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Will this palm tree survive the transplant and what do you think?


Peachs
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Livistona Nitida.

I made the mistake of making the hole too tight, which made it difficult to squeeze the soil well so that air could possibly remain on the sides.

The intense heat did not help either, it has been in the ground for about 2 months.

It has been consuming the leaves, it has a slow growth in the center because of some marks I made.
 

6-CA224-E8-7408-498-D-B4-BD-11-CDA8-C649
467-C565-C-998-D-45-A7-8860-F744-B0-BAC8
E1-FF4357-DBCD-4534-A53-D-20-D0-F6643-B3
83627-FFB-9-DB0-4467-88-E6-91-E782-E8-FF

 

Will it survive?

Water intensively every day.

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@Peachs I'd guess that it was very rootbound in the nursery pot.  At only 2 months in the ground you could probably pop it out of the ground and back into the same pot in about 5 minutes.  I'd guess the main problem is that the palm was originally under shade cloth in the nursery.  The fronds look like they have pretty long rachis for a Nitida.  So this means new fronds will probably be shorter in full sun.  "Eating" the old fronds seems normal, but it does look like it has a lot of burned tips from being too hot/sunny/insufficient water. 

One possible issue is that watering a rootbound palm is difficult in the ground.  You have to really water right at the trunk, because it'll take several months to really grow roots out into the surrounding soil.  If you water "near it" you may have wet soil close to the palm but you aren't necessarily delivering water to the existing rootball. 

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1 hour ago, Merlyn said:

@Peachs I'd guess that it was very rootbound in the nursery pot.  At only 2 months in the ground you could probably pop it out of the ground and back into the same pot in about 5 minutes.  I'd guess the main problem is that the palm was originally under shade cloth in the nursery.  The fronds look like they have pretty long rachis for a Nitida.  So this means new fronds will probably be shorter in full sun.  "Eating" the old fronds seems normal, but it does look like it has a lot of burned tips from being too hot/sunny/insufficient water. 

One possible issue is that watering a rootbound palm is difficult in the ground.  You have to really water right at the trunk, because it'll take several months to really grow roots out into the surrounding soil.  If you water "near it" you may have wet soil close to the palm but you aren't necessarily delivering water to the existing rootball. 

I agree. But in its current state, with 3 months left before the cold, do you think it will survive? Is it very important to leave air in the transplant? I planted another one like it a month ago (in a shadier area) and it is perfect! In this case, I made the hole bigger and the transplant was perfect.

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33 minutes ago, Peachs said:

I agree. But in its current state, with 3 months left before the cold, do you think it will survive? Is it very important to leave air in the transplant? I planted another one like it a month ago (in a shadier area) and it is perfect! In this case, I made the hole bigger and the transplant was perfect.

If you have a partially shaded spot I'd think 3 months is an ok time for a transplant.  I try to stop planting sensitive stuff in October, and it usually gets cold here in the beginning of December.  I guess it's a gamble.  Likewise, you could gamble that it'll cool off in a month and maybe it will acclimate to the current location?  Or it may just be too hot and sunny there, regardless of how well you planted it.  Here in Florida most Livistona are full sun palms, but Saribus just really looks bad unless it rains almost every day.  So I guess you have three options:

  1. Leave it in place and keep on watering regularly, hopefully it'll adapt as it cools down and will grow in next spring.
  2. Transplant to a shadier location now.
  3. Repot it to a slightly larger pot now, and protect it over the winter from any excessive cold.

To be honest, I am not sure which of the three options is the best choice.  My best guess is that transplanting now to a shadier spot is a good option, since it'll probably grow happier there next year and will have a chance to root in over the winter.  I've done this several times with palms that were just suffering in too much sun, too much shade, too much or too little water, etc.

As far as air pockets go, it depends on your soil.  I have soft sand, so it is relatively easy to wash in dirt with a hose.  I just dig the hole a little bit bigger diameter and depth, then drop the palm into the hole to check the depth and make sure the bottom sits flat.  Then wash your soil mix into the sides with the hose.  It makes a mucky mess as it washes in, but it works well!

