Ask a Question forum: Sago palm identification

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Name: Colby McLaughlin
Birmingham, AL (Zone 7a)
ColeGMcLaughlin
Jun 5, 2016 12:44 PM CST
Hello. I moved into a house just last year, and my dogs haven't bothered much with the Sago palms (i believe). But with what Ive been reading, I don't want to take the risk of them eating something off of it. Both of them enjoy eating bark, sticks, mulch, etc. I have a couple pictures. The biggest is 5ft from end to end. Base trunk is 1ft across. The only thing that makes me question if its a Sago, is all the pictures I seem to find online, it has a trunk and the leaves grow up from there. Ours is growing from the base. Is it just the way its been pruned? Thank you for your help..Id really hate to kill these 3 bushes if its not neccesary
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 5, 2016 1:06 PM CST
Hi and welcome! Sagos are very slow growing and take some years to "trunk up". Yours look very healthy and the bigger ones are starting to become little trees. Give them a little encouragement with a small amount of palm-specific fert, and they'll put on nice growth through the summer.

You can trim off some of the lower fronds if you want to. They're very thorny, though so be careful! I would think the dogs would steer clear of them because of their thorns.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jun 5, 2016 1:09 PM CST
Yes, a Sago Palm. Young and growing strong. I have heard of dogs eating them and getting sick or dying. I think it may be the female seed pods they are ingesting? IDK? You won't know if you have a male or female plant until spring. The females will flower and the male plant will shoot up a tall stalk.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Jun 5, 2016 1:18 PM CST
All parts are considered poisonous with seeds being the most toxic.
http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/sago-palm/
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Colby McLaughlin
Birmingham, AL (Zone 7a)
ColeGMcLaughlin
Jun 5, 2016 4:58 PM CST
Thank you for your quick responses and help. Now that you've confirmed that this IS a Sago palm, my next question, is it worth trying to dig this up for someone else to have? Ive just heard far too many horror stories with dogs, and as much as it hurts me to get rid of this, the dogs come first. Some websites say to cut with a chainsaw as close to the ground, and then pour herbicide on the roots and dig up in 2-3 weeks. Thank you
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 5, 2016 5:10 PM CST
Sounds like a huge job, either digging them up or cutting them down, then digging out the roots. Could you maybe just fence around that area until the Sagos are big enough to not be reachable by the dogs? They're really beautiful and easy care plants.

Just thinking, there are a LOT of plants that are toxic to pets, but most people don't worry about it because their pets don't ever touch plants. Seems to me that anything you plant there could be a danger to your dogs until they learn that plants aren't on the menu. Don't you have trouble with this when you take them out to exercise, too?

A friend of mine trained her dog to leave the plants alone in one day - she sat on her patio with the hose sprayer in her hand, and squirted them lightly whenever they sniffed at a plant. Of course she rewarded the dogs with treats when they kept away, too.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jun 5, 2016 6:48 PM CST
You can dig up some of the pups at least to give away. I had someone come to take out a 15 year old 8 ft tall Sago that was much bigger than yours. Mine got too big for it's spot. He was there all day. But he got 15 pups, 15 small plants and 4 giant plants. I advertised it on Freecycle. You did and it's yours. They are slow growers. That is why the larger ones are treasured. (The following week someone advertised sod on Freecycle from a new garden bed he was digging. I grabbed some up and sodded in the old Sago space.)
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.

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