How to Cut Back a Sago Palm

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Sago palms are short, squat plants with a crown of "feathery" fronds at the crown of the plant with the rest of the plant consisting of a woody stem or trunk. Sago palms are not technically palm trees at all, but belong to the Cycad plant family, of which more than 20 varieties exist. Pruning a sago palm plant is a relatively simple affair thanks to the fairly small amount of leaves and branches that grow out of the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Identify the branches you wish to cut back. In order to preserve the health of the tree, you should only cut away dead or badly diseased stalks, as cutting away healthy or even weakened yellow fronds can damage the plant.

  • Cut away any dead or badly diseased fronds, starting from the bottom leaves and working your way up.

  • Cut away any fruit or flower stalks that you deem necessary. These can be safely removed without fear of damaging the tree.

  • Cut away the fronds as needed. If necessary, you may remove all but the topmost ring of branches from the tree, though this should only be done in extreme cases.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try to avoid trimming away fronds or branches that are at the 10 and 2 o'clock positions on the tree.

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