Friday, December 30, 2011

Trachy Palms


These long lived Palms grow best on moist, fertile, well drained soils sheltered from winds in sun or part shade. Dead fronds should be removed especially in drier climates where they can become a fire hazard. new plants grown from fresh seed sown in spring

* photo taken on April 11 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum

* historic archive photo

Trachycarpus fortunei ( Chusan Palm. Windmill Palm )
This cold hardy Palm is widely cultivated around the world. Native to central and eastern China and northern Burma; this Trachy grows to 33 feet in height in 20 years and up to 50 x 10 feet ( record size to 70 feet tall with crown to 16 feet across ) with a trunk up to a foot across. On ideal site this Palm can become fast growing - the most recorded being 32 inches in a year and 20 feet in height in 7 years. 50 feet in height with a trunk diameter of 1.3 feet has been recorded in 35 years.
Old leaf bases and dark brown fibers cover the trunk. The up to 7 foot wide dark green ( blue-green below ) fan shaped leaves are divided into numerous segments up to 34 inches long each. The small yellow flower clusters are followed by dark blue 0.5 inch fruits.
Living up to 100 years or more. Hardy from zone 8 to 10 - a seed source originating from Bulgaria is reported to be zone 7 hardy or even zone 6 if sheltered and has survived - 12 F with claims of - 20 F. It is tolerant of drought, wind and salt.

* photo taken on May 16 2011 in Washington, D.C.

* historical archive photo

* video found on Youtube of Windmill Palms growing in British Columbia, Canada

* additional videos found on Youtube

Trachycarpus 'Khasa Hills'

A Trachycarpus martianus hybrid hardy north to zone 7 with easier falling dead leaves. Smooth white ringed stem.

Trachycarpus latisectus ( Windamere Palm )
Reaching up to 40 feet in height; this Palm as huge circular fan shaped leaves like Livistonia that naturally shed. Hardy from zone 6b - 10; this Trachy tolerates both heat as well as bitter cold and snow. Trunk growth of 12 inches and more reported for a year.

Trachycarpus martianus ( Himalayan Fan Palm )
From Burma and northern India; this slender trunked Palm is fast growing reaching up to 50 feet in height and 12 feet in crown width. Most of the trunk is smooth except for fibers just below the crown. The dark green large evenly divided fan shaped leaves are borne on thin stalks up to 40 inches long. The leaflets are up to 60 inches long. Black oblong fruits follow the drooping displays of yellow flowers. Hardy from zone 8 to 11 ( Tolerating 5 F ).

Trachycarpus nanus ( Yunnan Dwarf Palm )
This endangered Palm is native to the mountains of west China; has no trunk and reaches 6 feet in height at most. This extremely cold tolerant clump Palm with bluish leaves is hardy north to zone 6 ( possible 5 ). No damage at - 10 F

Trachycarpus oreophilis
Not very well known. This native of the mountains of northern Thailand is reportedly hardy north to zone 7

Trachycarpus princeps ( Saramati Palm )
Growing up to 10 feet tall and 7 feet across; this Palm has very silver-white fronds and is hardy north to zone 8 ( 7 for variety 'Naga Hills' )

Trachycarpus takil ( Kumane Palm )

Nearly extinct; from w. Himalayas where winters are cold and snowy this Palm is smaller but mostly otherwise similar to Trachycarpus fortunei. The difference is the fan shaped leaves being less divided and the trunk completely covered in dense brown fibers. The small white flowers in branched clusters are followed by purplish fruit.
Growing up to 45 feet in height; this Palm is fast growing up to 16 inches per year.
Hardy north to zone 7 and even unconfirmed reports of zone 6!

Trachycarpus wagneri
From Japan; this Palm grows up to 33 feet in height with a crown up to 8 feet across. It can grow up to 1 foot or more in height per year. Fronds are fan shaped and often no more than a foot across. Much more wind tolerant than Trachycarpus fortunei and can tolerate 0 F. Great for growing on the coast and has been grown in Iceland

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