How to Plant a Palm Tree 1

Palm trees are popular landscaping landmarks in tropical regions. Resistant to storm winds, and offering great shade and cover, palm trees are reliably no-fuss once you’ve put them into the ground. So if you want to get started planting a palm tree somewhere on your property, see the details and issues below

Selecting Species, Size, and Location

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1. Select the variety of palm you want to plant. Palms vary in size from relatively small Windmill and Sago Palms, to giants like Royal Palms and Queen Palms which, when grown, may tower fifty feet in the air. The amount of sunlight palm trees require, as well as the amount of cold they tolerate, also depend on species. Consult a list[2] of some common palms used in landscaping, and their sunlight requirements and cold tolerances:

  • Warm weather palms:
    • Cuban or Florida Royal Palm . Cold tolerant to 22° F (-5° C); full sun to partial shade.
    • Sago Palms . Cold tolerant to 20° F (-6° C); filtered sunlight to full sun.
    • Canary Island Date Palm . Cold tolerant to 19° F (-7° C).
    • Queen Palm . Cold tolerant to 18° F (-7° C); full sun.
  • Cold weather palms:
    • Mexican Fan Palm . Cold tolerant to 15° F (-9° C).
    • Cabbage Palms . Cold tolerant to 12° F (-11° C); full sun.
    • Pindo Palm . Cold tolerant to 10° F (-12° C).
    • Chinese Windmill Palm . Cold tolerant to 8° F (-13° C); full sun.

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2. Opt for a small, medium, or large palm depending on budget, aesthetics, and maneuverability. What size palm you select will depend largely on just three things:

  • Budget: Small palms cost less, big palms cost more. Small palms can cost as little as $100 while big behemoths can cost thousands of dollars.
  • Aesthetics: Do you want to watch your palm grow, or do you want it to immediately fit into your landscape? Mature trees cost much more than immature trees.
  • Maneuverability. Starting with mature palms is expensive, sometimes so big that they need to be trucked and craned into the site.[3] If you’re trying to plant in a location where maneuvering big trees is going to be hard, you may want to opt for a smaller one.

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3. Choose the location for your palm. Because large palm trees are extremely heavy and you may need to use heavy equipment during the planting process, it’s best to look for an area that is easily accessible. Planting on an even, low slope in the front yard will be much easier than planting on a steep grade or in the back.

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4. Do not dig a hole or drive vehicles where underground utilities can present hazards in the location you choose. Check into the property plat plan. See city or county permits, maps and utility plats, and call your local utility for locating service to be sure of routing of underground utilities, if there is any doubt. Hitting an underground water, natural gas, petroleum, power, or telephone line can cause real problems, liability and unnecessary headaches.

Part 2

Digging and Fitting the Hole

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1. Maneuver the tree close to the location you will be planting. This will make digging the hole the proper size much easier, since you can measure the root ball of your tree and compare that to the hole as you dig. Some palm trees can be buried above their root ball.

  • For example a Mexican Fan Palm ( Washingtonia robusta ) can be buried 4 to 5 feet (1.2 to 1.5 m) deeper than the original top of the root ball. This can be advantageous when you are trying to match all trees to a specific height. It would also eliminate the need for bracing.
  • Do not bury the root crown (top of the tree ball) or trunk of any other palm trees; please consult with a certified arborist prior to planting if you have any doubts about how deep your palm can be planted.

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2. Dig your hole so that it’s at least six inches wider on all sides and six inches deeper than the plant’s existing root ball. Then put 6 inches (15.2 cm) of sand in the bottom of the hole. With a tape measure, determine the width and height of the palm’s root ball and then dig accordingly.

  • Try a quick drainage test, if where you’re digging the hole is poorly drained clay or has much exposed rock or stone ledges. Dig a hole 16 inches (40.6 cm) deep, in soil with normal moisture, then fill it with water (extremely arid, dry or wet/soggy soil is not able to give a good test result). If it drains within an hour or two, you have excellent drainage. If it drains within 12 hours, you have acceptable drainage. If it hasn’t drained after 24 hours, you have a drainage problem, and you probably shouldn’t plant at that location without fixing it first.
  • Be sure that the hole is deep enough to barely cover the top of the palm’s root ball, but not so deep that the trunk can be drowned and rot. Exposed top of the tree’s root crown is good – but grading soil up to and exposing the root ball is a no-no. Palms with exposed root balls are said to be “on their tiptoes,” and are less stable. On the other hand, palms planted too deeply risk rot on their trunks, also destabilizing them, causing disease and rot.

To be continue…

Source: Wikihow