A Complete Guide to Proper Palm Tree Care So Your Tree Will Last
Do you have a palm tree in your yard? Are you wondering what you need to do to take care of it?
While palm trees are pretty sturdy, there are certain things you need to know that will help your palm tree grow and flourish.
Check out this palm tree care guide to discover everything you need to know.
Choose the Right Palm Tree
First things first, you need to make sure you choose the right palm tree for your yard. Many people believe that if they live in a tropical climate, any species of palm tree will do just fine.
However, this is not the case. Certain palm trees thrive in more temperate climates, while others thrive in warmer climates.
If you live in an area with a bit of snow and slightly colder temperatures, then you're going to want to go with a hardy palm tree. Popular types of hardy palm trees include:
- Mexican fan
If you live in an area that has warm weather year-round, such as Florida or California, then you can go with a classic variety. Classic palm trees include:
- California fan
- Meditteranean fan
- Queen palm
- Royal palm
Choosing the right tree can make a huge difference, so make sure you spend some time researching which species is best for your living conditions.
Choose the Right Planting Location
Once you've selected your palm tree, it's time to figure out where you're going to plant it. Finding the right spot can be tricky, as light requirements vary depending on the species you've chosen.
If you plant a palm tree that loves shade in direct sunlight, then it'll wither, turn brown, and die. If your palm tree needs sun and you plant it in the shade, then it may struggle to develop roots and foliage.
The best thing to do is to research your palm tree species to figure out its specific light requirements.
Additionally, if you live somewhere that is prone to hurricanes, that will also affect where you plant the tree. Because palm trees don't have a deep root system, they're prone to knocking over and damaging your property in strong winds. Therefore, if you live in an area that's prone to hurricanes, make sure you plant your palm tree a good distance away from your home.
Choose the Right Soil
In addition to choosing the right planting location, you also need to make sure you choose the right soil.
Palm trees need a soil that drains well. If the palm tree roots are continuously wet, then you'll end up with root rot. Most palm tree varieties do best with either an acidic or alkaline soil. They also usually don't many additional nutrients besides the soil.
Plant Your Tree
Once you've selected a location and a soil, it's time to plant your palm tree.
It's best to plant the palm tree during mid-spring after you're sure the coldest weather has passed. To plant, begin by digging a hole that's twice the size in diameter of the root ball. You also need to make sure that the hole is deep enough to cover the top of the roots.
When planting, be very careful to not damage the heart of the tree. Doing so can stunt the tree's growth as well as distort the growth of the leaves.
Once you've dug the hole, remove the palm tree from the pot and place it in the hole. Be sure to backfill the hole so that the bottom of the trunk is full of the garden's surface. Then, fill in the rest of the hole.
Be careful to not press down too hard when filling in the hole, as this can cause the soil to become compact, which has a negative effect on the soil drainage and root growth.
Brace the Palm Tree
The bracing process can be one of the most complicated aspects of palm tree care.
Because outdoor palm trees have smaller root balls than container-grown palm trees, you'll need to brace your tree for the first year to year and a half. If you don't brace it, the palm tree will become too top-heavy and will fall over in the wind.
To brace your palm tree, you'll need to gather several 2x4 lumber braces. Space the braces equally apart around your palm tree. Make sure the braces are far enough from the base of the tree to support it in high winds. To secure the bracing and protect the trunk from scratches and scrapes, you can lay down some burlap.
To make a bridge between the braces, you can use small pieces of wood and then nail the structure together to provide added strength.
Caring and Pruning
Last but not least, let's talk about caring for and pruning your palm tree.
While palm trees can survive without fertilizer, if you feed them four times per year, they'll grow much faster. However, you should wait until your tree has been planted for four weeks to feed it for the first time, as this will allow it to establish its root system.
The fertilizer you use should be made of phosphorous, magnesium, nitrogen, and potassium. Water your palm tree 3 to 4 times per week, or 5 to 6 times per week if the weather is really hot.
If the soil you're using is particularly well-draining, then you should put mulch around the base of the tree during the summer months so it can better retain moisture.
You should also prune your palm trees on a regular basis to keep them healthy. Start by removing dead leaves (also known as fronds) and fruit stems. Once the fronds turn brown and fall toward the front of the palm tree, you can prune them.
If you need help with the pruning, you may want to hire a pruning service.
Palm Tree Care: Are You Ready to Care for Your Palm Tree?
Now that you've read this palm tree care guide, you'll be better equipped to help your palm tree grow. Before you know it, you'll have a healthy palm tree in your yard.
If you need help with pruning or other tree-related services, contact us today.