Sago Palm - Drastic Actions

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Old 04-03-10, 01:38 PM
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Sago Palm - Drastic Actions

Any sago experts out there? We have several sagos, about 10 years old, that have been severely pruned in the past, resulting in all the fronds at the top, above a weird looking trunk. Although this is not our plant, they look something like this: http://classicscapes.net/images/plants/SagoPalm.jpg

We would prefer to have full frond coverage from the ground up, but we know that new growth comes from the top of the plant. If we cut the plant off near ground level, maybe in the Fall, is there any chance a new crown would form next Spring on top of the remaining plant? Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Old 04-04-10, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by whitpet View Post
Any sago experts out there? We have several sagos, about 10 years old, that have been severely pruned in the past, resulting in all the fronds at the top, above a weird looking trunk. Although this is not our plant, they look something like this: http://classicscapes.net/images/plants/SagoPalm.jpg

We would prefer to have full frond coverage from the ground up, but we know that new growth comes from the top of the plant. If we cut the plant off near ground level, maybe in the Fall, is there any chance a new crown would form next Spring on top of the remaining plant? Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks.
The sago isn't a shrub with folage from the ground up. It is a very slow growing tree and is meant to have a very rough looking trunk with the fonds at the top (just like your picture).
When we lived in Florida, sagos with trunks were valued because of their age.

I've never known anyone to cut off a sago to ground level deliberatly, but I believe all that would be left would be dead wood. When Andrew came through our area in the early 90's, a friend had many old sagos snapped off and had to replace them.
 
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Old 04-04-10, 12:38 PM
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Thanks for your response. Sagos are also very popular here in coastal SC. I understand they will eventually grow into a tree configuration, but I prefer their landscaping appearance when they are low to the ground, similar to http://www.georgiavines.com/optimgs/...s/SagoPalm.jpg We have a number of other varieties of palms with attractive trunks, but I'm not a big fan of the Sago trunk.

Ours are old enough that, in order to keep this appearance, we need to either replace them with younger plants or take a shot at cutting them off. I suspected the latter would leave us with dead trunks, but didn't know anyone who had tried. I appreciate your feedback.
 
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Old 04-05-10, 10:22 AM
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A sago as large as in the first picture is very valuble. It takes years to get that big. If you like the smaller sago's look I bet a local landscaper would trade you several small sagos for each large one at no cost to you.
The only way to cover the trunk of the older plants would be to let the "pups" at the base mature. Cutting it off will only kill it.
 
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Old 04-05-10, 02:59 PM
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Thanks, Kerry, I never thought about the possibilities for a swap-out. We've got several good nurseries in our area. I'll definitely check with them. Thanks again.
 
 

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