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Trunk splits

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I have two palms with major trunk splitting happening. I was told that this is due to excessive water. This can't be correct in my case. Rain is scarce and my additional watering is only minor really.

Anyone have advice/opinions/comments ?

here are the two palms in question.

Archontophoenix tuckerii

tuckerii1.jpg

Dictyosperma album var rubrum

dictyo.jpg

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bumpety bump ... Does this have you stumped ?

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i see that alot here on archies,not sure what the cause is but it doesn't seem to hurt the palm.sorry,not much help ???

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Perhaps I have some insight,

I have numerous Archontophoenix triples.  Those that are irrigated by drip irrigation all show the splitting seen in your images although not as bad.  However, I have several Archontophoenix triples that are irrigated by sprinklers and none of these have the splitting of the trunks.  Thus, I do think it is from water and somehow drip irrigation causes some issues not seen with sprinklers.  I would point out that sprinklers probably reflects the normal mode of irrigation for these palms and therefore splitting is not seen in wild populations.

Hope this helps, Patrick

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the general concensus seems to be that this problem is water or drainage-related,but i would like to see some

"hard" evidence...

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I wish I knew the answer.

Some species definitely do it worse than others.

I've noted that specimens grown under rough conditions tend to split much worse than those in gardens.

Which does point to watering.  

I had an A. alexandrae split badly when I took it out of a garbage can it had been growing in, and planted it in the ground.  The new trunk didn't split.

Hmm.

Gonna do some dogpiling . . . .

dave

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I have queens, and various Archontos that have vertical splits in the trunks, and it seems to be on the faster growing palms and palms with expanding trunks widths.  I assumed the fast growth caused the trunks to split, these splits don't seems to have any effect on the health of the palms.

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Dear wal  :)

i had a similar problem with my coconut tree,

and on contacting the nursery people,they told

me i had over fertilized the plant and also fed it

with ample water so it the chemical reaction that

took place within the palm body that resulted in

those burst like cracks_and iam sorry to say there

is no cure for this problem.

too much love can spoil ones kid_this will apply to

even plant fertz !

Love,

Kris.

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I would like to suggest that there may be more than one reason trunks split. Maybe many. I have never heard one explanation that has satisfied me.  And I would also like to suggest that different species may split for different reasons.

Big help, aren't I ?

Sometimes a simple question may have multiple, complicated answers. And this may be one of those.

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(Dypsisdean @ Dec. 24 2006,03:05)

QUOTE
I would also like to suggest that different species may split for different reasons.

Big help, aren't I ?

Sometimes a simple question may have multiple, complicated answers. And this may be one of those.

Dear Dean

I loved your Explanation Method  :D  :D  :D

And it seemed to be quite naughty...

Love,

Kris.

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Whatever the reason I'm not sure but,I have seen several palms planted in front of a building in a small area and most had a split about 4ft long. They are not irrigated and I doubt they are ever fertilized.

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Moist supple wood on palm trunks in humid climates or with real rain and sprinklers instead of drip seem to be less prone to this spitting business.

Drip irrigated palms in low humidity and no real rain and never a hosing down of any sort seem to be quiters and frequently split.

The "wood" as it expands when growing in dry climates is less able to handle the required expansion and..tada...splits, especially when given a new vigor by some kind hose wielding waterer after zero hydration by some xeriscaping "conservationist" who has at last moved on or passed the palm to a more kindler gentler water waster.

 Wood which is at least moderatly moist because of less arid condtions and more consistent "proper" hydration seems much less likely to be rended in twain.

So long nearly waterless periods followed by long waterful periods may be a factor in some palm splitting.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it!.

Alan

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less likely to be rended in twain.

I love that line Alan, may I use it ?

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After re-reading my answer above with a fresh mind this morning, let me expound briefly on this subject.

For every answer and explanation I have ever heard regarding trunk splitting, I have been able to recall, or later witness, an exception to said explanation. Therefore I suggest there may be more than one cause. Some possiblities may be watering methods (as already mentioned), humidity (as already mentioned), brief exposure to intense sun, fertilizer anomalies (as already mentioned), viruses, fungi, or other pathogens (I had several Howeas with abnormal splitting which over 15 years later developed trunk "blotches", and died prematurely), certain insecticides or fungicides on certain palms, etc.

So, all these explanations may be correct. Just not correct in every instance or circumstance.

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I wonder if specific palms have splitting characteristics in certain conditions? I would be interested to take a survey of the palm tree type and what conditions it grew under to produce the splitting....maybe there's a trend. ???

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Wal, yes of course; use any of my comments you find quotable freely.

Alan

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Hey Wal, I wouldn't worry about it.  I had one palm (A cunninghamiana) that cracked and looked exactly like that.  It was planted in a dry area of my yard where it was not watered much.  The cracks started out deep and then after a year or two, they appeared to fill in.  I guess the trunk was expanding and stretched the cracks out because when I last looked, I could hardly notice them anymore.

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I agree there is possibly a few reasons for cracking.

I have seen palms like Archo... sp  die from lack of water and the trunk actually shrinks mature palm trunks are almost like a sponge in some regards,you can see this in a cross cut of a palm trunk, it's totally different to a tree trunk.

Perhaps during dry periods the trunks shrink slightly.

Then during very wet periods the trunk expands too quickly past it's original thickness, causing splits.

If my theory is valid climates with a even rainfall should see palms with less cracks?

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