And Now, Here's The Weather...

(page 8)

From Switzerland, Manfred Walder sends this report:

"Verscio in the Centovalli, near the Lago Maggiore, southern Switzerland, has experienced another long and unusually cold winter in 90/91.

"Normally winters are mild, each with only about 20 slight night-frosts, but this one brought many nights below zero, a few days with heavy snowfall, and one night in February with a minimum temperature of -9C here. This night, most of my palms were covered with blankets. Many took no damage: Arenga engleri, Butia, Chamaerops, Sabal, Jubaea and Trachycarpus of course. Others, such as Brahea armata, Chamaedorea microspadix, C. radicalis, Livistona chinensis and Phoenix canariensis were a bit burned. Only Livistona australis and Washingtonia suffered more severe damage, but survived even so."

And finally, from Germany, Jürgen Eisel:

"Here in Rengsdorf, (Westerwald) at 270m in the mild Rhine Valley, winters are not usually extremely cold, but winter 90/91 hit Germany, especially the northern half, much more severely than usual.

"It started out normally here, until January 13th when biting easterly winds brought clear skies and heavy frosts down to -9 to -14C, and at ground level, -13 to -18, on several nights. The ground froze to a depth of 65cm.

"The cold weather lasted through February but by the beginning of March it had warmed up considerably. All my palms were well protected in the coldest weather and so far, there seems to be no damage. However, other plants suffered more severely."

***

Well, there you have it: Winter 1990/91 as seen by 15 palm enthusiasts around the continent. A big thankyou to all contributors to this article, and to Patrick Gladden who supplied the weather map and meteorological details.

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