Palm Scape experiments during winter weather
Jamie Newman is the owner of Palm Scape, a palm tree nursery in Boring
The four Newman kids will grow up not only knowing what its like to get their hands dirty working on a farm, theyll also know how to grow a plant that's very unusual to this area: palm trees.
Jamie Newman and his wife, Janelle, run Palm Scape, a palm tree nursery at 30000 S.E. Highway 212 in Boring.
Newman has always lived in the Boring area and found the farming way of life admirable. Finally, in 1996, he decided he really wanted to expose himself and his family to all that a farming lifestyle entails.
Palm Scape started as a hobby to fill a gap. Newman said he decided on palm trees because he thought the people he knew in the area who had native nurseries really didnt need the competition.
And since it didnt grow out of a financial need, I wanted to do something challenging, he said.
And challenging it is. Newman said that cultivating palms is all about trying to mimic what a palm tree really needs in a place where it doesn't normally grow, which includes a lot of different soil mixes. Palm trees are extremely slow growing, taking 4-6 years to grow from seed to a 1-gallon plant.
Keeping them happy during the 10-year process from seed until theyre ready to go into someones landscape is quite an undertaking, Newman said.
But since working with palm trees, Newman has found it difficult to grow anything but. My palms have responded the best to me, Newman said. Im so used to taking care of their needs that Ive had terrible luck with anything else.
Newman bought the land that is home to Palm Scape in 2011, and the nursery now has thousands of trees of all ages.
I love customers who are really excited about the possibility of keeping palm trees in this area, said Janelle. Either because theyve moved up here and used to have them, or because they just like the beautiful plant.
While the hot and sunny months are tougher with near constant watering and keeping plants cool, the winter months are difficult as well.
Newman and his crew have been working hard to keep the plants root systems from freezing all the way through. It was something that we didnt really achieve, Newman said. But we were really encouraged to see that they made it through.
Newman has found a few specific things to be really helpful for those wanting to keep the palm trees in their yard comfortable in the recent record low temperatures. He suggests building up mulch around the bottom of the trunk such as bark dust or leaves.
They take less time to get growing in the spring if they dont freeze as deep, Newman said.
He also recommended wrapping Christmas lights around the trunks of your palm it adds extra warmth and looks festive at the same time.
Right now, all Palm Scape deals in is palm trees, but Newman has been experimenting with some cold desert plants. He says although most of his cold weather cultivation experiments have failed, he did have a couple surprises. In the spring, he hopes to introduce some new species that made it through the winter.
The Newmans have been enjoying their adventure into the farming world. Its been an exercise of faith, but its really exceeded my expectations of enjoyment, Newman said.
Even though its difficult, I would actually recommend farming to people who want to experiment with it.Add a comment