 

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9 hours ago, Merlyn said:

If you have a partially shaded spot I'd think 3 months is an ok time for a transplant.  I try to stop planting sensitive stuff in October, and it usually gets cold here in the beginning of December.  I guess it's a gamble.  Likewise, you could gamble that it'll cool off in a month and maybe it will acclimate to the current location?  Or it may just be too hot and sunny there, regardless of how well you planted it.  Here in Florida most Livistona are full sun palms, but Saribus just really looks bad unless it rains almost every day.  So I guess you have three options:

  1. Leave it in place and keep on watering regularly, hopefully it'll adapt as it cools down and will grow in next spring.
  2. Transplant to a shadier location now.
  3. Repot it to a slightly larger pot now, and protect it over the winter from any excessive cold.

To be honest, I am not sure which of the three options is the best choice.  My best guess is that transplanting now to a shadier spot is a good option, since it'll probably grow happier there next year and will have a chance to root in over the winter.  I've done this several times with palms that were just suffering in too much sun, too much shade, too much or too little water, etc.

As far as air pockets go, it depends on your soil.  I have soft sand, so it is relatively easy to wash in dirt with a hose.  I just dig the hole a little bit bigger diameter and depth, then drop the palm into the hole to check the depth and make sure the bottom sits flat.  Then wash your soil mix into the sides with the hose.  It makes a mucky mess as it washes in, but it works well!

 

Thank you very much! It has been a great help to me. The option of potting it up is interesting. Regarding the air pockets, the soil here is sandy but very compact with stones, I suppose that regular watering would help to eliminate all the air little by little.

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5 hours ago, Peachs said:

Thank you very much! It has been a great help to me. The option of potting it up is interesting. Regarding the air pockets, the soil here is sandy but very compact with stones, I suppose that regular watering would help to eliminate all the air little by little.

Yeah, with sandy soil it is easier to use a hose to wash dirt in around the side when you plant it.  The bigger air pocket risk (at least when I'm planting things) is a pocket in the middle under the palm.  So I usually dig the hole, and drop the potted palm into the hole and check the planting depth from the side by eye.  Then I pick it back up and adjust the hole if necessary.  That isn't a big problem if I am planting up to about a 10 gallon pot, but on big stuff I just have to tape measure it and hope I am close...

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Put a beach umbrella over it to shade it until the cooler months.  

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35 minutes ago, 3 Milesfrom Gulf of Mexico said:

Put a beach umbrella over it to shade it until the cooler months.  

Yes, it is an option. In addition to the transplant stress itself, direct sun will damage it until it gets used to the new conditions.

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  • 1 month later...

632-F0-E86-A193-4-C91-A370-C8-C174-FAB66
5-D49-CF2-B-9-D82-4-CBC-91-C7-668-D61704
70-E4-D712-E96-A-4-C51-BA30-80-C9-A4-ECF
 

Update. Very short petioles. Growing with new leaves but not in height. why? Maybe because of direct sun? It has been 5 months since transplanting.

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4 hours ago, Peachs said:

632-F0-E86-A193-4-C91-A370-C8-C174-FAB66
5-D49-CF2-B-9-D82-4-CBC-91-C7-668-D61704
70-E4-D712-E96-A-4-C51-BA30-80-C9-A4-ECF
 

Update. Very short petioles. Growing with new leaves but not in height. why? Maybe because of direct sun? It has been 5 months since transplanting.

Trees take awhile to acclimate. I wouldn’t sweat the growing habits or looks just yet. If it’s not dying back, it’s doing it’s thing. I’ve had trees do all kinds of weird things for the first 2 years before settling in. 
 

-dale

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1 hour ago, Billeb said:

Trees take awhile to acclimate. I wouldn’t sweat the growing habits or looks just yet. If it’s not dying back, it’s doing it’s thing. I’ve had trees do all kinds of weird things for the first 2 years before settling in. 
 

-dale

Thank you 🤞

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I'd agree with @Billeb, the new leaf looks pretty good even if it's got a really short petiole.  I don't see any brown tips on the 2 new leaves, so it is probably acclimating to the sun/heat/water supply pretty well.  Sometimes shade-grown palms get really long petioles, and then you put them into full sun and the petiole length cuts in half or less.  I think that's probably what is happening here, the petiole is only a foot long and it's buried inside the existing "trunk."  You could trim back the old dead boots and it might show the petiole length better.  But I think next year it'll start looking "normal" for a full sun palm.

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