How to Trim a Palm Tree: 4 Steps from the Pros

If you have palm trees on your Florida property, you’ll need to keep them trim and clean to maintain their health. Neglecting proper palm tree care can reduce tree lifespan and increase the risk of tree disease. So today, the pros at Tri-State Tree Service are here with this quick guide on how to trim a palm tree. 

Call us today to speak to Pensacola’s tree-trimming professionals!

What You’ll Need

Below is a quick list of which materials you’ll need to trim your palm trees. 

  • Pruning shears
  • Stepping stools or ladder
  • Gloves
  • Googles
  • Pruning saw
  • Serrated knife
  • Rubbing alcohol 

You should also make sure that all toys and outdoor furniture are off your yard, so you have a completely clear and uncluttered space to work. 

Steps on How to Trim a Palm Tree

Trimming a palm tree is a matter of removing dead fronds (branches) that can cause further damage. Failing to remove these fronds can damage healthy fronds and the tree trunk. 

1. Examine Fronds

First, examine the fronds, identifying healthy fronds from dead fronds. If fronds are completely brown and withered, then they are dead, and you should remove them. Yellowish fronds are still living and providing nutrients, so you don’t have to remove them yet. You should also identify snapped and broken fronds at risk of falling. 

2. Pick the Right Equipment

Depending on the type of palm tree and the size of the palm frond, you’ll need to use different cutting tools. For smaller branches less than an inch thick, you can use a small serrated knife. You’ll need to use a pair of pruning shears or a pruning saw for larger fronds. If dead fronds are especially thick, you might need to use a chainsaw. 

3. Remove Dead Fronds

Now it’s time to actually remove the fronds. Clean the blades with alcohol before cutting, and start cutting at least two inches away from the trunk. If you damage the trunk with the pruning saw or shears, the trunk might not heal. You can remove green fronds if they drop below a 90-degree angle horizontal to the ground. Also, make sure you don’t remove the crown of the frond on top, or else it might not grow back properly. 

4. Clean Up

The last part of the hot to trim a palm tree process is clean-up. Most waste companies will not take palm fronds in the green waste bin because they take a very long time to decompose. You will most likely have to take the dead and trimmed palm fronds to a special waste disposal place to get rid of them. You can call your local public works authority for more information on how to dispose of dead fronds in your neighborhood. 

Professional Tree Service

Tri-State Tree is your go-to provider for tree services. Read our blog if you would like to learn about palm tree diseases in Florida. Contact us online or call today at (850) 876-8003 to schedule professional tree services!


Tri-State Tree Service is an award-winning business supplying premier tree removal, tree trimming, and other tree care services to Florida’s northwest & Alabama's southeast coastal regions.

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Tri-State Tree Service
6146 Mobile Hwy.
Pensacola, FL 32526

Phone : 8508768003
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