The Q&A Archives: Canary Palm Pruning

Question: What is the proper way of pruning a canary palm? I've noticed that some have larger round bases just below the fronds than others. Is there a method or trick to creating that look when pruning. I just planted a canary palm that's just above the ground with a short base(about 20" in diameter right now)and I'm not quite sure when and how we should cut the fronds at the bottom and how to make the trunk thick and healthy.

Answer: Phoenix canariensis, the Canary Island Palm, is a slow-growing plant that eventually forms a heavy trunk as it matures. The differences in the palms you've seen can probably be attributed to their age, and the growing conditions. Under perfect conditions, the older palms will be tall; less than perfect conditions will produce short, stocky trunks. For best growth, provide full sunshine and ample water during the growing season. As older leaves yellow and die, cut them off as close as possible to the trunk. The attractive patterns you find on the trunks of palm trees are from old leaf bases. Enjoy your palm tree!

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