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  • Writer's pictureBrandi Rangos

Over Pruning/Trimming Palms

Palms are a common staple in our Florida landscapes. Many times palms are over pruned/trimmed. Over pruning/trimming can put a palm into stress or open it up for diseases and pests. Properly pruning/trimming your palms will help keep them beautiful and healthy.

Hurricane cuts do not help your palm during storms. A hurricane cut is when there is only a few newer fronds and the meristem left on the palm after pruning. This type of pruning can actually harm your palm even more. These types of cuts are taking away older fronds that help protect the newest fronds and the meristem of the tree from snapping during strong storms. Cutting green fronds opens the palm for disease and insects.

Old fronds and boots provide trunk structure and nutrients for the crown (newer fronds and the meristem) of the palm. Over trimming your palms can cause the tree to lack the nutrients needed for it to grow healthy. This may cause the fronds to yellow and to grow smaller. The fruit of the tree may not develop correctly and decay in the shell.

There may be other reasons for poor development then over pruning. Always best to have a Certified Arborist look at your palms to determine the cause before treatment. A Certified Arborist can help determine a course of action to help your palm stay healthy.

(only dead fronds, seed pods, and loose boots removed)

(over pruned)

References: - TreesAreGood_Palms_0321

S.Lilly, E.Gilman, & E.T. Smiley, 2019 BMP – Pruning Third Edition – Palms pg.39-40

ANSI (American National Standards Institute). 2001. Tree, shrub, and other

woody plant maintenance—standard practices (pruning). National Arborist Assoc., Manchester, NH.

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