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Beccariophoenix alfredii

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Mandrew968

I think the only seed comes out of Madagascar, for now. I know mine is a ways off from seeding. I have been told this is a zone 9 palm; not do-able for Pensacola or Tally(too bad, as I have a place in Tallahassee).

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Alberto

Debra ,there are only seedlings around and it will take some more years for one to flower....

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Darkman

Well what I have feared and suspected for many months is official. The B. alfredii is dead. It never recovered or grew after the frost/freeze from the winter of 2010/2011. I don't know if I will try this again. Maybe if it had not ever seen frost at Gallops place it might have made it. I guess I'd like to try a seedling where I know it will never see frosts.

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peachy

Now winter is officially over, I can comment about my B.alfredii cold tolerance. He is fully pinnate but not trunking yet, about 80 cms or so total height and has been in the ground since February this year. Our winter lasted 5 months instead of the usual 2 months, and we had some cold days down around 14C, 18 on average but the nights stayed just above or just below freezing for the entire time. Luckily the frost barely touched my place and my baby kept growing slowly the whole time. Since it has finally warmed up he has opened one new leaf and has 2 spears on the way. I think he could be a winner for this area if he can manage our freak every few years heavy frost.

Peachy

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Sutter Bob

I'll try to add pictures of the same two palms taken today.

Here are a couple of photos.

I have a handful of these under varying degrees of cover. Had a low of 27F in early January as well as a few light frosts in November and December.

One was completely unprotected and looks bad but alive. The others look ok.

post-3415-009833500 1319948724_thumb.jpg

post-3415-094590100 1319948760_thumb.jpg

post-3415-029817500 1319949864_thumb.jpg

post-3415-033566000 1319950487_thumb.jpg

Edited by Sutter Bob

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Sutter Bob

Update:

Have had one in ground as seen above. Has essentially no overhead cover now but if it survives it will begin getting some protection from a nearby mule.

It bounced back during summer and early fall but again is fairly defoliated after a number of frosts.

Two in pots without cover died. Those under cover ok. Just planted my second one - in a protected area.

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Tom in Tucson

As many have noted alfredii continues to grow through the cooler months, whereas my madagascariensis stops growing until it's warm. To find any palm that looks this much like a coconut and survives a cool Mediterranean climate [despite it's frost intolerance] deserves a common name like "California Coconut". Beccariophoenix madagascariensis and apparently sp. 'windows' have nearly the same frost tolerance as alfredii, but because of the non-stop growing performance of alfredii, it's clearly my favorite of the three (or four if you count the mysterious 'Black Petiole' - which I'd like to fairly evaluate).

High 82F, Low 51F

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Sutter Bob

Update.

Lost the one in ground without cover (low of 20F in January).

Many survived under cover.

Have two in ground now with some cover.

Challenge will be when they get taller.

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Darkman

Bob,

That's what happened to mine that I got from Paul. When he had it, it outgrew the cover and then the frost killed it. This was not a small seedling. Prior to frost it probably was twelve feet tall OA. Paul can say for sure.

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sonoranfans

Here is mine, pushing out new growth. My bismarckias were more frost tolerant, this is more like my syagrus romanzoffiana x schitzophillia. I also had a windowpane palm right next to it at the same size, dead as a doornail.

Well here is an update with a happy return. My frost burned alfredii (from above) pushed out some new fronds and here is how it looks now in july. I'm still encouraged that it may get even more frost hardy as it ages, or my yard will grow in and be less susceptible to frost events. This one was in a relative cold spot with no overhead at all within 25'. Today it has a Hopper xjubyagrus about 15 feet away and a live oak within 18' in another direction, so I expect it will get warmer in that spot in the future.

Update of the alfredii in post 107 which took that hard frost. It has really recovered nicely, looking like a great 9b palm for me. I have 3 from mike evans, all are going great. Here is the one that was most exposed and took the frost burn two years ago in december 2010. Pic is from sept 2012. I guess once you get them in the ground for a bit they will be OK in tampa area.

Edited by sonoranfans

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Dan in Vallejo

Here is mine, pushing out new growth. My bismarckias were more frost tolerant, this is more like my syagrus romanzoffiana x schitzophillia. I also had a windowpane palm right next to it at the same size, dead as a doornail.

