Installing palms

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Lawnworks, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    I am doing a palm tree installation in the next couple of weeks. It will be 7 16-20 foot sable palms. I am in in the mid GA area. The nursery said these larger palms will withstand the cold and I won't have any problems. It might dip into the 30s a couple more night in February. Should I have anything to worry about? How do you guys stake them? Also I am getting them for $10 a foot... sound reasonable? Here is a pic of what I have in mind.
     
  2. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    10.00 per ft is a great price for here. They will be very heavy, hope you have a crane lined up. Can be done with tractors but a real pain and dangerous for the palm if you are going over rough terrain. Use tall 12'-14' 2x6 to stake them set them like a tri pod evenly spaced around the tree pre drill the braces and use big nails, 4" minimum if the trees are not skinned. Drive small stakes in the ground at the base of the braces to keep them from kicking out. Braces will need to remain through the end of the summer at a minimum. I would also recommend putting 3"-4" drain pipes at the edge of the planting hole to check to see if the hole is holding water and to get a deep soak. Root ball should be at least 4' deep and you want the entire thing to get water, but you don't want it sitting in water for extended periods of time.
     
  3. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    a decent sized bobcat will handle them with no problem...
    sable palms are hardy to 7 degrees, so no worries about the cold.. we palnt them a lot here in NC...

    be careful with the "crown" do not handle the top where the fronds come out of the trunk, and do not let this area hit anything very hard... If you snap the center frond, then game over, palm will slowly die.....

    remember when picking them up with a chain or srtap, that the weight will be centered just above the root ball......
     
  4. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    I have seen them staked w/ 2x4s w/ a ring build around the trunk... to guide it but not putting any stress on the bark/tree. So if it is a 20 foot tree and it is planted 4' deep, it would actually be 16ft by the time we got it planted right?
     
  5. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    Glad to hear about there hardiness. I have heard about being very careful b/c of the center bud. I have access to a backhoe and kubota tractor. The nursery told me they could weigh 1800 pounds... so that would probably be too much for the kubota 4340. I am going to install drip around them... how long should they be watered w/ drip 12" spacing?
     
  6. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    Wrong-If the tree is 20' tall it should have at least a 4' root ball more like a 5'-6' root ball. It wont be much wider than the trunk just deep. I hope you have a dedicated valve for these trees? How many gph are the emitters? The tree will be dormant for another month or two, probably need to be in the high 70s for a few weeks before they will begin to put out any roots so you wont want too much water until then. Need to keep them moist but not setting in water. Also on rootballs that big be sure to compact the soil as you bury it,don't want any air pockets that will be nice and warm and moist later, perfect for fungus. Palms are great moneymakers if you charge enough and are cautious. My old partner built a million $$ company in the mid 80's planting date palms in a development. We were the only company that would offer a warranty, at that time we were charging about 1,400.00 per tree for 20' date palms. Last ones I planted was in 93 I think and I charged 2-K each at that time. We always used cranes.
     
  7. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    I am not sure on the gph on the drip line. How much water will these need per tree? I am thinking every other day or three days while the weather is cooler. Any physical signs to indicate a palm needs more water? A dedicated valve will be no problem, the trees are close to the main irrigation line. This customer is my guinny pig, so he is getting a heck of a deal but no warranty. I cannot wait to add this job to my portfolio. I will have some crazy before and after pics. Sounds like palms were extremely profitable for you.

    Yardpro,
    What do you typically charge for getting and installing a palm?
     
  8. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    We are paying about $120-$140 per tree.
    We get $325.00 per palm less than 3.... then drop to $300 for 4-6, then $275 for 7 or more

    we used to use the same sized kubota.. sables that big are beyond it's capacities.... an S185 bobcat will do fine, a 2200 is even better..

    Depending on the soil type, i would consider renting an auger to go with the machine. With the auger and a bobcat (or my dingo for palms 15 foot or less)
    i can set 30-40 palms a day with one helper....

    i was told years ago that sable's require at least 10 gallons per day to establish... I have gone by that (our soils are pure sand), and never had a problem...

    also they like nitrogen...... a lot...

    lots of water, and lots of fertilizer, and they will flush out in one season.
     
  9. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    Man this info is great. Thanks guys. I am probably just going to use my client's backhoe... to bring them in... do you think a bobcat would be worth renting over the back hoe? All of the soil that they are going in was just hauled in by us last week(20-25 yards) so it will be super soft, but an auger is next on the list for my dingo.
     

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