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Minimum Soil Depth for Large Palm Trees?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by Millabit on May 18, 2006 09:03 PM
Hi everyone,

I need to design some large planters for a car park (for work), and am trying to find out how deep they need to be in order to support healthy palm tree growth. Not sure what type of palms will be planted, but they will be 3-4 m tall. The planters will probably be 3m x 3m (approx. 10ft x 10ft), but I'm not sure how deep they have to be. Ideally we would like to plant a couple of palm trees in each planter.

Also, advice on drainage would be appreciated - I assume palm trees don't like soggy roots?

Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it!

by Sir Ts Princess on May 18, 2006 11:56 PM

Hi. I live in Florida and Palm trees are quite common around here. You are correct that they do not like soggy roots, although, I would recommend watering them 1-2 a week for about a month or two just so the roots can take hold. After that, you don't have to worry about them as far as watering. Make sure that they do have well drained soil as most around here are planted in a sandy soil.

As to the depth, it really depends on the type I think. But, generally, with Palm trees, they have to be planted pretty deep. Generally, we plant them as deep as a foot or two from the bud (leaves) of the tree. But, since you don't have that much space, and they also will need to establish roots in the planter, I'd recommend planting them at a depth of atleast about 5-6 feet.

I hope this helps. Here's a website that might be useful to you in case I was given some wrong information about these trees (but my husband used to plant them at the Panama City Mall).

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by Millabit on May 19, 2006 01:20 AM
Thanks for the reply and the link...6 feet deep, huh? That's not good news...I was hoping a planter 3ft deep would be sufficient?

I seem to recall that, for example, a coconut palm, has very few roots, with a rootball not much larger than the coconut it grew from. Is that untrue? Although, of course we will not be planting coconut palms, so that may be totally irrelevant...
by RugbyHukr on May 19, 2006 02:05 AM
a lot of palms have a deep growing taproot to derive moisture from soil. You should research palms with a shallow root system or choose alternative plants such as oleander or umbrella trees.

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by Millabit on May 20, 2006 01:44 AM
Thanks, I will try to do some research on palms with shallow root systems...

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