While the City of Kelowna's palm trees struggle to survive the winter, these ones need no such help - InfoNews

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While the City of Kelowna's palm trees struggle to survive the winter, these ones need no such help

Larry Cota's palm trees don't need special protection during cold winter months in Kelowna.
January 28, 2020 - 8:00 AM

The City of Kelowna has shrouded its four palm trees in sacks and plastic, while there’s another location where about a dozen palm trees of different sizes bravely face the winter’s cold.

This is the first winter that the City has left its palm trees, at the south end of Tugboat Beach on Okanagan Lake, to overwinter outside as they’ve grown too big to move indoors for the winter.

But Larry Cota has a yard full of palms on his property on Sexsmith Road that, at first glance, seem to be doing just fine despite temperatures dropping below -15 C in recent weeks.

“They’re plastic,” he told iNFOnews.ca. “They’re starting to get a little bit ratty.”

While the City of Kelowna's palm trees are all bundled up against the cold.
While the City of Kelowna's palm trees are all bundled up against the cold.

Cota estimates the trees are 10 to 12 years old and were in place when he bought the house from a landscaper about six years ago.

He’s not sure what he’s going to do with them. Restoration is an expensive option as the trunks have steel bars running through them and are bolted to concrete bases. While they could be unbolted, they are very heavy, he said.

The City's trees are hardy Winchester palms that are the most cold resistant of that species. Their roots are also buried in extra soil to keep out the cold.

It will be April before City staff will know if they survived the winter.

The palm trees aren’t the only exotic tropical plants to be grown in the Okanagan. At one time, bananas were grown near Osoyoos and you can read about that here.


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