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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My Ponytail Palm new growth


When I was backing out of my driveway this morning, I noted two little side growths on one trunk of my Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata). This succulent, palm-like shrub is a member of the Agave family and is known by several names. It has earned the name "elephant's foot" because of its bulbous base. Because of its base and thin trunk have some people call it a bottle palm. . As a houseplant, the ponytail palm normally reaches about three feet in height. When grown outdoors in warm climates, it can easily reach 20 feet tall. My tree is approximately 10-12 ft. high. Normally it will only have one main trunk until it is a few years old. Then it develops branches towards the top.
I wanted to come back home after work today and take a picture, but it was dark before I could get to it...so this shot was taken with a flash. A few years ago, our tree was tall, and only one trunk. We cut it down by about 1/2, and it really branched out...forming more thick, trunk -like branches, all with their own plummage on top. They are really weird, yet pretty trees. Mine has found itself in a terrible spot with our huge Black Olive tree competing with it...We trimmed the Black Olive back a few years ago as well, and we have had a good length of time where they were independantly happy. BUT...the time has come again to make a decision about whether to remove this Ponytail, or move it. It will be difficult because it will tear up our sidewalk to get it out, and we will need a crane to move it. It's gonna be a big job when the time comes!!!
On a side note, this tree was the subject of a nature photography contest I entered a few years ago, and we (the tree and I ) got "Honorable Mention". It was online for a while, but I was searching and cannot find it anymore. She's been a good little tree for a lot of years! Here is a previous picture I had taken of her:

12 comments:

Donna said...

She sure is a beautiful tree, Julie. I don't think I've seen one of these before. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled the next time I take a stroll down the block.

No Rain said...

Hi Julie,
If you want to see wildflowers in the desert, right now is a great time. They will be at their peak probably this week. As far as cactus blooming, probably the most cacti will bloom in mid-late April for some varieties, others will have flowers a couple of months later. The Desert Botanical Garden will soon be at its peak for beauty. I'd say March 7-21 would be a good stretch of time. The wildflowers won't be at their peak, but there is plenty of other things to see. Don't miss it! Of course, all this info applys to the Phoenix area. In higher elevations around Arizona, the peak time will be a month later.
Hope this helps.
Aiyana

Julie said...

Thanks Aiyana...sounds great!

Teri C said...

That is a great specimen. Isn't it funny how we get so excited about new growth.

Julie said...

Teri- Ha ha ha...I had said to my daughter when I posted this how strange it is that I get excited to see something like this...and how everyone else in the world would probably think I am a true nut case!!! It did seem really interesting that it suddenly popped out these 2 new spots out of the clear blue...but I guess that is plant life for ya!
Julie

Mary T said...

Hi Julie-- just visiting your blog the first time. Thanks for your kind comment on my succulent grouping at Pokeberry. I'm getting very inspired by succulents right now.. got so many artsy ideas.. oh--and I have a fairy in my laundry basket container garden--coincident? Mine has brown eyes like my dd. S. florida is one my fav places! Nice to meet you! I visit Ft Meyers beach 2-3x a yr. Love it! mary t

Stapeliad said...

This is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love these trees, they are so cool.

Do you harvest olives from your olive tree? I want an olive tree too!!!

Xole Karman said...

Wow—that's quite stunning! We have nothing like those in Australia—the closest would be our Xanthorrhoea, which grows at about 1 metre every 100 years.

Kelsie said...

Hi, Julie. Thank you for visiting my blog! Your comment was very nice, too!

Serena said...

Xole, even though they are native to Mexico, we do have the ponytail palms here in Australia. My Mum has one in a pot and you will also find it featured on the Burkes Backyard website.

I have always loved these plants! Interesting that they aren't really palms at all.

Serena said...

Julie, I meant to add that I'm saddened to read that you may have to remove it. Will you be transplanting its babies?

Julie said...

Serena-there are no babies...only new growth on the side of the tree...it will come out all in one peice...but I think I would just move it into a new location.