HELP!! Base of palm so big and right next to the pool!

Discussion in 'Caudiciforms and Pachycaul Trees' started by mlfishslayer, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. mlfishslayer

    mlfishslayer Member

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    Hi folks!
    Please help.... We have had a pony tail palm that we have enjoyed for almost 20 years. It is planted right next to the pool. Now it's grown so much we concerned about the base and /or the root system going through the side of the pool. We have trimed it, but not the base has really grown. Is this a concern or am I just over reacting? Will it, or could it break into the wall of the pool with its root system?

    Please let me know... otherwise my wife will make me cut it down!

    Thanks so much!

    Mike
     
  2. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    Well, this information should help you make your decision. http://www.floridata.com/ref/B/beau_rec.cfm

    Up to 30 feet tall and 12 feet wide.

    Once the base/caudex of the plant reaches your pool, it bust through the side of it like it wasn't even there. Sorry. Even small ones will break clay pots without much trouble. The roots, themselves, are not so much the problem, it is the caudex.

    You may be able to air-layer a branch over the next few months and then repot it once it roots...or...depending upon the size of the plant, you may find it relatively easy to remove. If you can dig under the caudex, the roots are thick and fleshy, not thick woody roots like trees. The caudex basically sits on the surface and really does not go much below the soil level. If you can save a foot, or so, of roots, you can dust it with some rooting hormone and (assuming you have room) you can move it to another area of the property that has good soil drainage. These are extremely tough plants.

    Beaucarnea recurvata are one of those plants you have to plan ahead before planting in the ground. The caudex will simply push aside anything in its way (the foundation of your house, your cement patio, sidewalks, driveways, and pools).

    If the plant is too large to move with a couple of people and a wheelbarrow, you may be able to rent one of those mini backhoes, wrap a strap around it, and pull it right out of the ground (after digging around the base of it). Save yourself some sore muscles.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2008
  3. constantgardener

    constantgardener Active Member

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    It sounds like "wow"! I've never heard of such a large ponytail. If you decide you can't move it youself, I'm sure a landscaper would pay to get it, sounds like a great specimen plant. Good luck!
     
  4. Sigtris

    Sigtris Active Member

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    Mike, could you post a picture please?
    Is your pool build with concrete?
    I have two Royal Palms(Roystonea regia) about 4 mt away from the pool, the palms are about 10 mt high and there has not been a problem.
     
  5. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    You are aware that Beaucarnea are not palms? "Ponytail Palm" is only a trade name that often leads to confusion and a dead plant.
     
  6. Sigtris

    Sigtris Active Member

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    Beaucarnea is a plant from Mexico, it grows very very slow, I am sure your pool is safe being close to the "PonyTail Palm".
    They grow in the desert and their roots system is not a strong one.
     
  7. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    Mike,

    Send "Sigtris" the bill for the repairs to your pool. ; )
     
  8. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    Lol!!!
     
  9. rbrentp

    rbrentp New Member

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    Similar problem: I have a pair of multitrunked "Ponytail Palms". The caudex on one is 4 feet across with 4-5 trunks going up 8-10 feet. The other is about three feet across with 3-4 8 foot trunks. The are starting to destroy a walkway wall. Can the caudex be cur in half or quarters for transplanting?
    Thanks
     

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