7 Tips for Minimizing Transplant Shock in Palm Trees

After getting transplanted, palm trees usually experience what is called “transplant shock”. Transplant shock caused due to roots being disturbed and exposed to air and sunlight. This happens because palm trees were not designed to be moved from one place to another. When you move a palm tree, it loses a lot or most of the roots. Remaining roots have a hard time providing palm with enough water. That leads to a water stress. That is one of the reasons why you should keep the rootball of the palm moist as much as possible. Any disturbance of the roots will cause a stress. While there is no way to prevent transplant shock, there are ways to minimize it.

Tip 1: Acclimatize the palm before transplanting Palm trees don’t like sudden changes in temperature and light levels. If you transplanting a palm from the pot into the ground, you can place the palm in the area in which it will be planted a week in advance. That will give your palm enough time to acclimatize to the temperatures and the light levels of that location.

Tip 2: Disturb palm roots as little as possible
Depending on the species, palm trees lose some or all of the roots when transplanted to the new place. Palms grown in a container usually have roots that wrap around the inside of the container. There is no need to trim them. Palm will rely on the old roots for getting water, while the new roots are developing.

Tip 3: Leave as much old soil on the rootball as possible
Since the palm is already used to the soil, it will minimize the stress. Unless you are planning on replacing the soil with a better one, I would recommend leaving as much old soil as possible.

Tip 4: Transport palm properly
If you have a large palm that is being transported by a trunk, make sure to protect it by wrapping it with damp tarp. Also, tie up the fronds and attach 2 splits to the trunk and a leaf bundle to prevent trunk from snapping.

Tip 5: Do not fertilize after transplanting
Fertilizing palm right after planting will only create more stress. Give it some time to establish and develop new root system.

Tip 6: Water it thoroughly
Keep the rootball and the soil as moist as possible. Providing enough water will dramatically reduce the transplant shock. Palms should be watered every day for the first week after transplanting and every other day the week after. Here is more info on palm tree watering.

Tip7: Pick the right time.
Evening hours is the best time for transplanting, since the sun is not as strong and temperatures are usually cooler. This will give you palm tree all evening and all night to adjust to the new place before getting exposed to sunlight. ~Susan Brian

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