Jump to content

Moving old Cycas revoluta

Recommended Posts

I need some advice. There is a pair of Cycas revoluta growing between 2 structures slated for demolition. My contractor can't guarantee the demo guy won't destroy them so I need to figure it out soon. A month or two ago I made an attempt to dig them up but the ground was hard as rock. We just had a few weeks of rain so it's time to give it another go. 

How much rootball should I try to keep? Do sagos need to be babied afterward or can I just stick them in the ground and leave them to it? These sagos haven't received any water or care in many years and I suspect they never did. If I must care for them they'll have to go in pots or be given away. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here in swampy, sandy Floriduh that would be a 30 minute job on each one.  The rock/clay is the tough part.  I'd use a pickaxe or mattock to do the digging.  It worked pretty quick at my parent's place near Austin.  As far as toughness and rootball goes, one of my neighbors dug up 3 sagos that size, chopped off all the leaves and all the roots, and tossed them at the curb.  I spotted them on my bike ride the day before yard waste pickup, and grabbed them in my wheelbarrow.  I stuck them in the ground in a part-shade area and 2 out of 3 grew just fine.  The third got a trunk rot and died, but it had some pretty obvious damage to the trunk.

I've moved about 10 of that size myself, and haven't lost one of them.  Cut off the older set of fronds (the ones below horizontal), dig it out, stick it in the ground.  If you get about a 7-15g pot full of roots it'll probably do okay.  They typically have a bunch of close-up fine roots and corraloid roots plus 1-3 "taproots" about 2 inches in diameter.  You should try to cut those smoothly when digging it out, just tilt it to the side and slice in there with a sharp shovel.  If they get a bit shredded digging them out then just cut them smoothly across with a sharp knife or loppers.  The root will keep growing if it's cut evenly.  Try not to mess with the corraloid roots, those will be important for generating nutrition after transplant.  They are usually close to the trunk and close to the surface.  Those are probably 200-300lb each, so you might need an assistant to move them.

I think my only concern is just the heat and lack of rain.  If you are transplanting to full sun they might struggle to get re-established.  A splash of water every once in a while should help.

  • Like 3
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...