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Pruning a probable cabbage palm


We are novice gardeners who have just moved into a garden that has skipped an owner. Our seller was here for about 10 years and told us she never touched the garden. There is planting and infrastructure in place that suggests the previous owner was quite keen, which means we're catching up on about 10 years of missed garden jobs. You might see a lot of posts from me coming up.
Today's question is about pruning what we think is a cabbage palm. This photo shows the whole plant, and you can just about see the cut tree stump holding up the branch growing out to the left. We'd like to prune it back to just the cluster on the right. I'm having trouble both confirming it actually is a cabbage palm and getting advice about pruning since apparently they don't often need it. 
Same image marked up:

And this is the underside:
I think we definitely want (if possible) to cut back to at least the yellow line, which would leave us with just cluster 3. We might also take out some of the upwards branches to reduce the size of cluster 3. We could try cutting back somewhere to the blue line to see if that would give us an even smaller 'cluster 4' on regrowth but I'm not sure if that would be too much for the plant to take and it leaves us pretty close to the fence. 

Thoughts on the best plan moving forwards and the best time to do it very welcome. Cheers!


  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,719
    It's not something I've ever grown, but it looks like at some point in the 10 years it's fallen over and started growing upwards from the horizontal trunk. I would think you can cut it back as far as you like as long as you leave the cluster nearest the roots. See here, renovation pruning in the third bullet in the subsection on pruning and training. Hopefully someone who's tried it will be along soon.
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