Oftentimes when thinking of tropical landscape one thing that is thought of is palm trees. While palm trees do indeed have some tropical aspects to them, they do require specific care and landscaping to keep them looking their best. If you’ve ever seen a palm tree that hasn’t been trimmed or cut down, they aren’t the most appealing foliage, however, with the right care and maintenance you can enjoy the swaying trees in the beautiful Florida breeze.
First and foremost, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is over pruning. There are a few reasons that over pruning can cause issues with your palm trees. As with any tree, pruning can make your plants/trees susceptible to a long list of pests and diseases that can easily penetrate the trunk and “lifeline” of the plant and could ultimately end in removing the diseased plant completely.
One of the easiest ways to keep your trees healthy is to make sure that you avoid trimming any fronds that still are still green in any way. Only dead, dry, brown fronds should be cut and pruned when at all possible. Once you feel it’s time to prune your trees, first and foremost it is always important to make sure that you can conduct the pruning safely, and if you aren’t, consider hiring a landscaping professional to help assist you with the job. If you’re pruning on your own, try following these simple steps:
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- Examine: As tempting as it may be, try not to cut yellowing fronds as these are nourishing the tree before they die, locate any brown and dry fronds to prep for removal.
- Plan: As mentioned above, over pruning is a big no no. In addition to potentially causing health issues for your tree, in many areas it is illegal to over prune a palm tree or give them a “hurricane cut.” When pruning, make sure to know the laws within your specific area.
- Prune: Time to cut! A few things to keep in mind: always prune from top to bottom, keep the cuts roughly 2 inches from the tree trunk, and only prune the lower branches to help avoid any accidental over pruning. Additionally, always make sure to sterilize your tools prior to use to help avoid infecting your tree with disease and wear gloves as many insects, spiders, scorpions, as well as thorns often call palm trees home.
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Now that you’ve given your palm a little bit of love, it’s time to enjoy their tropical beauty. When cleaning up, make sure that any fruit or seeds that may have fell during pruning are cleaned up as these could attract pests that could then infest your tree.
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