A Complete Step-by-Step Guide on How to Trim a Palm Tree

Planting palm trees is one of the most popular ideas for decorating the indoor as well as the outdoor parts of a house. Most of the regions across the world, especially tropical areas, arid, and Mediterranean climate, are favorable for the growth of these beautiful and unique plants. Many homeowners plant these trees for the purpose of improving the landscape. In this article, we will highlight the followings regarding the palm trees:

  • Why should you trim the palm trees?
  • How to trim palm trees – A step-by-step guide
  • When should you trim these trees?
  • Is it very costly to trim palm trees?

Palm tree

There are a few interesting facts about these plants, including – these plants can live more than a century if nobody uproots them, and most of these gorgeous plants absorb the toxic substances from the air. Yes, that’s right. According to the research, many of the palm trees are called air purifiers.

Because of its excellent adaptability, fascinating appearance, and air purifying attributes, many people prefer planting palm trees inside their homes. These plants grow well in containers if you can provide them with an adequate amount of water, sunlight, occasional fertilizer.

Why Pruning is Necessary?

Palm trees are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and popular indoor houseplants, and because of their decorative look, many people plant them in their houses. However, the major issue about this plant is “leaves often turn into yellow”. It is true, and you can even try by planting one in the house or yard. These yellowish fronds make the appearance of these trees dull, and it doesn’t look to charming as before. This is why pruning is necessary to give them a fresh look.

The leaves of these plants turn yellow frequently but don’t worry because it is normal. It happens when baby plants or new fronds appear. Without this, there are other reasons, like – most of these palms prefer high humidity, and when it falls, plants start dropping off the leaves. Sometimes, water stress can also be a reason for dropping the leaves as they want to reduce consumption.

Here, we will mention a few important reasons for trimming a palm tree.

1. To prevent possible damage

Palm trees can be huge, and when the leaves become yellowish and dead, the additional weight may bend the tree. Still, if the landowner doesn’t take care of those dead leaves, they will fall on the ground bringing about possible damage to the property, cars, or even the guests. Remove those dead fronds to free the trees from extra weight.

2. To boost the growth of the trees

When these trees get old, you should trim them often and remove the dead leaves. Trimming will help the plant to grow more branches and fresh leaves. A lot of varieties become heavier with time because of their weights. Pruning removes the unnecessary leaves and reduces weight.

3. To prevent the breakout of wildfire

Palm trees pose a great threat when it is about the wildfire, and the situation may get worse if there are dead leaves. These dead fronds quickly catch fire and spread it. Because of this issue, people should prune the dead leaves if they live near a large palm forest.

4. To give them a fresh look

This reason is also applicable for the indoor gardeners because when the leaves become yellowish, they don’t look so good. Owners should trim these plants often to give them a new and fresh look. If anyone possesses commercial property, then this is a must to do. These trees will make the initial impression about your activity and efforts on the landscape and property.

How To Trim Palm Trees?

There are several myths about trimming the palm leaves, and one of the most popular myths is trimming these trees can accelerate growth. Sometimes people prune too much, which hurts the plants. While trimming, make sure you do it carefully because choosing the right time and right leaves will make the plants stronger.

Before we start describing – how to trim palm trees, it needs to be mentioned that never over-trim those trees.

Things That Are Required For Trimming the Plants

  • Hand pruner – for cutting smaller fronds and branches
  • Pruning loppers or shears – for cutting thicker branches
  • Pruning saw or pole saw – for cutting the branches where it is not feasible to reach
  • A container – for retaining the dead branches or leaves
  • Safety glasses – to protect eyes from debris
  • Gardening gloves (optional)
  • Rubbing alcohol – for sterilizing the pruners and cutters to prevent the spread of bacteria and fungi
  • A steep stool – if the branches are a little higher and are hard to reach

A Step-by-Step Guide To Trim The Palm Tree

1. Identify the plant

First of all, identify the plant, which needs to be trimmed. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to prune larger ones, but don’t worry about that. To prune those leaves located at the very top of the plant, you will need a pruning-pole saw. Remember that you will cut only those branches or fronds that have got completely yellow.

After identifying the branches, make sure whether the entire branch needs to be cut or only a few leaves. Cutting all the leaves or too much of them is called hurricane cut, which is dangerous for the plants. Interestingly, in many states of the world, a hurricane cut of a palm is considered illegal.

