Friday, November 13, 2009

How do you trim palm tree bark?

How do you trim the lower branches on a palm tree? Does trimming the lower branches off make it taller and healthier? Is there a special tool that helps cut them close to the tree?

How do you trim palm tree bark?
You probably don't want to trim the bark itself.

Trimming green fronds very close to the tree risks killing the tree, because that's where the tender growth bud is. Once you cut into this, insects and diseases will find it. If you want to get rid of the very last bits of frond, wait until they've been weathered a bit, and then pull them off by hand.

Trimming the lower, brown fronds doesn't seem to change the height or straightness of the tree. The lowest fronds might pull right off by hand. For the rest, a small chainsaw is good, if you have strong protection for your eyes and nose. You will need this protection because the brown fronds are very soft and fragile and will produce lots of dust and flying chips. A pruning saw will also work, if you are patient, and will save you the grief of flying frondbits. Either way, you will need to wear fairly heavy clothing and some strong gloves, because a falling frond with thorns on it will rip your unprotected skin pretty good.

Leaving lots of fronds on your palm after they turn brown is an invitation for squirrels and rats to set up shop. But hawks and owls that dine on the rats and squirrels, and which I happen to think are awesome critters, will also like to nest in these. It depends on whether you are in an already treed neighborhood that would support the rats and squirrels anyways.

Leaving too few green fronds will kill the tree, although mexican palms have strong constitutions and I have seen some that have survived having only one or two left. Municipalities here in California that plant grown palms typically have bought them with only four or so fronds on, all bound up by wire. This rough treatment results in about a 1 in 6 kill rate, based on my observations.

The neighborhood where I grew up in was landscaped in mexican palms and the city would prune them at various yearly intervals depending on that year's budget. 5 years' worth of brown fronds is too long an interval, 2 to 3 years' is good.

Brown fronds make excellent kindling. They burn very very fast, so not so good for an already established fire as you will likely send burning charcoals up the flue.
Reply:put chocolate on them and the limbs will eventually fall off.
Reply:i use a pruning saw, machette or secataurs.

do it whenever you want, and as hard as you want just dont cut the central leaf off.
Reply:use a chainsaw

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