The Q&A Archives: Queen Palm trees exposed roots

Question: We have three 20' Queen palm trees in our backyard that are about 5 years old whose roots have pushed up to the surface and are now exposed. Anything we should do? Are they at risk of falling over?

Answer: The answer really depends upon the extent of root exposure. Queen palms should be planted on the shallow side, with the roots just beneath the soil surface. If planted too deeply, the trunks will rot. Cutting or tearing off the exposed roots will result in stress and possible death of your palms so I wouldn't recommend clipping the roots off. Instead, I would carefully cover the exposed roots with a little soil, taking care to keep the soil away from the trunk. If the roots are very large, or if they continue to push up, you may need to excavate the earth directly beneath the roots and coax them down a little deeper. It can be a laborious process, but your Queen palms will be healthier for it.

Best wishes with your palms!

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