You are here:

Plant Diseases/King Palm Tree


King Palm Tree
King Palm Tree  
What is this frowning from within my king palm tree!?

Dear Ana Lucia, Kudos for an amazing plant picture!  This is very unusual.  I am not positive, but I think I know what this is.  I'm just not sure why this is.  What it looks like to me is that you have a split in a trunk, with a very cramped baby plant trying to grow and sprout from the space.  The baby plant is probably another king palm - that's at least what it looks like, and also the best guess.  To the best of my knowledge there are two possible scenarios for how it got there.  One is that the branch somehow developed a split or a hole, and one of the palm's seeds got lodged there and found the conditions there favorable enough to sprout, where it grew until it finally split open the stem.  The hole or split could have been caused any number of ways - a bug eating a hole, being torn a bit during a storm, a bird's claw, squirrels, and the list can go on and on.  The other scenario would be some distorted growth resulting from nearby herbicide (plant killer) products - either you or a neighbor.  Sometimes chemical spraying, especially the herbicides, can cause strange or damaged growth in plants near the spraying area.  Unless you have done spraying, and probably even if you had, the first story seems to be the most likely.  It looks like that stem that the plant comes out of is dead or dying, in which case, it would be very easy for a plant to start that way.  Hope this information helps.  Melissa

Plant Diseases

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Melissa Johnston


Plant diseases, landscaping, tropical plants, roses, herbs, plant care, grafting, horticulture, plant identification, anything about plants I can likely answer.


35 years experience in various plant businesses, 1984 Certified Texas Master Gardener.

Master Gardener Association of Texas charter member

none as of yet, but I have a plant q&a book I am in process of submitting.

Magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M, 1978

Awards and Honors
Plant growing awards, highest grade for Texas Master Gardener graduates.

Past/Present Clients
Past member of and was very highly rated. Owned landscape company in the past, Almost Paradise, and was very successful despite little equipment, no help, and no advertising. Lived well for two years until 9/11.

©2017 All rights reserved.