The Date Palm

Diposting oleh alexandria joseph | 10.17

Sadly, the palm that adds that exotic look to our landscape PLUS creates those delicious dates people enjoy, is the one that took the biggest hit here in town.  You can see brown date palms all over town.  Some are coming back while others are not and homeowners are sad.  I've included several reports from Tucson locals on this palm.  While it's not mentioned directly, it is the palm that they are talking about in their article.
The Date Palm taken at the Tucson Botanical Gardens
Some background info on this palm.  Comes from the Middle East and brought to America for date production.  Grows tall and the trunk has an elaborate pattern.  It's xeric and loves sun.  The only thing it hates about Tucson is the cold lows of winter.  It's a stately palm that makes a huge impact in a structural setting. Most of these palms grow tall and happy, but our occassional 30 year freeze is devastating.  Here's an account from KVOA.......

"It was a beautiful weekend, but we are still seeing the effects of that ugly freeze from several months ago. Those frigid temperatures killed much of our local landscape, including the palm trees. When you drove up you saw this dominant palm tree in the front yard and then the house behind it," East Side resident Charles Gregory said. Gregory says he bought his home because of the giant palm tree in the front yard. "Now the tree is all you see and for the wrong reasons," Gregory said. Easily breaking off the branches with his bare hands, Gregory cannot believe what happened after a Tucson winter. "We've taken really good care of this tree and for it to go out this quick and this devastating, it just breaks your heart," Gregory said. There are similar sentiments at the Magic Garden Nursery, where many of the palms didn't make it and others are clinging to any last little bit of green left inside. "After 30 years of being in the business, it was heartbreaking," said Tony Sarah, Horticulturist and General Manager at The Magic Garden Nursery. Sarah has never seen anything like this before and he says you would have to go back 100 years to see die off this bad. The winter wind chill put the palms in sub zero temperatures which was too much for too long. "You can see if you look at this leaf pattern on here, the winds in this storm were coming out of the east and hitting it straight in here where this is 100 percent dead," Sarah said. While many will not survive, some that are still struggling have just enough life left to come back. "In this palm in particular you can probably see 90 percent of it is dead, but here's the one center shoot left coming alive out of the center," Sarah said. For bigger palms, like the one in Gregory's front yard, it could take months before we know if they will pull through. If they don't, it means starting over. "Now we're going to have to rebuild all of this," Gregory said.

If you own palm trees and you want to know if they are still alive, you can reach inside to where the new shoot is coming out. If it is even a little bit green and you can gently pull on it without it coming out, the tree is still alive." Source:

"I think it is imperative that local home owners give the palms a chance to recover from this year's frost. Yes they are externally damaged (fronds are browned) and don't look good at present but you can't state that they are dead. Most of the palms planted around Tucson are of the hardy varieties (Washingtonia Robusta and Filifera's and varieties of Phoenix palms) and they will generally survive these types of frost. Most palm owners should see new green growth (coming from the center spear) within a month or so, once temperatures are consistently warm enough to promote visible growth. Once you see growth you can promote it by regular watering and applying a good palm fertilizer that has micro-nutrients which are not found in general lawn fertilizers. Home owners please be patient and save yourself the expense and trouble of removing a living, surviving palm tree.  If by chance you happen to have planted a non-hardy variety (such as a Royal or Queen palm) waiting a month or more will provide you the evidence you'll need to make the right decision."  By JV Source:

The message here is don't be quick or hasty.....some palms are beginning to green back up again........some date palms look dead, but there are others that are slowly snapping back........until tomorrow. 

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