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newtopalmsMD

What to use for winter mulch?

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newtopalmsMD

Here in my MD 7a location I usually add about a foot of oak leaf mulch over the roots of my trachys and sabals for the winter.  I have about 15 (two cubic foot) bags of hardwood mulch that I never put down this summer.  Would it be a good idea to add 3 or 4 inches of this hard wood mulch over the roots of my palms instead of oak leaves?  I also cut down about 10 or so musa basjoo banana tree that I cut down for the winter.  are these banana leaves good for winter mulch to put of the banana stems for the winter?

Thanks

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Swolte

No scientific studies on this, I believe, but an educated guess would predict that it largely depends on the paIm's size. The most vulnerable part you'd want to protect is the palm's growing point (e.g., meristem). That means that if you have a (medium sized) trunking palm, the mulch probably won't help much. 

Mulching is generally a good practice, though. I see no problem using banana leaves!

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Chester B

Oak leaves are best, and are recommended by most northern gardeners.  They are stiff and keep dry as well as form nice air pockets for insulation.  Other mulches can get wet and introduce mold and fungus.  Stick with what you're  doing.  

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D Palm

If you have wet winters, avoid anything that retains a lot of moisture. Shouldn’t bother Sabals but other palms may rot or develop fungal problems. I use Pine Bark in N. Florida.

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