is it easy to dig up a palm tree

Is It Easy To Dig Up A Palm Tree?

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    If a palm tree isn't doing well in a specific location, or if you need the space for a new building or landscaping, you might have to dig it up.

    Digging the palm up appropriately will make the operation easier and boost the palm's chance for survival and speedy establishment inside a new spot. This is because palms generate new roots towards the the plant's base and only require a relatively modest root mass to transplant.

    • A day before you intend to dredge up the palm tree, water the soil surrounding it slowly and deeply. Wet soil can be dug more easily without damaging the palm's root system.
    • If you want to avoid damaging the palm tree, it's best to remove about a third of the oldest fronds before you start excavating. This alleviates water stress and makes the palm easier to handle during transplanting.
    • If you want to make working with the palm easier and reduce the risk of accidentally damaging the foliage, tie back the remaining fronds.
    • To form the root ball, dig a circle it around palm tree, cutting through the soil and roots with a sharp spade. This circle should be between 12 and 24 inches in diameter, depending on the type of palm tree you have. The root ball of the palm tree should be dug down to a depth of 12 inches.
    • You can either immediately replant the palm into a new, drilled hole or wrap the root mass in burlap to retain soil moisture. In order to wrap plant roots with burlap, just tilt the palm between one side, tuck a part of rolled-up burlap under roots, lean the palm to the opposite side, and unroll the burlap. The burlap's rims can also be used to help you pull the roots from the hole.
    • The palm should be kept in a cool, shady area away from drying winds and its root mass should be moistened on a regular basis until it can be planted in its new location.

    There are a number of situations in which you might need to remove a palm tree from its current location. One possibility is that you wish to make some money out of a very valuable tree you own, such as a tall Canary Island Palm.

    Perhaps you need to relocate your palm due to landscaping renovations. Perhaps you need to get rid of a palm tree that's also blocking your path. For whatever reason, if your palm tree is no more than 3 m (9.8 ft) in height, you may find that removing it is easier than you anticipated.

    • There are a number of situations in which you might need to remove a palm tree from its current location.
    • Whatever the case may be, provided that the palm in question is little more over 3 m (9.8 ft) in height, removing it may not be as challenging as you might imagine.

    Before you begin digging, call the appropriate utility companies to make sure that there were no underground wires or pipes.

    To achieve this, use a shovel to dig a hole around the palm tree, bearing in mind that final root ball should be about 75 centimetres (30 cm) in diameter. Roots that are longer than 75 cm (30 inches) require the use of sturdy garden scissors.

    If your palm is tiny enough to be lifted by one or two individuals, you can skip forwards to Step 4. When this is not possible, place a cloth or sack beneath the root ball. When working the burlap underneath one side, angle the tree slightly in that direction and then tilt it back to pull the bagging the remainder of the way.

    Involve some pals in getting that palm tree onto a wheelbarrow of trailer. In the case of a giant palm tree, each person should grip a portion of the sacking with one hand, while keeping the other free to support the trunk.

    When raising the sacking, everyone should do so at once while holding the tree trunk steady. Locate the root ball's centre in the barrow or trailer's bed.

    • Follow Step 4 if your palm is small enough to be lifted by only one or two individuals.
    • In the case of a giant palm tree, each person should grip a portion of the sacking with one hand, while keeping the other free to support its trunk.

    Tips On How To Move Large Palms Properly

    There will be times when you need to shift your hands in the soil. The explanations are numerous.

    It could be because you need more room, that you need to increase the distance between them so that they develop more successfully, or that you simply find the new arrangement more visually pleasing. It's important to follow some guidelines when transplanting a palm tree for whatever reason.

    In contrast to trees, which have extensive taproots, palms have a huge, fibrous root ball, making them one of the simplest plants to uproot and relocate. They're easily transportable and can be handled like a ball. Additionally, palms are well-known for their speedy recoveries upon relocation.

