How to transplant small palm trees

johnh6789February 6, 2013

Hi All,

I have a few Palm Trees of various type, ranging in sive from ankle high to waist high, which I'd like to transplant to a different area. Anyone have suggestions as to how this is done best? All the trees were planted roughly 6 mo. to 1 year ago.


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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

I don't know about all palms, but I had three pygmy dates (Phoenix roebelinii) planted on the north side of my house. I had put them in last March or April and had to move them come September when I realized they would be deep in shadow and open to the cold NW winds. So about 5-6 months in-ground. When it came time to move them I dug a hole about twice the diameter of the plant, so if from center of the palm to the end of the fronds was 8 inches, I dug at 16 inches. After 'slicing' the shovel deep around the entire circumference of the palm, I went back around and this time I gently levered upward as I went. As I did this, a few times I felt a 'pop' in the handle of the shovel and figured this was roots snapping and it made me cringe a bit. But once I got the entire root ball up out of the soil, the tap roots were there, dangling from the bottom. So I guess the popping was the ground releasing the roots.

I probably could have then transfered the entire root ball to the new location for the palms, but instead I sat each palm (which was actually a cluster of three palms, so nine palms total) in their own 5 gallon bucket with rainwater to loosen the soil and clean the roots. They sat like this for about a day. I then pulled them from the buckets and removed as much of the soil as possible from the roots, effectively bare-rooting them, though I expect a professional would say there was way too much soil left on the roots to be truly bare-rooted. I pretty much used a bag of MG Palm, Cactus and Citrus soil per clump of palms in their new locations and watered well with rainwater of the next couple of months.

As of today, all three clumps of palms are looking good, though a little frost-nipped.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 8:41AM
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Transplanting palms is easier than most other plant species. Check the link.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 1:20PM
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Thanks for the replies all. It doesn't seem like I should have much issue then.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:07PM
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