Trimming palm fronds?

echobellyAugust 5, 2010

I'm still trying to figure out this Florida gardening (been here almost a year). Our property has 27 Queen palms. When we bought it, I had a landscaper clean up the yard, and the first thing he did was cut off all the dead palm fronds. Then I got a book on palms, and it said to never cut them, as it weakens the tree. The tree absorbs the nutrients from the frond and drops it when it's through. I just read another book on palm care, and the author said to make sure to cut the fronds as soon as they start to yellow, as they are easier to cut then. It sure saves me a lot of work if I don't have to trim them, but they do look a little messy (I can deal with it, though, my yard is hardly manicured!). What's the consensus on this?

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Trimming green fronds off a palm that cleans itself (called "a self-cleaning" palm) will eventually "pencil" the palm and kill it. You can trim fronds off a Queen Palm at any time since it is not a self-cleaning palm. They are easier to cut through before they go all the way to brown and with 27 of them, I'd be cutting them as soon as the tips start to yellow.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 2:49PM
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You are correct about the on-going battle over Palm Pruining. Your best bet is to go to the Universituy of Florida Extension Serive Website. They are the experts on all that grows (Or dies) in a Florida garden. Check out their publication entitled: "Care and Maintenance of Landscape Palms in South Florida" Abide by the 3PM-6PM rule and you will be fine. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 4:37PM
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The UF advice on palms is it's healthier for the plant to not cut the fronds
until the midrib is brown all the way to the trunk.
The reason is that as long as there is green,
the palm continues to make food.
Any cut is an invitation for insects and disease.
You can trim back the fronds if you do not like the dead brown look
or the fronds smack you in the face.
Since you do not mind waiting until the fronds fall, go with that.
It's the best plan for the health of your palms.
You were right!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 8:54PM
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stuartwanda(N. Stuart)

I think you should cut the dead fronds, they become deadly projectiles in a hurricane. And the berries are soo heavy that I would cut that off too when it is just flowers.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 8:27AM
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