My sabal fronds won't grow

hungvlamOctober 3, 2013

We have recently purchased and planted a sabal. It has been 2 months, but the fronds on top still haven't come out yet. Any ideas what we need to do? The other 3 palm trees bought at the same time are doing just fine. Thanks.

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If the other 2 are the ones pictured, I'm guessing they were containerized. Hurricane cut palmettos will take a long time to establish and grow extremely slowly. Unfortunately, in many cases they don't make it. 2 months is not a very long time, and I'm no expert based on where I live alone, but it seems it may have been planted a little late in the season depending on where you live in NC. Make sure you keep it well watered and you'll probably need to protect a bit this winter from freezing precipitation. As long as the center spear is green, you'll be fine. Even next year though, you might only get a couple of fronds.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 5:47PM
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Thanks for the response. Yep, I have been watching those spears to make sure they don't turn brown.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 9:21PM
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It could take up to a year to see growth.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 5:26PM
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It's likely putting all its energy into its roots. Keep giving it slot of water while the weather is still warm. Depending on where you are in NC, you might want to offer the crown a little winter protection on the coldest nights and to keep out any winter precipitation if you get any there. It should be fine.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 10:51PM
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Thanks for all replies. What's the crown of the palm tree?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 1:05PM
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Um... The leaves/fronds.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 12:24AM
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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

I would definitely protect it this winter no matter where you are in NC since the palm is weakened by being field dug and being hurricane cut, plus like the others I agree it was planted a bit late in the season. I would suggest using small incandescent xmas lights (no LEDs they don't give off heat) wrapped around the crown area and then covered with frost cloth to allow the crown of the palm to breath, but keep out moisture from freezing rain or snow.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 11:22PM
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Be careful if you do decide to protect it if you are in Z8, as it would be pretty easy to cook a wrapped plant during one of the freak 80 degree Feb warms ups that can happen. Climbing up there to wrap/unwrap the crown could get old fast. Did it come with a 1 year replacement (I know many of the places around here do that for installed sabals)? If it did, you might just let it tough it out this winter, and if it is dead by April get a new one?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 9:18AM
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