Dying palm tree

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by Squirrel_becky, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Squirrel_becky

    Squirrel_becky Member

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    Hi

    I have a palm tree in my garden, which i think is dying, the branches are slowly wilting and it's losing its leaves quickly, my dad has resorted to cutting the branches off to try and save it.

    I would like to identify the palm so that i can find out why it is wilting and to try and save it.

    Hope to hear from someone soon

    Rebecca
     

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  2. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Cutting branches at this time of year is not a good idea and won't save anything, but a little info. might help, like ... did you get a lot more rain this year? How long have the trees been planted there? What kind of soil are they in?
     
  3. Squirrel_becky

    Squirrel_becky Member

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    i had had alot of rain in the winter and have just been through a heatwave, so its been really hot and i think the tree is overheated from the direct sunlight. But it's been there for about 13+ years now, so why is it starting to die now? The soil is mostly clay so it can retain water well. I dont know if my dads been over watering it, as it got watered every day or so in the heatwave.

    Also i have been told that i have been mistaken about it being a palm tree, its actually a Yucca or a Dracaena of some sort.

    When my dad cut down the branches they were moist inside. Wouldnt it be better though to cut the branches off for the tree to put its energy else where rather than into the dying branch?

    Thank you
    Rebecca
     
  4. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    Had you been told in the past that it was a cabbage palm, or Coryline australis.

    I'd be surprised if you had overwatered in the heat wave you lot had this year. When you look at where the new shoots come up at the top does it look brown in there?

    If I were to judge by the lower fronds, I would say that it looks a bit rot like, but the new growth at the top seems to be a good healthy green. Have you been feeding this plant recently, or anything out of the norm?
     
  5. Squirrel_becky

    Squirrel_becky Member

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    No i just thought it was a palm tree because my parents called it a palm tree, its a bit of a shock after 13 years of thinking it was a plam and in actually fact its not!

    But no we dont feed it anything and i think it looks green were the new shoots are at the top.

    Do you think it will just repair itself as there is new growth?

    Thank you
    Rebecca
     
  6. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I will certainly agree with Carol that you have Cordyline australis. While these normally seem to carry a larger crown of leaves, the lower ones do expire and turn brown with age, seasonally.
    These plants have always responded well (for me) with summer watering.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  7. toutlan

    toutlan Active Member

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    carrol and LPN are right.when the leaves turn removing, them as they do, shouldnt hurt,but is your season is turning colder may just want to leave alone.
     
  8. oscar

    oscar Active Member

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    It is a Cordyline australis and yes its been over watered............we've had about 3 months here with only a tiny amount of rain, the cordylines still look ok.
     
  9. Squirrel_becky

    Squirrel_becky Member

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    Thank you everyone for indentifying that it is actually a palm! As now i can carry on telling people to look out for the palm tree when directing them to my house! Though is a Cordyline australis a palm?

    And Oscar will the tree die? is it dying? And how can i save it?

    Thank you everyone who has been replying, my mum has read ur replies and hopefully now i can save the tree if its dying.
     
  10. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Just to clarify, Cordyline australis is NOT a palm. Palms basically have palmate or pinnate (and variations there of) leaf forms.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  11. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    Yeah, LPN is right, a cordyline is a cordyline. I don't think other than cabbage palm ( a totally silly discription) it has any other common name.
    Definitly not a palm tree.
    You'd probably be able to get away with abnormal looking yucca. If you feel really hard pressed for a discription.
     
  12. Squirrel_becky

    Squirrel_becky Member

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    Hummm! Thanx! I dont know if any of my mates will understand if i say to look out for the cabbage palm or the abnormal looking yucca! But it will be interesting to see their responses! Any idea why its called a cabbage palm?! It doesnt look like a cabbage! Pity its not a palm tree though, i thought it brought a tropical feel to the garden!

    Well next question would be...is it dying?! And how can i save it?!

    Thank you
     
  13. oscar

    oscar Active Member

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    sorry i havnt been back, but i seem to lose the server every once in a while and it can take days to get back again............anyway, its called a cabbage palm because native Australians used to eat it and it tastes like cabbage (im not sure if its cordyline australis they used to eat or a similar looking plant), its also know as the torbay palm, i guess its because they look tropical and leafy, who knows.
    You need to let it dry out, so stop watering.
    fingers crossed for your plant :)
     
  14. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Cordyline (pronounced - kor-di-LYN-ee) australis has those common names, "Cabbage palm" or "Torbay palm" mainly Europe, N.Z. and Australia. It's often mistakenly called Dracaena in North America.

    Cordyline australis is drought tollerant when established, but always looks and performs best with adequate watering. Good drainage is also a requirement.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  15. Squirrel_becky

    Squirrel_becky Member

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    Thank you Oscar, LPN and every one who has replied to my questions! Hopefully now i'll be able to save the plant.

    As the Cordyline australis need good drainage, would it help to put some sand on top of the soil to get better drainage?
     
  16. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Not on top, but mixed into the rest of the soil - but 'play' sand is way too fine, and beach sand contains salt, a killer for plants - small size gravel for aquariums is great.
     
  17. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    It's really too late to amend the drainage. Drainage works deep below soil level. It must be done at planting time. Moving or up rooting these are nearly always unsuccessful. If moved by heavy equipment to excavate all of the root mass and tap root, one might be victorious.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  18. Squirrel_becky

    Squirrel_becky Member

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    Ok then, so im just going to leave it there, hopefully it will survive, should i give it some kind of feed? Like baby bio?! (i think thats what its called?) or some kind of tomato feed?! Or is just leaving it be the safest option i have?!
     
  19. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    In Europe and New Zealand, it is usually called Cabbage Tree (not "palm")
     
  20. Squirrel_becky

    Squirrel_becky Member

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    So is the tree dying then?! And will it re-grow?

    Rebecca
     
  21. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    You're in the best position to judge at this point - is it better or worse now? It's unlikely to regrow.
     

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