Exoten und Garten Forum
Hardy Palm and Subtropical Board
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Re: All of that...and climate too I think:
Message from George in Bandon Oregon
you make some very good points about correlating climates and the plants growing in native habitat in those climates and their (hopefully) success in growing in other areas with similar climates far from their homes. I would agree that this works as a very good "rough" gage to predicting plant success (or failure) in a particular places. OTOH, plants can and will fool you sometimes because they can be more adaptable to different conditions than their current native environment might suggest and the influences of local micro-climates that may differ in key respects from the general climate of a given area.
FWIW, in just a very small (but oddly typical of the crazy way I plant in my rather odd climate) spot (about 900 sq. ft.) I have good growing trees/large shrubs of quercus laceyi (foothills, southern texas/northern mexico), buddleja cordata (mexico in the mountains),clethra pringelii (same region as the buddleja), araucaria angustifolia (southern brazil highlands), and eucalyptus scoparia (highlands of southern queensland, Australia)----all of them from summer rain type climates and most of them from higher elevations---at my low elevation garden with dry summers at 43 north latitude. none of these trees get any extra water during our long (3 month) dry spells though they did get water the first couple years after planting about 16 years ago. on the face of it, all these plants came from different thermal and moisture patterns at generally lower latitudes so by a STRICT correlation of "climate zones" they shouldn't be very happy at all growing at my "rancho dismalvista" but luckily for me and perhaps the point I am trying to make is that they do and again with no great help on my part.
thinking that at least part of the reason is both climate and microclimate: the summers here are very dry BUT they are very cool so drought stress on plants is reduced, taller native trees nearby produce a certain amount of afternoon shade which may help further reduce drought stress. the soil is relatively deep so tree roots can go down relatively deep to get moisture and there is likely a certain amount of extra moisture down there because they are near to septic system leach lines. add to this is the apparent natural capacity of these plants to be able to grow well in climates that are significantly cooler than what they are used to growing in native habitat so while they are normally summer warmth TOLERANT they are seemingly not warmth DEMANDING. the one factor that my climate seems to share with the home climates of the various trees under discussion is that my winters are mild enough to meet their minimum requirement and they all apparently tolerate winter WET conditions----at least with good drainage.
it comes down to this while a close climate match is certainly very important in predicting plant survival and success there can be exceptions and important ones at that in finding out what REALLY does grow well in a given area.
just my two cents worth of experience in my little corner of the world.
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