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Translanting considerations for tillering palms


Brian F. Austin
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When I looked at my 5 gal Sabal X Brazoriensis I noticed the small heel protruding from the soil. I didn't know too much about heels, but thought it was best to NOT prune it. But I'm not sure as far as transplanting goes... should the heel be left a certain distance above the soil level? I read to keep the top third of the heel above ground from palmpedia, but how do I even determine the top third without removing the soil around the roots? 

I'm new to growing palms and any general tips for transplanting would be greatly appreciated. Like mounding and basins and such.

here's some links I was looking at: http://w3.biosci.utexas.edu/prc/Sabal/saxophone.html

https://dghaskell.com/2015/06/12/palm-tree-saxophones/

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I always plant the heel even with the palm itself if that makes sense. I have never had a sabal suffer planting them this way, and some of them have been in the ground for years. I hope this helps.

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Hi Scot, I think I know what you are saying. In the photo my plant looks like its leaning towards the right with the heel on the left. When I transplant maybe I should even it up a little left towards the heel. It seems like the heel should be planted underground, but I wouldn't want to cause any kind of rot by planting too deep. Also being a relative of s. minor, I don't want this plant to spend too much time growing underground:)

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Hi Brian,

It looks like your Sabal is in a container now so it looks like you are planting (rather than transplanting) so you shouldn't have any problem.  I've lost a couple of Sabal minors and and Sabal palmettos that I dug up and moved to a different location - they seem to be pretty sensitive to transplants when young.  Each time I tried my best to get all of the roots, but they slowly declined and eventually died so keep that in mind if you ever decide to move it.  All other species of palms that I have moved seem to take transplanting much better.  Hope your palm does well!  I know how hot and dry those Austin summers can be because I used to live near Bastrop.

Jon

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Jon Sunder

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