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Deltoid-shaped Roystonea regia / Royal Palm

Longboat Key, FL

Proverbs state:

He who knows not and knows he knows not: he is simple - teach him.

I sort of resent the word simple. I would prefer inquisitive or or curious. But here goes:

I am a transplant from Boston to the Sunny South, and admit to carrying some planning credentials. But these new palms that seem to proliferate in our area have me mystified.

When I first saw them listed in specifications I was impressed. 20 inch caliper. That got me interested. But the specs continued: 26 feet O.A.H.(high).

Now I have a stately Royal Palm on my lot. But it is 18 inch caliper and almost eighty feet high.

So I sought out a location where the specified palms had actually been installed. The photo shows three of them in place, six months after installation.

Now I know that palms are not trees -- and once the wood is formed on the stem it does not expand outward. These are already necked-down to eight inches or so. I am certain that once they are established and well maintained the stem will expand as it grows upward.

So, my question is this:

What will they look like in a few years? Will the resultant wasp-waist allow normal growth upward -- and will it be able to sustain itself in future wind events?

Oops -- 20 inch caliper

This message was edited Jan 18, 2012 11:18 AM

Thumbnail by flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

Here is mine.

Be well


(o_O)

Thumbnail by flyboyFL
noonamah, Australia

I haven't seen Roystonea regia with that extreme of deltoid shape in the trunk. Could possibly be the result of being container grown, plenty of fertiliser and no root room. Probably will fill out as they grow. My largest, apart from the first metre above the ground, has a parallel trunk up to about 18 metres. Then it tapers a bit to the bottom of the leaf sheaths. That seems to be pretty normal for these.

How they withstand winds depends on the soil they're in, how well they're growing and what sort of wind breaks they have around them.

Longboat Key, FL

tropicbreeze~

Thanks for the comeback, It must now be morning down-under -- so you must be up.

My problem is this: Can the stem increase in girth where it has already become wooded?

I have been led to believe that it could not.

If it cannot, the wasp-waist area will be subject to limiting growth and nourishment upward.

It will also be prone to fracture.

Be well

(o_O)



noonamah, Australia

I was up early this morning, before light, to get some work done before it got too hot. But an early storm came through, and I assumed the lightning could be a bit hotter than the later sun. So I moved inside. My post is time stamped 7:04 am here.

Most of the palms I have do increase trunk diameter as they get taller. Some of the Chamaedoras don't seem to, and others like Ptychospermas only marginally. But by and large a lot of them do significantly. Can't say that I've taken particular notice of the Royals in that regard. Carpentarias are very fast growers so they're very noticeable. They gain a fair bit of height while still slender and then thicken up later. I'd assume the Roystonea would fill out as well.

Longboat Key, FL

Siri just advised me that it is now 2;40 AM, tomorrow, in Darwin, so you must be sleeping in Noonamah. This will have to wait until later in the day. It is comforting to know that it is already January 20 down-under and therefor the world is definitely not going to end today, January 19th.

I understand and agree that the girth of the stem expands (or contracts) as it grows upward -- depending on the environment and weather around it. But, my question involves the girth of the stem that has already turned to wood -- and the ability of the constricted heart to allow unrestricted growth above it.

I think we agree that once the wood is formed it is cast -- and will not expand.

That is the quandary

Be well

(o_O)

noonamah, Australia

I had in mind those Roystonea in your photo. A lot of palms have a trunk made up of fibre, but I've never seen the insides of a Roystonea. A number of years back I moved a Livistona australis that was growing on a rock shelf into deep soil. The trunk on the palm was like multiple hour glasses, indicating the good and the drought years. Once it settled into the soil it really grew fast (for a Livistona). The new trunk turned out thicker than the old and it never seemed to be impeded by the constriction lower down.

Longboat Key, FL

I guess that you gave me the answer.

It'll live -- but look lousy. Unlike the tall , stately Royals we are accustomed to seeing.

Thank you

Be well

(o_O)

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