A California Fan Palm planted into a front yard landscape from a one gallon container out performs 3 five gallon Mexican Fan Palms which not only had a more massive root system, but also three times the height. So what happened ??? - "Mycorrhizal Fungi"
|(image: Mine July 2014)|
|Image taken on July 2014|
The major difference maker was inoculating the California Fan Palm heavily within the soil at planting time with the as opposed to simply planting the Mexican Fan Palms without the beneficial fungi. The reason is I thought the Mexican Fan Palms would explode with fast growth on their own because as a natural rule they are much faster growing than Washingtonia filifera. Wow was I ever wrong. The California Fan Palm grew another three feet, while 2 of the five gallon Mexican Fan Palms put on only a foot of growth. The third Mexican Fan Palm actually died. I seriously should have inoculated everything. But after all these years of successes and positives which have greatly exceeded all expectations, I'm still excited by amazing changes almost before my very eyes. We're talking just exactly a year and two months. This is why documenting such things is so important, because those who are behind the Industrial Agriculture business model are not at all in favour of such practices and their successes. But take a look at last year's (2014) W. filifera to this year's (2015) results below.
Over four foot of growth between the period of July 2014 to August 2015. So why is it again that home owners and professional landscapers have preferred using the faster growing Washingtonia robusta over the so-called slower growing native Southern California - Washingtonia filifera ???
|(image: Mine Sept 2015)|
|(image: Mine July 3, 2014)|
|(image: Mine September 2015)|
|(image: Mine June 2013)|
|(image: Mine September 2015)|
Basically 4 years old landscape from 2011
|(image: Mine Sept 2015)|
Mexican Red Bird of Paradise
seeds germinatinng after one rainstorm
|Same exact location, but photo is from 2011|
|(image: Mine 2015)|
Can you find the Spider ?
|(image: Mine 2014)|
|(Caesalpinia pulcherrima and caesalpinia mexicana)|
The plant above on the right in the photo is Mexican Yellow Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia mexicana). It would make a nice contrast in the landscape. While I love the Red Bird of Paradise, it can be overwhelming with too much of the same colour. I already have several of the native South American native Yellow Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii - native to Argentina & Bolivia) planted throughout, but they flower very early in Spring season where the others are mainly in full summer blooming. These of course naturalize very easily and we also have to pull up seedlings as they appear, but not hard to keep a handle on. Below I'll post some links of previous articles on planting members of the Pea family (Legume) and I'll also provide the post of where the Oasis landscape was planted in the dead heat of summer during 100+ Fahrenheit (40 celsius) intense heat. It really can be done and while mycorrhizal fungi inoculum is a must, the timing of the day is everything. I'm not sure how many will read this post or take it seriously, but at the very least I've been further able to document something I should have recorded years ago. People are going to have to start viewing nature as a sophisticated biological machines with various fascinating complex components. By far the most amazing thing about this subject was something that I didn't expect from the California Fan Palm and that was extremely rapid growth. Even with the mycorrhizae colonized on the root system, I fully expected little change from when I planted that little one gallon Fan Palm. I never cease to be amazed by these successes.
Next Year's (2016) Experiment Watch: Mexican Blue Fan Palm (Brahea armata)
|Image: My Sister Aimee (November 2015)|
Two Mexican Blue Fan Palms from 5 Gallon Containers
Next year in in Spring I hope I am able to come back over and check on the progress of to entirely different palms which are even more challenging when it comes to slow growth. These are the two Mexican Blue Fan Palms (Brahea armata) that I planted just the last week of my visit in El Cajon. The growth on these are extremely slow compared to most and they are extremely root sensitive, so what difference with the MycoApply Soluble Maxx have on their growth is anyone's guess. I'd love to see a dramatic change because these are so rarely messed with by most landscapers and homeowners for the simple reason people want instant landscape and for the fact that many still are not all that attracted to plants with a gray/blue green foliage. One thing that helps in decision making in my personal experience is being capable of visualizing what any tree or shrub will look like in the landscape. It is imperative to understand the plant's height, width, it's silhouette especially for a background tree as both of these. In my mind, I picture the example in the photo at right. In my opinion they are one of the more handsome palms when in flower as you can see in the photo. On the wait and see challenge side of things when it comes to root sensitivity, ever see those large semi tractor trailer flatbed trucks hauling large several meters high palms being transported from Tree Farms to landscape location in the desert resort areas ? It is almost impossible to do that with a Mexican Blue Fan Palm. When the machinery in the orchard cuts the roots and pulls the tree from the ground, most palms are fine, but not the Blue Fan Palm. They require the movers to first use a propane blow torch and burn the root system. This cauterizes the wounded root cuts, because otherwise being normally planted in the ground like other palms, it would bleed to death. Now growth will emerge from the burned area, but this method is imperative. This is why when search for these specific palms I looked for a one gallon container. Impossible to find, mostly because the palms are slow growing and most people wouldn't have the patience to wait for larger landscape specimen to develop. So the MycoApply's ability to prevent transplant shock and stimulate faster than normal growth will be extremely important, not only for these palm's health, but also possibly prove to the industry what can be accomplished for future successes.
Some of my recent posts on Mexican and California Fan Palms, this year and last year in 2014. The first follows the incredible lengths Washingtonia filifera roots will go to in search of water. The second is about the invasive nature of Washingtonia robusta in the coastal canyons around urban areas of San Diego California and the further wildfire spreading threat potential they create
Further Important Reading References