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Manalto

Toppled Mule

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Manalto
1 hour ago, DoomsDave said:

 

As others have indicated, I think your mule is planted too high. Queens sometimes do the same thing, as do Buteas. They kinda balance like ballerina hippos, then sometimes fall over.

If you can, mound the dirt around the base of the trunk, so it looks like the trunk is coming straight out of the ground.

And, offer your wonderful neighbor a nice cup of their favorite fertilizer . . . . . :)

AND! Let us know what happens.

PS looks like you already followed the advice.

Not exactly. It somehow escaped my notice that others said it was planted too high. The seller told me to plant it raised because, he said, they like good drainage. So, my error was to plant it too shallow - or, as you said, too high. I just added a good amount of soil around the base and tamped it down with my considerable weight. I hope that helps.

Your advice came just in the nick. I'm leaving in a few hours until May and, because I have my priorities right, ran out and made corrections on my mule. Packing schmacking.

I've been shuttling back and forth to Connecticut (not a lot of palm action there) because of work. I'm moving down to the Gulf Coast permanently this spring, so I'll be terrorizing you with my goofy questions, I'm sure! Thanks again for your good help.

Edited by Manalto
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DoomsDave
30 minutes ago, Manalto said:

Not exactly. It somehow escaped my notice that others said it was planted too high. The seller told me to plant it raised because, he said, they like good drainage. So, my error was to plant it too shallow - or, as you said, too high. I just added a good amount of soil around the base and tamped it down with my considerable weight. I hope that helps.

Your advice came just in the nick. I'm leaving in a few hours until May and, because I have my priorities right, ran out and made corrections on my mule. Packing schmacking.

I've been shuttling back and forth to Connecticut (not a lot of palm action there) because of work. I'm moving down to the Gulf Coast permanently this spring, so I'll be terrorizing you with my goofy questions, I'm sure! Thanks again for your good help.

Okay, your first part shows the perils of paucity of precision . . . .

The picture looks good. If that thing grows as I think it will, your neighbors might get scared. My neighbors hustle the little ones past the scary mule, lest it bite, or kick or something. Jokes aside, it will get awesome very quickly.

 

You lucky [expletive waterfowl]! Moving down there!

Terrorize all you want!

Let me know when you're ready for some free seeds!

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DoomsDave
On 11/3/2019 at 3:44 PM, DAVEinMB said:

James, here are the photos of my planting. Based on what I've seen on here recently I think im going to add a landscaping barrier around it and build the soil up some. There's a good bit of the root ball in the ground and it does feel sturdy but I'd rather take a proactive approach just in case. After a year in the ground you would think that the yours was rooted enough to withstand some inclement weather. Maybe enough rain to wash away some of the roots "structural" soil?

20191103_163548.jpg

20191103_163602.jpg

That would be a good idea.

As I noted in a previous post, those types of palms sometimes get wobbly, though, they also thicken, too.

BUT, you guys get some serious wind over there, so I'd mound it up, and get it good and rooted in.

KILLER PALM! Downright genocidal, in fact.

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DAVEinMB

@DoomsDave I built up the ground a bunch around it, that 6 inches of elevated planting was giving me the heebee jeebees haha. Wasn't sure how well the newly placed soil would hold but we got like 3.5" of rain a couple weeks ago and everything still looks good.

Thanks! That's 1 of 5 I picked up this past spring/fall - the biggest of the 5 by far and looks much different than the others. Fronds have very little droop to them and the green is darker. I'm stoked to see what they all do in the spring after establishing

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DoomsDave
3 hours ago, DAVEinMB said:

@DoomsDave I built up the ground a bunch around it, that 6 inches of elevated planting was giving me the heebee jeebees haha. Wasn't sure how well the newly placed soil would hold but we got like 3.5" of rain a couple weeks ago and everything still looks good.

Thanks! That's 1 of 5 I picked up this past spring/fall - the biggest of the 5 by far and looks much different than the others. Fronds have very little droop to them and the green is darker. I'm stoked to see what they all do in the spring after establishing

Do advise of your babies’ progress as you see fit!

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DAVEinMB
6 minutes ago, DoomsDave said:

Do advise of your babies’ progress as you see fit!

If I don't kill em yous will hear about it, eh ya prolly will either way

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DoomsDave
40 minutes ago, DAVEinMB said:

If I don't kill em yous will hear about it, eh ya prolly will either way

In order to kill a mule palm, you almost have to dead yourself already . . . .

Though it can be done!

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OC2Texaspalmlvr

Well killing a mule is possible especially in our gumbo clay. I did the opposite I ended up planting mine too low and finally succumbed to root rot and the other I pulled out and is in the palm ER now haha. Mounding up your mule is your best bet and once established like DoomsDave said will become a beast one day !!! 

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DAVEinMB
12 hours ago, DoomsDave said:

In order to kill a mule palm, you almost have to dead yourself already . . . .

Though it can be done!

 

11 hours ago, OC2Texaspalmlvr said:

Well killing a mule is possible especially in our gumbo clay. I did the opposite I ended up planting mine too low and finally succumbed to root rot and the other I pulled out and is in the palm ER now haha. Mounding up your mule is your best bet and once established like DoomsDave said will become a beast one day !!! 

Then live they shall!

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WestCoastGal

Not sure if you are still looking for ideas for plants around your mule or how well it will do where you are but we planted Sun Patiens around our mules a few years back. We’re somewhat inland and get hot summers and they take our full sun and heat, a quick watering when they look parched perks them right up. These were the compact size btw. 
 

