Palm tree pruning differs from Oak tree pruning considerably and these differences stem from the fact that Oak trees and Palm trees belong to two different classes of flowering plants. Palm trees belong to a species of flowering plant that has more in common with a blade of grass than an oak tree. Like a blade of grass, they only grow straight up. Palms belong to the Moncocate classification as opposed to the Dicot classification. An Oak tree is supported by a wood trunk whereas a Palm tree is not made of wood, but rather has a base made up of overlapping leaf base and enlarged cells. Palms have no cambium to increase the girth or meristems at the end of each branch. The new fronds grow straight up out of the center and droop further and further down as new ones come out, eventually dying and creating a brown beard at the bottom. The girth of the palm tree increases as new fibers are added up the middle pushing older fibers outward. The growth pattern of palms is continuous and the brown beard is constantly being re-created.
Reasons for Palm Tree Pruning
- Flowers and fruit are falling on a sidewalk and may create a slipping hazard.
- The palm tree has an excessive beard that has attracted unwanted rats, raccoons, and hornets.
- Broken fronds that can fall on people.
- Excessively “Ugly” look.
The last reason bears close examination. For the health of a palm tree, very, very light palm tree pruning is best. Overly ambitious palm tree pruning can remove the sun protection a palm enjoys and sap the tree’s energy.
How a Palm Tree is Pruned
A well maintained palm tree easily accessed by a ladder can be one of the easiest trees to trim. The yellow, brown, and broken fronds and palm flowers and fruit stalks are removed. If the palm tree is very tall, then the arborist has several choices of equipment to reach the tall palm tree. A hydraulic lift is the most expensive method but is the least stressful to the tree. Another consideration is hydraulic lifts cannot be easily used in a backyard. Another method is where the arborist climbs the tree with a harness attachment and specialized boots with climbing spikes. The spikes can spread disease unless cleaned between trees. Trimming only when necessary can minimize the stress to the tree. Canopy Tree Service never tops or cuts the crown off a Palm tree. If you would like a free palm trimming estimate, call us.