How to Trim a Palm Tree: Top Things to Consider Before Trimming

With over 2,600 different palm tree species, there is nothing that screams fun in the sun more than the palm tree across your beautiful landscape.

However, they do need to be upkeep and looking fresh for your yard, so you might be wondering you even go about trimming them?

This article is going to go over the basics of how to trim a palm tree and what to consider before trimming them. 

Pruning Your Palm Trees

Before you starting pruning your palm trees, know that over-pruning them can actually cause harm to them or even kill them. So knowing how to properly prune them is crucial to them surviving and thriving. 

When you over prune a tree, it causes them stress and makes them less resistant to diseases and eventually compromises the structure of the tree. 

When you go to prune your trees, only remove fronds that are miscolored, such as yellowing or browning. If you remove the smaller green fonds, it will take nutrients away from the tree.

You should also remember to not trim too close to the trunk of the tree either, damaging the bark can compromise the structure of your tree and let in bugs and diseases. 

When It's Time to Trim

Although you can technically trim your palm tree any time of the year, there is a suggested season that is best for the health of your trees. Most palm trees thrive in an area with lots of sun, humid air, and moist soil.

If you want to help them thrive, even more, for most palm trees trimming them during warmer months such as late spring but not in the middle of summer - this offers the best recovery for them.

Although, you should check to see which type of palm tree you have and find out if they have a different month for trimming. 

Steps to Trimming Palm Trees

If you've decided it best to trim your tree and want to try it, here are a few things to keep in mind and simple steps to take while trimming your trees.

  1. Make sure you have a sharp pruning saw if it's not sharp enough then you won't be able to make clean cuts and it will be much harder on yourself.
  2. Before cutting any prunes off, consider adding rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to your tools, this can help prevent the tree from disease as your cutting them. 
  3. Even though you are removing the old and withered out fronds, don't remove them too close to the trunk of the tree. As we discussed earlier, this can damage the stricter and create a point of entry for bugs and disease.
  4. You don't want to remove too many fronds, only remove as many as have been replaced by new and thriving ones. Palmtrees produce a certain number of fronds depending on the species and size. 
  5. Although palms are resilient plants and can usually survive the worst droughts, trimming them in the middle of summer isn't the best time of year. When you remove a frond during the summer, you are removing protection to the trunk from a blistering hot sun. 

Now that you know when to trim your tree and the simple steps to pruning them, let's take a look at what kind of equipment you will need.

What You Need to Prune a Palm Tree

If you're going to do the maintenance on your own palm trees, then doing it safely and effectively is necessary. Having the right PPE, clothing, and tools is a must. Here are a few things you're going to need.


Personal protection equipment is going to keep you safe and prevent you from getting poked in the eye from a branch or cutting your find from a tool. Make sure you have eye protection that wraps around your head, durable and thick working gloves, and a helmet to protect your head if you fall or have something fall on you!


Palm trees can have fronds that are thorny and can easily cut you, so make sure you are wearing the proper clothing before going out there to trim. Wear a long sleeve shirt, durable and long pants, and boots to protect your feet.


If you're going to effectively cut fronds off and not spend unnecessary time cutting through fronds, then you want to make sure you have the right tools. Use a pair of shears meant for pruning, these are for the smaller fronds and make sure they are sharp too! 


A pair of lobbers are used for your medium-sized fronds that the shears just won't be able to handle. 

Pole Chain

You will need an electric pole chain saw if you need to reach far and extended tree fronds that you just won't be able to get to from a ladder with your shears or lobbers. 

Hiring a Tree Trimming Service

There is a lot to consider when you are looking at trimming your palm trees yourself. If you decide to hire a tree trimming service, just remember to consider a few things first.

  1. Make sure they are ISA certified, which requires many years of training and passing an exam.
  2. They are a reputable company and have good reviews.
  3. Have all of the proper permits and are professionals.

Only hire the best for your palm trees!

How to Trim a Palm Tree

When it comes to properly trimming a palm tree, there is a lot to remember and to consider.

You must use the proper tools and equipment in order to trim the trees correctly. If you decide to trim them yourself, follow these steps on how to trim a palm tree and you'll have your trees trimmed in no time. 

If you need help or are considering hiring a tree trimming service, contact us for more information!

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