Pruning Palm Trees - Knowledgebase Question

Memphis, Te
Question by isisilly
April 21, 2010
I have a small fan palm that is about 4 feet all that I just bought from Home Depot. I'm not sure of the exact type it is, but it is an outdoor fan palm. A couple of the lower fronds are turning brown on the ends and looking worn. There are new fronds sprouting from the center. I can see where the old fronds have been trimmed on the base. When should I trim the lower fronds?

Answer from NGA
April 21, 2010


Palm fronds can be removed when they are about half dead. I know they don't look very attractive at this point in their lives but as long as there's still some green, they are helping to feed the roots of the palm through the process called photosynthesis. If you remove them too soon, the roots of the palm won't be getting the benefit of the food the fronds are manufacturing. I remove any fronds that are hanging too low. If you look straight at your palm, the newest and highest fronds will be at 12 o'clock. Anything hanging below 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock can be safely removed. Cut the fronds as close to the trunk of your palm as possible. I get my tree saw about 2" from the trunk and cut away the frond. The 2" stub that's left will begin to brown and droop down (that's part of the character of a palm). Best wishes with your new palm tree.

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