trimming windmills

tnwindmillJanuary 17, 2014

Hey all,
I have a question about trimming my windmills completely for the remainder of winter. I hadn't touched them at all in 3 winters, but I knew the polar vortex would probably be more than they could bare. I got a piece of pvc a few feet taller than the trees and attached to the trunk with bungee cords so I could cover them with tarps without having the weight on them over the top. I covered them completely with 2 huge tarps. I kept them over the trees for 3 days. After the cold passed through, I removed them. I had to wrap them pretty tight around the sides to keep them secured, as it was very windy. The pressure on the fronds along with the cold temps has turned them all brown and crispy. I am thinking about trimming all the fronds off, leaving only the trunk, to let it rejuvinate itself in spring. Does anyone know if this will be detrimental to the trees, as I have never had to do this before. I'm pretty sure I have seen palms trimmed completely down in Florida before.

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The plastic from the tarp touching the fronds is what caused the burn. Next time try, something like frost cloth or a blanket. As far as when to cut the fronds off, not until they are completely brown. As long as there is some green, it is still providing food to the palm.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 5:31PM
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Sorry to hear about your trachys. I hope that they come back. My Med fan palm is also brown and crispy looking but I am leaving all the fronds on because it will provide protection during the rest of the cold this winter (and there's going to be more heading our way soon). Even if there's still a little green on the petioles, that will help give the plant energy in the spring like Brad was saying so I wouldn't prune until spring when the weather warms up. I won't be pruning any of my stuff until the days are longer and they are already starting to grow back well and have more green.

I hope your trachys pull through!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 6:08PM
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Thanks for the info. Someone told me a while back that trimming the lower fronds would help the overall health of the tree, because they still draw nutrients. Over the past 10 days or so, I probably trimmed half of them, but there are still quite a few of the upper fronds left on each tree. Glad I asked before going any further.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 9:59PM
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Any further advice on getting them through the remainder of the winter would be much appreciated. I planted them 5 years ago when they were about 4 feet tall. I winterized them the 1st 2 winters, then haven't touched them since, as they were pretty well acclimated. Every year they look kind of rough early spring, and come back wonderfully for the summer/fall season. They are just under 10 feet tall now, so they should be pretty hardy and mature.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 10:04PM
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