Finding the best solution for trees and people to live in harmony.

Pruning your Palm

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28 Jul, 2023

Pruning your Palm

Palms grow well in Auckland and can add interesting aesthetics to any garden. There are many varieties to choose from, so choose wisely. The Phoenix Palm was once a very popular palm in Auckland, but has now become quite unpopular  due to its size, toxic spikes, and host for pests.

Palms do not grow like other trees and are actually from the same family as grass. Palms have adventitious roots where the roots spread out in shallow soil. These roots replace themselves every few years. The trunk is porous like a sponge and is flexible which is why Palms are more likely to blow over than snap in strong winds.

Some Palms can become top-heavy and if your Palm starts to show signs of movement at the base then consider offering support in the form of stakes.

Keeping your Palm in good condition doesn’t require a lot of work but they are not maintenance free.

Unlike pruning a tree, pruning Palms will not encourage vigor.

Palm trees naturally shed older and dead palm fronds, but sometimes they can take months or even years to detach. The attached fronds are not only unsightly but can also be a host for many pests and diseases. They can even become a fire hazard!

When these fronds are eventually shed, they can be dangerous. Not only are they heavy and can damage property and people, but they can also have highly toxic spikes.

Removing the brown and dead fronds can make a huge difference to how your palm looks.

Tidying up palm trees involves several steps to enhance their appearance and health.

Begin by removing any dead, yellowing, or damaged fronds from the palm tree. Use sharp, clean pruning tools to make clean cuts near the base of the frond where it attaches to the trunk. Take special care of the spikes and thorns.

Remove any green fronds as required to shape the canopy. Take enormous care not to damage the terminal bud or trunk.

Remove flowering stems and seed pods if you find them unsightly or after they have been eaten, taking care to not damage the surrounding foliage.

Consider a bit of a clean up of the trunk to rid it of debris from fallen fronds or fruit including around the base of the trunk.

Removing dead fronds helps to eliminate nesting areas for rats and pigeons etc.

Some of the thorns on Palms are very toxic and can cause severe reactions if you are spiked. Always use gloves and take your time to identify what you are cutting and where your hands are.

Of course, some Palms eg. Phoenix Palm, are just way too big in a suburban backyard and may need removal.

If you would rather someone else do it, then call us for a chat.