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I have a plam tree in the garden


By Franner

West Yorkshire, United Kingdom Gb

Hi there, I have a plam tree in the garden, during the snow the top of the tree (where all the new growth comes from) bent over and broke off. When I tried to check what damage had been done all the leaves around the top of the tree fell away from the bark. There is now a sappy stump exposed at the top of the tree where the new growth normally comes from and I'm not sure whether I will get any new growth from the tree. Is there anything i should do to ensure it keeps growing? I'm not sure what kind of palm it is but I've attached a photo. Many thanks.




Most likely a Cordyline - if the trunk has any soggy, wet, or rotting areas (sounds like the top might be like that) you will have to cut back beyond that point now. Otherwise, just leave it and see if it regrows from lower down the trunk, or from the base - you may have to wait until at least June or later before you know if it's going to regrow or not.

29 Jan, 2011


Thank you, I'm new to the site so I've just attached a photo of it now. The whole top area of the tree now has no leaves and the trunk is exposed above the leaves.

29 Jan, 2011


Exposed trunk is okay, though its unlikely to grow from the top again - what counts is if its rotting or soggy, that's when you need to cut past that point. If its not soggy, just wait and see what happens.

29 Jan, 2011


Brilliant, thank you very much for your help.

29 Jan, 2011


I've checked it again and the trunk is quite soft and feels spongy most of the way down. The top is particularly bad and feels very wet. If I cut it right down to the base will it re-grow? Or should I cut it to just below the very wet bit and see if it regrows from elsewhere?

1 Feb, 2011


If its not actually oozing orange muck, or split open and oozing, I'd leave it alone and see what happens - it's best to leave the cutting down till mid Spring if at all possible, so keep any eye on it, and if any of the things I've mentioned start happening, you'll have to cut it down as soon as you notice it, back to where its okay.

1 Feb, 2011


I had another look at it today and ended up cutting it down to below where the rotting was. One side had completely lost all it's leaves down to where it was rotting and on the other they were pulling off really easily.

The exposed trunk was covered in a very slimey coating and it felt squidgy and didn't bounce back when pressed, it just squashed. The slime was was also covering the bottom of the leaves that were touching the trunk and falling off.

I have cut it to below where this was happening, so there are still leaves on the tree, do i need to cover the cut with something or protect it somehow where I've cut it and exposed a fresh cut to the weather?


6 Feb, 2011


Mixed opinions on that one - some people paint with Arbrex, others leave it alone.

7 Feb, 2011

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