2. Sterilize all the tools

Many people don’t feel the necessity of sterilizing these tools, but it is required because pruning with non-sterilized tools can lead to an infection caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Besides, viruses or fungi of an infected tree can easily get transferred to others through these tools. Use rubbing alcohol to sanitize the tools properly.

3. Start cutting the fronds

It is time to start cutting the leaves. After you identify the leaves and sterilize the tools, it is time to start cutting. Start with the lower ones. If the individual reaches the branch easily, there is no need to use the stool. If the leaves or the branches are thinner, it is better to use hand pruners. For the larger ones, you may use the saw.

While cutting, try not to cut close to the stem. It is recommended that during pruning the fronds, the individual should cut leaving two inches of space. Cutting the branches or leaves from too close to the trunk may introduce infection and diseases. During the cutting, wear glasses because debris can get inside the eyes and cause disturbances.

There is a rule that can be followed during this process, and the rule is called the nine-to-three clock. If you notice 9 to 3 at the clock, you can see the straight line in there. Try to prune all the branches and leaves below the level, and it is considered standard. Some palm trees have sharp thorns, and you can use gloves to protect the hands.

4. Clean the waste

Well, the pruning is done, and now it is time to clean up all the wastes, dead leaves, and fronds. Use the container and gather all the wastes. Many people sell these wastes to the local departmental or fertilizer production store, and you can do the same. If that option isn’t available in the area, you can bury them in the soil.

What are the Best Tools For Trimming a Large Palm Tree?

We assume that the reader has acquired a piece of complete knowledge about – how to trim a palm tree. But another problem arises when the tree is large. Many people often get confused about the tools that are required to trim larger plants. Don’t worry because we will mention the name of those essential tools as well:

  • Pole saws (manual or motorized)
  • Hand pruners
  • Pruning loppers
  • Climbing gear

By using these four tools, anybody can cut the dead branches from a high palm tree.

When Should You Start Trimming the Plant?

According to the professionals, you don’t have to prune all the trees and all the leaves at the same time. They advise the general people to remove leaves only when dead leaves are noticed. These damaged and dead fronds not only indicate untidiness but also, become an ideal shelter for rats, and other insects.

Many people make mistakes in identifying the damaged fronds. Prune only those leaves that are turned completely brown. Even if you notice a greenish appearance, you should leave it because the tree is still taking the nutrients from that branch. Therefore, if you cut that too soon, the plant will not receive from those fronds. Remember that trimming more leaves means the plants will face more stress.

Larger palm trees in the lawn may require one or two times pruning per year. On the other hand, the palms planted in a container may require frequent trimming. The perfect time for trimming the palm tree is early spring or the fall as in this period, the plant comes out of the dormant condition. But don’t go for trimming them during summer as in this season, they start thriving once again.

Is it Very Costly to Hire Pruning Companies?

After performing solid research about the expenses for hiring a professional pruner, we can report that for larger trees, trimming is pretty costly, and the expenses vary based on the height of the plant. The price differs from company to company, but we encourage you to try it yourself. Generally, the pruners don’t charge by the hours. They charge per tree based on its height. Trimming the taller trees costs more than the shorter ones.

Trimming the palm trees is a kind of work that keeps those trimming companies busy throughout the entire year. Hiring a trimming company for removing the damaged or dead leaves is indeed costly, and that’s why many people want to do it by themselves. Remember that sometimes the cutter may get suffocated by those dead leaves, which can immobilize them after sliding on the worker. If this occurs, then the situation will become hard for the worker to control as he will be unable to remove those heavy fronds.

If you really need to trim your beautiful plants, we will suggest hiring an experienced trimming company to handle that. Doing this alone can be risky, and still, if anybody wants to do that, he should take a container for placing the dead leaves or should use the modern technique for trimming the plants from above.

Finally, we anticipate that this article will help our readers to obtain good knowledge about pruning their indoor or outdoor palm plants. This “how to trim palm trees” guide will also help them by supplying a lot of information regarding the period for cutting the plants, hurricane cutting, over-pruning, reasons for trimming, and so on. Lastly, we will advise you not to trim too much because it will weaken the plants, and make sure the plant doesn’t get infected by those pruning tools.

Palm tree

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