    • There is no better time than during the growing season. Excavate a large area surrounding the root ball. Some palm trees, like the Bismarkia and Bungalows, are too delicate to relocate. Aside from windmills, golden canes, and triangles, Alexandras can also be safely transported.
    • Think about where your palm will be moving: Think about how big the palm could go and if your view will be blocked by it. Before you transport the palm, make sure to give it a good soaking and trim any damaged or old leaves.
    • The palm should be surrounded by a trench, and once the trench gets deep enough, the root ball should be removed. In order to topple the plant, gently push on it till it falls over. Get it entirely out of the hole by prying out the rest of the root system with a crowbar and shovel. As a result, part of the roots will inevitably be damaged. Depending on how big the palm is, you might need as many as four people to assist you get it out of the hole. A wheelbarrow or cart will come in helpful for moving things around. Employ a smaller or larger excavator is if palm is big and if you have the means to do it.
    • If transporting your palm via vehicle after a transplant, it is essential to cover the roots in such a hessian cloth to prevent damage. To keep the roots from drying out during transport, mist the hessian with water. Get all the palm leaves together and tie them with some string.
    • Before you plant the palm in its new position, give the hole a good soaking with water. Plant the palm at the same level it had been growing at in the hole. Following planting, fill the hole with water. The next step is to tightly compact earth around the hand. When planting a tall palm (4 metres more than), secure the fronds from around trunk. After you replant them, leave them attached for at least two weeks. Both transpiration and the palm's swaying in the wind will be lessened as a result of this. It's important that the palm's seeds germinate back into the ground and reestablish contact. Compacting the dirt around the newly-planted palm's base will also aid in root regrowth. If you are planting large, expensive palms, it is highly recommended that you utilise an industrial soil compaction to ensure the best possible growth of your palms. For the first two weeks, leave a drip water feature operating at the palm's base.

    dig up a palm tree (2)

    Triangulate three posts to create a stake for the tree's stability: Sticks constructed of wood or metal star pickets can be used. Put them down and secure them with hessian tape.

    Make sure to water the soil every day to keep it moist and aid the plant's roots in becoming established in its new home. Use a seaweed solution to water the roots; it will stimulate root growth. After three weeks, depending on the temperature, you can reduce watering to once every seven days. It is safe to fertilise after you have established your palm in its new location.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Palm Tree

    The node is where leaves, buds and shoots emerge from the stem. You should always cut just above a node, as this prevents 'die back' and therefore disease. Also, by cutting above a node you can manipulate new stems, leaves or flowers to form in a desired direction, as nodes form on different sides of a stem.

    Thinning is generally the least invigorating type of pruning cut and provides a more natural growth form of plants. Important in maintenance pruning, thinning cuts are used to shorten limbs, to improve light penetration into plants and to direct the growth of shoots or limbs.

    A limb refers to a large or the primary division arising from the trunk of the tree. Most experts estimate it to be at least 4 inches bigger than a standard branch. Its main functions are very similar to that of the branches, although it may sometimes take the role of the trunk in some trees.

    Most importantly, if you make pruning cuts at the wrong time–even good cuts that avoid the most common mistakes described here–you risk leaving your plants and trees susceptible to disease pathogens that are airborne or transmitted through insects.

    The three cut pruning method is a strategy used to remove larger limbs from a tree. Why is it used? This method is used to reduce the weight of the branch and make a clean proper cut.

    How Deep Should You Dig Around A Palm Tree Root Ball?

    The roots of palm trees are not woody like those of broadleaf plants. These roots resemble grass roots in that they are many and small and grow together at the bottom of the trunk. Roots from palm trees don't grow larger as they spread out from the trunk like those of broadleaf trees do; instead, they stay the same size they were when they originally sprouted. Roots of the palm trees don't spread very far underground.

    University research revealed that various palm species all react differently to root amputation. Some palms, like the Sabal palmetto, have roots that, if removed, die back and are replaced by new roots. Therefore, it makes no difference how closely you trim the palms to the base.

    Half of the severed roots will regenerate and send forth new shoots in some palms, such as the coconut palm, no matter how deep you cut. However, the root ball for such two palm species can be kept modestly sized throughout removal. However, the survival of the majority of palm species is contingent on the preexisting root system.

    Leave at least a 1-2 foot buffer zone around the base of any palm that is less than 15 feet. You'll need to dig 1-2 feet below to reach the rootball, as it's three-dimensional. However, the root sphere radius is proportional to the tree's height.

    Leave plenty of room between yourself and the trunk of a palm tree if you don't know how it will react to root cutting. It's important to keep in mind that although larger root balls would reduce transplant shock & speed up healing, the extra money and hassle may not be worth it.

    Obtain The Palm

    Get started digging a trench all around palm now that we know how much room to leave around it. A few of the root will inevitably be severed, no matter how cautious you are. Gently pushing down on the palm will cause it to topple over, allowing you to get at the remaining root system.

    It may take three or four people to remove the palm from of the hole, depending on its size. To move a palm that is larger than 30 litres, you will require a truck or a crane. Heavy palms. A 20-foot palm, for instance, can weigh up to a thousand pounds!

    Leaf Removing

    Many nurseries remove half to two-thirds of the older palm leaves to lessen the amount of stress in larger palms. A few folks have been raking up all the leaves I've noticed. The palm variety makes a difference.