Well here is an update with a happy return. My frost burned alfredii (from above) pushed out some new fronds and here is how it looks now in july. I'm still encouraged that it may get even more frost hardy as it ages, or my yard will grow in and be less susceptible to frost events. This one was in a relative cold spot with no overhead at all within 25'. Today it has a Hopper xjubyagrus about 15 feet away and a live oak within 18' in another direction, so I expect it will get warmer in that spot in the future.

Update of the alfredii in post 107 which took that hard frost. It has really recovered nicely, looking like a great 9b palm for me. I have 3 from mike evans, all are going great. Here is the one that was most exposed and took the frost burn two years ago in december 2010. Pic is from sept 2012. I guess once you get them in the ground for a bit they will be OK in tampa area.

Thank you so much for posting your experience with this palm! I ordered one off of ebay last week and it will be arriving today. I look forward to trying it out here in my microclimate in northern california San francisco bay area. :D

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sonoranfans

Here is mine, pushing out new growth. My bismarckias were more frost tolerant, this is more like my syagrus romanzoffiana x schitzophillia. I also had a windowpane palm right next to it at the same size, dead as a doornail.

Well here is an update with a happy return. My frost burned alfredii (from above) pushed out some new fronds and here is how it looks now in july. I'm still encouraged that it may get even more frost hardy as it ages, or my yard will grow in and be less susceptible to frost events. This one was in a relative cold spot with no overhead at all within 25'. Today it has a Hopper xjubyagrus about 15 feet away and a live oak within 18' in another direction, so I expect it will get warmer in that spot in the future.

Update of the alfredii in post 107 which took that hard frost. It has really recovered nicely, looking like a great 9b palm for me. I have 3 from mike evans, all are going great. Here is the one that was most exposed and took the frost burn two years ago in december 2010. Pic is from sept 2012. I guess once you get them in the ground for a bit they will be OK in tampa area.

Thank you so much for posting your experience with this palm! I ordered one off of ebay last week and it will be arriving today. I look forward to trying it out here in my microclimate in northern california San francisco bay area. :D

Good luck Dan,

I think the only issue I have seen is frost at a small size, and they do come back from it. My other two have just sailed right along and this one the one that got burned is in direct overhead sun with no canopy. Even though it was burned it is STILL the biggest one because this species really likes the sun exposure...

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GladTidings

Casa Grande AZ - 2 in the ground with about 6 leaves & 1 foot tall - got down to 19 for a few hours one night and hard freezes & frosts many nights this winter. The coldest in 50 years! One was in the open & froze the other was protected a little and was not phased!

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Sutter Bob

Similar experience here.

I'm down to two out of about ten over several years.

They don't survive uncovered as small plants (2-3 feet tall).

One in deep cover is totally fine.

One in partial cover took a beating but is growing again.

As I noted last year they will be tricky to manage here due to need for cover when young but a fairly large mature tree.

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Brahea Axel

I am posting this for a friend in Saratoga, I just adopted his b. alfredii in a 25g tub, filled with roots but only 3 feet in size above the pot. It was out in the open, full sun, fully exposed to the elements in Saratoga and took 25F without even a trace of damage. The cold damage on other palms verified the 25F exposure. This palm looks as good as many exposed specimens I've seen in Southern California. Grown from seed.

null_zpsc6f3deb2.jpg

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Brahea Axel

I am posting this for a friend in Saratoga, I just adopted his b. alfredii in a 25g tub, filled with roots but only 3 feet in size above the pot. It was out in the open, full sun, fully exposed to the elements in Saratoga and took 25F without even a trace of damage. The cold damage on other palms verified the 25F exposure. This palm looks as good as many exposed specimens I've seen in Southern California. Grown from seed.

null_zpsc6f3deb2.jpg

The above mentioned plant was planted out in the lowest part of the garden fully exposed to the night sky. I also planted a 1 gallon down there from Floribunda. Lower garden froze solid 10 hours per night for 7 nights, lowest night 26.6F, dry radiational freeze with some frost in those locations that experienced no wind. Not a single trace of damage. This plant looks perfect, new spear continues to grow. Floribuna palm is also perfect, not a trace of damage. A third specimen in more shade also looks perfect.

In my upper garden, there was much more air flow, only two nights froze for about 4 hours, bottoming out around 31.6F. Rest of the nights hovered around 33-36F mark. My largest alfredii is up there and has not missed a beat, spear grew a couple of inches during the cold freeze with highs in the low 50's and lows in the 30's.

Too early to tell, but all signs look towards this palm to be cool Summer tolerant, handles some chill and some minor below freezing temps. Appears to perform similar to parajubaea cocoides.

