If you’ve ever tried to move a Sabal minor (scrub palmetto palm), you probably failed. Once they pass the seedling stage, they cannot be moved since they develop a very deep subterranean trunk that extends up to 5′ deep. Not only that, but roots that are cut do not regenerated like most other plants. Today, we dug up our 17-year old Mexican Sabal ‘Tamaulipas’ since it had outgrown its space. Expecting to find a huge subterranean trunk, we were surprised to only find a short below ground trunk. I will add that I’ve never been fully convinced that this is actually Sabal minor, as the experts claim. It came out so easily, that we are going to try and transplant it and see what happens. Fingers crossed.
Good luck, Tony. My understanding is that a root of a plant in Sabal genus will die back to its origin if it is cut anywhere along its length. So when you field dig any Sabal palm, you typically have a giant cutting which has to reroot itself. BTW, could S. tamaulipas be a naturally occurring hybrid of S. minor and some other Sabal sp.? (See S. x texensis ‘Brazoria’).
Correct, which is why Sabal palmetto can be moved as “phone poles” sans roots. Typically Sabal minor this age has a much deeper trunk, and Sabal minor are virtually impossible to move past the seedling stage.
Did it survive?
Thanks for the follow-up. It lasted for 2 years after transplanting, so we’re blaming its demise on a cold winter and not the transplanting. At least, that’s our story and we’re sticking to it.