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The Master

Why were the Windmill palms cut down in Golden Kingdom?

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The first couple of years Golden Kingdom had a few cold hardy Windmill palms planted around. After the second year the park just cut them down and even today you can still find the stumps. Why did the park cut them down? Windmill palms can grow pretty well here, and can snap back if all their palms are freeze burned off. They can even recover from spear pull, and healthy Windmill palms can take down to 0 degrees before becoming damaged.

 

Windmills palms usually reach their full hardiness after their 3rd winter, should be protected during their first winter, planted by a south facing wall, have good drainage, be mulched, given palm food and Epson salts. I have a little 1 gallon sapling planted last year. Made it though the winter, even with that one week below freezing, and survived with only a little burn and no spear pull, it's growing like a weed now. Which is why I can't understand why the park just cut theirs down? Willingboro, NJ has a mess of them growing just fine.

 

I can't find any pictures of the Windmill palms in GADV, but here is a picture of one growing in NJ.

wm1-20-02.jpg

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I guess what might have happened is the park could have bought windmill palms that were grown in FL that would be weaker and not have much cold hardiness. Windmills grown in colder areas tend to be much more cold hardy. Genetics are also a factor with how strong cold hardy palms are.

 

Also I noticed GADV's remaining Needle Palms are not doing too well despite being even more hardy than Windmill Palms. Hershey has one that is doing fine, and the Morris Arboretum's Needle Palm is huge and doing fine in PA since 1996. GADV's should be getting big by now but they are still small and have very yellow palms.

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Forgot to mention this before, but during the bonus weekend between FF and HITP, I noticed just passed the entrance for Golden Kingdom there are several needle palm trees. Normally the area they are in is overgrown with weeds and hide the palms. But during that time of the year the weeds die back and reveal the needle palms. Nice to see there are more surviving palms in the GK.

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It is amazing what you can see in the colder seasons when leaves and underbrush aren't in bloom. That is always why I enjoy taking pictures from the Big Wheel and Skyride in the early spring.

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Yep plant growth can really cover things, including other plants. The dead weed overgrowth probably helps protect the palms in the winter. When you walk through the entrance arch for the GK, just past it to your right there is a large brim which has several needle palms planted, they are shrub, ground level fan palms, they don't grow tall trunks.

 

Here is a picture of a large Needle palm.

 

ac9e77.jpg

Edited by The Master

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