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Traveler Palm (ravenala) HELP!

Well this is my first post, I could really use some help...

Im brand new to home ownership and new to gardening in general but Im growing passionate about it very quickly.

The house I purchased (In West Central Florida) is a landscapers dream/nightmare... By that I mean, the people who owned the property before me went a little past crazy with the plants/palms, etc, etc... all very nice and some extremely expensive... But I don't know what Im doing and Im learning on the fly and over the last 6 months Ive been putting 8+ hours every weekend trying to catch up with this....

My initial "lost" subject that I havent been able to findout about via internet....

Behind my home is a row of approximately 50+ VERY large (some 40 feet+) and very dense White Birds of Paradise.... They create a huge privacy fence between my home & the neighbors... The frost which came through Central Florida this winter BLASTED them. My tropical jungle backyard turned into jumbled brown mess. SOme friends & I spent the entire weekend trimming, pruning, and thining them.

I discovered....

Behind all these Birds of Paradise was a large (trunk section 7+ feet tall) Traveler Palm... the entire tree and the offshoots (2 large) were dead brown.... After trimming off all of the dead fronds on the offshoots, there is still some green in there.... But... The stink is amazing!! The enitire main trunk and most of the off shoots are rotten, they smell terrible and the inside of the main area of the tree is the consistancy of vomit (and same smell, (wet, stinky, rotten chunky))... I know nothing about these trees, what to do, if it can be saved, etc, etc... It appears that it was a huge tree and based on some pics on the internet this was a gorgeous tree. I would love to save it (though Im not sure it can be)... But I would like to know, WHat to do? Should I rip the whole thing up? Saw it down? Medicine?

Please help.

Thank You for your help!


This message was edited Jun 7, 2010 12:58 PM

Keaau, HI

Hi David,

Welcome to Tropical Zone Gardening!

As the main trunk is rotten, I think it would be best to saw it off and lime it (to reduce the scent).
The underground root-clump may send up new shoots. It may be good to soak the clump with a balanced liquid fertilizer.

Aloha, Dave

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