Fan Palm trees contain a single seed, approximately 1/4" in diameter.The lower leaves persist on the tree after they die, forming a dense, brown, shaggy covering below the living, grey/green, broad, fan-shaped leaves, giving it the common name of Petticoat Palm. These dead fronds are known to be a fire hazard and a popular bedding roost for rodents and, because of this, must be removed by law in some areas.

Plant this palm only on soil which is extremely well-drained to prevent trunk or root rot. Moderate salt tolerance allows it to be used close to the coast in several of the southern states. This palm could be tried more in well-drained sites as a replacement for Washingtonia robusta which grows very tall with a skinny trunk. But over-irrigation and rainy weather could initiate root rot. Washingtonia filifera is shorter, has a thicker trunk, and is better suited for planting in dry urban landscapes, such as in Texas, Arizona and California. They reportedly suffer and often die from root rot when irrigated.(although our large palm gets watered and responds well to the regular deep watering of about once a week). "

Stay tuned for more tomorrow on more Tucson palm trees......


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