We've changed the name of this board from 'Greenfingered MoneySaving' to simply 'Gardening'. This is to help make it easier to find for the horticulturally inclined. The URL remains unchanged for the time being, so all links to the board are unaffected.
🗳️ ELECTION 2024: THE MSE LEADERS' DEBATE Got a burning question you want us to ask the party leaders ahead of the general election? Submit your suggestions via this form or post them on our dedicated Forum board where you can see and upvote other users' questions. Please note that the Forum's rules on avoiding general political discussion still apply across all boards.

Yucca torreyi ?

Mand_x_ Posts: 149 Forumite
First Anniversary Combo Breaker
edited 15 September 2010 at 12:30PM in Gardening
Hi, I have two very large plants in my front garden that were there when we moved in 12 years ago. Although, especially one, has taken on a life of its own and is now so big it is un-manaintainable.

I have googled the plant from its description and believe it to be Yucca torreyi. I dont have the biggest front garden in the world and the plants are in each corner at the front. This means that the very long and very very sharp spikey leaves pertrude over my small wall. It is so spikey it has burst several of the childrens footballs and not the thin fly away ones.

Last year it was hanging over so bad I had to take scissors to it because if any one walks passed it was likely to stab them. And as there is a wallkway one side to my next door neighbour, which is a small masinonette, it actually blocked half of the path.

To be honest, I was hoping that chopping off half the leaves might make it die off (Please dont be angry - I am at war with this plant as it has attacked me on to many occassions). However, I was wrong and it has almost doubled in size. And now hangs over even more. I am a little worried that if it does hurt anyone I could be liable and to be honest I would just like the plants gone. But I dont think I am going to be able to do it by myself and to top it all off my husband likes the bloody things as he says it gives us privacy and he likes the tall white flowers that come out of the top of them. But it is dangerous and now the thick bark - that looks like a palm tree is starting to grow over the wall.

So my questions are if any one can help?

1. Should I just get rid or would it be worth offering on freecycle - incase it is a plant that is not that common and would actually be appreciated by someone who knows what they are doing, although I dont see how any one would move it. It is now about 2m tall and 2m wide possibly bigger.

2. If I am okay to get rid, what is the safest way to do it, I am not joking when I say these leaves actually really hurt when they stick in you. Also the bark is very very thick.

3. Would it be very expensive to pay for someone to get rid for me. Maybe a tree surgeon or something?

As you may have gathered I have very little knowledge of this, but even if I have to book a day off work when my husband is out to get rid when he is not there I will attempt to do it myself but I know I am going to struggle as I struggle just trimming the leaves back.

Please help me someone!

p.s. I am still trying to google what plant it is and I believe it could be a banana yucca because after looking at more pictures of the Yucca torreti, I would say that the main bark/stem of mine is more short and stubby like the banana and not like a tall tree. The thing confussing me is that yes it does have very tall stems coming out top with white flowers but I have never seen them change into fruit. Especially banana looking fruit. The main balk is very think and stuby, it is not dingular, there are several all coming off in different directions with lots of very spikey long dark green leaves coming of it. But they do not seem to curl inwards like the descriptions I have been reading of these plants. They are flat looking almost like a sword. Each one grows around the bark and then more grow inside that layer and then more in that layer and so on.


  • westiea
    westiea Posts: 432 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker

    a photo would help greatly if you are able to take one.

    Are you sure its a Yucca and not a Cordyline australis? Link to leaves and flowers and link to plant with stem. New Zealand cabbage Palm

    1. If its big it is unlikely to be moved easily as the roots will be deep.
    2.Are you able drop it somewhere in your garden, saw it up then then use secateurs/scissors to cut up the leaves? Then use root killer to kill remaining stump?
    3 At 12 foot a gardener could do it - maybe 2-3 hours work so £60- 100ish if they take the prunings with them - this is dependent on where you live and its garden position of course!
    Greyer by the minute - Older by the hour - Wiser by the day
  • Money_maker
    Definately sounds like a yucca rather than a cordyline. Only a yuccas leaves are so vicious. I was stabbed in the ankle by mine today (I was wearing jeans) and its only about a foot high. Try offering on freecycle but explain the size and buyer removes and collects. It may be a pain to you but for a collector or someone who keeps exotic plants it would be a beautiful specimen.
    Please do not quote spam as this enables it to 'live on' once the spam post is removed. ;)

    If you quote me, don't forget the capital 'M'

    Declutterers of the world - unite! :rotfl::rotfl:
  • Mand_x_
    Mand_x_ Posts: 149 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Thank you so much for the replies. It is a little dark now so I will take a photo tomorrow and put it on.

    I have had a look at the links and the only reason I believe it to be a Yucca is due to the fact that even though the bark looks like the bark of a tree, the bark is very low down and only maybe 2/3ft in height and is almost not visable due to the long spike leaves.

    It is almost beautiful in an agressive kind of way and my husband does think highly of it and is really against me getting rid of it. We found the photo out of the house when we first bought it in 1998 and both of them are only just about poking above the wall which is about 3ft high. And even though up until a couple of years ago it only ever had 1 large stem covered in the white flowers, it now has about 10.

    I just dont know how to look after it properly and everytime I have tried to trim it, no matter how careful I am I always get stabbed all over my arms and hands and got stabbed in the head too when I tried to do it the other day. We do not have a road outside the front of my house and have young children playing outside most days and I do worry about injuring one of them. I swear when I am cutting off the leaves, carefully holding one at a time and delicatly manipulating the leaves one by one as to not injury myself, that it aims for other parts of me and stabs me in anger lol

    I have noticed that one of the bark branches coming from the ground has actually grown up the small wall and over the top and is then sprouting from the wall. So simply trimming the leaves is no longer enough in order to keep the plant within my garden. I would have thought that it would damage the plant/tree if I were to start sawing of part of its bark.

    I know this may sound like a really silly question, but would the roots be large enough to cause any damage to the brick? It's just that would give me a practical reason for defence when trying to convince my husband to let me get rid of it.
  • sassyblue
    sassyblue Posts: 3,783 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 16 September 2010 at 11:16AM
    Mand_x_ wrote: »
    I know this may sound like a really silly question, but would the roots be large enough to cause any damage to the brick? It's just that would give me a practical reason for defence when trying to convince my husband to let me get rid of it.

    Hi Mand_x, if it's a palm tree of sorts l don't think they have much of a root system so shuldn't hurt your house, l know my sister has got several of these trees and said they are quite expensive to buy when they're large so l would definitely get an add on freecycle for it. The receiver has to dig it out and transport it back to theirs and being's as it's large no guarantee it'll survive but worth it for free to try ;)

    If you're anywhere near South Lincs, l'm half tempted myself... :T

    Happy moneysaving all.
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 8 Election 2024: The MSE Leaders' Debate
  • 343.9K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.3K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 450K Spending & Discounts
  • 236K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 609.2K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.4K Life & Family
  • 248.6K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards