bananas and rodents

catlover_gardenerNovember 1, 2007

My Home Asso prez says that I have to destroy my banana trre because it harbors rats and pests. I love my banana plant, and it has given me many bunches of fruit. Is it true? I have never seen a rat in our backyard before, but I have seen many two legged ones on our property!!!

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islandbreeze

Why can't you periodically just trim most of the lower leaves off, so you can argue that the tree no longer gives any kind of shelter to the rats. Only leave the newest 4 leaves of each plant.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 8:41PM
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hueytlatoani

islandbreeze, that's an excellent idea-and pretty much what I was going to say, except that I would suggest cutting to leave the top 5 leaves. Research that I have read indicated that leaves 1-5 (Fully expanded leaves, counted from the apex) are the most photosynthetically active leaves on a banana plant at any given time. So I wouldn't go cutting off an extra leaf if I didn't have to (A banana leaf has tremendous photosynthetic value to the plant-they have quite alot of surface area). The drawback is that other research has shown that for maximum bunch size a minimum of 9 fully expanded leaves is required-I would offset the loss of leaf area by trimming down to 1 pup per plant... Anyway, only problem I can see with rodents would be if there were either dead leaves draping down to the ground in a "Skirt" or if there were so many suckers growing that they make a hodgepodge of ratty shoots. Either way, if the plant is well maintained the association should have no argument against it.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 9:26AM
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