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Sutter Bob

Keep us posted on these Axel.

I've found them to be slow to show damage.

Two that I've had in protected locations for several years looking ok so far.

I added a new larger specimen outside last spring in a more open location that I'm helping with lights and a frost blanket.

It also looks ok for now in spite of multiple mornings in the 20s.

Will know for sure next spring.

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Zeeth

I am posting this for a friend in Saratoga, I just adopted his b. alfredii in a 25g tub, filled with roots but only 3 feet in size above the pot. It was out in the open, full sun, fully exposed to the elements in Saratoga and took 25F without even a trace of damage. The cold damage on other palms verified the 25F exposure. This palm looks as good as many exposed specimens I've seen in Southern California. Grown from seed.

null_zpsc6f3deb2.jpg

The above mentioned plant was planted out in the lowest part of the garden fully exposed to the night sky. I also planted a 1 gallon down there from Floribunda. Lower garden froze solid 10 hours per night for 7 nights, lowest night 26.6F, dry radiational freeze with some frost in those locations that experienced no wind. Not a single trace of damage. This plant looks perfect, new spear continues to grow. Floribuna palm is also perfect, not a trace of damage. A third specimen in more shade also looks perfect.

In my upper garden, there was much more air flow, only two nights froze for about 4 hours, bottoming out around 31.6F. Rest of the nights hovered around 33-36F mark. My largest alfredii is up there and has not missed a beat, spear grew a couple of inches during the cold freeze with highs in the low 50's and lows in the 30's.

Too early to tell, but all signs look towards this palm to be cool Summer tolerant, handles some chill and some minor below freezing temps. Appears to perform similar to parajubaea cocoides.

You've already hit 26 degrees? Yikes! It's not even winter yet!

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Brahea Axel

I am posting this for a friend in Saratoga, I just adopted his b. alfredii in a 25g tub, filled with roots but only 3 feet in size above the pot. It was out in the open, full sun, fully exposed to the elements in Saratoga and took 25F without even a trace of damage. The cold damage on other palms verified the 25F exposure. This palm looks as good as many exposed specimens I've seen in Southern California. Grown from seed.

null_zpsc6f3deb2.jpg

The above mentioned plant was planted out in the lowest part of the garden fully exposed to the night sky. I also planted a 1 gallon down there from Floribunda. Lower garden froze solid 10 hours per night for 7 nights, lowest night 26.6F, dry radiational freeze with some frost in those locations that experienced no wind. Not a single trace of damage. This plant looks perfect, new spear continues to grow. Floribuna palm is also perfect, not a trace of damage. A third specimen in more shade also looks perfect.

In my upper garden, there was much more air flow, only two nights froze for about 4 hours, bottoming out around 31.6F. Rest of the nights hovered around 33-36F mark. My largest alfredii is up there and has not missed a beat, spear grew a couple of inches during the cold freeze with highs in the low 50's and lows in the 30's.

Too early to tell, but all signs look towards this palm to be cool Summer tolerant, handles some chill and some minor below freezing temps. Appears to perform similar to parajubaea cocoides.

You've already hit 26 degrees? Yikes! It's not even winter yet!

We had a record freeze in California. it's one of the earliest freezes I've seen. Historically speaking, the most severe freezes in California always hit in December, and this isn't unusual. 1972 was another record freeze that came with snow and it also occured in early December. Our most vulnerable time for freezes is thanksgiving through valentine's day, and that's what I actually consider to be "Winter".

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Zeeth

I have 2 Beccariophoenix, madagascariensis and alfredii. Both have taken 3 weeks of sub zero temps with at least 2 excursions to -4c/24.8v and 2 lower dips to -5c/23f. very minor damage but generally both looking good.

They were covered in a 4 tier mini g along with a Jubaeopsis caffra which has taken substantial damage.

both Beccariophoenix are in pots the Jubaeopsis is in the ground.

Regards Andy.

Any updates on the B. alfredii in Northern Ireland?

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Brahea Axel

Several days of 70-84F with lows 48-55F, no additional damage has shown up. These things are rock solid.

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Sandy Loam

My beccariophoenix alfredii did not die because of cold, but because I made the mistake of transplanting it to a different location in my garden. It was only with me for about 2 years, but it never suffered any cold damage and it did go through a night at 26 F and another in the low 20s. It was covered by a blanket both nights and was nestled in with other palms which likely protected it, including some overhead canopy.

