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Peculiar Palm Problem

wildlife, gardening, environment, Rural living, Pets and Vets
poundcoin
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Peculiar Palm Problem

#145696

Postby poundcoin » June 14th, 2018, 10:42 pm

Lived in this house with these large palm trees for nearly 30 years . Nice to have apart from having to pick up the constant shedding of leaves .
However this is the first time that any trunk has sprouted numerous shoots as per the photos , showing the right-hand trunk on the clump at the back of the garden . The palms were affected by the snow and frost earlier in the year and are still shedding leaves .

There are approx. 20 new shoots on the one trunk at the back of the garden ((the trunk leaning at an angle on the rear clump) , previously we would sometimes just get the odd one . Would it be best to cut off all the shoots except perhaps the lowest and is it likely that if the entire trunk was cut down and divided into small sections each with a shoot attached they would grow ?
My photos:

Image

Some of the shoots on the upper trunk

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Nimrod103
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Re: Peculiar Palm Problem

#145731

Postby Nimrod103 » June 15th, 2018, 7:33 am

It is a Yucca, isn't it? One of the hardy varieties.
In SE England, very hard frost/snow will kill the trunk, but it will send up several new shoots from the base.
I'm not sure why it would sprout further up the trunk. The problem would seem to be that it will make an unstable tree as the shoots grow, and the branch will break off.

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Re: Peculiar Palm Problem

#145761

Postby UncleIan » June 15th, 2018, 10:09 am

Nimrod103 wrote:It is a Yucca, isn't it? One of the hardy varieties.
In SE England, very hard frost/snow will kill the trunk, but it will send up several new shoots from the base.
I'm not sure why it would sprout further up the trunk. The problem would seem to be that it will make an unstable tree as the shoots grow, and the branch will break off.


Looks like a cordyline australis to me.

It may mean the crown of the tree is in bad health, or is rotten or damaged. So like when you pinch the top out of a herbaceous plant it sprouts side shoots. I would guess that you should be able to grow each shoot independently. Or you could remove them, but if the growing tip is damaged, you may end up with not much more than a trunk. Worth looking at other examples in local gardens.

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=543

Looks like if you went drastic you could make new plants from all the sections of trunk with a side shoot growing out of it.

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Re: Peculiar Palm Problem

#145769

Postby poundcoin » June 15th, 2018, 10:29 am

Thanks both for the info . I guess the crown was damaged in the winter weather . Some of the leaves dropped do appear to be from the centre of the crown . First time this has happened here in Cornwall to my trees .
As UncleIan says if all those shoots grew into full crowns the trunk wouldn't be able to stand the weight .
Looks like a bit of pruning due !

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Re: Peculiar Palm Problem

#145879

Postby Breelander » June 15th, 2018, 3:31 pm

poundcoin wrote:Would it be best to cut off all the shoots except perhaps the lowest and is it likely that if the entire trunk was cut down and divided into small sections each with a shoot attached they would grow ?


UncleIan wrote:Looks like a cordyline australis to me.

It may mean the crown of the tree is in bad health, or is rotten or damaged. So like when you pinch the top out of a herbaceous plant it sprouts side shoots...
...Looks like if you went drastic you could make new plants from all the sections of trunk with a side shoot growing out of it.


I have a couple of indoor cordyline elephantiasis (related, but too tender even for Cornwall) that were getting too tall for the room. I chopped them back down to a bare trunk about half its original height. Within a few months they had each sprouted about half a dozen new shoots. Like other plants after pinching out the tip, the strongest new shoots release hormones that suppress the growth of the others. The top one or two shoots went on to develop as new crowns, while the lower shoots stopped growing.

Seems you can treat a cordyline australis in the same way...

https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/g ... cordyline/

Pruning and propogation advice: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=543

BTW, I planted the sections I chopped off into new pots. About half of them rooted and made new plants. Even a section of trunk with no side shoots made a new plant. There are dormant side shoot buds at each leaf joint and the top two sprouted new shoots after it had rooted.

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Re: Peculiar Palm Problem

#145956

Postby poundcoin » June 15th, 2018, 7:46 pm

Brilliant Breelander , thanks for that , very useful.
Had a go (after I last posted ) at cutting down an obviously dead crown on another clump .
Not the easiest branches to cut as the centre is very fibrous , like cutting through lots of tightly packed damp string !

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Re: Peculiar Palm Problem

#147407

Postby poundcoin » June 22nd, 2018, 6:41 pm

Just an update .
Cut down the trunk that had had the numerous shoots and most of it was completely hollow which explains why it was in distress .

I've chopped the trunk into chunks each with shoot growing and planted them in individual pots...whether they will do anything not sure .

Photo after emptying out hundreds of wood lice (called gramasows in Cornwall ) !

Image


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