Landscaping Tips - Palm Pruning

LANDSCAPING TIPS brought to you by the Arizona Landscape Contractors’ Association, Janet Waibel and the Sustainable Landscape Management (SLM) and Arizona Certified Landscape Professional (ACLP) pro-grams

As important accent plants in our Arizona deserts, palms represent a substantial monetary investment by the property owner. Removing dead fronds and flowering/fruiting branches not only prevents damage and mess from breakage and fruit drop, it also eliminates nesting places for rats, scorpions and other pests. Another good reason to prune is when it has become a fire hazard or visual hazard in your yard. It is important that palms are properly cared for to avoid costly replacement.

•    Prune dead fronds and flowering/fruiting branches.
•    Know your palm species so you can schedule pruning after all flowering/fruiting branches emerge.
•    Remove fruit clusters to avoid pavement staining.
•    Remove dead fronds to a 180-degree angle (9:00 / 3:00 o’clock) positions.
•    Use sharp pruning gear to cut each frond at least 2” from the trunk.

•    Climb under overgrown skirts—it is dangerous!
•    Over prune to reduce trips; one time per year is adequate.
•    Remove more than 25% of foliage at any time.
•    Trim fronds before entering cool/wet season to avoid creating environment for fungal development.

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