141EE9F9-A66E-487D-943F-608FE062DA0F.thumb.jpeg.f19156751ffb8f524d61172678179564.jpeg
 

BTW when you mentioned toppled over mule I first thought of voles eating at the roots. In fact we had one a number of years ago chomping on this mule above and luckily caught it and eliminated it but it had done quite a bit of damage to the trunk around ground level. Ate a big whole in it. For sometime we were afraid it would die off but its age and mass and our palm nursery’s care thankfully saved it. Still looking great. 

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Manalto
On 1/9/2020 at 10:38 PM, WestCoastGal said:

Not sure if you are still looking for ideas for plants around your mule or how well it will do where you are but we planted Sun Patiens around our mules a few years back. We’re somewhat inland and get hot summers and they take our full sun and heat, a quick watering when they look parched perks them right up. These were the compact size btw. 
 

141EE9F9-A66E-487D-943F-608FE062DA0F.thumb.jpeg.f19156751ffb8f524d61172678179564.jpeg
 

BTW when you mentioned toppled over mule I first thought of voles eating at the roots. In fact we had one a number of years ago chomping on this mule above and luckily caught it and eliminated it but it had done quite a bit of damage to the trunk around ground level. Ate a big whole in it. For sometime we were afraid it would die off but its age and mass and our palm nursery’s care thankfully saved it. Still looking great. 

I would suspect voles if there were any reduction in vigor but this mule is going great guns. I'm hoping that staking and the additional soil and compacting that folks here recommended will correct the problem.

 

Sunpatiens is a really good suggestion, thanks! I'd also like to find a low evergreen ground cover with fine texture for when the annuals go dormant. (It's my understanding that sunpatiens are not perennial in zone 8B.) Dwarf liriope would be a good choice if it weren't so horribly invasive here. I spend a good chunk of my gardening time trying to eliminate it or cursing at it.

Edited by Manalto
specificity

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Dartolution

@Manalto what about cuphea? Red Cigar plant I think is the common name? Might be a perennial, and is full of red flowers that hummingbirds and butterflies and bees love. Also likes full sun.

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Manalto
4 hours ago, Dartolution said:

@Manalto what about cuphea? Red Cigar plant I think is the common name? Might be a perennial, and is full of red flowers that hummingbirds and butterflies and bees love. Also likes full sun.

Excellent suggestion! Red is a repeated theme around the property, so this would tie in. I like it.

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Dartolution

@Manalto I have one in the back that gets full sun (9-10hrs a day during summer). They grow quickly when well fed, and look stunning. In november I gave mine a chop back down to the ground, and mulched over it for winter. I hope it survives. They are supposed to be perennials in 8a and above. 

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Manalto

IMG_20200330_165739.jpg

I'm pleased to report that, 5 months later, my mule is looking content and maybe even a little bit bigger. I'm leaving it staked for the time being because I want to add another layer of soil; it's a work in progress.

(Another work in progress is that semi-painted coal shed behind it.)

Edited by Manalto
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On 12/6/2019 at 12:14 PM, DAVEinMB said:

Thanks James. I have a few ideas for underplantings but I'm in the same boat. Would like to compliment the mule without taking too much away from it. I have some yucca, fatsia, and different grasses at the base of a 16' sabal; I'll get a pic for you, it may help the creative juices :D

 

Thanks Jeff, I love the color of them and their workability is awesome. You can make any curve you need just as easy as a straight run. Spring plans are to do the same thing around the other 2 mules. Im gonna have bricks everywhere haha

I love the cobblestones. They work very well with the mule.  Where did you find them?

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DAVEinMB
25 minutes ago, jpg said:

I love the cobblestones. They work very well with the mule.  Where did you find them?

Thanks, i got em from a local big box store, like 1.50 each

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Allen

My mule really rocks as well in wind.

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3 hours ago, DAVEinMB said:

Thanks, i got em from a local big box store, like 1.50 each

Thanks!

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Manalto
14 hours ago, Allen said:

My mule really rocks as well in wind.

Because I was instructed to plant my mule high (on mounded-up soil) for good drainage, I made the mistake of also planting it shallow. The anchoring roots that form just under the surface of the soil had no soil in which to develop, so it flopped over. Making the soil surrounding the base of the plant only a couple of inches deeper solved that. 

I also keep a large circle of pinestraw mulch several inches deep, which maintains consistent moisture in the soil. I like pinestraw because it's fluffy enough to allow good air exchange with the roots, while shading them (plus, I get it for free). When I fertilize (irregular applications of [Lesco] palm-formulated chemical fertilizer or composted cow manure) I can easily sweep aside the pinestraw, scatter the fertilizer, and replace the pinestraw with a minimum of effort. In rare cases of extended drought, (now, for example - we haven't had a good, soaking downpour in over a month) I'll irrigate, but was told mules inherit good drought tolerance from their butia parent. It seems pretty happy, having doubled in size since the last photo, and developed a nice, fat trunk.

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Manalto

20220501_171423.thumb.jpg.a6ae07541f289254565264b629cf358c.jpgHere it is today. Forgive the clutter. I have an IPA in my hand and don't feel much like getting up to move it out of the photo. C'mon, it's Sunday.

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DAVEinMB
6 minutes ago, Manalto said:

20220501_171423.thumb.jpg.a6ae07541f289254565264b629cf358c.jpgHere it is today. Forgive the clutter. I have an IPA in my hand and don't feel much like getting up to move it out of the photo. C'mon, it's Sunday.

Don't ever apologize for admiring a beautiful tree with a brew in hand

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