Freeze Survival Survey of 21 Palm Species in New Orleans and Vicinity

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  • 1 Assistant District Agent, Area 7, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center's Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, P.O. Box 400, Vidalia, LA 71373.
  • 2 Area Horticulture Agent, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center's Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, P.O. Box 9160, Metairie, LA 70055.
  • 3 Professor, Experimental Statistics, Louisiana State University, Agricultural Administration Building, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

Landscape palms were surveyed for cold damage 8 to 10 months after the coldest weather episode recorded this century in the New Orleans, La., area. Fourteen genera and 21 species of palms totaling 9039 individuals were surveyed and assigned to one of three condition categories within six geographic areas. Area 1, north of Lake Pontchartrain, was not a reliable area for the majority of the 21 species found. South of Lake Pontchartrain, areas 2-6 were considered statistically better for overall palm survival, with area 3 best followed by areas 4, 2, 5, and 6. Although species survival depended somewhat on area, 10 species were found to be statistically reliable south of Lake Pontchartrain: Brahea armata, Chamaedorea microspadix, Phoenix canariensis, Rhapidophyllum hystrix, Sabal mexicana, S. minor, S. palmetto, Sabal spp., Sabal spp. seedlings, and Trachycarpus fortune;. Two species, Phoenix reclinata and Phoenix spp., were found to be marginal and seven species were found to be unreliable: Butia capitata, Chamaerops humilis, Livistona chinensis, Rhapis excelsa, Syagrus romanzoffiana, Washingtonia filifera, and W. robusta. Due to low individual numbers, survival for three species could not be reliably estimated: Arenga engleri, Phoenix dactyfifera, and Serenoa repens.

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