Palm Tree Trimming

Palm trees will usually shed their fronds on their own, however for many people, a more proactive approach to the trimming of these fronds is preferable for some reasons. Primary among these grounds is that the fronds can cause injury if they are allowed to drop in a haphazard manner, they leave an unsightly mess (especially when the overhang a pool) and by trimming palm fronds, the tree itself only looks better.

If you are going to undertake a palm fond cutting exercise as a DIY project, then there are some common sense measures that you can take to make the use as efficient and stress-free as possible both for your and the palm tree itself.

Firstly it should be remembered that palm trees rely on the leaves and fronds to provide food for growth through photosynthesis. Over-trimming a palm tree may result in stunted growth, as well as added susceptibility to disease and predation by insects. For this reason, only dead or injured / broken palm fronds should be trimmed. Cutting healthy palm fronds will NOT make a palm grow faster – it will, however, damage the health of the tree.

When undertaking a trimming exercise, it is critical to take care not to damage the trunk of the palm. The exterior of the palm trunk is simply not as resilient as other hard barked trees. Any damage to the plant trunk will result in unsightly scarring and can, in extreme cases lead to the death of the palm. If you’re going to be using a ladder to reach dead fronds be sure to cushion the ladder against the trunk of the palm. Also, be careful not to put to much pressure on the trunk. Palms have extremely shallow root systems, and smaller varieties can easily be uprooted if too much pressure is placed on them during the trimming process.

If your palm tree has flowers or fruit stalks, then it may be a good idea to remove these during the trimming process. If left to mature these parts of the palm will deprive the rest of the palm from nutrients that will allow it to remain healthy and attractive. Also, palm, fruit, and flowers may attract predators such as rodents which will harm the palm as they consume the fruit. Birds are also attracted to palm flowers and may also cause damage. Infertile palms also drop fruit which can cause staining on surfaces. Some types of date palms also lose numerous times when they ripen. These can clog drainage systems and pool filtration systems and become a nuisance.

DIY palm trimming should be undertaken at least once a year to ensure that the palm remains healthy and vibrant. If there is one guideline that should be followed all the time it is to avoid simply over trimming. Your palm will be the highlight of your garden if it is allowed to flourish and grow to resemble its natural state.