During the growth of sago palm (Metroxylon sagu Rottb.), primary suckers appear from the main stem (MS) of transplanted suckers. Then, secondary suckers appear from the primary suckers. After the MS (trunk) is first harvested 10 and several years after transplantation, trunks can be harvested persistently using the primary, secondary, and subsequent suckers, which are designated as derivative suckers, growing with the MS. However, little knowledge exists about the growth behavior of derivative suckers. This study clarified how derivative suckers, especially the primary and secondary suckers, spread in the horizontal direction, and how they form a plant with the MS during the creeping growth stage. Most derivative suckers crept in the direction of about 70° subtended by the mother stem. However, two primary suckers that appeared early after transplantation crept in an obtuse angle to the creeping direction of the MS. As the reason for this obtuse angle direction, we considered the following four factors: (1) the existence of petiole, (2) distance from the sucker to the ground surface, (3) enlargement of the MS, and (4) space for sucker growth. The growth behaviors of the two primary suckers and the other derivative suckers differed. Therefore, in sago palm cultivation, the two primary suckers which appeared first from the MS were very important for formation of the framework of the plant with the MS, in terms of efficient utilization of space for the growth of derivative suckers.
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