: We recently bought a foreclosed home. There are no dripping or sprinkler systems in place as the previous owner had a dog who chewed them up. I know that they did not receive water for a few months. The backyard has two huge tall palm trees along with a short but very lively palm. Although I know that there is a layer of palm fronds that needs to be trimmed, I noticed that the fronds are turning brown and I do not want to see them die. So, in the interim I have moved the river rock away from the base of the trees and have taken the water hose and watered the bases of them in the morning and the evening when the sun is not bearing directly on them. I am not sure how long to run the water and do not want to overwater them.
A: Palms have relatively high water use compared to other desert trees and several do well here. This time of year, once a week watering would be fine. I would give them about 20 gallons of water in a basin around the trunk at each watering. They are not terribly deep rooted so watering excessively deep will not cause them to root even deeper.
They respond well to frequent watering so watering them two to three times a week during the summer should result in some improvement. You will not see any improvement in them until next growing season.
It is getting late in the year so I would not remove any of the damaged palm fronds until next spring. Next spring, around a February/March time frame, would be fine to remove the damaged fronds as new growth will begin pushing shortly after that. Fertilize them next February when you are doing your frond removal. Cut the fronds close to the trunk.
Leaving some of these fronds attached to the tree through the winter will help protect the central bud that is critical for the tree’s survival.
Q: I am thinking of planting a corn patch next spring in a pasture behind my home. I have sufficient space to do an 8-by-20-foot area. Can I kill the current pasture grass (mostly Bermuda and native grass) with Roundup this fall and turn it under and manure it later in the winter? Will the Roundup be residual in the soil and harm the corn? Is there a better way? The pasture grass is very thick and matted. What corn variety would you recommend for the Mesquite area? Planting time and watering schedule?
A: I am assuming you mean sweet corn. The Roundup herbicide application will have no residual problems in the soil on the corn the following year. Turning it under is great as long as you add some nitrogen to help break it down, which the manure should do. The Bermuda will be back with a vengeance next year around April or May so you will not completely control it with Roundup and turning it under.
I do not know of a better way to control the Bermuda grass. But, for best control I would recommend that you get it actively growing with an application of nitrogen fertilizer and plenty of water, mow it and then spray it. Spray it with Roundup a second time, applying it the opposite direction. Bermuda grass is going to sleep for the winter now so if it is not green when you apply it, you will be wasting your money. Good fall control is important but you can get some control next spring with a directed spray of Roundup.
The Roundup will have no control on seed that has been dropped. You will probably have to spot spray the Bermuda with Roundup as it appears in the spring, keeping the direct spray off of the corn. If you stay on top of it, you will get it under some control but not all.
You might try Silver Queen, Candy Store, Illini Extra Sweet, Sweet Rhythm, Sweet Symphony or a very early corn called Seneca Arrowhead. Get the seed in the ground as soon as soil temperatures reach 55 F and freezing has past. This might be some time around the first or second week of March.
Q: I have three pine trees that need trimming. Is there a best time of year to have this done? Also, they are dropping lots of needles lately. Is it normal for there to be so many or should I be concerned? I also have a Raywood ash that my husband planted five years ago. It goes through the cycles of losing its leaves in the fall and getting new ones in the spring and it looks quite healthy. However, during all that time it has only grown about 6 inches taller. Do you have any idea what the problem could be? One last question — how often should these trees be deep watered?
A: Major pruning should be done during the winter or at least late fall. Light pruning can be done anytime. Needle drop is normal but if the tree canopy is thinning, then you are probably not giving it enough water.
Deep watering should be done more frequently during the summer than winter — something like once every 10 days in the winter up to about twice a week in the summer. It should be incrementally increased as the weather gets warmer and decreased as the weather gets colder.
If Raywood ash is in rock mulch it will typically not grow very well. It will do better in an organic mulch such as wood chips. You might be able to get it to grow better in a rock mulch with fertilizer applications, including iron in January, with foliar-applied fertilizer like Miracle-Gro as it leafs out in the spring. The choice of iron is important and there should be iron EDDHA in the ingredients.
Regular deep irrigations will be important for good growth. These trees are probably moderate in their water use and should get somewhere around 30 to 60 gallons at each watering. The amount depends on their size, increasing along with their size. Frequency will be the same as the pine trees so they can be on the same valve.
