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Untidy Palm

Morning All. One of my mow and go customers has a large palm right at the front of his house. It is about 2 metres high and the same in span and he would like it removing. Not sure of the variety but it is the no trunk, spread in all directions type, green but like a very healthy cordyline. He has a very impressive house and this palm is in a small garden accompanied by some really showstopping plants, colourful acers, and some smart evergreens giving a nice show of colour. The palm overhangs the drive and looks completely unruly in it's place as the lower, long fronds have to be regularly cut leaving it looking very untidy. He wants it out and replaced by a couple of pretty shrubs. I save these sort of jobs for winter but I have heard it is very difficult to get palms out altogether. Any suggestions for first removing the palm, and second ensuring it doesnt constantly grow again from some bit of root I may miss.

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  • PRO

    Sounds like a newzeland flax. Roots can be a tough. I use a digging bar. Never seen one grow back from a piece of root.


    • PRO

      We have one Tony in front of living room window ,It's really old and shows up on old black and white photos of the house .

      I don't know what it is but about to flower , it's a spikey long flower white in colour .

      It's had many mishaps over the years even appearing to die one hard Winter when the root turned to mush and I dug out .

      It reappeared and healthy 12 metres tall like jack and the bean stalk .

      We don't mind it but cut the new branches to the ground but it bounces back ,very resilient .

      They are hard to identify as they look similar and people call them by different names Cornish palm palm ,cabbage palm ,cordyline tree palm etc .

      You could try eco stump pellets if it has to go after cutting it down to the ground .

      These palms work in the right place and if you can keep pulling the brown leaves off .otherwise they can look an eyesore .

      I notice the roots can be contained  and not invasive just indestructable from my experience .

  • As honey badger says, you'll probably need a digging bar to get leverage. The root ball can be very tough. When I've dug them out I use a combination of digging bar and a large axe to split the centre into two or three parts. To get them out in one can be very hard. 

  • Almost certainly a phormium like others have said. Not that I'm trying to change your mind at all, just wanted to point out that they can be cut right down to an inch or so above ground level each year or two and they come back. The new growth is always much more vibrant and attractive and it stops them getting too big and unsightly. As the plant gets bigger they tend to lose their colour and often look a mess, and trying to trim bits off of them never really looks that nice. I tend to do them around this time of year, just done a few in the last couple of weeks. 

  • Thanks All for the replies. As I feared, the mattock will have to be used and that is always hard work! I will dig out as much as I can and break up what I cannot remove. If I keep the possiblity of it reappearing from root in mind when planting a few new shrubs I suppose I can pick it off as it grows. 

  • Ive dug a few big ones out over the years, a digging bar is a must, and its a lot easier ones youve got a piece out to do it bit by bit. Cut the leaves down first but not too low, as it helps to be able to pull on them at times.

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