    The best way to ensure the survival of species such as the Sabal palm, which will lose every one of its roots after transplanting, is to remove all of the leaves off the plant.

    According to my own observations and the most up-to-date scientific literature, palms do better when left with at least some of their leaves intact. During the springtime, Florida is full of freshly planted palm trees that all appear alike: they look like a rooster.

    Transport Planning

    Wrap the remaining fronds in rope before raising the palm with such a crane to avoid breaking any leaves. Slim hands are also more likely to break. Two splits, one on each side of the trunk, and the leaf bundle, will prevent it from happening.

    Never nail anything straight to the trunk of a palm tree; unlike broadleaf trees, palms can't recover from damage to their trunks. If the trunk becomes scratched or scraped, the palm tree may be more susceptible to pests and mould. Start by wrapping the trunk in a nylon sling before you try to secure anything to it with chains, ropes, or wires.

    See here for a picture that perfectly illustrates the steps you must take to get a big palm ready to load onto the truck.

    Wrapping the roots in wet burlap will help them retain moisture while being transported. Wrap the whole palm in a damp tarp if you're taking it somewhere in a pick-up truck. It will not only shield the roots, bark, the fronds from harm, but it will also assist keep the roots moist as the vehicle travels through windy conditions.

    dig up a palm tree

    Preparation Of The Site

    It's recommended to dig a hole that's twice as wide as the root ball. Before planting a palm tree, make sure the soil drains well. Wait an hour after filling the hole with water. Then, fill it up once more to see how long it would take for the water to drain out. The drainage is excellent if it only takes a few hours. There must be an issue if it takes days.

    Add sand to the mix to help with drainage. Use three parts native soil and one part each of soil organic mix and sandy soil to amend clay soil. Use three parts of the native soil and one part of organic soil mix if you have fine sand.

    In extreme circumstances, you may need to instal a drainage pipe which will carry water away from the base. Other options include adding stones to a bottom of a planting hole, drilling some holes in the bottom to loosen the soil, or simply adding more sand to the mix.

    Palm Tree Planting

    Put it in the ground as soon as you can! Place it in some shade and make sure the soil stays moist if you can't. A mulch covering will prevent them from withering out.

    Ideally, the palm should be replanted at the same level at which it was previously flourishing. Too much depth while planting can cause problems with water and nutrient availability. It's also a good idea to plant the palm to high up.

    The palm can easily be blown over by the wind because its roots have not yet taken hold.

    Before planting, moisten the soil until it is saturated. Place the tree in the middle of the hole, then fill around this with half of a finished dirt. Next, moisten it once more before covering it with the remaining soil. eliminating any spaces where air could get trapped.

    You can utilise your natural soil for backfill, but I recommend amending it with organic material to give your plants a boost.

    Studies have shown that if the backfill material is too different from the native soil, the new palm roots will not spread out into the surrounding ground and will instead remain contained within the amended soil. To be safe, though, a 25% adjustment is all that's needed.

    After you are through with the backfilling, make a dirt barrier around the tree's base to prevent water from evaporating.


    Field-grown palms have a reduced root ball since the roots were cut off when the palms were dug. They need more water than container-grown plants their roots haven't been disturbed as much while they regenerate new ones.

    Water them more often and at higher volumes until new roots form. For the initial three weeks after you've planted your palm tree, you should water it every day; after that, you can cut down to every other day. Watering it twice a day for the initial few weeks is not out of the ordinary if you're planting in the middle of a very hot season.

    I've found the best results to be achieved by using thorough watering. Take 20 minutes to make sure the soil all around root system is moist by leaving a water hose dripping steadily. Water absorption by soil is a gradual process. If you wait roughly six weeks between waterings, you can return to your regular routine.

    Including Mulch

    Mulch should be used at the base of the a palm tree to prevent weeds and maintain moisture. The palm will benefit from the mulch's decomposition, which will result in a more nutrient-rich environment for the plant. Spread 2 inches or mulch around the base, thinning it out towards the tree's trunk and piling it on high in the middle of the plant's root ball.

    Mulch that is piled up against a tree's trunk can trap moisture and prevent it from reaching the roots, leading to the spread of fungi and eventual rot. Mulch should be kept at least 2 feet away from of the trunk of a large tree, and at least 1 foot away from the stem of a smaller palm.

    Mulch is preferable to grass since the former wastes water and nutrients that could be used by the latter. It's a hassle to keep up with the yard when it needs to be trimmed near to the tree base. You shouldn't use a string trimmer near palms since the string can easily nick and damage the tree's trunk.

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