Having said that I will tell you that palms do not require a lot of care , They basically have their trunk , fronds , seeds, and flowers. and of course the root system . As with any tree the Palm uses Photosynthesis to produce food for itself. Now back in the 1980s when I started trimming palms they told us to trim them as if we were looking at a clock and trim them to 9 to 3 where the fronds when finished looked horizontal to the ground. Now somewhere along the line from the 1980s until now people or tree services got the idea that the more fronds that you remove the less you will have to trim them and started what is called now as Hurricane pruning where they remove 90 % of the fronds from the tree. Well this has had a disastrous effect on the palms . The way I like to explain it is if you have 3 meals a day and suddenly you only have one meal a day you are going to be pretty hungry for those other two meals and you are going to try to do anything to get those two meals back . Well this is the same with the palm and when they are pruned in this fashion they start having rapid growth spurts to try to replace the two meals that they have lost also. So what started out as a small pretty healthy palm has now become a rather large or tall sickly looking palm with all kind of problems including being very susceptible to pests, nutrient deficiencies, and all around poor health.
As I said in the last paragraph Palms need a certain amount of green fronds to survive and when you prune them up very hard you take away that food supply. Not only are you starving your palms , but certain animals and wildlife depend on those palms to build there homes and live in so you are also removing those as well . I can't tell you how many times I have trimmed palms to find Squirrel nests or Birds nests in them . Almost all of the time .
Another cause of Palm failure that I have found is the way they are pruned . A lot of Tree services will use spikes or hooks as there called to climb the tree's . This should be avoided at all costs . Not only is it bad for the tree by giving access to bugs and other organisms , but it is very unsightly . I have been to many customers homes and seen the devastation from previous tree trimming company's that use spikes to trim palms and it looks like woodpeckers have danced all over the trunk. At Beechnut tree service we will never use spikes on your palms. If you are having your palms trimmed regularly then I suggest asking the trimmers how they are planning to trim your palms and if they say with spikes, then tell them to hit the road and find someone else to trim them that uses ladders like us here at Beechnut tree service. Because once they spike your trees they will be scarred for ever.
Fertilizing your palms is a good way to keep them healthy and happy. Beechnut tree care does a lot of fertilizing for various trees with micro deficiencies , and for fruiting tree's and of course Palm Trees. They love it and cannot get enough. I have used various fertilizers and recommend any fertilizer for palms with a high a high nitrogen and potassium count such as a 12-4-12 . Or something similar. I recommend a palm fertilizer from Home Depot called Palm Gain. It comes in a ten pound bag and has a lot of the micro nutrients that the Palm likes and needs. Lesco is another company that sells palm fertilizer and has bigger amounts if you have a lot of Palms.
When should my palm be pruned? Palm pruning is done primarily for aesthetic purposes . From the palm's perspective , there is no one time of the year that is better then another . Pruning dead leaves prior to hurricane season may reduce the chances that these easily detached leaves will become missiles in a storm Ideally , a dead leaf would be pruned whenever it appears on the palm , but that simply isn't practical unless the palm is located in you own yard and is small enough to be easily accessible with common pruning tools.
What should be removed from the palm ? Removal of completely dead leaves and flower and fruit stalks from palms is never a problem. However , half dead or discolored lower leaves are a symptom of K or other nutrient deficiencies . Despite their unattractive appearance, these leaves should be left on the palm as they are providing K in the absence of sufficient K in the soil . It is preferable to treat the K deficiency with effective fertilizers http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep261 to prevent these older leaves from becoming deficient than to cut them off, only to have symptoms return. Pruning, or more importantly, excessive pruning, can affect palms in a number of ways. If palms are Overpruned, the reduction in canopy size results in reduced photosynthetic capacity. In the short term, some studies have shown that Overpruning can result in greater leaf production rates, but the resulting leaves were smaller in size than those on unpruned palms. If this practice is repeated frequently, the palm may also develop a smaller trunk diameter.
There are some palm tree's that are self pruning , meaning they drop the fronds as they grow old and turn brown , but a majority have to be trimmed which includes trimming them on a regular basis. In order to keep those palms healthy you should also fertilize them on a regular basis . It can become expensive if you have a lot of palms in your yard but the reward is a beautiful lawn with beautiful tree's . So the next time you need some assistance with your Palm tree's and want a professional tree expert to trim them , then just give Beechnut Tree a call and we will help you with all your Palm tree needs....