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Coco Loco

Life span of Archontophoenix alexandrae

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Coco Loco

I was asked recently about the longevity of Alexander palms when planted indoors. The company I work for planted about 40 of them in a mall 21 years ago and they are still going strong. Getting too tall for the space in fact. They were 15' to 20' tall when installed. I don't know how old they were at that time.

8 of them were planted in another building, by someone else, about 15 years ago and have done very well until the last 2 years. The caretaker of these 8 asked if they were just reaching the end of their "natural life span". Of course the answer is no, something has changed.

However, it made me wonder if anyone knows how long they would live in a protected environment with optimal conditions and care.

It seems like a point would be reached where gravity overcomes osmosis. Or maybe cell production would stop due to age.

Does anyone have any experience or thoughts on this.

Thanks

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DoomsDave

I was asked recently about the longevity of Alexander palms when planted indoors. The company I work for planted about 40 of them in a mall 21 years ago and they are still going strong. Getting too tall for the space in fact. They were 15' to 20' tall when installed. I don't know how old they were at that time.

8 of them were planted in another building, by someone else, about 15 years ago and have done very well until the last 2 years. The caretaker of these 8 asked if they were just reaching the end of their "natural life span". Of course the answer is no, something has changed.

However, it made me wonder if anyone knows how long they would live in a protected environment with optimal conditions and care.

It seems like a point would be reached where gravity overcomes osmosis. Or maybe cell production would stop due to age.

Does anyone have any experience or thoughts on this.

Thanks

great QUESTION

Don't know what happens to Archies, but Washies lose the ability to transport water from the roots to the crowns when the height of the palm makes it develop heavily "sclerified" (thick walled) cells at the base that leave too little room for the water to flow. I suspect some plants make up for that by getting a thick base, but, eventually, they just die. Trail off to a point, it's weird, the palm's about 120-130 feet tall. The "pipes" that carry the water just get too narrow.

As for Archies, I don't know, but I know they'll hit 60 feet without a problem.

Our Ozzian mates can tell us more, in the Land Down Under, the Archies' natural habitat.

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Walter John

The slower growing palms tend to live longer, Archos grow fast generally (for palm trees), and get quite tall facing more weather damage as they get older (taller), in their natural habitat they face formidable cyclones, which is probably their main cause of death from super winds and undermining flooding, whilst in cultivation at some protected, maintained botanical garden they would live longer, and live longest. In home gardens they would face different aspects again with human crapola floating in the air and washing into the soil, probably their shortest life span in your garden I would think. So one would have to put up a wide estimate of something like 75 to 95 years.

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Mr Cycad

Yep. Wal is spot on. Only need to look at habitat for the answers... 100 foot plus tall specimens are common place here.

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DoomsDave

Yep. Wal is spot on. Only need to look at habitat for the answers... 100 foot plus tall specimens are common place here.

lawdy lawdy lawdy, how about some pictures, suh?

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