Showing posts from January, 2009

Cold Snap Not a Problem for Windmill Palm

Palms are not just for warm climates. The Windmill Palm Trachycarpus fortunei is the most cold hardy Palm 'tree' that you can grow in the Piedmont, tolerating temperatures as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

The trunk of this tree can mature between 20 and 40 feet, depending on soil and sunlight conditions. Full, blazing sun is the key to growing this palm. This tree, er...grass, can fit well into small areas like courtyards and entries. It is often seen as a framing accent near Mediterranean-influenced architecture.

One of my favorite contexts is the Windmill palm planted in a group, especially when palms of different heights are staggered in irregular patterns.

The trick to finding a palm species to grow in Atlanta is finding one that will tolerate the cold, heat, AND humidity.

Early Blooms seen on Red Maples

Several patches of urban-planted Red maples were seen to have flower blooms as recently as Tuesday, January 6. This is one of the earliest Atlanta sightings in recent memory.

It appears the early bloomers are primarily cultivated varieties, most of which are near parking lots or landscaped areas.

First-grade Teacher Wins Tree Grant for School

Alicia Lindsey, of Mansfield Elementary near Covington, has secured a new resource for the her school: she won a $5,000 tree planting grant from the Georgia Forestry Commission. After talking with GFC forester Beryl Budd, Lindsey decided to apply for the grant hoping to gain more shade for the school grounds and provide new educational tools for students.

The Georgia Forestry Commission has provided this grant since 2005, and since awarded it to more than a dozen schools throughout Georgia.

Over the holiday break, volunteers from school staff, parents, city and county workers, the Service Guild of Covington, and Hands on Newton, all banded together to install 40 new trees. Species include a variety of oaks, maples, myrtle, cherry and elm trees. The diverse mix will produce an array of colors and blooms, with a mature canopy height of 60 to 80 feet.

Lindsey is looking forward to a cooler playground. The equipment sometimes gets so hot that the school has actually closed the playground…