And Now, Here's The Weather...

(page 2)

Eric Speybroeck in North West Belgium:

"Our normal winter is similar to that of south east England except that we have more sun, less rain and less snow. This means warmer in the summer (sometimes 5 to 10 days with temperatures around 30/32C), and colder in the winter, that is normally one or two weeks with -7 to -10 (exceptionally, as in '85 and '86 we had -18 to -20).

"This winter the lowest temperature we had was -13 on the 7th and 9th of February, separated by a low of -8 on the 8th. On the other days of the cold snap (from 4th and 19th) the lows ranged between -6 and -8.

"Trachycarpus fortunei came through unharmed of course, and without protection. But even some of the palms that were protected suffered badly: Livistona australis, Phoenix canariensis, and Washingtonia filifera. Others, Brahea armata, Sabal spp., Jubaea, Trithrinax etc. we'll have to wait to see."

Dr Nathan Hindley writes from Portugal:

"I live in the Algarve near Lagos in the South of Portugal, some four hundred metres from the ocean and over the last four years as a hobby I have been growing palms from seed, collected in various parts of the globe.

"The region is characterized by a long dry season from May to October and in between, particularly over the last two winters, frequent storms with occasional high winds and copious rainfall. Minimum winters are usually in the order of 4 to 8C, and when we have high pressure there is a prevailing wind from the north. This winter, although we were saved most of the bad weather experienced by central and northern Europe, we did experience temperatures as low as 2C, which is cold for us. "In general all members of Phoenix do well here, as do Livistonas including L. rigida, which has beautiful red leaves. They suffered not at all in the winter storms. The two Washingtonias are of course very resistant and fast growing, but the fastest growers are undoubtedly the two Archontophoenix species, from Australia."

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