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Palm tree cleaning
Last updated: 3 June 2021
Keeping palm trees looking good is actually quite a lot of maintenance. They need to be cleaned or trimmed every year or two at most.
Palm tree cleaning is a specialized procedure but you can DIY on smaller palms. It involves pruning dead fronds/ leaves, shaving the trunk, cutting visible fruit stalks, and removing seed pods to keep the tree healthy, smooth and attractive.
Palm tree cleaning can be performed by a certified arborist or as a DIY job.
The importance of palm tree cleaning
Cleaning your palm tree is an excellent technique that is vital to preserving the looks and health of the tree. Here, we will examine the significance of cleaning your palm tree.
- To improve the tree’s beauty and help it grow: cleaning your palm tree is an excellent way of stimulating its growth and maintaining its elegant and attractive looks.
- To prevent tree damage: cleaning your palm tree prevents tree damage which can occur when the pressure of the accumulated weight of un-pruned dead palm fronds causes the tree to snap and break.
- Eliminating fire hazards: unshaved dry hairs on your palm tree stem and dry, brittle fronds hanging from your palm are potential fire hazards that may ignite during a heatwave or encourage the spread of wildfire.
- Reduces your liability: cleaning your palm tree protects you from potential liability arising from injuries and damage caused by dead palm fronds and coconuts falling on people, vehicles, and properties.
Typical Palm tree cleaning cost
Palm cleaning services charge an average price of between $150 and $600 to clean a 30 feet palm tree. However, several factors such as nearby overhead electricity lines or buildings can influence actual cleaning costs. Other factors that determine tree cleaning costs include:
- Tree height: the higher your palm tree, the more you will pay to clean it. Fees can range from $85 – $600 to clean palm trees in the 10 to 60 feet range, while trees taller than 60 feet cost between $500 to $1,400 to clean depending on their condition.
- Palm tree condition: you typically pay less to clean palm trees that are cleaned regularly. However, trees in lousy shape require a lot of work to restore, and they usually cost more.
- Non-scheduled work: urgent, non-scheduled tree cleaning adds extra charges to your regular scheduled palm tree cleaning bill.
- Location: you will pay extra to clean your palm tree if you reside in a remote area.
Are palm trees self-cleaning?
Yes, some palm tree species are self-cleaning. Self-cleaning palm trees shed their dead and dried fronds, meaning they do not require cleaning or pruning to remove brown or excess fronds. A common feature of self-cleaning palm trees is the presence of a crownshaft.
Examples of self-cleaning palm trees include:
- King palms.
- Queen’s palms.
- Areca palm.
- Christmas palm.
- Royal palm.
- Carpentaria palm.
Self-cleaning palms offer some cost savings because they don’t require an arborist to trim them. However, there will be discarded palm fronds to dispose of every other week, and in properties where there are rows of self-cleaning palms, the disposal costs can be considerable.
Homeowners should avoid planting Royal palm trees on their property because when fully mature fronds that weigh between 50 to 90 pounds are shed, these can fall and damage parked vehicles and injure pedestrians beneath the tree.
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How to clean a palm tree
Cleaning a palm tree is a long and detailed process. Below is the breakdown of the different steps involved.
- Perform a visual examination of the palm tree.
- Inspect the tree for dead or brown palm fronds.
- Inspect the tree for visible seed pods.
- Check the tree for flowers and hanging fruits.
- Check the stem for the presence of hairs.
- Prepare your equipment and the tree area.
- Make a mental and written note of what needs to be removed.
- Assemble and sterilize your pruning tools.
- Inspect your tree climbing and safety equipment.
- Cordon off the area around the palm tree.
- Clean the palm tree.
- Remove only dead, brown, and damaged palm fronds.
- Gently use your hands to remove the damaged or loose blades from palm fronds. Please do not force them out.
- Cut visible flowers and fruits, including fruit stalks.
- Shave the stem to remove hair.
- Cleanup and disposal.
- Place all waste in an organic disposal bin.
- Sweep all debris off the pavement.
- Tidy the entire area.
- Contact your local waste disposal operator to evacuate the waste.
Should I use a Palm cleaning service?
Yes, hiring a palm cleaning service comprising a team of certified arborists offers a guarantee that your palm tree will be safely cleaned and adequately maintained. In addition to pruning your tree and eliminating all hazards and liabilities, you also enjoy the following benefits by hiring a palm cleaning service.
- You receive expert tree care advice and recommendations.
- They offer advice on the best treatments for palm tree diseases and how to prevent them.
- Tree cleaning services have specialized equipment such as man lifts and specialized tree-climbing tools to enable them to clean and trim the tallest palm trees without damaging your tree.
How often should palm trees be cleaned?
You should only clean palm trees when you observe dead and brown fronds hanging from the tree. Palm trees grow new fronds each year, and as older fronds die, they form a skirt of dead leaves (called a petticoat) hanging around the upper trunk. This usually occurs about once or twice a year, and If you notice a few or several dead fronds hanging from your palm, then it is time for cleaning.
When is the best time of year to clean palm trees?
Winter is the best time to clean palm trees. The reason is that plant and tree growth slow down during the colder winter months, making it the perfect time to remove dead and diseased fronds, seeds, and stem hair in preparation for spring blossom.
Both procedures are basically the same. Palm cleaning and trimming both involve the removal of dead palm fronds, fruit stalks, seed pods, and trunk trimming to improve the health and looks of your palm tree.
Not always. Although shaving the trunk is recommended when trimming a palm. You can skip the procedure if the trunk surface is smooth.
Author: Ben McInerney – Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.
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