Trimming Palm Trees: 10 Tips for Landscape Palm Care

palm tree in need of trimming

A healthy palm can make an attractive statement in any landscape.

Palms are not limited to the South Florida coastal areas but find themselves in many parts of the country used in the landscape.

Palm tree care can be a little different than other plants, trees and shrubs.

Check out these palm care tips below for healthier and more attractive palms!

1 When incorrectly pruned, trimming palm trees can reduce their vigor, transmit diseases, reduce their health nutritionally, affect cold hardiness and lower their tolerance to handle windstorms.

How to trim a palm tree – what trimming should be done?

When pruning palm trees, remove only badly damaged or dead fronds, also remove flowers stalks and fruit. If the palm in the landscape has not been pruned or trimmed in a long time only remove from the tree as many green leaves or fronds as the plant will produce between the next pruning.

2 Prune or trim above 9 to 3! What does that mean? Never remove palm leaves at an angle above the horizon (9:00 – 3:00) on the clock.

3 When removing leaf bases cut them close to the trunk but not into the trunk. If a tree is diseased sterilize tools before cutting on another tree. Do not tear leaves of as this creates wounds and opens entry points for potential disease.

Pruning and fertilizing palms needs to be done correctly

4 Potassium deficiency has often found in palms. When this happens palms have a tendency to “relocate” the potassium to the younger fronds by pulling from the older leaves.

If you remove the yellow “deficient fronds” and do not correct the deficiency you’ll eventually end up with a palm having more yellow fronds. You must be patient, it can take anywhere from 6 month to 2 years for the problem to be remedied.

5 Never allow anyone to climb a palm with climbing spikes.

6 Always fertilize palms using a controlled release fertilizer with a 4-1-6 ratio. This translates into a 8-2-12 or 12-3-18 blend.

Plus make sure the fertilizer includes 4% magnesium. Some recommend Epsom salt for palms but the results are short lived as Epsom salts are very water soluble.

7 When fertilizing palms the most effective application method is to broadcast evenly under the entire canopy. Injecting the soil or banding is nowhere near as effective.

8 When fertilizing… be regular! Apply fertilizer every 3 months at a rate of 15 pounds per 1,000 square feet.

9 Watch the turf fertilizer! When fertilizing turf or other ornamentals within 50 feet of palms do not use lawn care fertilizer, use the special “palm tree fertilizer” in place of the landscape or lawn fertilizer.

10 When it comes to fertilizer. If you cannot use the right fertilizer on your palm trees… your best choice is to not fertilize at all!

Tips To Improve Your Plant Care
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