Imagine a tropical environment, and you’ll almost certainly see at least one palm tree (Arecaceae family). Although palm trees are commonly associated with the tropics, several varieties may be cultivated in more temperate settings or even indoors. Palms are popular among home gardeners because they instantly bring tropical flare to practically any room. However, it is critical to make informed decisions. Palms, unlike many other plants, cannot be pruned to keep their height under control.
Palms are a unique type of tree.
Palm trees are a genus of plants with over 200 genera and roughly 3,000 species. The trunks of palm trees are stalks that generate buds, flowers, and leaves. The fronds, or leaves, emerge from the tree’s top and uncurl. When you take off the top of most palm trees, you also cut off the fronds and, more importantly, the bud – leaving you with nothing but a long, tall stump that won’t produce any leaves.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. Because a few palm species have branches that grow above ground, you can cut off some of the tallest branches while leaving others alone. The palm’s crown will not produce new fronds, but any uncut branches will. Date palms (Phoenix dactylifera) grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 through 11, and they create new branches at the base of the trunk, so you can top them as long as new branches are there. At the location of the cut, no new growth will develop.
Slow the Rate of Growth
Most palm trees can’t be made shorter, but you may inhibit the growth of an indoor palm plant by creating conditions that jam its roots. Leave your palm in the smaller pot rather than transferring it into a larger container as it grows. The palm’s growth will be slowed if the roots don’t have enough room to expand. The same can be said for palms in pots outside. If your palm is now in a huge container, move it to a smaller one. However, there isn’t much you can do about outdoor, in-ground palms. A professional business should remove a tall outside palm tree that is threatening to fall on power lines or another overhead hazard.
You can’t cut off the entire top of a palm tree and expect it to come back, but you can cut off some of the fronds. Palm trees require the leaves for photosynthesis, thus this should only be done in exceptional conditions. Clip fronds just above where they meet the trunk to remove them. Pruning should only be done if the leaves are fully dead, brown, or damaged. In addition, if the palm’s only remaining leaves are damaged, leave them on the tree.
Choose a Palm That Is Smaller
Cultivating a dwarf palm is the greatest approach to keep a palm tree from becoming too large for its surroundings. The pigmy date palm (Phoenix roebelenii) may grow up to 12 feet tall and is hardy in USDA zones 10 and 11. Drought-tolerant Chinese windmill palms (Trachycarpus fortunei) are coveted for their modest size, growing to a maximum height of 9 to 12 feet in USDA zones 9b through 11. The Mediterranean fan palm (Chamaerops humilis) is a hardy plant that grows to a maximum height of 10 to 15 feet and is hardy in USDA zones 8 through 11.
Palm Tree Assessment in Phoenix, Tempe, & More
If you think your palm trees are in need of care Arbor Care can help! We can assist you in getting down to your palm trees health and can provide helpful hints to keep your palm trees happy and healthy. Contact Arbor Care at 480-797-5566 today to schedule your palm tree assessment.