Amazing tall palm tree transplant in Victoria, BC

den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)June 14, 2008

This 25 year old palm tree was planted too close to a Victoria home and grew into power lines. The owner wanted to cut down the tree. A friend told the owner that I could give it a home. So we moved the tree into my garden. It is a mature Windmill palm (male specimen). We took off at least half the fronds and most of the flowers to make up for root loss.

I tied a tow line and we felled the palm. Dragged it out on a paved surface and then loaded the tree into a cube van. The tree took a short trip on the Trans-Canada to it's new home 15 km away. It took 4 men to stand the palm. It is over 20' tall so it makes for an instant palm surprising the neighbours.

Info for BC coastal gardeners: Many of you have noticed fan palms in milder areas. Most of them are Trachycarpus fortunei like this mature tree. This is not the tallest palm in Greater Victoria but it is fully BC grown. Mother Nature has done a great job on Vancouver Island when it comes to this tree.


Here is a link that might be useful: Tall palm tree transplant on Vancouver Island

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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

Haha - that would have been amusing to see driving down the highway :-)

Nice find though! What is the average lifespan for a windmill palm?


    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 12:37PM
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Hi Denis:

It has been a while since I last seen a post from you. I do not visit this site as often now as there does not seem to be much traffic.

Great shot of the palm tree. I am still looking to plant one in my yard. A smaller seedling would be probably be quickly out competed by my gunnera and inula magnifica so I am looking for one that is a least a couple of feet tall. If you run across one that is inexpensive (my garden has a smallish budget) please drop me an email at (


Here is a link that might be useful: Our website

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 5:00PM
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den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)

Bonniepunch, good question as palms are not very well known in the plant world. The lifespan of a Windmill palm is expected at about a century. Palms are not considered "true" trees by some botanists. They are related to grasses and that is evident when a seedlings emerge from the ground. Some people in BC know this and select them rather than weed them. Jubaea palms (for those who have them or seen them) can live up to a thousand years.

Below is an image link of Windmill palms in North Vancouver, BC.

Here is a link that might be useful: Palm trees in North Vancouver, BC

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 1:33AM
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den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)

Palms at Sunnyside Nurseries in Tsawwassen are cheap. I suggest that you find one with a foot of trunk if you are going to the lower mainland. I found their palms cheaper than other locations. The nursery at Elk Lake or Marigold Nursery have the better prices around Victoria. Happy Palms Nursery sells small specimens for $8.

It's been a while since I saw the range of colour in your garden. I'd like to take a look at it this summer. Mine is still under construction but it has interesting trees such as a Lantern tree, Desfontainea spinosa (sold by Don the Brugman in Saanich), variegated Fatsia and an evergreen tree from New Zealand that flowers white. The Desfontainea has leaves like a holly tree with orangy trumpet flowers that can appear at anytime. I use it for post-summer colour.

I potted a Vanderwolf pine that had been planted by previous owners. It's just too big and too fast for my garden. I'm getting rid of bananas next spring and you're welcome to take some canes. They remain in the garden as I expect bananas on two canes. Palms, bamboo and yuccas will replace them next April. I find that palms & yuccas produce less garden waste and I don't need to rake leaves like owners of oaks & maples.

Image link of Banana Joe with a Brahea armata on Salt Spring.


Here is a link that might be useful: Brahea armata on Salt Spring Island, BC

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 2:21AM
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We live just south of the Canadian border in Washington state. I peek into the Canadian gardening forum from time to time because we're soooooo close.

I had to laugh at this topic as my husband and I always notice & comment on the abundance of palms as soon as we cross the border. There are a lot of sub-climates around here but it's substantially the same as here. We think it's attitude and outlook that have brought in the palms. Something about being the southern-most garden vs. the northern-most.

Since I'm here and you're probably Canadian reading this, we love your gardens and visit often around victoria & vancouver!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 4:46PM
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