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How to Transplant/Plant a Palm Tree

Category: How Tos

When choosing a palm to plant or transplant, it is important to first choose a species and size which will work for the location you will be planting in, considering projected height and canopy size, and how this may interfere with power lines, gas lines, buried cables, etc. It is also important to assess if the tree will create a hurricane hazard once it is fully matured. You should also assess the type of soil the tree will be planted in, and address any potential nutrient deficiencies before they arise in order to help ensure the palm’s survival. Once you have decided on a species and appropriate location, transplanting is quite simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. If transplanting, remove the palm by digging a trench around the trunk approximately 2 1/2 ft. deep, severing any roots which extend beyond this. Trim the roots into a ball approximately 2 ft. in diameter, and place tree on a tarp until ready for transplanting.
  2. Dig the new planting hole similar size to the one the palm was removed from, or slightly larger than the root ball. Place the tree in the hole, and backfill with soil mixed with a nutrient additive to ensure survival. Create a soil “dam” about 2-3 inches high, several inches from the trunk to direct future water flow down into the roots.
  3. Apply a heavy layer of mulch; cypress, wood chips, lawn clippings, etc., up to the soil “dam” several inches from the trunk. This mulch will decompose, and provide nutrients for the palm, so it should also be replaced as it dissipates.
  4. The palm should then be watered regularly for the first several months, never letting the area completely dry out. Avoid overwatering, however, as this promotes root disease, and discourages establishment of new roots in the surrounding soil.

Suggested products to help ensure survival:

  • PHC Palm Saver