How to move a banana tree now?

austinyankeefanOctober 20, 2007

Please give us your advice. We live in Austin, TX, zone 8 and they are about to dig our long-awaited pool. Unfortunately we have a beautiful banana tree that must be transplanted. It was a freebee from a friend's neighbor so I have no idea what type it is. It is probably 7-8 feet tall with probably 10 broad leaves. It's been in this spot for probably 2-3 years and is doing well. My mother-in-law says to cut it all the way to the ground and transplant it to another spot in the yard. I'm afraid that it won't have time to establish a good root system before our mild winters. Any advice on how to move it, where to put it, maybe indoors for the winter, would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks!

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pitangadiego(San Diego, CA)

Go for it. Take as much rootball as you can (6' diameter would be good). The rootzone is probably only 12-16" deep. Water it well, and then don't over water it. When new leaves begin emerging, that will be the good sign. Older leaves will probably die off and it will be unhappy for a while. Worst case, the whole plant will die back, but even then you will most likely get some new pups.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2007 at 11:24PM
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Pitangadiego's info is helpful. I took this risk of transplanting my Kru to a more protected area in my garden. It was 10 ft from base of stem to tip of leaves and the pseudostem itself was about 6 ft. I had to take this risk of relocating it because the mother plant died early this year leaving this baby to thrive on. It was on the northside of my yard and the mother plant did not take the cold spell well.

This was about a month ago. I didn't know if it was going to survive. At first, the older leaves started to droop and turn yellowish, but today I went out to check on it and was surprised with the progress it has made (picture attached).

Kru (the taller one shown in this picture) after the relocation:

New leaf growth

So, I think it should be ok to try, though I'm not so sure whether it would reestablish itself quickly with your forthcoming mild winter. If there's global warming again this year, maybe it will be fine, but as pitangadiego said, worst case scenario, the plant dies back and most likely throws out some pups when the weather gets warmer. Either way, I think it would be better than chopping off your plant now for it may survive transplanting it whole. All the best!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 2:16PM
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Thanks for the info. My husband and I moved it today. It was about 12-16" deep as you suggested it might be. We took off a few of the bottom leaves and it seems to be doing well today, we'll see what it looks like tomorrow! We were both suprised when we saw a baby behind the main trunk! So if this one does die, hopefully this baby will live or more will come next year. We've mulched it well and are hoping for the best. Thanks for your advice. Bananafan...your tree is doing great!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 9:18PM
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I think global warning is hotter summers and colder winters.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2007 at 6:41PM
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