Palm advice - Split in foxtail palm trunk

Hi,

      Enclosed are some photos of Foxtail palms at my property in Queensland.   I planted the one in front after the others, it is starting to catch up now in growth.   However, it has developed an enormous split in the truck.   It still appears healthy and is still putting on new growth, will this split in the truck harm the plant is there anything I need to do ?   Many thanks, Kerry, Bribie Island Qld. 

Answer

Hello Kerry,

                      I know it looks bad .....however this type damage is common with many palm species.   It can happen for a number of reasons.    The most common reason is when the palm has had a sudden increase in available soil moisture.  The Palm sucks up all the water as fast as it can.   As a result the thin outer bark splits as it cannot grow as quickly as the inner parts of the plant.    If you have had a long dry spell,  followed by substantial rain, this would explain it. 

     The other reason this occurs is when the palm has grown very quickly and then has been hit by strong winds.  As palm roots are very strong, something has to give, so this area of the stem cracks as a result.  

     Is the slit a problem ? ....Not really,  it will heal up substantially over time,  however there may still be some damage there for years to come.  

Ps.   There is no need to fill the split with anything.   However, I have heard of  tree doctors who use "Space filler foam" to stop water sitting in the wound.  We're not sure if this works or not.

Regards Gardenguide

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