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Palm Tree Trimming

Updated on March 14, 2011

In Arab countries they have a saying: Men shave every day, palm trees are shaved only once a year.

This is related to trimming leafs and if we don’t trim palm tree leaves that are dry and hanging down, this first of all will help the birds to do their messy bit in the protection of the dry leafs and as well dirtying the area and falling on the street a patio or another place where heavy leaves can hurt someone or damage property. You could be held responsible for this if it happens, and you want to be sure to prevent any one of these unfortunate episodes and expenses. Here I´ll give you some basic tips on palm tree trimming.

Dry and hanging down palm tree leaves will eventually fall on their own, so trim before that happens. In general the trimming is usually done in the winter when the palm has already taken its energy from the old hanging down leaves, and in a state of dormancy because of the cold temperatures. I´m not going in detail in palm tree trimming because there are dozens of species and each have its own trimming technique.

There are palms that you only need an x-acto knife or trimming scissors and palms with much denser and heavier leaf shooting that you will need a fine toothed saw to leave a clean cut.

Palm Tree
Palm Tree
Palm tree recently trimmed
Palm tree recently trimmed
Short palm in need of trimming
Short palm in need of trimming

There are two ways of palm tree trimming. Simply cutting the old leaves and another way is a cosmetic point of view, which is to get the trunk looking clean to each ones taste and of course keep in mind your time factor. You can use a chainsaw just to clear the area were you are working leaving a stump for final clean cutting. Don’t use a chainsaw for final cutting, it can leave rough and open pores that can provoke the trunk to rotting.

If you want to do it yourself and save some bucks, small and medium sized palms can be reached and cleaned using a ladder, making sure you have someone to assist you. Now how about taller ones?

You can always rent a small lift or if you are into radical sports and you know what you are doing and always with the assistance of a friend you can throw a mountain climbing rope with some sort of weight on the end, over the palm tree, have it fastened through to a secure and heavy object with a latch and on the opposite end the rope tightly knotted to your climbing belt. Your friend will assist pulling you as you climb the tree and “shave the palm”.

Palm Tree Trimming Video

High Palm in need of a "shave"
High Palm in need of a "shave"


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    • nelson soares profile image

      nelson soares 5 years ago from Sunny Algarve

      Hi treelover123, at first have them watered once a week and with a sprinkle of NPK 10-10-10 fertilizer!

      How tall are they and what variety of palms? Maybe I can help more!

    • profile image

      treelover123 5 years ago

      We have had to remove many palm trees this year in Austin because of the drought. Any tips on preserving them in a dry time? We're not used to dealing with them as much as you are, much more about Live Oak trees down here. Any help is appreciated!

    • Peter Dickinson profile image

      Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia

      Unusual subject. Interesting hub. Thanks. I have had to do it a time or two but not for a number of years.