Bob Morris is an associate professor with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Direct gardening questions to the master gardener hot line at 257-5555 or contact Morris by e-mail at [email protected]
- Care of Palm Trees
- Helpful Palm Tree Tips
- How to Trim Palm Trees
- Landscape Maintenance and Tips for Avoiding Water Damage for Palm Trees
- 26 Apr Landscape Maintenance and Tips for Avoiding Water Damage for Palm Trees
- The Danger of Water Damage for Palm Trees
- Tips for Proper Palm Tree Care
- How often should I water my indoor palm tree?
Care of Palm Trees
Care of Palm Trees. In the Desert Southwest, there is no better image than seeing palm trees around pools, courtyards or a backyard landscape area. A tropical look and an environment that brings thoughts of cool refreshing drinks and family gatherings. Here are some helpful tips for keeping those trees healthy and looking good year-round.
Helpful Palm Tree Tips
Here are some helpful tips for keeping palm trees healthy and looking good all year long.
The Mediterranean, California, and Mexican fan Palm will survive the southwestern droughts and are seen throughout the southwestern landscape. However, the Mexican fan palm will struggle if temperatures drop into the lower teens especially newly planted ones.
Palm trees love good well-drained soil do not plant them in hard caliche soil. Be sure to ask for a good composted soil conditioner when purchasing palm trees. All palm trees are in the Arecaceae, or cycads family. Palm Trees of the Southwest Photos.
The Date palm or Phoenix palm also do well in the desert southwest. It typically has one or more large trunks that come from one root system.
Nice looking Phoenix palm in front of Southwestern style home.
It can grow up to 20-25ft. tall. The fronds have a feather-like look to them long and narrow perfectly for getting moisture from the light sprinkling of rainwater.
The Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta) is usually used for Bonsai purposes or in ornamental pots, typically indoors. However, in climates where temperatures never go below freezing, it does just fine. Many folks like this type of palm in a container because it does not grow that tall or wide. 4-5 ft. tall and anywhere from 4 to 8 ft. wide. You will have to water more often during the hot summer months.
I have seen Sago palms in places where it does freeze but its owner may have protected the palm tree from freezing during its first 3-4 years of growth.
Nice Healthy Sago Palm in a Decorative container
Care of Palm Trees.
Use a good root stimulator to stimulate root growth for these types of trees. Make sure to ask for a “Root Stimulator” at your local nursery. You can purchase this at “Color Your World” nurseries or ask to see these magnificent palms at your local nursery.
Palm trees love full sun and soil enriched with Manganese, Magnesium sulfur, Potassium, and Iron. Most soils do not contain this type of naturally occurring element no matter where you live. A good 12-4-12 analysis is an ideal fertilizer to use. Apply it a few days after you have planted your palm trees.
It is also beneficial to fertilize older palm trees. There are hundreds of palm species but on average, the normal lifespan of most palms is well over 150 years. Some palms can actually live much longer.
Be sure to ask for palm tree fertilizers when purchasing palm trees. Carl Pool’s Palm Food will work for these types of trees.
Did you know there are over 2,500 species of palm trees. The Arecaceae family of plants includes wonderfully diverse species found throughout the world, from the desert to the rainforest. Here is a post from mnn.com on some amazing facts about these trees. Facts about Palm Trees.
Palms love to be pruned when the fronds start to turn brown or yellow at the bottom. Be sure to wear a good pair of thick gloves before pruning as the fronds will have large hooked type thorns.
Palm Trees are susceptible to Ganoderma Root rot. This is usually caused by too much water especially in places where there is lots of rainfall. In the Southwest this is rare but it does happen.
Check your watering system making sure there are no broken lines. Do not place them underneath or neat rain gutters and once the tree is in its 4-5 year you can cut down watering to about 1-2 times per week during the hot summer seasons.
Ray Torres trimming a California Palm in a 24″ box container.
How to Trim Palm Trees
Use good sharp cutting loppers. Corona Clipper 32
” Professional Bypass Lopper with 2-1/2″ Cutting Capacity is what we recommend.
If your tree is over 15ft. tall, you should call or consult with an arborist or landscaping professional. Always prune fronds at the bottom part of the tree.
If the tree looks brownish at the top this could be an indication of insects or disease or temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not use small pruning shears.
Do not cut too close to the trunk and only trim old browning type fronds towards the bottom of the tree. Remember in case of a large over 20ft. or over the tree, you should call or consult with a landscaping professional.
