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Is it safe to plant my palm here??


taimysho0

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Hi I bought this mexican palm from home depot.  I planted it in an open spot in front if my garage.  Should I be concerned about future root problems to the foundation? I plan to keep the palm leaves small by clipping it before it gets bigger to block my address sign

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It is highly unlikely that palm roots will damage foundation because of its fibrous structure. Palm roots would preferably grow in a path of least resistance. The only concern is if it’s trunk would be thin enough to stay within the spaces.

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Roots won't hurt a thing.. Not possible to trim the leaves to keep it small.. Being a Washingtonia, ..or so it looks.. it will out grow that space fairly quickly.  Slower growing Pygmy Date would be a better fit - if available there.

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Yeah, as others have said. It’s not necessarily the roots but the mature size of the species. These are planted all over Southern California near my house and many are 75+ ft tall and have bases 3ft wide at a minimum. 
 

If you really want to keep it, I’d take it out and plant it in an open/full sun area where it has room to grow vertically and horizontally at the base. 
 

2 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Roots won't hurt a thing.. Not possible to trim the leaves to keep it small.. Being a Washingtonia, ..or so it looks.. it will out grow that space fairly quickly.  Slower growing Pygmy Date would be a better fit - if available there.

I would advise against this if you can. Although it would be a much better species for that size of an area, Pygmy’s get pretty good thorns and being close to any walkway will be ill advised. 
 

You could plant a Chamaedorea Plumosa there. Maybe just a couple Ti plants or Crinums in that location as they stay smaller or can be trimmed accordingly. You have other options as well as other palms. 
 

-dale  

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I agree with what everyone is saying not the roots but the wrong choice as that will get bigger and be a problem child a Cocothrinax ekmanii would be my choice but it comes down to availability of what’s on offer in your area perhaps a Davidson plum tree but it looks like you have your heart set on a palm iam not sure of your climate how cold it gets that will  be part of the decision as to what type of palm gets planted either way good luck with your gardening 

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I guess it will get a lean and the fronds will brush up against the house for a few years untill it clears the roof. Only worry is if this Robusta is actually a Filibusta with a lot of Filifera in it. 

Sometimes It is hard to jugde when the palms are small. I have had some palms that had mostly robusta signs turn out fat as hell and I also have palm I thought was like 80% Filifera, but it got more and more robusta traits as it grew and has fairly thin trunk. 

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Zack, Welcome to Palmtalk !  :)

Washingtonia robusta is not the best choice for this application.  The species is too fast growing, and the dead fronds do not fall off cleanly.  This will become a maintenance problem in just a few years.   If you like fan palms then consider a Brahea palm.  The senescent fronds still need to be trimmed off, but the palm is slower growing.  Ask around for one of the smaller species, you can call Palm Island nursery in Vacaville.  Good luck !

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San Francisco, California

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As others have said, it is the fronds and trunk diameter you will have to deal with as this palm grows. They are pretty fast growing the right climate , so if you keep it trimmed tight it may be OK. I have seen these palms grown close to concrete without disturbing the slab. Harry

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30 minutes ago, Darold Petty said:

Zack, Welcome to Palmtalk !  :)

Washingtonia robusta is not the best choice for this application.  The species is too fast growing, and the dead fronds do not fall off cleanly.  This will become a maintenance problem in just a few years.   If you like fan palms then consider a Brahea palm.  The senescent fronds still need to be trimmed off, but the palm is slower growing.  Ask around for one of the smaller species, you can call Palm Island nursery in Vacaville.  Good luck !

Agree with Darold that a slender-er Brahea  would look nice there..  and up there, it would -likely- take ...quite some time to get as big as the second shot ( from a a neighborhood here ) ..Depending how hot it gets there in Lathrop. ( Had family that lived in Manteca for several years. Always said it was warmer than San Jose  )

These particular B. armata  specimens in my old 'hood ( San Jose ) have been here since ... -at least- the early 80s.   Oddly not much larger than when i attended the elementary school a couple blocks away and walked past them fairly often.   ....a long time ago, haha.

braheasanjo.jpg.9202ab040bcf646a56bfefc7b32bcdab.jpg

Some big kids, here in Chandler ( AZ ) where it's hot..

IMG_8747.thumb.JPG.13935a7a19eabc80dee59205d71defaf.JPG



If they didn't have the spines on the trunks (  long, and really dangerous ) Trithrinax brasiliensis  could be a nice, slender fit for that spot. Owner used to tell us to stay away from them /  me not to pluck off the fruit off of them, lol  as kids.

