Surgery performed 2

trishmick(z7NJ)August 12, 2014

Went down with my cut a few more inches, bringing the total trunk removal to almost 2 feet. Waited some days before taking a look, and this is what I see. Yes, it is growing...at least, I think it is. No expert by any stretch with this whole trunk cutting thing, and, the browning around the edges worries me some. But...is my old guy making a comeback here?

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islandbreeze

From what I understand about trunk cutting (which isn't much), that's exactly what u wanna see. Now just hope it grows a few fronds by winter and make sure to. Give it some moderate winter protection in it's weakened state. Xmas lights, burlap, insulation, etc. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:20PM
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tropicalzone7(7b)

It looks like it's growing back to me! That's awesome! I hope it continues to grow. I know sometimes they grow initially and then die out, but I think considering the size of yours, it probably has enough energy stored in it to keep it going long enough to take care of itself. At least you still have another 3 solid months of growing left before winter. Keep us updated.
-Alex

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 2:04AM
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JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)

Can somebody explain trunk cutting to me? I just don't get it. If the meristem (growing point) is still alive, the palm will grow. If the meristem is dead, it won't. It seems to me that cutting into it risks doing irreversible damage.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 3:50PM
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islandbreeze

If the meristem is alive, the palm will grow if nothing is obstructing the new growth from growing up and out of the crown cavity. If the meristem is dead at the top, you can cut the rot away to allow the live tissue to continue to grow without rot spreading to it as well, and allow it to grow unobstructed. It's kind of like removing the rotten part of a potato or a tuber. If you don't, it'll continue to take over the entire trunk.

The process IS very risky, but it is also a last resort before letting a palm die altogether.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 6:02PM
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tropicalzone7(7b)

Yeah I agree with Islandbreeze, trunk cutting is definitely a last resort, but worth it if it's the end of the summer and there is still no sign of life. I have never seen palms naturally recover from spear pull months after winter. Usually water collects in the empty cavity and fungus develops, especially with all the damaged plant tissue in there. Trunk cutting gets rid of the rotten stuff and allows any parts that are alive to grow. It seems like some palms respond to it better than others, Trachys are good at recovering from spear pull in general, and they also seem to be good at recovering from trunk cutting. Butias almost never seem to recover from spear pull, but they do recover sometimes after being trunk cut.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 3:46AM
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islandbreeze

Please keep us updated on your palm's progress.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 8:10PM
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trishmick(z7NJ)

Here we are one week later. Would never have considered this if I had seen any activity after the multiple spear pull. But...weeks went by with nothing. Now...well, here are fronds emerging from the cut, and I can't tell you the relief I feel at present. Can only hope this upcoming Winter is much more mild...

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 5:04PM
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