Queen Palm--Should we remove now?

maryinnp(FL9B)September 28, 2009

When we moved into this new home in August of 2004, the builder planted two queen palms in the front yard. When Hurricane Charley nipped our area here in North Port, the palm on the right in photo was "clipped" at the top...the newest frond that was developing got cut in half, and the tree came out of the ground. The builder's people just came back and propped it back up, and it's been growing ever since.

However, it's never seemed to grow exactly "right." The fronds are enormous for its size, especially when you compare it to the one on the left (see photo). The fronds get super heavy, and are always breaking off... at first we thought neighborhood kids were breaking them off, but that's not the case.  And now we are noticing that the bottom appears to be rotting away.Â

 My husband and I are of the mind that we ought to take it down before nature does it for us, but I'd like some "second opinions" here, please, especially from folks who might have had a similar problem. We always hate taking down trees, but we are worried it could be a liability. Your opinions/thoughts would be appreciated.Â

Thanks so much, guys, and though I don't post much, I love this forum. I have learned so much from all of you.


A view from our front door...notice the difference in the two trees...one on the right is the questionable one.

Some close-ups of the base

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As much as I dislike Queen Palms, there's no reason to take out yours. The fronds are nice and thick, and the tree looks healthy. The damage at the base of the trunk is from string trimmers (weed wackers) and it will never heal. Remove the sod around the trunks of both palms and replace it with rocks and ferns to a distance of 24" from the trunk all the way around.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 12:36PM
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johnjsr(9A DeLand)

The damage to the base of the palm may have been started by a string trimmer, but it has gone beyond that now. Both palms look to have been planted too deep. Not good. A tree surgeon may be able to patch it, but it might be better to replace it. My opinion.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 1:53PM
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From what I understand, Queen palms in their native habitat are supposed to have very large palms, much larger then we are used to seeing. In native hab, they get 200 inches per year of water. One of my queens at my house, has outstandingly large palms, that palm gets allot of water because the sprinkler leaks in that location. I do not fix it, the tree looks great. :) Don't fix what really isn't THAT broken. :)

Your palm that was replanted, might actually have become more vigorous as johnjsr said they were planted to deep. Falling over may have resolved some issues for that tree.

Lastly, because of the damage done by the weed whacker, good chance those palms will not live long unless you mulch around them and keep the grass away from the trunk. This is how many palms become diseased is from weed whacker damage. Palms are not like other trees they do not repair themselves.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 4:03PM
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Thanks for all your insights. We've decided to take your advice, mulch around the tree, and keep it going for as long as possible. Like I said in my OP, we hate the thought of removing a tree, even a Queen Palm! A friend of my husband's suggested putting a "tree sleeve" around the base. Anyone know anything about tree sleeves?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 10:14AM
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JerryatTreeZoo(Z10 So Fla)

I would add that you should dig out the soil around the palms to a depth of the palm roots. Probably several inches. It looks like a little "hill" is at the base of the trees, that should be removed and the area maintained grass free with weed killer or by hand pulling, NOT weed trimmers.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 6:24PM
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I also have a queen palm. It was doing great until I installed a sprinker system. The trunk (base of the tree) sinks in now when I push on it. It has maybe two small green leaf stalk growing from the center. The rest is dead. It has been this way for two years (the length of time that I installed the system). Should I remove it the palm? It set one yard from my house.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 7:20PM
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