Palm trees are a part of the Palmae or Arecaceae family and are popular for their green compounds that are arranged in a fan-like appearance. With their branchless stems and tropical features, they are very common and can suit hot climates, too. When grown in the correct place or environment, these trees will require very little maintenance aside from occasional pruning. Pruning or trimming palm trees can be a bit daunting for some gardeners or homeowners as it not only consume time and effort, more so because one needs at least some experience or knowledge on how to trim a palm tree.
Palm trees when untrimmed or unpruned can prove to be a safety hazard, not to mention how unattractive and unappealing they can be. If you plan on as the various tools that you can use to make this task easier and faster.
Knowing when to trim
Because these trees actually do not need often trimming, it is best that you know how to tell if the trees already need a little trimming. The easiest way to tell is when the oldest fronds on the palm trees are already turning brown, dead or dry. As the trees grow, new fronds will grow every year, leaving the oldest ones brown and dying. This is why it is safe to assume that trimming should only be done once or twice a year at the most.
It is believed that frequent trimming or pruning can help them grow faster but it is actually the other way around. What others do not know is that the palms actually get their nutrients from the green leaves or fronds and removing too many will only slow down the growth of the tree, affecting even its overall health and condition. When you trim too much the palm trees are more susceptible to diseases and pests. This is the reason why experts only suggest trimming when necessary.
Tools to use
Once you have determined that it is indeed time to trim the palm trees, the next thing you will need to do is to prepare the tools that you will be using. There are various tools and equipments that are available so it is necessary that you know which one will be best suited for this activity. Don’t forget to consider the size of the tree that you are planning to trim so you can easily pick the right tool or equipment.
For cutting off fronds with a diameter of less than one inch, you can use a serrated knife. This knife will also be helpful if you also need to remove flower stalks from the palm trees. For fronds that are slightly bigger or larger, you can use pruning sheers or large clippers. On the other hand, if you need to cut or remove larger and thicker fronds, it is recommended that you use a chain saw or a pruning saw to make it even easier and faster. Be sure to take the necessary precautions when using these tools so that you are sure not to hurt the trunk of the tree and yourself, too.
How to trim a palm tree
After you have prepared the necessary equipments, it is now time to start trimming the tree. Remember to only remove brown, yellow and broken leaves or fronds, as well as the fruit stalks and palm flowers. If and when you need to remove green leaves, take only those that are drooping below the parallel line angle from the ground. The boots or loose petioles that can be found on the trunk should only be removed using your hands and if they can’t be removed by doing so, it only means that they should stay where they are.
One important thing to remember is that you should never cut off the crown of the palms as it will not grow back when the trunk are already shorter, thus the tree will no longer be branching, leaving it to die eventually.
What to remember
Before starting to trim the palm trees, it is also essential that you prepare necessary protective gears to prevent any accident or injury, especially if you are using larger equipments. Some of the gears that you will need include safety goggles and gardening gloves to protect your hands and eyes. You might also need a climbing equipment depending on the height of the trees. In some cases, you can also use a cherry picker or a bucket lift for very tall trees.
Before starting to trim a palm tree, make sure you have consulted with a professional first so that you are more aware and you will know what to expect. If you think the trees are too tall or too hard for you to trim personally, do not hesitate to call on someone that is more skilled to do the job for you.
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