should I cut my banana tree down?

Hey everyone,
I live in North Central Florida, and have several banana plants in a clump on my property. Some of the plants started producing fruit back in November, however the recent freezing snaps have gotten to them (despite my efforts). The plants with fruit stopped making leaves soon after fruit appeared on them. Now after weather is getting warmer, the other trees are making leaves (we cut back the dried, dead leaves), however the trees with fruit seem to be sad. Their fruit is blackened, and they aren't making leaves. Additionally, their stems/trunks are very water filled, and not hard/ solid like the other plants. I believe that I should cut them down, but I've never done it before... I think I'll take a machete or a saw to the stem/trunk, and cut it down to 3 ft or so. Is this right? Is there anything special I have to do to the plant before (or after) doing this? Will another plant grow out of the cut down one?
Thanks.
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That is entirely normal- they fruit then they die. That's why they send up new plants around the base. Cut the spent ones to the ground.
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Toni
South Florida USA
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My wife & sister-in-law used to have a place out here on the west coast (CA) and they had a large "clump' of bananas that were perhaps 15' across. Anyway, generally the rule was that once a single trunk of the plant put out bananas, it was cut-down afterwards (to the ground) and new shoots would come up out of the ground.. In fact, new shoots were always coming up out of the ground as the plot was always increasing in size.. The variety they were growing was the kind that you cook with and find in Filipino markets (among other places) and turn black/yellow when ripe. Anyway, for you, I'd suggest cutting down the trunks of the plants that have the fruit on them and you should get more growing it their place at some point.
As for what to cut them down with -- we used hand pruning saws.. The flesh is very easy to cut with a saw..
YMMV!
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On Mar 15, 4:28 am, " snipped-for-privacy@mailinator.com"

Yes cut it. In commercial production they cut them when the bunch is cut. Look for suckers around the base of the old plant to start a new one. If you want good fruit and/or lush growth feed them well as they are very heavy feeders and will soon exhaust an area if no manure/ fertiliser is added.
David
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On Mar 15, 1:53 am, " snipped-for-privacy@aussiemail.com.au"

So, per everyone's instructions, I cut down the banana trees. Actually a friend came over and helped me out. He brought over his machette, and insisted that we cut the trees down to about 1 foot above the ground. The results are that the little plants around the main mother plant are growing voraciously. Cutting down the 'trees' was a good idea. I only have two questions; 1) Should I go ahead and saw down the remaining 1 foot stumps, down to the ground? they are a bit out of place, and if it's not a problem I'd like to make them disappear. 2) While using the machette, my friend accidently chopped down one of the smaller plants... Well, this little guy is still trying to make it. From it's little stump it's putting out a new leaf. Is there anything I can do to help it along?
Thanks everyone!
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Remove them entirely- there's no reason not to.

Bananas are heavy feeders, and it is late March. If you haven't done your spring feeding, now is a good time. They need good water, too, as they grow so fast.
It will continue to grow leaves and will catch up with the others in no time flat.
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Toni
South Florida USA
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