Hardy Palm and Subtropical Board
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Re: Could Explain My "Bonsai" Trachy
Actually, Will, I protected it with what I'd call moderate to heavy protection (but without adding an artificial heat source) until this most recent winter. Even though it's still small, the tree had grown enough that the fronds stuck so far out of the enclosure that I left the top of the structure off most of the winter, but covering it only in extreme events with clear plastic.
I am not the first person in this online plant community to have wondered out loud if protection schemes actually do more harm than good. I think the issue with enclosures is temperature management. Not letting the inside get too warm so that you have a temperature roller coaster happening. Also, air exchange. You can't let the same air sit in the enclosure. I thought I had a pretty good handle on both issues, yet the tree still took it on the chin whenever we had true 7a lows, which is most of the time, nowadays. Last year was worse. A year ago, there was no green & full spear pull. This year, 1 green frond and a healthy, growing spear. With less protection.
The only palms I don't do much for outside of ground mulch are my Needles and a Sabal Birmingham. They make out well most years. Trachies are definitely less cold tolerant.
Jim, Wilmington, DE, 7a
Last 30 Years Avg. Winter Low: 7.50F
Last 20 Years Avg. Winter Low: 8.35F
Last 10 Years Avg. Winter Low: 8.40F
Favorite Palms: Species: Phoenix Canariensis / Genus: Sabal