Palm tree damage.

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by logjammer, Sep 25, 2004.

  1. logjammer

    logjammer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    My dad does insurance work as a engineer and he is currently down in Florida looking over hurricane damage. The hotels that he is working on have tons of damaged palm trees, mostly the tops are broken. He is curious if they can come back from the damage or if he needs to look into getting 100+ new palm trees.
    We are both from Ohio, so we have no clue. He just needs to know so he can give the insurance company a ball park figure, and then, if needed, consult a landscaping contractor in the area.

  2. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    You'd be better off asking over on Arboristsite:

    That being said, I'm not too familiar with palms, but I believe if the top is broken completely out, they are effectively dead. They are not like typical woody trees, they are more like a grass with a woody stem, if that makes any sense.

    Ask (or do a search) over on AS.

  3. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956


    Palm Trees grow from the terminal bud. Ok what that means is the only place they are actively growing is in the heart at the very top of the tree. Therefore if the top is even bend over the Terminal Bud is broken and the tree will die.

    Now let your dad Know some palm trees cost over $ 10,000.00 to replace. Others might only be $ 100.00. The Pineapple palms at Rip Off Rat Theme Park cost over $ 5,000.00 each and there are over a thousand of them there.

    Palm Trees are priced by OA (Over all Height) or CW (clear wood trunk height). Simply measure or guess the height and multiply by the factor to get the price.
  4. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Posts: 793

    Article by: Alan W. Meerow
    formerly professor of environmental horticulture and cooperative extension palm specialist at the University of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, is now a research geneticist for the U. S. Department of Agriculture. He is the author of Betrock’s Guide to Landscape Palms and coauthor of Betrock’s Guide to Florida Landscape Plants.

    If the trunk of a single-stemmed (versus clustering or clumping) palm is broken -- whether completely severed at the base or anywhere along its length, splintered or sharply bent (kinked) at some point along its length -- that palm is unredeemably damaged and cannot be saved.

    Palm stems have no ability to heal
    as do broad-leaved trees. Clustering or clumping palms,however,continuously produce new stems and should not be removed, even if all the conspicuous, tall stems are badly damaged. Broken stems of a clustering palm should be carefully cut out as close to their base as possible. Application of a fungicide after this operation is recommended, since the stumps can provide entryway for disease organisms.

    Even though a palm may have been left standing after the hurricane's passage, severe stresses to the crown and, most importantly, the irreplaceable bud or "palm heart" may have been experienced. This
    sort of damage is not readily visible at first, but can lead to decline later in the year, especially if disease organisms attack the weakened tissue.
  5. logjammer

    logjammer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    Thank you guys,
    I'll have to give my dad the bad news. He was hoping they could be saved but the insurance co. will just have to cover them.


    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,426

    Tell him not to hold his breathe. We still have insurance companies cheating people out of claims from the wild fires a year ago. Trees are often the first thing they cut from the budgets, and courts tend to side with them. Large caliper hundred year old oaks which should sell for tens of thousands of dollars often are settled out for $500-$1,000.00.

    Canary Island palms which sell for $6,500.00, plus crane service are settled at $1,000.00 for a tree, plus crane service and the adjusters try to chissel the crane companies out of full rate.

    It is indeed tragic that hurricanes, fires and devastation occur. It is yet another tragedy when insurance companies, who we all pay to indemnify our properties and losses play the cheapskate card and skate out of paying thier obligations.
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956


    Every Insurance Company I have worked with during the 6 weeks or hurricane damage has refused to pay replacement on landscape. They also have refused to pay clean up and debris removal also. The one exception has been only if the tree is still laying on the house. If the tree blew down and hit the house then bounded off they do not pay. However each insurance policy is written different.


    Phoenix canariensis Or Pineapple Palm, Canary Island Date Palm are selling in the growers Field for about $ 225 to $ 250 a foot Clear trunk or clear wood here in Florida before all the Hurricanes. You must go at least 2.5 times the growers price and transport charges because the terminal bud is very long and tender. Many terminal bud break if not handled with the ut most care. They are extremely large and heavy as well. I always go Three Times my cost on them in order not to go broke replacing them. It will take a year for them to completely die and They will show first symptoms of broken hearts by the lower fronds turning brown first and Progressing up to the top.

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