Trimming Palm Tree Trunk??

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Topic by thewoodwhisperer posted 07-11-2009 12:37 PM 15606 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View thewoodwhisperer's profile


1 post in 3114 days

07-11-2009 12:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: palm trees trimming

Hey folks. Lumberjocks member here. Just purchased a foreclosed home and I am trying to make sense of the trees and plants located on the property. One question I have deals specifically with our palm trees. There is plenty of info out there about trimming the top of the tree (which I plan to leave to a professional). But I can’t find any info on the trunk. Notice how layered and shaggy the trunk is? Well, all of our trees on the property are like this. We have neighbors with very similar-looking trees but the trunks seem to be trimmed better and they don’t have the shaggy look. So I guess what I am wondering is if my tress are supposed to look like this, or if its possible to trim and tidy them up a bit. I certainly don’t want to do anything to harm the trees, regardless of how they look. Check out the picture below to see what I mean. Thanks for any help you folks might provide.



View Bon's profile


7374 posts in 3623 days
hardiness zone 5a

07-11-2009 10:39 PM

Wish I could help you.But I’m zone 5.Also wish I could grow them because that would mean warm winters. :-)

-- Bon,Hastings, 5a....Always room for one more

View Catspaw's profile


244 posts in 3640 days

07-12-2009 06:34 AM

When I lived in So.Cal. I trimmed my Mexican palm all the time. Didn’t seem to affect it in any way. Don’t know about your particular tree, but, my palm grew as follows:

New growth up through the center.
As outter leaves got old and drooped, they were trimmed close to the trunk.
Each new stem grew between two older stems.
When trimmed the wide bases of the leaf stems created the classic “diamond” or snake skin pattern on the trunk.

I would suggest your palm is sheathed in old stems. I would consider trimming the old “bark” down from the top some and expose older trunk underneath. Pull on the tops of the loose “barK’ and see how loose it might be for trimming. You shouldn’t see much in the way of super sensitive inner tree trunk. What is exposed should dry out for protection. As you get familiar with the tree, you could trim back more ‘til the tree is similar in look to the neighbors. You might even look at the trunks of the neighbors trees (up close) and see how the cutting was done.

Looking at your picture, certainly there are long loose bits (looks like a foot or two on some) that can be trimmed off and I wouldn’t worry about hurting the tree at all.

-- arborial reconfiguration specialist......Zone out....(USA 5)

View GrandmaT's profile


5389 posts in 3721 days
hardiness zone 9

07-13-2009 03:48 PM

Geez, wish I could help too … but have no idea … :-(

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View GrandmaT's profile


5389 posts in 3721 days
hardiness zone 9

07-13-2009 03:54 PM

Maybe this site or folks can help you … just a group that I stumbled on; but have not contacted personally.

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View MsDebbieP's profile


14694 posts in 3843 days
hardiness zone 5b

07-15-2009 06:15 PM

congrats on the new home.

Sounds like catspaw has some good tips for you

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Topapilot's profile


2 posts in 3106 days
hardiness zone 11

07-19-2009 06:29 PM

I have five of those in the back yard; what I do is pull down on the remains of the frond, starting from the bottom most one. When they have dried out they tend to pull down fairly easily and will pop off, or you may have to cut the fibers at the bottom. Either way, the tree guys say not to remove more than three feet each year. I also remove the seed pods early in the summer to prevent the berries (or flowers) from landing all over the yard and pool.

Good Luck!

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