Change grade on palm tree - Knowledgebase Question

Highland Beach, Fl
Question by aunrine
November 4, 2010
I have a Coconut Palm and a twin Robillini (sp???) that are in a bed near a seawall that has caused a grade change. We have to re-grade and this will cause a change of about 6-8


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Answer from NGA
November 4, 2010

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The concern with changing the grade around a tree is that the additional soil over the roots can suffocate the roots. Palms tend to have a deep and narrow root system so adding soil probably won't hurt your palms, especially if you plan on using only 6-8 inches of additional soil. It's important that the soil drain well (which I suspect it does if it's as sandy as I expect it might be near a seawall). Coconut palms can grow right in the sand at the mid to high tide line so they're used to dealing with changing soil grades; Robillini palms might be more sensitive. I think to hedge your bet, you'd be wise in making a well around the Robillini's. The roots most likely have or will travel out about two feet from the trunks so that's the area you need to protect. Best wishes with the regrade!

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