A palm tree grows very similar to how a flower blooms. It continues to open and grow from the center with the oldest outer leaves turning brown and dying as new ones sprout.
It is a good idea to cut off dead palm fronds as they are unsightly and can be a fire hazard if left for too long.
On some species of palm trees, dead palm fronds do fall away from themselves like on Alexander’s palms. In other cases, it takes several years before they finally shed themselves.
Once palm fronds turn brown, it is dead and will not continue to grow. The way a palm grows is by continually sprouting from the very top and by shedding older leaves.
There are some species of palm that the leaves don’t turn brown and shed, but the trunk is full of green healthy leaves.
In most cases, however, older leaves turn brown and need to be trimmed.
Do palm fronds grow back?
If you cut all the palm fronds off a palm tree they will continue to sprout. As long as you did not cut it right back to the bare trunk and you left the top ‘bud’ of the palm.
Once palm fronds die, new ones sprout from the top to replace them.
It’s a never-ending cycle for the life of the tree.
How often should palm trees be pruned?
If you want to maintain a healthy and visually appealing palm tree, you should have a professional arborist trim your palm tree yearly.
This will include the removal of flowers/fruit that all palm trees sprout around springtime.
When having your palm tree trimmed, you should instruct your arborist not to prune leaves above the horizon line.
This means you should prune all leaves that are hanging down. All leaves that are horizontal or growing should be left.
How much does palm trimming cost?
The cost of trimming palm trees varies depending on the type of palm and the number of leaves that need pruning.
The average cost of palm tree trimming is $79, but it can cost anywhere from $45 to $945 per palm tree.
I have a comprehensive price guide where you can see palm tree trimming costs based on the size of the palm tree.
Can a dead palm tree come back to life?
If a palm tree is neglected and dies, it does not come back to life. The key to a palm tree’s continual survival is the top ‘bud’ of the tree where the leaves gown from.
Once this dries, the rest of that palm tree goes with it.
All trees need leaves to create energy from the sun through a process called photosynthesis. Other types of trees can have all branches removed and still grow back. This is not the case with palm trees.
How to save money on palm tree trimming
There are a few simple tricks that will save you lots of money on palm trimming and a lot of it comes down to the company you hire…. or when you hire them!
1. Hire in winter
Tree services are a seasonal business and tend to have little work on in winter. By getting your job done in winter, you have the same supply of tree services, but little demand. Most winters are a fight for scraps between companies, as they all lower prices to be competitive.
2. Dispose of the fronds yourself
Palm trees are not like regular trees where the tree service can mulch them into woodchips and sell them on as garden mulch. Palm trees are too acidic and need to be disposed of with general waste making them expensive for tree services to dump.
By getting the tree service to price the job to remove and cut up the palm leaves and leave them on-site, you can put them in the green waste bin free over time. This will save you 20 – 30% off the price of trimming which is usually taken up with dumping fees.