Saturday, August 2, 2014
Bound and Tied Palms
Notes about the bound and tied palm trees that can now be seen at the Bay Bridge approach from the Oakland side. I could not resist trying to capture the unique image of those towering trees.
Palms have a relatively shallow root system for a tree their size. The leaves or fronds are tied up after transplant with biodegradable material to prevent the wind from knocking them over (the overall surface area is larger for untied palms than tied palms). Once the roots become more established, the ties can be removed and the fronds/leaves can be free.
In addition, the tied up fronds/leaves lose less moisture than freed ones. Water is very critical right after a palm is transplanted, and leaving the leaves tied up helps to conserve the palm's moisture levels.
The ties rot after several months, by which time the tree has established enough roots to fully supply its water needs.