Edited by WSimpson NC on 4/5/2017, 2:18 pm
I throw mulch up high on the trunk of my Butias so I am assured of the trunks being alive . My Butias grow in frond mass every year and fully recover by late summer and then add mass year to year . Once the cold snap passes I push the mulch away from the trunk but I leave it there incase I have to add it back if another cold snap comes down . It would hardly look like protection by the HOA since it would be a mound of mulch on the trunk . What's nice are the winters that don't get below 12F and I don't protect it at all . I don't know the hardiness of Mules but I'll check . A great microclimate helps my Butia in the front yard stay decent looking to below 10F , so that is something to think about .
In Atlanta you would only need to protect the trunk a couple times a year and some years not all all . I think you should try them .
I just checked and Dave's Garden says it's hardy to 10F which is hardier than Butias . There's the other issue which is when it does get taller the mulch method wouldn't work high on the trunk above a few feet . Then a Christmas light sort of system would need to be used , but only a few days in the winter which might not work up the HOA , especially if the color of the clothed wrapped around the palm was neutral in color , like a beige .
Good luck .
My Butias had their trunks covered with about a wheel barrel load of mulch high on them each for only a few nights last winter .
Here are the 2 Butias in the backyard . The trunk is alive but the fronds were damaged by 9F :
Here's the one in the great microclimate in the front yard :