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All the Cordyline trees I have seen in the UK now look dead. Mine is just a long pole now.
I thought we were supposed to be living in a sub tropical land, brought about by runaway, dangerous, accelerating, catastrophic, cataclysmic and unequivocal Global Warming?
First, is there any life left in what is now a 12 foot pole and secondly, is there any point in planting another, given that locally average temperatures have been falling since late 2007. Location in the Vale of York.
What should I do apart from blame Mr Gore?



First of all forget the phrase 'global warming'. This is a term invented by the media some ten years ago and everyone latched on to it. What we are getting is 'climate change' which means different things in different places. Overall the planet is warming: think of the rapid increase in glacial melting in the mountains, in the arctic and in the antarctic - in fact world wide. On the western seaboard of the European continent we seem to be getting spells of colder and wetter weather. I am not going to enter into argumants about the changes being man made or natural, I don't know.
As for Cordylines they do not seem to be hardy in our current climate. I don't even know how they became so popular! From the comments on these pages it would seem that the garden centers were pushing them ten or twelve years ago but I don't remember seeing any for sale in the north of Scotland. I don't see any cordylines in gardens, dead or alive, round here anyway.
You have already experienced what is happening to cordylines everywhere so the descision to replace yours or not is up to you.

13 Feb, 2011


No, don't bother planting another. Cordylines are no good for harsher winters in this country, and the further north you live, the more difficult it will be to nurse them through. However you needn't blame Mr Gore for this sad situation. "Global warming", whether you accept it's going on or not, is anything but consistently slightly milder winters every year. If anyone, maybe a smattering of blame towards certain celeb gardeners who encourage us to buy briefly-fashionable plants!

Try buying a native tree to enjoy, which will also be of much more benefit to wildlife - I'd say a smaller fruit tree or a hawthorn. They are both lovely.

13 Feb, 2011


Weeding you are not giving accurate enough information.

Of course people should still plant these plants.

Their ability to thrive is exactly the same as any other plant - it all depends on 'where' in the country you live, the 'specific climate' and the gardens own 'micro climate', not to mention the plants own hardiness.

For your information there are plenty of them alive and extremely healthy in this region and doubtless other areas too.

13 Feb, 2011


Ok, Louise fair point.
I apologise for being a bit rash with my judgement. Unfortunately I don't like them and like the questioner I suppose I'm fed up of seeing such ugly, ailing ones.

13 Feb, 2011


Weeding I am sorry you only see ailing Cordylines, and your answer has been to support the fact that you do not like them.

You might like to learn the facts about climate change and weather patterns.

Algore might just find that the Cordyline he thinks is quite dead is alright at the base. I would not dig it up, but cut it back and give it a while to make up its mind. If another is planted, perhaps a kinder micro-climate might be better.

13 Feb, 2011


Thanks for your comments folks, I will cut it back at the end of March and hope we get a warmer Spring than last Year. (Frosts in May!) I will let you know if there are any green shoots of recovery, to quote Norman Lamont.

14 Feb, 2011


Well done Al, good luck with Cordyline and I look forward to your next political-gardening debate. This one got me into hot water... Never mind, I'll go and nibble a bit of humble pie on the backbenches now lol. I take some comfort in the fact that many people would cringe at the strange plants adorning my garden. It's all a matter of taste!
No, I won't be reading up on climate change, it's rather fraught and not a simple matter as I was trying to acknowledge in my very first comment. But I may try to bite my tongue.

14 Feb, 2011


Thanks for your comment weeding. BTW, not to rub it in, but it is 'Umble pie', often miss quoted as humble. It refers to the cuts of meat left over for the people downstairs, so to say.
As for the alleged Global warming, it is quite simple: as gardeners we all know that CO2 makes our plants grow. However, what most people don't know is that 97% of CO2 is natural and not man made. So the whole hypothesis is based on that tiny man made proportion and is not significant enough to effect change. (Other than to your green tax payments)
Cold weather reports overseas are not widely publicised, especially via the BBC if it does not support warming, that is the problem we face but need to know the true facts as gardeners, let alone tax payers.
Did you know that Bangladesh lost many lives last month due to temperatures down to 0-4C and that South America had an Antarctic blast last July that crossed the Equator and wiped out much fish and livestock. Finally, Florida USA just had their two coldest winters on record and during December lost a large proportion of their Orange production.
We need to reconsider what we can grow in a cooling climate but more seriously for agriculture; how we are going to feed a growing population? Serious stuff and
kind of kicks my poor Cordyline into touch.

