Palm Tree Care Page 3
- Palm leaves are carried in a cantilever effect to facilitate survival in high winds. When too many fronds are removed, the palm can be more easily damaged. Immature fronds that have been robbed of the support and protection of mature fronds are more susceptible to wind damage, desiccation and structural failure.
- Research has shown that mature fronds are those found below the current year’s blooms. When pruning, leave at least two rows of mature fronds, preferably more.
- Never take off more leaves in one year than are produced during that time. Research indicates that each species of palm has a set number of live green fronds with the same number of developing fronds inside the bud area of the palm. As new fronds emerge, the oldest fronds die. The age of a mature frond will be determined by many factors, including size of the palm, species, number of fronds produced, etc. The key point is that only the palm “knows” when a frond needs to be pruned off and when it is dying.
- Severe pruning stimulates an unhealthy survival response in palms. Energy is burned to quickly produce new leaves, to replace those lost, so severely pruned trees begin depleting their reserves of energy. If this happens on an annual basis, the palm’s trunk gradually decreases in diameter and becomes weak. This weakened trunk is more likely to break or shatter in a storm.
- Because palms are not as efficient as other trees at storing food for needy times, they are more dependent on their leaves to provide necessary food for growth. With relatively few leaves, removing even one green frond can significantly reduce a palm's ability to feed itself. Palm trees must have as many green fronds as possible to produce a continuous supply of food to grow, stay healthy, and build storage reserves.
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