Pruning a Palm: What You Should Know

Palm trees receive nutrients from their fronds. Therefore, when a palm is pruned, it should be done to get rid of a dead frond and maintain the tree’s health. You don’t want to remove too many fronds as doing so will cut off the food source for the tree.

Two Types of Palms

Palms either come in self-cleaning or non-self-cleaning varieties. The fronds of self-cleaning palms naturally fall off and die as they only hold on to dead fronds for a couple days. The fronds drop and fall to the ground, leaving the trunk clean and smooth.

Fronds do not naturally detach from non-self-cleaning palm trees, also called booted palms. Instead, the dead fronds stay on the tree until they are removed. Experts who handle palm removal in Perth state that fronds should only be removed when they are determined to be totally dead. If you remove the frond before this time, you not only will remove the palm’s nutritional source but you can open the plant up to infestation or disease.

Properly Pruning a Palm

To properly prune a palm, only the fronds that grow down and below the horizontal axis should be removed. Following this practice will protect a palm’s health. During pruning, flowers and fruits can be removed to lower the amount of fruit drop. The cuts during pruning should be clean and tools should be cleaned between each pruning. Technicians remove seedlings or sprouts growing at the palm’s base so the tree will not be deprived of nutrients. These small plantings compete with the tree for water and nutrition.

Fertilisation Is Also Important

Besides pruning, palms should also be fertilised. Fertilisers are comprised of three main elements: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Time-released formulas of these elements are available that are not water soluble. The formula used should also contain iron, magnesium, boron, and manganese. These four elements are critical to tree health.

When technicians fertilise palms, they do so about three times per year, spreading the substance under the tree’s canopy. They try to spread out the mix so they do not administer too much of the mix near the trunk. Otherwise, the other roots will not get the nourishment that they need.

Making a Distinction

You can tell when a palm has been over-pruned and when it looks just right. Over-pruned palms can be likened to someone who has too much hair removed from his head when he gets a haircut. The idea is to remove the dead fronds and maintain the lushness of the tree. Fronds nourish the tree so healthy fronds should never be touched.

When a Palm Should Be Removed

Otherwise, tree experts often have to remove a palm because of improper pruning. Don’t let this happen to you. Make sure that you work with a tree company that knows how to properly prune a tree so it remains healthy and beautiful. If a palm is removed, it should be due to its location, not because someone thoughtlessly “pruned” it and cut out the tree’s vital nutrition.

Whether you need a palm pruned or some other type of tree care, you should choose a full-service arborist. Make sure that you work with someone who knows everything there is to know about all types of tree management.

Comments are closed.