Palm Tree - Knowledgebase Question

Las Vegas, NV
Question by Goosemar
January 20, 1999
I have two 15' Palm trees planted in front of my house. I have continued to "prune" the branches when the "leaves" became brown and wilting. The canopy on each tree is approximately 10-15 branches after pruning. Both palm trees have canopies where most branches/leaves are brown and have a "dying" appearance. We live in a residential area, and the trees are 5 years old. We water these and other greenery 10 minutes a day (up'd from 5 minutes/day this week) Fertilizer is minimal since these trees are part of a desert landscape package. What is wrong, and what do you think I need to do?


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Answer from NGA
January 20, 1999

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Palms are tropical or subtropical in nature, but they're fairly adaptable, which is why they are often planted in desert areas. They develop rather small root systems in comparison to their size and if kept well-watered can thrive in most warm winter regions. You can help restore the health of your palms by changing your watering practices. Instead of teasing your palms with a sip of water each day, water deeply and thoroughly once each week. Build a basin extending out away from the trunk of each palm and flood this basin on a weekly basis. To make sure you're applying enough water, dig down into the soil after the water soaks in to see how deeply it penetrates. You'll want to fill the basin as many times as necessary to make the water trickle down and wet the entire root mass. Once you've figured out how many times you need to fill the basin to make this happen, you can repeat the process each week and be assured you're supplying the correct amount of water. Once your palms recover and begin producing new foliage, you can feed lightly with a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Feed only during active growth periods, usually during the warm summer months.

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