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Sunday - May 31, 2009

From: Howell, NJ
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Pruning
Title: Center of Yucca filamentosa looking rotten in Howell, NJ
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I live in central NJ. I planted some Adam's Needle Yucca in my garden around 5 years ago. Since then, they kept growing and ended up developing three trunks off of the main trunk. I noticed recently that the spot where the three trunks meet the main trunk looks rotten. I'm afraid that one day those three trunks are going to break off. What should I do?


We couldn't find any pictures or descriptions of Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle) that indicated a trunk that developed  additional trunks. That particular plant is usually referred to as "trunkless" or "minimal trunk." However, the yucca is incredibly hardy, and will grow back from little chunks of root. Even if one or more of the trunks broke off, the main plant would be all right. However, if it is concerning you, or unsightly, we would suggest you prune away one or even two of the additional trunks, electing to leave the one (or two) that look most hardy and unaffected by the rot. Possibly more air circulation on the area will help. This is not an easy job, and you will have to protect yourself from the leaves or blades of the yucca. It is a very fibrous plant, so be prepared to use a sharp cutting tool; a long-handled tree pruner might be good in that it will keep the person doing the cutting away from the defensive spines of the plant. If this makes the center that appears rotten more accessible and visible, you can examine it to see if, indeed, something is going on there. 


From the Image Gallery

Adam's needle
Yucca filamentosa

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