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What Are the Best Tools to Trim Palm Trees?

What Are the Best Tools to Trim Palm Trees?

Palm trees can inspire a sense of well-being, as they are a symbol of vacations and warm weather. Like any other tree, they require a certain amount of upkeep. Before we get to this though, let’s first understand more about palm trees.

What Is a Palm Tree?

Their scientific name is Arecaceae and they are flowering plants typically found in tropical to subtropical climates. Most of these palms have large leaves and a long stem, but considering they come in about 2600 different species, there is remarkable diversity in size and shape.

While there are plenty of different types of palm trees, a few are more widespread than others. Of these, the Areca, Bismarck, Bottle, and Chinese Fan are some of the more popular types, but there are also Royal and Queen types that are often found near beaches.

Most palms are just decorative, with only specific types like the coconut palm producing coconuts. Also called Cocos nucifera, this tree gets about 18 feet tall with a 6-foot canopy, and lives up to a century while producing coconuts until 80 years of age.

What Kind of Environment Do Palms Need?

Because of all the variation, this can be different depending on the species you have. G&G Garden and Lawn Care, which does lawn care in Sarasota, notes that most palms like plenty of sunlight, heat, and can withstand extremes of excess water and drought condition,- though this is by no means uniform, as there are many exceptions to these rules.

Palm typically like to be fertilized up to four times a year with high amount of potassium. They like a lot of water, but never like sitting in the water, so allowing proper drainage is essential. Because they have a tendency to hold on, you will also need to trim dead fronds occasionally.

What Do I Need to Trim Palm Trees?

There are many products out on the market today that can help you: manual pole saws, motorized pole saws, and even something simple like an axe, machete or hand pruners. If you have a really tall palm, you might want to invest into some climbing gear as well.

There are manual and motorized versions of pole saws. The motorized ones can be powered by electric or gas, with the electric models either using a battery pack or an extension cord. While length can vary, the typically pole saw has a length of 9 feet.

When buying climbing gear, leave the rope and camalots for your Everest expedition. Instead, use step stools or ladders for smaller trees. If you have a really tall tree, you can rent a cherry picker to trim it with. Climbing spikes and cleats should only be worn if you are trained to use them.

Which Fronds Should I Cut Off?

When trimming your palm tree, you should look for leaves or fruit stems that are completely brown. Before you cut, you need to make sure your implement is cleaned with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide beforehand to reduce the possibility of spreading diseases.

It's actually not recommended to trim your palms regularly. Only prune if you have any dead leaves, need to increase visibility, or to prevent damage from storms and reduce potential fire hazards. The reason for this is that palms are slow growers and can actually be damaged by excessive trimming.

What Diseases Are Palms Susceptible To?

There are a few diseases that palm trees are notable for. Bud rot can destroy fairly healthy fronds, while lethal yellowing just generally saps the tree of many key nutrients. Ganoderma butt rot is a fairly new disease that just kills the palm trees entirely.

Prevention is the best measure, so that means keeping the palm healthy by supplying it with proper nutrients. If you already have a fungus or other disease, try treating it with horticultural or neem oil, as these are organic products that work remarkably well.

How Much Is a Professional Service?

A professional service can vary dramatically depending on what you need. There is a wide variety of fluctuation based on the type of tree, the height, and the current state of it. You can expect prices to start at around $100 and go up from there, with some going as high as $500.


Trimming a palm tree doesn’t necessarily have to be a difficult affair as long as you keep a few things in mind. When picking the best tools, try looking at pole saws, along with pruners, hand saws, and some cleaner to keep everything sterilized.

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