Wednesday, 23 March 2005 - 21:04 GMTName: doubledog
I love palm trees and wanted to plant at least one. Did hours of research. Found a reputable source and priced the tree I wanted at $300.00, not including shipping and planting. That slowed me up. Then one day I was in Walmart and looked in their garden room. There was my palm, an 8' tall specimen...for $6.00. Needless to say.....
This is the Chinese Fan Palm. It would do fine where you live, too. They are planted at the entrance to the Virginia Zoo at the end of 38th Street and last winter caused no damage to the trees. They develop over a long period of time. The problem is that the trunk is not what it appears but a bundle of stalks gradually bound together with little brown appendages so it looks like one trunk...all of which is a slow process.
After getting this "tree", I learned that the stuff growing between me and the neighboring yard is a messy row of needle palms. They, too, did fine last winter with no protection.
A gas station in Chesapeake has three huge palm trees at the corner; over the winter those trees were wrapped in insulation from bottom to top right up over the fronds. Very unattractive but no doubt they were extremely expensive and the station owner didn't want to take chances with his investment.
A home one block away from Lydia's house has an enormous palm in the back yard. They don't wrap it.
The other day at Sam's Club I found an 8' Majesty Palm for $11.00. This kind is considered unlikely to survive outdoors in Virginia, so it is here beside the computer watching me type. :-)
Thursday, 24 March 2005 - 00:20 GMTName: Tessa
I found a lot of information on varieties of palm trees listed on this page at, The Palm Centre, a UK firm. This Florida site also had a very interesting online Palm Encyclopedia. Should have put a link to it in my original post!
Ever since I visited The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, I have been particularly fascinated by the ancient cycads, the plant the herbivorous dinosaurs probably browsed, and by the palms. They are such a useful group of trees providing food like dates and coconuts and fibres for making things. Kew Gardens have a huge number of magnificent palm trees in the enormous Palm House and you can climb up the Victorian wrought iron stairs to view them face to frond, so to speak! (I once saw an extrememly interesting TV documentary on how that greenhouse was designed and built.)
Down our road, there is a Yucca plant dominating a tiny front garden, but outdoor palms are not so common. Some stores have potted ones they put outside in the summer and I have seen some growing in parks and on the sea front! I would love a palm tree but, unfortunately, our garden is much too small - we have some fruit trees and flowering shrubs and that's it. Also, half of it is completely overshadowed by an enormous walnut tree in nextdoor's back garden.