I will try this palm again at some point. My main advice is not to transplant it once it starts growing. When I tried to dig it up, the roots had spread absolutely everywhere, and much more to the left and right then straight down into the ground (unlike some other palms). Detaching it in that way put the plant into a permanent decline.

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JEFF IN MODESTO

I think our official lowest temp was 24f, my thermometer close to my house said 26f with many other nights below freezing.

My smallish 15 gal sized palm appears to have 50% leaf damage.

Based on 2 years experience, I'd say they seem to gain hardiness the older they get.

Jeff

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Tropicdoc

Jeff, we will wait and see what Keith in New Iberia, Louisiana has to say after our arctic vortex event. I gave him my remaining 4 Alfies because I have NO canopy. I wanted some full sun "coconuts" for around my pool yet to be built. He planted them under live oak canopy. I think he bottomed out at 21 F 2 days ago.

I will echo what was said above by "Sandy Loam" I had planted these alfies. I had 5. I dug them up to put in 25 gallon tubs to grow to size since I hadn't laid out the pool yet. Well, one died probably because of root disturbance. They all were about 12-24 inches high, but had roots going like 3 feet laterally! I wonder if that has any bearing on them being so slow to trunk. People have like 20 foot specimens with no trunk! From what I've heard coconuts begin to trunk about 3-5 years from seed.

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Brahea Axel

I think our official lowest temp was 24f, my thermometer close to my house said 26f with many other nights below freezing.

My smallish 15 gal sized palm appears to have 50% leaf damage.

Based on 2 years experience, I'd say they seem to gain hardiness the older they get.

Jeff

Jeff, I am beginning to seriously question your temperature measurements, or else mine are too warm. I had my weather station read 26F one night, and had the other 4 remaining nights at 28-29F. My alfredii in my lower garden about 50 feet down hill from the weather station are completely untouched by the freeze. based on the damage on the nearby paroti palm, I am pretty sure it got to 25F down there. This is the photo of the biggest in the lower garden taken today.

20140108_135351_zpstt6c01dp.jpg

And here is one of Floribunda's seedlings planted this Summer, not a trace of damage on that thing even though it was uncovered. Not the burned ginger behind it.

20140108_135413_zps5hysy2el.jpg

Now in contast, only 15 feet away, this paroti palm got some frost damage, indicating how cold it really was:

20140108_135438_zpsdlzk8qe3.jpg

B. alfredii is pretty tough from what I can see. Ironically, the only damage I saw was to my largest 6 footer Rancho Soledad alfredii from Hawaii planted on top of the hill where it only got to 31F. It was opening a new leaf after the freeze, and shows some signs of cold stress on that leaf.

20140108_141305_zps1i1ukar2.jpg

I know I am being a little picky, because as a whole, this palm still looks great. It's just not good to have a freeze in the middle of a new spear opening, it's sort of like having tender growth on a macademia or citrus that gets zapped by almost nothing. Here's the entire palm, still looking quite nice. This thing is faster than any of my parajubaea, and seems to be putting out quite a lof of active growth in the middle of Winter, a testament to how this is really a highland palm. You can see the untouched impatient in the background, a testament that it probably just got to about 32F there if even that cold. It didn't take much cold to tweak the new leaf since it was just opening.

20140108_141348_zpsfkqucrrh.jpg

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Tropicdoc

Axel, how much frost ? From what it seems is cold is not an issue..... It's frost! That's why I gave mine away!

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Xhoniwaters1

My conclusion is that smaller alfredii must fall off a cliff somewhere between 22-25 degrees without frost. Mine looks to have complete defoliation and likely death at a dry 21 degrees. Also to note.. my plant had around 30 total hours of freezing temps- lows 21 and then 27 degrees on the 2nd night.

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Brahea Axel

Axel, how much frost ? From what it seems is cold is not an issue..... It's frost! That's why I gave mine away!

None, we usually don't get frost in the coastal hills here when it gets that cold.

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Tropicdoc

It looks like B. Alfredii will do well for you Axel! You get to grow a giant "coconut palm" We get way too much frost here.

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Xhoniwaters1

My conclusion is that smaller alfredii must fall off a cliff somewhere between 22-25 degrees without frost. Mine looks to have complete defoliation and likely death at a dry 21 degrees. Also to note.. my plant had around 30 total hours of freezing temps- lows 21 and then 27 degrees on the 2nd night.

