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Caudiciforms and Pachycaul Trees Includes ponytail palms, Madagascar palms and desert roses (NB: these aren't true palms or roses!)

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Old July 2nd, 2007, 10:28 PM
garden_tink garden_tink is offline
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Ponytail Palm Root System???

I would like to transplant a Ponytail palm from a pot to the ground in a raised planter, it's surrounded by brick and is approximately 4 feet by 4 feet. Do the PT's have a shallow or deep root system? Will it eventually break my planter with strong roots or disturb concrete walk ways? The specimen in question is about 2.5 feet tall and the trunk is 8 inches in diameter.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 06:01 PM
markinwestmich markinwestmich is offline
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Re: Ponytail Palm Root System???

Beaucarnea, like many desert-dwellers, have a rather shallow root system (a few feet deep) on a small-to-medium sized plant. For container-grown plants, it is common practice to have the plant rather root-bound to produce a short, fat caudex...and is why they commonly break clay pots. Root systems on many arid-climate plants tend to go shallow and stretch out wide to obtain water more efficiently. It is likely, the plant will be able to be contained within its boundaries for several years, but I would suspect within a few years, the first foot, or so, of your soil will be Beaucarnea roots.

Before you commit, though. Take a look at this...http://biotech.tipo.gov.tw/plantjpg/...0recurvata.jpg
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Old July 5th, 2007, 09:57 PM
garden_tink garden_tink is offline
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Re: Ponytail Palm Root System???

Thank you very much for the info. We had a huge Queen palm in the planter area I described, damage to the bricks was minimal (patching broken planters goes on alot here), but the walk way concrete was lifted a bit. We only took it out due to power lines and the power company had the last say on that. The area is nearly still all palm roots even though we had the stump ground. Is there any way to deflect the roots? Trimming them? A strip of concrete sunk as a barrier below the brick but between the roots and walkway perhaps to bolster the area near and under the pathway? Will preventing suckering and caudex growths help any to keep it smaller, for longer? I love the plant and how they grow to look eventually, I just wish I had an area that wasn't a planter to put it in. I already have a three trunk specimen I suspect will burst it's pot in a year or two. Thanks again! Leo in So Cal.
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