Silver Bismarck Palm

Silver Bismarck Palm

The Silver Bismark Palm is native to Madagascar, but is frequently found in Florida.

Many people love its fan shape and unique silvery blue coloring. In fact, it is sometimes called the Pure Silver palm for its distinctive coloring.

Its dramatic shape adds a great touch to any landscaping project.

The Silver Bismark Palm is one of the few palm trees that has a relatively large root system.

We suggest planting this tree at least eight feet away from sidewalks, other asphalt, and buildings to give the roots plenty of room to grow. Keeping the roots away from sidewalks will also help prevent any cracking in the asphalt that the roots might otherwise cause.

Palm Tree Root Systems

Palm trees are unique in that their roots generally do not continue to spread out as the tree grows taller. Even the tallest of palm trees (including the Washingtonia Robusta, or Mexican Fan Palm, which can grow up to 100 feet), will have the same width of root system as a much smaller palm tree.

There is a specialized area around the base of the tree where the roots continue to grow and die off.

This is known as the “root initiation zone.”

This zone is generally about 40 inches around the base of the tree, and the roots are not far below the soil. Ideally, the soil will have lots of air pockets and moisture to encourage growth.

The root initiation zone not only acts as a way for the tree to get water, it also anchors the tree to the ground. This is extremely important because some palm trees grow to be very large and need this type of support.

This could also be one of the many ways that palm trees have learned to adapt to tropical weather. Other types of trees use a taproot system with one large central root. Palm trees use small, thin roots that will stretch out to form the base of the tree.

Transporting Silver Bismarck Palms

Because of its unique root system, the Silver Bismarck Palm requires special care to transport.

This species of palm is especially sensitive to root disturbances.

Significant root damage can kill the plant or cause it to be weakened significantly. The roots must be handled with great care during transport because even rough handling can cause the tree to go into decline.

That also means that the root ball on this particular species will likely be very large for a full grown tree. In fact, even the younger trees may have a larger root ball than normal.

Most palm trees respond well to root pruning, but some species may need to keep more of their roots than others.

Other trees that will have a larger root ball include: