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Sago Palm Trees

Q.Leaning Large Sago Palm

Zone Charleston, SC | coffee_brake added on July 1, 2021 | Answered

This female Sago palm was the pride and joy of the late owner of my house. He claimed it was the tallest in the city and babied it, according to all the neighbors. I’ve tried to keep it nice and tree-like for the 6 years I’ve had it, taking away the pups and letting it grow. It has begun to lean in the direction of the sun more and more and now looks kind of ridiculous. The increasingly heavy rains of Charleston, SC over the past years have softened the soil and I’m concerned for the roots of this plant. It’s at almost a 45 degree angle! This palm is too big and mature to pull upright. Could it be cut at the trunk in such a way as to let some pups keep growing and make it more of a shrub with multiple smaller sagos growing in a cluster? This sago connects me to the gentleman who took such good care of this house for so long, and I’d like to keep some form of it growing right where he planted it originally.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 1, 2021

Sure! This is common, actually, for an overgrown Sago. I would wait until there are several replacement pups, though. Make sure that they do not abort out, then you can cut the main top.

This collection of articles will offer plenty of information on the subject of these trees:


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Answered on July 1, 2021

OP here: I read over the attached articles and did not see how to cut down the original palm in such a manner as to allow a few pups still attached to the trunk to keep growing. Do I just chop it down a few inches from the ground and seal the wound against insects?

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