When And Why Trimming A Palm Tree May Be Necessary

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When I bought a house with a cherry blossom tree in the front yard, I couldn't wait for that first blooming season to see the tree fill out. I knew that the tree needed care, but I wasn't sure how I was supposed to treat it. I called my local tree service and had them show me what it needed to keep it strong. I took all of the information they shared with me and everything else I've learned and created this site. I hope that the information here helps you take care of your blossoming trees so that you can enjoy their beauty every season.

When And Why Trimming A Palm Tree May Be Necessary

8 March 2017
 Categories: , Blog

Palm trees are mostly low maintenance and you usually don't have to do anything to keep them looking full and healthy. However, if you're like most people, you don't want to have the risk of fronds and fruit falling on anyone and you don't want a mess or stains on your property, so you have to have your palms trimmed. However, it's important to know a few things about palm trees and their hazards so you can know when to trim to keep your tree healthy while reducing your liability.

Palm trees grow one frond at a time:

Most species of palm trees only grow one frond at a time and they only keep a certain number of fronds at the crown. Each time a new frond grows, another one yellows and dies. In some species, these fronds fall down and form a "petticoat" on the trunk over time. In a wild or natural setting, these pile-ups of fronds are basically harmless to the tree and provide insulation and protection against some pests.

Petticoats can be dangerous:

Most of the time, these petticoats don't need removing or trimming and they enhance the look of the tree. However, they can get very heavy and break off and fall off without warning. Winds are especially hazardous with loose or dead palm fronds. Flying and falling palm fronds could potentially injure people and damage property.

They could also be a potential fire hazard. When a petticoat catches on fire, it burns up the trunk quickly, but causes little damage to the rest of the tree. If it is close to a structure or other trees, the fire can quickly spread and become dangerous. Petticoats can also harbor unwanted pests and wildlife, which may eventually invade your home.

Fruit can be damaging:

Depending on the type of palm you have, fallen fruit can not only be messy, but in some cases dangerous. Falling coconuts can be especially hazardous as they are heavy enough to cause serious injury. Even smaller palm nuts and fruit can cause damage, not to mention create difficult-to-remove stains and be a potential attraction to pests. Some non-native palms are known to have fruits which are poisonous to pets.

Generally, it's not necessary to have a regular pruning schedule with palm trees. However, if you're having problems or potential hazards with the fruit, then it's best to do it about once a year when the fruit is maturing. You can also trim earlier if you don't want to deal with pollen from the flowers. When it comes to dead palm fronds, you should consider trimming any time you think you have a hazard regardless of the time of year. An experienced arborist will know the best time and amount to trim for your property's species and how much to trim to keep the tree safe, thriving and looking good.