Care of Palm Trees

The Mediterranean, California, and Mexican fan plam will survive the southwestern droughts and are seen throughout the southwestern landscape. However the Mexican fan palm will struggle if temperatures drop into the lower teens. Palm trees love good soil. Be sure to ask for a good compost soil conditioner when purchasing palm trees.

Use a good root stimulator to stimulate root growth for these type of trees. Make sure to ask for “Root Stimulator” at your local nursry.  You can purchase this at “Color Your World” nuseries or Online. Palm trees love full sun and soil enriched with Managanese, Magnesium sulphur, Potassium and Iron. Most soils do not contain this type of natural occuring elements no matter where you live. A good 12-4-12 analysis is an ideal fertilizer to use.  Apply it a few days after you have planted your palm trees.

It is also beneficial to fertilizer older palm trees. There are hundreds of palm species but on the average the normal life span of most palms is well over 150 years.  Some palms can actually live much longer.

Be sure to ask for palm tree fertilizers when purchasing palm trees. Carl Pool’s Palm Food will work for these type of trees.


How to Prune Palm Trees

palmtree1Pruning is essential to good growth and is considered excellent landscaping techniques. Below are some photos on how to accomplish this task.

Palms love to be pruned when the fronds start to turn brown or yellow at the bottom. Be sure to wear a good pair of thick gloves before pruning as the fronds will have large hooked type thorns.


Palm Tree PruningUse a good pair of sharp cutting loppers. Corona Clipper 32″ Professional Bypass Lopper with 2-1/2″ Cutting Capacity is what we recommed.

In case of a large over 20′ tree you should call or consult with an arborist or landscaping professional. Always prune fronds at the bottom part of the tree.

If the tree looks brownish at the top this is an good indication of insects or disease or temperatures below 32 degrees farenheight. Avoid small pruning shears.

The Care of Palm Trees

Do not cut too close to the trunk and only trim old browning type fronds towards the bottom of the tree. Remember in case of a large over 20-40′ tree you should call or consult with an arborist or landscaping professional. palm trees In the Southwest the Mediterrean fan palm is the most hardiest followed by the California, Mexican, Sago and Windmill palms.

All fronds in the southwest need trimming in spring after frost damage The California fan palm also called the Washingtonia filifera can grow up to 50-60ft tall.

Palm Tree Being PrunedThe Mexican palm is taller up to 100′ ft tall. All palms are low water once established. Be sure to remove and dispose of fronds in a large container, you do not want children or pets close to these vicious type thorns.

Dig your hole twice as wide and about the same depth see the photo to the left. About 4′ wide and 3′ deep. Planting a palm tree is basically the same as other types of trees.  How to plant a tree post here. 


California Fan PalmThe photo to the left is what is what a good California fan palm should look like.

Here is a post on Mediterrean Palms trees.

Remember proper palm tree care, pruning, fertilizing and maintenance will make your landscaping yard a place to be noticed.

If you need any type of advice concerning landscaping, gardening or tree help do not hesitate to contact us.   Article by: Paul Guzman