Are these Palms Dead?! Save me!!!

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by d_man, Mar 20, 2016.

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  1. d_man

    d_man New Member

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    I need some advice; I have a couple Palms, 2 Windmills and an Unknown species here. Vancouver, BC. One Windmill looks fine and I'm happy with, it but the other, not so much.
    The middle spear looks dead and is still firmly secured to the plant, its brown but the other leaf on there looks relatively healthy and remains green. It feels dry and both leaves are still stiff. Is it dead? Can I do anything?

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    The Unknown tree below, that has been in the ground 2 years has several buds. Inside some of them is soggy and I just pulled spears with ease. It looks like it might be bud rot but I dont know(just came to that conclusion from what ive read online). I dont want to just rip those buds off because there are a couple buds that have secure spears sticking out.
    Its about 3.5 feet high and I really dont want to carve this thing up :(

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    Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I should also add, its been a mild winter, temperatures have been -6 or so at lowest. Ive been up at nights listening to this whisper in the wind "Please save me...".

     
  2. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member 10 Years

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    Your second plant looks like Yucca guatamalensis. The leaves will feel rough top and bottom, and the tips will have moderately sharp points, but not dangerously so. It probably had too much rain or watering. If you water at all, do it at the roots and not overhead. Water remaining in the leaf bases likely contributes to the mushy feel. The rough brown stem should feel firm. Squeeze it gently, from the bottom to the top, to see if there's a place where it starts to go soft. If you cut any soft stem off at an angle, you should be able to get new growth from the remaining stem.
     
  3. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member 10 Years

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    How old is that palm, or rather how long have you had it? I ask because it seems overly pruned to me, but I'm an old hippie. Some of the leaf stems that have been pruned look like they might have been viable still. Old growth will protect the new growth from winter storms to some extent. The fan like green leaf is looking a little worse for the wear, but still lively. The tuft of brownish fiber that I'm guessing is the new blade coming up looks like someone was hacking at it. That's bad. This sort of palm, most palms actually, will only grow from the top, or the area about where that fibrousy tuft is. If only the baby leaf was damaged somehow, and there is still a viable stalk under that, it may send out a new leaf. I'd expect you to see one perhaps in a month or two.
     
  4. d_man

    d_man New Member

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    It's about 3 years old.I started trimming brown portions of leaves then reconsidered before I sought advice out here. Your advice is appreciated and as a result I'll just cross my fingers and see what happens. Any counsel or ideas about that palm with the hard brown spear sticking out? Recoverable?

    Thanks again!
     
  5. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member 10 Years

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    The new leaf will come up from the center as a greenish, but maybe a little brownish edged, tight spear. Palms do better with neglect rather than over-pruning, at least in my experience. My OCD would have me pulling the fibers, shaving off the brown, helping the spear open into the fan it will be, but my less crazy side understands that is all perfectly natural and beautiful. That fibrousy tuft we see in the top pic is the bit that concerns me. I'm thinking that should be the tight spear beginning, and nothing about that looks tight. Looks like it's been poked and prodded too much. Too soon to say what will happen, but if the interference went down to that new leaf base and damaged the crown, it may be on it's way to being dead. If that's the case, you'll still have the green fan leaf, but won't see any additional growth. Eventually the one fan leaf will droop and brown and die, killing the palm. There is no way to fix a badly damaged crown. I'm hoping for you that within two months you will see the new leaf recover and emerge, perhaps with leaf tips a bit tattered.
     
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  6. d_man

    d_man New Member

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    Thanks rose. I'm going to wait it out with my fingers crossed. I'll keep you all updated the their amazing recoveries or their imminent demise. :;
     
  7. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    The two plant photos you've posted are of Washinagtonia robusta and Yucca elephantipes /guatamalensis, neither of which are reliably hardy in Vancouver Canada. If you do if fact have a Trachycarpus fortunei (Windmill palm) it's not shown in your pics.
     
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  8. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks LPN, I was hoping you'd comment. The Washingtonia robusta is kind of an odd choice for a fastidious gardener. I love them, with their gnarly skirt of dead fronds. The few I've noted near me are very tall and no one actively trims them off. Still their trunks are generally cleaner looking than the ubiquitous Sabal palmetto here. There must be hundreds in my cul-de-sac. Tree removal restrictions do not apply to any palm in my town I think.
     
  9. d_man

    d_man New Member

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    Thanks for your input LPN. I'll ensure to keep you all updated on results
     

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