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Palm Tree Pruning (Do’s and Don’ts)

Palm trees are monocots, which means that they do not grow outward in their trunks in the way that most traditional trees do. Because of this, people tend not to feel the urge or necessity to prune their palms. And yet, palm trees do need pruning and when doing so, you must handle it with the utmost care and consideration.

In this article, we’re going to take your through the do’s and don’ts when it comes to pruning your palms. Pay close attention!

  1. Do not damage the trunk when pruning! You should try to avoid this at all costs. If you do happen to damage it, there will be a good chance that it will not heal again. Great care should be taken to protect the root. The majority of the nutrients that feed the palm come through the root ball of the tree. By damaging this carelessly, you’ll be putting the entire tree in jeopardy.
  2. Do try to ensure that you prune in the correct season. This means through summer or spring, as opposed to the winter. This is because it will be much easier to identify which leaves and fronds are healthy, and which are not.
  3. Do remove your palm’s foliage if it is yellow or brown and loose looking. Of course, if it puts up a fair amount of resistance then leave it and wait.
  4. Do not allow fruitstalks and flowers to thrive. This is A) because they will attract many unwanted pests, and B) because they will snap off and fall to the ground leaving a terrible mess in the surrounding area.
  5. Do not over prune your palm tree! You should be very careful and pay attention to what your palm is going. These are very temperamental trees and you wouldn’t want to cause irreparable damage. In fact, it’s always better to skip the DIY and call for professional assistance. A palm tree pruning service from a reputable arborist is your best option.
  6. Do not prune the green fronds on your palm! These can provide food for the newer leaves and by removing them will mean poor health & future growth for the plant. Remember, palms get their food from the ball at the base, and their healthy green fronds at the top. Treat them with care.
  7. Do be careful not to prune too many mature fronds. These are designed to protect the tree from high winds. Keeping those mature fronds in order to allow the younger ones a chance at growth is essential for strong future growth.
  8. Do try to anticipate your plants needs. Sure, that’s easier said than done, but generally a tree will know what it needs. It knows that if a frond is dying, that a new one should grow in its place. Don’t go crazy and start ripping everything out without doing your research. Again, hire professional tree services if you’re not confident.
  9. Do not prune purely and simply for aesthetic reasons. If you do so, you will run the risk of damaging it beyond repair due to being careless. Yes, palm pruning is necessary from time to time, but not in excess!

These are handy tips for those who are confident with going it alone. However, we would always strongly advise that you enlist the professionals to assist you, especially if you have strong sentimental value for your tree and would like the best chance at ensuring it’s future health.

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