Photos: https://i.sstatic.net/oA5lT.jpg

It looks like it has grown around its container. Does anything need to be done about this? It is pretty close to the house. Thanks.

2 Answers 2


Hmmm nice tree. Looks like a fan palm. Any recommendation on action would really only be fair in a professional consultation but I guess there is no problem making a few observations:

  • looks like it is firmly rooted in the centre and on three sides at least, with the weaker side towards the house so that is good because the good roots are holding it up away from the house. One fairly thick root cut. Where do your prevailing winds come from?
  • Is that fence a lot line? If so, two issues: first consideration of what would happen if the tree fell away from the house and what risk is there of interference with the roots of your tree by your neighbour's gardening activity? If the neighbour cuts roots on that side it weakens your defence against fall towards your house.
  • the tree is going to get taller - fan palms can go to 100 feet and the taller it gets the more solid the roots need to be due to leverage on the base.
  • The tree top looks very healthy, so it indicates that the soil is probably good and deep and will provide a firm rooting. Is there any history in your locality of palms actually blowing over in strong wind?

In summary it does not look like immediate action is needed, however the location right up against the fence is a poor choice. For a nice tree like that with its potential for height it should be in the middle of a large open space. If neighbourly relations are good, consult with them to see what their input is.

  • Thanks for the thorough reply! Would you make any attempt to remove the foreign wood? It's pretty firmly integrated at this point.
    – Peter
    May 11, 2020 at 14:50
  • No need, the roots will grow around it. May 11, 2020 at 14:57

No worries. Virtually no chance of it tipping. Most of the roots are deep down into the ground. Those you see on the surface aren't what's holding it upright. Feel free to remove the bits of wood -- they aren't helping to hold the tree up and I don't think you could hurt the tree by removing them.

Many types of palms grow roots at or above the surface and around the base of the tree,which is sometimes called 'footing'. Generally, the roots of a palm form a sphere underground about as big as the sphere of the fronds.

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