15 Feb, 2011


Well, a few cold winters does not a cooling climate make. The increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere probably means that the planet as a whole will be getting warmer, but not necessarily every locality, nor every year. In fact, ice cores from the last interglacial period seem to indicate a more variable climate than the one we have been enjoying the last eight millennia. That means that while most years will be hotter, some will be colder, as well as a greater difference between summer and winter temperatures.
Also, remember that there have been several large volcanic eruptions in the last few years--remember how cold it was after Mt. Pinatubo erupted?

16 Feb, 2011


We its a big debate isnt it : )

I keep an open mind, but there is alot of evidence to support a man made contribution since the industrial revolution and I think we owe a big debt to Al Gore for raising the issue worldwide. It may indeed be proportionally small but we only need 1 or 2 degrees rise for big trouble and in fairness its probably already too late.

I agree the debate is not balanced enough as we have very reliable data like the ice cores but even in then there are unexplained spikes of 5-6 degrees! and plant life will respond to warming to counter it alot. And yes aren't we in a 5 yr cooling phase at the mo?

I think its better to debate around increased weather variability as we seem to have alot mote to fear from storms and floods as in Aus. I think there was a recent mega study taking out man made gasses which showed that flood may not have happened otherwise.

Anyway I bought a cheap Cordyline from Morrisons and it doesnt look very happy : (
I thinbk they need a protected place

18 Feb, 2011


Stevie, thanks for your recent comments. Not sure where you got the 5 year current cooling from, these cycles are nearer to 30 years and are quite natural.
Very convenient for alarmists to suggest the recent floods in Queensland were down to man made Global Warming (Man Made CO2 emissions) OK, well if that is the case then what caused the much worse flooding in the 1890's for example. (See data)
The enclosed is a history of floods in Brisbane, thankfully unlike temperature and tree ring data, flooding data has not yet been corrupted.
It is always difficult for educated individuals to fight government sponsored propaganda; so I ask you to look at the facts and not take as gospel alarmist hysteria.
Our Coldest December on record (Which killed the Cordylines) has been linked by alarmists with Global warming. Let me tell you that this is as barmy as suggesting cooking your dinner in your freezer.
If I told you that the government are spending £18.3 Billion a year for the next 40 years on fighting global warming, what would you think? Well it's true and happening because sceptics are suppressed and there is no debate, you will not hear the question debated on the BBC except for one sided propaganda such as Attenborough being forced into making a propaganda film about drowning Polar Bears. BTW, an adult Polar Bear can swim for two days without stopping.
So, the question remains, apart from Chinese fan palms, what else slightly exotic can we grow outdoors at sea level in the UK?
Sorry if I bore you but I hope I made my point that this Global Warming business is the biggest scam in history.

18 Feb, 2011


I disagree that it's a scam, though I would agree that balanced debate is lacking. Lucky me, I have the company of a highly qualified scientific husband so have heard plenty of good, objective facts on the subject! The average lifespan - certainly in developing countries, which struggle even more than we do following catastrophic floods etc - is too short I would say to grasp broader trends in climage change.

At least Al Gore got people thinking seriously on both sides of the debate. Unfortunately by now "global warming" is usually no more than a couple of buzz words bandied about when they might help sell something or scare people. Or, as has been pointed out, a simplified view that it'll just mean gradually hotter weather, so whence all the recent snow and ice?! Helpful to no-one.

It is also very true to say that those powerful multinationals which stand to profit most from the it's-not-true argument, are fighting back with a vengeance and funding plenty of publicity for that point of view.

Please don't kick me in the teeth if I'm actually trying to apologise and eat Humble Pie. Didn't you know it tastes much better with an H?!

19 Feb, 2011


I do not take as gospel alarmist hysteria in either direction thanks very much so please dont assume!
I think people can decide for themselves about the relative merits of global warming and climate change and are able to listen to debates about increased variability and mans contribution to greenhouse gasses. I think people understand that weather and climate are different things.

''Our Coldest December on record (Which killed the Cordylines) has been linked by alarmists with Global warming.'' linked by who?

19 Feb, 2011

How do I say thanks?

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