Palm tree pruning is unique when compared to pruning woody tree varieties. The palm trunks can easily be wounded by improper pruning, and the trunks of these trees don't sprout branches. Since palm trees need the bulk of their leaves to produce food for the tree, it's important that you prune carefully. Too much pruning may actually weaken the tree. Here's a look at some of the basic things to consider when it comes to palm tree pruning.
Palm Tree Pruning Tool Basics
When it comes to pruning palm trees, it's important that you have some protective gear. These trees usually have some spines and sharp edges that can cause cuts and other damage. To protect yourself, wear thick gloves and long sleeves when you're pruning them. Use a pruning saw for big jobs and opt for pruning shears for small growth.
It is essential that you keep your pruning tools clean. Palm trees are susceptible to many types of fungal disease, and some of them can be transmitted by improper cleaning of your pruning tools, particularly if you trim a tree that you don't know is infected and then go directly to another tree to work. The best thing you can do is soak your tools in a half and half solution of bleach and water. Leave them in the solution for about five or ten minutes, then rinse them before you proceed.
Proper Leaf Removal Steps
If there are visible signs of dead and dying palm fronds, you may need to do some trimming. In that case, make sure you use a sturdy ladder to reach the leaves, and be attentive to anyone underneath. Remove just the dead and dying fronds. Leave the healthy ones behind, because the tree needs those for survival. Trim the fronds at the point where they meet the trunk for the best results. Be careful not to wound the trunk of the tree as you work. If the tree is too tall for you to trim safely, call a tree maintenance specialist who can do the trimming work for you.
Careful Flower Stalk Trimming
If you have a date palm or other fruit-producing palm, you don't have to trim the flower stalks. You can allow them to produce fruit if you have a use for it. On the other hand, if you don't have use for the fruit, trimming the flowers before they produce fruit allows the tree to focus its effort on the growth and development of fronds instead. This will produce a stronger, fuller tree because the tree isn't diverting growth efforts. Trim the flower stalks as close to the base as you can so that you don't encourage additional flower growth after pruning.
If you aren't sure about the pruning process or you're concerned that your palm is unhealthy, talk with a local tree care expert like McGinty Bros., Inc. Professional Lawn & Tree Care.