Back from zero protection with this low

post-6146-0-99582600-1401312895_thumb.jp

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Brahea Axel

OK, here's my early Summer update:

This one that was exposed to 26/27F that showed no damage in January seemed to have spear stall, and got spear pull in April.

January:

20140108_135351_zpstt6c01dp.jpg

But now it's growing right out of it:

20140527_112959_zpsssgfvrh7.jpg

The Floribunda seedlings planted 30 feet away did fine, no spear pull. It was much smaller.

20140108_135413_zps5hysy2el.jpg

The paroti palm 15 feet away not only got some visible frost damage, but several of the stems got spear pull.

20140108_135438_zpsdlzk8qe3.jpg

The largest 6 footer Rancho Soledad alfredii from Hawaii ended up growing right through the Winter, still growing strong now.

20140108_141348_zpsfkqucrrh.jpg

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Tropicdoc

These could end up being like phoenix roebellini here. Grow able and bud hardy but subject to die back in years below 25

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_Keith

First time playing with a little video.

Things I forgot to mention, first, thank you Chad (Tropicdoc) for the very gratious gift of these 4 B. alfredii. Second, keep in mind that while these palms did get minimal protections, they were not at all established prior to winter.

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Brahea Axel

These could end up being like phoenix roebellini here. Grow able and bud hardy but subject to die back in years below 25

Judging from how cold Keith's alfredii got these things obviously have a plenty hardy growing point, but new growth is definitely tender. Here we get the opposite of roebelini, the spear is likely to rot out if it freezes because our Winters are wet but the leaves are hardy and can take the cold. This seems to be what happened here. As long as it was dry there was no issue, but as soon as the rains kicked in late February rot kicked in.

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Zeeth

First time playing with a little video.

Things I forgot to mention, first, thank you Chad (Tropicdoc) for the very gratious gift of these 4 B. alfredii. Second, keep in mind that while these palms did get minimal protections, they were not at all established prior to winter.

Great to see the recovery of the B. alfredii. That's about what the coconuts around here looked after 2010, so they should be relatively long term for you as long as you don't have another event like this.

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Tropicdoc

If a picture speaks a thousand a video speaks a million words thanks Keith

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JEFF IN MODESTO

Well, I have such a small yard with houses close by there are several microclimates so my temps very greatly.

The one in the pot did the best... zero damage which tell me my garden soil must not be ideal... Im guessing our soil ph is too high.

I think in close prox to a house or under canopy... they will do ok.. but mine seems to be hardier than a King palm ... about the hardiness of Parajuea Cocoides. Of course the larger they are the more cold they can take.

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Sandy Loam

Hello all. I am going to ask an unrelated question about beccariophoenix alfredii (not cold-hardiness) because I don't want to start a new thread that nobody will respond to.

My question is about whether or not beccariophoenix alfredii is "self-cleaning". Does anybody know or have experience with how well/quickly it sheds its dead fronds?

Also, does anyone know if this palm dislikes being bare-rooted? (when one gallon size or smaller) I might buy one that ships bare-rooted as an experiment, but if it's just not worth the risk I will buy a potted one instead.

Thanks. I look forward to your responses.

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Pete in Paradise Hills

Hello all. I am going to ask an unrelated question about beccariophoenix alfredii (not cold-hardiness) because I don't want to start a new thread that nobody will respond to.

My question is about whether or not beccariophoenix alfredii is "self-cleaning". Does anybody know or have experience with how well/quickly it sheds its dead fronds?

Also, does anyone know if this palm dislikes being bare-rooted? (when one gallon size or smaller) I might buy one that ships bare-rooted as an experiment, but if it's just not worth the risk I will buy a potted one instead.

Thanks. I look forward to your responses.

yes it's self cleaning. as far as buying bare root , I remember reading someone saying he had an alfie eaten by gophers that recovered and "came back to life." they are tough as nails. If I didn't have two and couldn't obtain them locally , I wouldn't have a problem buying bare root..

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John Case

This post will get a ton of responses merely because so many people are interested in this species. (Dean should it be moved?)

My answer is that seedlings are ship bareroot from Floribunda to me with no problems at all. Digging one out and moving it (which I have done) also seems to incur no damage, just a slowing of growth as this palm is a vigorous grower of roots.

As to whether it is self cleaning, few would know as there are few, if any, trunking specimens in the USA.

If you want one, I would suggest getting the bare root.

Good luck!

JC

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