On the SE Palm Society website, I just saw pics of 2 Brahea armatas growing happily in NE Ga red clay - zone 7b! The grower has never provided winter protection, and they have withstood temps in the low teens w/no damage. I'm surprised I've never seen them marketed here in zone 8a, SC midlands. Anybody else in the interior SE growing these palms?
You have to get them through frost for the first two years. How to keep them warm and toasty for first two winters, your area you think how to do it. We use sticks and cover them with plastic sheeting to provide protection.
I had almost forgotten about my posted question. Thanks for the responses. I was prepared for the colder and wetter than normal winter the NWS was predicting for the SE US, and thinking it would be a good year to test the cold hardiness of those palms I saw pictured in Dawsonville, Ga. As you know, Sandlapper, so far we're having a very mild winter here in the SC midlands. I just can't imagine the Blue Hesper surviving a cold, icy winter in those elevations above Atlanta. Still, I'm going to be in Sarasota next month, and if I see any marketed along the way, I might give 1 a try.