In the Southwest, the Mediterranean and Pindo fan palms are the hardiest followed by the California, Mexican, Sago, and Windmill palms.
All fronds in the southwest need trimming in spring after frost damage The California fan palm also called the Washingtonia filifera can grow up to 50-60ft tall.
The Mexican palm is taller up to 100′ ft tall but much narrower. All palms are low water once established. Be sure to remove and dispose of fronds in a large container, you do not want children or pets close to these vicious type thorns.
Dig your hole twice as wide and about the same depth see the photo to the left. About 4′ wide and 3′ deep. Planting a palm tree is basically the same as other types of trees. How to plant a tree post here.
The photo to the left is what a good California fan palm should look like.
Here is a post on Mediterranean palm trees.
Remember proper palm tree care, pruning, fertilizing and maintenance will make your landscaping yard a place to be noticed.
Care of Palm trees requires constant observation and following through with fertilizing, trimming and proper watering.
If you need any type of advice concerning landscaping, gardening or tree help do not hesitate to contact us. Article by: Paul Guzman
Landscape Maintenance and Tips for Avoiding Water Damage for Palm Trees
26 Apr Landscape Maintenance and Tips for Avoiding Water Damage for Palm Trees
Posted at 07:07h in Landscaping by Chris Dickie
Caring for palm trees in Arizona, Nevada, and California can be tricky business, but if done properly, it is all the more rewarding. While water is an essential component to the longevity and well-being of a palm tree, it can also be detrimental to the health of the tree if not done with care. Therefore, landscape maintenance for these tropical beauties is all the more important, and it is imperative we educate ourselves on how to adequately care for them, especially when it comes to water damage.
The variable climate in states such as Arizona, Nevada, and California is a huge factor, largely because of the lack of natural precipitation that palm trees thrive off of in most climates. Without the assistance of regular rainfall, it falls on the hands of landscaping services to ensure palms are receiving the correct amount of water. Depending on the type of palm, too little water can be devastating to the tree’s survival, yet too much water is perhaps more common and can cause irreversible damage.
The Danger of Water Damage for Palm Trees
- An excess of water may cause nutrient deficiencies in palm trees
- Overwatering can expose the tree to rot diseases
- Too much water may lead to discoloration and cause the canopy of the tree to wilt
- In extreme cases, palm tree leaves may turn brown or yellow and fall off if they are receiving too much water
- Palm trees that are receiving too much water may start to lose their healthy leaves
- Susceptible to rotting when over watered, a foul odor is another sign as the roots start to deteriorate and turn soft
Tips for Proper Palm Tree Care
Properly caring for palm trees and ensuring they receive the appropriate amount of water from the time they are planted is imperative to their survival and must be done attentively.
- After a tree has been planted, it should be watered daily for the first two weeks until the root system is established
- Palm trees should receive four to five gallons of water every day at the beginning
- It is important that the soil is wet, but not soggy, as too much water can cause permanent damage
- Once the tree is established, watering may be decreased to twice a month or less, depending on the type of palm and time of year
- It is important to water trees from the bottom up, as watering from the top down may cause rotting
- Planting the tree in soil that has good drainage will also help to ward off over saturation due to an excess amount of water
- It may be useful to add sand to the soil mixture to help with drainage
- Another useful tip is to place mulch around the base of the tree (but not against the trunk) to help with water retention and to aid in the keeping the soil cooler
Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to .
How often should I water my indoor palm tree?
—Update: I just now got a chance to see your picture. BTW that is not a palm tree. It is a yucca plant. That plant is obviously too big to lift. But the following instructions hold true for smaller plants. As for the light, this plant will tolerate lower light situations, but would be happiest near a window where it gets bright light. If you can, change out its location so it gets energy from more light. —
If you can lift the plant, you can tell when to water it just by the weight. When it feels light, water it. If it feels heavy, wait a couple more days.
Otherwise, put a finger into the soil about 3/4″ deep. If it feels moist, wait. If it is dry, then water. Be careful about how much water you give. Water until you see water coming out the bottom of the pot. Wait a half an hour and water a bit more. Make sure you empty out any drain-off so the pot does not sit in water.
