I'm a cold hardy palm enthusiast in Alabama zone 7a, and I would love to start my own personal cold hardy Sabal breeding program some day by selecting out hardy seedlings in our mainly 7a/7b cold winters over future years (extreme limit for S. palmetto, which will quickly expose the tough seedlings/young palms) and also we can have very big swings below 0F on some rarer years.
I'm using the 1990 hardness for zones (so we'll be on the same page):
I would love to hear from anyone that has more info on hardy Sabal palmetto trees that have survived, or thrived at some 0F to 5F or lower winters for many years.
Here are some I've heard of:
>>Sabal palmetto 'Gainesville GA'
A Sabal palmetto that's at or just over 50 years old is in Gainesville, Georgia, on the 7a and 7b line. This tree has survived multiple hits with tempertures below 0°F, including a -5°F winter in the 1980s.
>>Sabal palmetto 'Mt. Holly'
On the 7a/7b line, 18-20' palms that were planted in the 1960s, A mature tree(s) in Mount Holly, NC (zone 7a/7b), has clearly survived -5 degrees F in its (their) current location.
>>Sabal palmetto 'Rock Hill'
These Sabal palmettos are from a stand in Rock Hill, SC (just south of Charlotte NC). They were planted in the 1950s, and survived the record low temperature of -8 degrees F in 1984/85.
>>Sabal palmetto 'Tifton Hardy'
This seed strain of the southeast native Sabal palmetto was collected by retired City of Raleigh horticulturist Noel Weston on a trip through Tifton, Georgia after the 1980s freeze that killed most of the palmettos. Noel found an undamaged specimen at a Tifton hotel and collected seed.
>>Sabal palmetto 'Gwinnett County'
A large Sabal palmetto in north east of Atlanta (Gwinnett County) that has been in the ground since the 1970s
>>I think I've heard of some more S. palmetto around Atlanta as well, anybody know? I'm most interested in any older Sabal palmettos north of Atlanta that are in a more rural area (away from the urban heat island effect) that have survived below 0F or 5F.
Can anyone elaborate even more on these palms?
If there are any other Sabal palmetto trees that might be still alive and have survived or even thrived to 0°F or lower around the southeast, I would love to know more about them as well.
Any additional information would be very appreciated.
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