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I had the following date palm just installed and I have a few questions I'd love to get some expert options on:

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  1. It came tied up as I expected and the place that sold me it said I should leave it tied for a month. I read up to 2 months online. What would you recommend? The tree seems to have a lot of frond and not a lot of trunk.

  2. Do the roots look too exposed to you? Would you add some more soil around the roots or do you think it's fine the way it is?

  3. How often would you water the palm given that it's just been installed? And how often after it's been here a while?

  4. How would you set up the irrigation for it? I was going to do dripline irrigation in a circle around the palm? Would you add a drip emitter as well or something else entirely?

I'm in Sacramento, CA so it faces a long hot dry summer.

  • Did you plant this tree or did the company you purchased the tree from plant it for you? – Rob Apr 22 at 17:34
  • The landscapers installed it. – mxcolin Apr 22 at 21:41
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Hey mxcoin great questions!

  1. Palm fronds are wrapped this way to help reestablish the tree after a transplant. This trussing helps to slow top growth, lower the tree's wind profile and reduce water loss while the roots are establishing themselves. So the main factor of consideration for when to remove the trussing will be how well your tree is taking to its new environment. So in about 2 months give it a push (not too hard be careful) to see how stable it seems to be. If it seems loose leave them tied for another month if it seems to be taking well too its new environment then you can remove them.
  2. No they do not look too exposed. In any case, the palm has whats known as "advantageous roots" which basically means roots do not have to grow from the root ball itself but can grow from non-root tissue on the plant. So if surface roots are needed, the plant will grow them.
  3. Since this is a newly (presently) establishing tree it is going to need lots of water. I would suggest watering daily for the first 2-3 weeks (after initial planting). Gradually reduce this over the next 2-3 months until you are only watering 2-3 times a week. Continue this pattern into winter where you will reduce watering to roughly 1-2 times per month. Some things to consider: factor in the rainfall and note that the top-soil should be allowed to dry out in between watering; however, the soil below the surface should not. These factors will be your measure for exactly how much water to give the tree.
  4. Personally, I wouldn't bother setting up irrigation for just one tree. I would water it by hand until it is established.

Here in about a year or so you might think about anchoring the tree to help it grow straight. Good luck!

  • Awesome, thanks. If you were going to setup irrigation how would you do it? As I suggest with a dripline? – mxcolin Apr 22 at 18:40
  • @mxcolin Np, I suppose I would use some type of surface irrigation. Perhaps (since this is residential) I would build a water dam around the trunk and place a hose there. Then I would purchase a water flow meter to monitor how much water I am dumping into the dammed area. This would require some initial testing to see how quickly the ground is absorbing water and whatnot. – Rob Apr 22 at 18:50

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