One thing to remember. The bright and warmer the environment, the faster it will dry out. The cooler and dimmer, the longer it takes to dry out. Smaller pots will dry faster, especially clay pots. Larger pots take longer to dry out, especially plastic or glazed pots. Make sure to plant in pots that have drainage holes in the bottom.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Master Gardeners are moving from Pleasant Hill to Concord. The Pleasant Hill location will be closed starting Thursday, 7/26. We hope to reopen in Concord on Monday, 8/6. Our new address and phone number are below:
Address as of 8/6/18:…
2380 Bisso Lane…Concord, CA 94520
UC Master Gardener Program Help Desk
Monday-Thursday, 9:00 AM – 12 Noon
Tel: (925) 646-6586
Phone as of 8/6/18:
Tel: (925) 608-6683
Help for the Home Gardener from the Help Desk of the
UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County
Client’s Request: I have recently received a potted Sago Palm as a gift. I find it very interesting with its rather odd and unique features. I’d like to know more about growing it and possibly propagating it. Can you give me some guidance? Thank you.
Help Desk Response: Thank you for contacting the UC Master Gardener Program Help Desk with your questions about your Sago palms Cycas revolute
Your sago palm is actually not a true palm at all, but a coniferous plant called a cycad. The plant produces cones and bears attractive, palm-like feathery foliage making it very similar looking to palms and tree ferns. What you could be seeing on your plant are actually cones and the growing point for future leaf production is right under the cone. If you are extremely careful, you can remove the cone. However, it is probably better to wait until the cone matures and falls apart to avoid damaging the growing point.
The sago palm is slow-growing and long-lived and your plant may not bloom (or produce a cone) in the first 15 years of its life or even ever at all. Some reference material indicates that it can be 30 years to maturity. Cycads are dioecious. A dioecious plant is one where the male and female reproductive systems occur on separate plants. When the sago plants have sexually matured, the female sago begins to flower producing a basketball-sized structure. The male sago produces a long thick structure, or the male cone. In order for the female plant to produce viable seed, it must be pollinated by a male sago palm. If you are lucky enough to have both a mature male and a female plant, this will not present a problem for you. The pollination can be achieved by the wind or insects, but you can get in the act and ensure pollination by dusting pollen from the male to the female flower yourself. You can tell when the female flower is ready to be pollinated as it will slowly open up. This usually happens in this area in the late spring to early summer. Be patient. Sago palms grow slowly and their seeds develop slowly as well.
Propagating Sago Plants:
< male plants produce a round, felt mass in the center of the leaf mass. Bright orange to yellow seeds mature on the female plant during mid-summer to fall.
< female plants form a yellow, cone-like structure that can grow to 12-24 inches. Sago palms propagate in several ways, although none of them are fast and easy.
How to Plant Sago Palm Seeds: Sow ripe sago palm seeds in a shallow flat or pot with a soil mixture containing lots of sand. Keep temperatures in the high 70’s. Months can pass before tiny shoots begin to show, and another 3-6 months or more before seedlings can be moved or repotted. Seed germination takes many months, growing them to full size can take many years.
Side Shoots and Sago Bulbs or Pups: Mature plants sometimes develop bulbs or side shoots on the stem. These bulbs can be cut off and rooted. Remove leaves from the side shoots as they pull lots of moisture. Stick the “bulbs” in soil keeping the mixture on the dry side until new roots form over a few months.
The links below lead to detailed information about Cycad care and seed germination from the Palm and Cycad Society of Australia:
This link contacts information from UC about Sago Palms in the Landscape:
I hope this information is helpful to you. Good luck with your interesting plants!
Editor’s Note: Large sago palms, especially in pots, can be quite valuable. You should consider protecting them from theft, especially if they are in pots. Collectors often micro-chip their sago palm to facilitate recovery if stolen.
Help Desk of the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County (SLH)
IMPORTANT NOTICE: We are moving from Pleasant Hill to Concord. The Pleasant Hill location will be closed starting Thursday, 7/26. We hope to reopen in Concord on Monday, 8/6. Our new address and phone number follow:
UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County
University of California Cooperative Extension…
Contra Costa County
Address as of 8/6/18:
2380 Bisso Lane
Concord, CA 94520
UC Master Gardener Program Help Desk…Monday-Thursday, 9:00 AM – 12 Noon…
Tel: (925) 646-6586…
Phone as of 8/6/18:
Tel: (925) 608-6683
Email address: [email protected]
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