Up the street from my grandparents house ..Blossom Hill / Almaden borderline, San Jo'   ..Planted since -at least- the late 70s.

trithrinaxbras..jpg.c441a3e38cafd135a3e6d10855417316.jpg

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1 hour ago, Darold Petty said:

Zack, Welcome to Palmtalk !  :)

Washingtonia robusta is not the best choice for this application.  The species is too fast growing, and the dead fronds do not fall off cleanly.  This will become a maintenance problem in just a few years.   If you like fan palms then consider a Brahea palm.  The senescent fronds still need to be trimmed off, but the palm is slower growing.  Ask around for one of the smaller species, you can call Palm Island nursery in Vacaville.  Good luck !

A Brahea could be a cool choice. I am just thinking the trunks on those do get too fat for that space? 

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4 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Agree with Darold that a slender-er Brahea  would look nice there..  and up there, it would -likely- take ...quite some time to get as big as the second shot ( from a a neighborhood here ) ..Depending how hot it gets there in Lathrop. ( Had family that lived in Manteca for several years. Always said it was warmer than San Jose  )

These particular B. armata  specimens in my old 'hood ( San Jose ) have been here since ... -at least- the early 80s.   Oddly not much larger than when i attended the elementary school a couple blocks away and walked past them fairly often.   ....a long time ago, haha.

braheasanjo.jpg.9202ab040bcf646a56bfefc7b32bcdab.jpg

Some big kids, here in Chandler ( AZ ) where it's hot..

IMG_8747.thumb.JPG.13935a7a19eabc80dee59205d71defaf.JPG



If they didn't have the spines on the trunks (  long, and really dangerous ) Trithrinax brasiliensis  could be a nice, slender fit for that spot. Owner used to tell us to stay away from them /  me not to pluck off the fruit off of them, lol  as kids.

Up the street from my grandparents house ..Blossom Hill / Almaden borderline, San Jo'   ..Planted since -at least- the late 70s.

trithrinaxbras..jpg.c441a3e38cafd135a3e6d10855417316.jpg

Oh wow those are nice palms! I wonder what the difference is between the one with the thicker trunk and skinny one and how to tell which one I have. I guess if I monitor the growth of mine after a year or so it should be obvious if I have the skinny or thick one

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5 minutes ago, taimysho0 said:

Oh wow those are nice palms! I wonder what the difference is between the one with the thicker trunk and skinny one and how to tell which one I have. I guess if I monitor the growth of mine after a year or so it should be obvious if I have the skinny or thick one

 

3 minutes ago, taimysho0 said:

Nvm disregard the above I think you answered it the 2nd shot is a different species -  the brahea

No worries..  The Brahea pictured in both the 1st and second shots are different-sized examples of B. armata..  a pretty common and tough palm. There are several other sps in the genus, a few in which the trunks are skinnier and won't become monsters  -eventually anyway- lol. 

Take a look at Brahea edulis..  Kind of looks like a Washingtonia, but a little  slower growing, and the leafstalks don't have teeth on them ( nice when you go to trim off the dead fronds )  ..Somewhat slower growing compared to Washingtonia too ( Nicer looking -overall, in my personal opinion )

3rd shot is of another sp palm ..rarer, but tough as well.  The pictured specimens are quite old.  When i was younger, the trunks were covered with a thick skirt of fibers which also contained stiff,  2 to 7" long spines ..Why i'd mentioned it might not make a good candidate for a tight spot like the corner where you have the Washingtonia  planted..

Overall, as others here have mentioned ..these ideas are just the " tip of the ice burg " so to say when it comes to different palm options..  Some are more common, others ..not quite as easy to find..

Regardless, many great Palm Talk members up your way to discuss options with / advise on where to find stuff ..both common,  and more unusual,  -if interested-.

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I'd think the base diameter is a concern, as others said it can get to 3 or so feet in diameter.  The bigger concern for me is the overall fan/crown diameter.  The fans are pretty rigid and pokey, and easily will be around 8 feet overall diameter.  It's hard to say from the picture, but it looks like it may try to take out that light in a couple of years.  If it's only been in the ground a little while the roots are probably still pot-shaped, so it would be really easy to move.  If you could move it diagonally (see below) and rearrange the pavers, that might work better long-term.

image.png.de96041284e01734e022e7e61231d4ad.png

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