Sorry for the sabbatical. Most of it can be blamed on how bad last year was. I lost 2 huge palms and the ones that survived didn't do very well.
I took this picture I think in early 2013. Maybe you'll remember it.
We had a week of nasty cold that previous winter and my Windmill looked like crap in the spring. By fall, here's what it looked like:
Yes, it was dead. Very sad too because it was a beaut at 12' tall. So in the spring of 2014 I replaced it with another Windmill from Chilly Palms. Jim, if you're reading this, does anything look familiar in this pic? This is actually from last fall.
OK, let's shift the story to the Washies. The protection went well for the winter of 2013/2014
But I lost one tall Washy due to a failing thermostat. At some point it stuck "on" and it kept the lights on 24/7. I only caught it after several days of decently warm weather. When I opened it in the spring, it was a smelly, moldy, mushy mess. But all the other Washies came through with flying colors! The only problem was that we had a freak mid-April cold spell. The palms were already uncovered. It was one of those all-day rains that ended up as some freezing rain and snow. This of course stuck right to the fronds and bent them down. It didn't look *that*
bad at the time:
But as the weeks went by, each of the bent down fronds browned out. Then to top it all off, it wasn't a very warm summer at all. Here is what they looked like in Fall: I'm sorry, but this is just totally unacceptable. If this is how my palms were every year, I'd quit today. What pitiful growth for an entire season.
The next winter (this last winter), I decided to go with a different protection scheme. Inspired by Tim, I used 2x4s and Styrofoam.
This was just 3 weeks ago. You can see the new Washingtonia in the back. And a new palm planted last year made it! A mule palm! How cool is that? This was a horrible winter and I know many places around here that had over 3' of frost in the ground. And these palms are all on the north side of the fence. I can guarantee there were a lot of frozen roots this winter.
Here's what the tall Washies look like today. They're fine, but they don't look as good as I'm used to in the spring. Maybe this new protection scheme was too airtight. The filifera in the center really didn't like its leaves touching the Styrofoam. Maybe the deep frost had something to do with it.
Look at my crazy deciduous trees. Cherry blossoms are only now blooming and there's almost no leaves! It's May for goodness sake!
Another new palm last year also survived winter protection! This is a Jubaea Butia cross. Sorry, don't know the technical names. All that matters is it looks cool and it lived just fine! Can't wait till this one grows up.
And one last pic for Jim in Wilmington. Your baby CIDP next to my replacement Windmill. This photo also taken today. That CIDP is a champ! It's also taking very well to winter protection. It's probably my best looking palm right now. The fence is 6', so the CIDP is 8'-9'.
Let's hope for a hot summer! I need to see full crowns again. It's been too long!