How to Prune a Date Palm

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A palm tree is a majestic addition to any yard, but just as with all other plants, it needs pruning. Caring for a palm tree isn't as easy as smaller trees because the leaves actually grow on the top of the tree, up to 100 feet high. If you happen to have a date palm growing in your yard and you would like to keep it healthy and attractive, read through a few simple steps to learn more about proper care.

Things You'll Need

  • Lift bucket
  • Linoleum knife
  • Pruning saw
  • Prune your date palm in June. The end of spring, beginning of summer, is the best time to rid your date palm of old foliage.

  • Rent a lift bucket when pruning your date palm. Palm trees are far too tall for pruning with a ladder. Position the lift bucket to the height of the leaves.

  • Remove all the old leaves, referred to as fronds. Taking off some of the green fronds is also recommended to cut down on the amount of maintenance the tree might need, but don't remove too many, as this will depreciate energy production.

  • Use a linoleum knife or a small pruning saw to cut off all unwanted fronds. When removing the leaves try not to get too close to the trunk.

  • Carefully remove the fronds by making straight clean cuts. This enhances the tree's ability to heal quicker. Try not to prune too much as this will deform your tree.

Tips & Warnings

  • Understand that safety comes first when pruning a palm tree. Make sure your lift bucket is properly positioned, and avoid pruning unless someone is home, just in case of an accident.
  • Do not try to climb your date palm with a pair of spiked shoes as this will damage the tree's trunk and allow insect infestation.
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