Hello Everyone- I am blessed to have received a ponytail palm in 2000 from a dear friend. She said she had it for over 20 years and could not take it with her as she moved across the country. I lived in Chicago at this time and I struggled to keep the palm full and lush green with the lighting I had available in my home. Fast forward to 2012, I moved to Fresno, CA and repotted it as the pot it was in broke in-flight. I literally picked it up out of the broken pieces and plunked it down into a new pot, put it under a faucet with a very slow drip, in east/west sun. Wow, for 4 years, it did fantastic in that desert heat. Three years ago we moved to the East Bay and the wet and rainy winters have not been kind as I continued to keep it outdoors year-round. The leaves would yellow and brown. Last fall, I watched Nigel Saunders, Bonsai Zone, on how to re-pot the ponytail palm. I followed his instructions on his videos and really examined the underside trunk and root system. To my shock, the roots were entangled in a mesh burlap netting with this porous white particulate. This was pushed all the way up into the bottom of the trunk and when I removed it, there was a sort of "void" on one side of the trunk. I gently "raked" through and cleared away dead stuff, aligned the spiral roots to the outer perimeters, lovingly placed it into a larger pot and said a prayer. This definitely cleared up the yellow-brown leaves. I have read on the previous posts about cutting the shoots. I have all of these dead-end shoots. Can I cut them, how many at once, and what will be the hopeful structure of new growth? The plant is over 40 years old, I have never cut it and I am unsure what and how much I can do with these dead spots. I have attached photos and welcome any advice.