How to Trim a Queen Palm Tree

Overview

The stately queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffianum) grows up to 50 feet tall and spreads up to 25 feet when it is mature. It grows moderately fast when you plant it in acidic soil in an area that receives full sun most of the day. The queen palm is tropical, so it is successful typically only in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10 and higher, although it can tolerate temperatures down to 25 degrees F for short periods. The tree benefits from light pruning twice each year, in fall and spring.

Step 1

Cut yellowing and brown fronds in September or October to remove fronds that have been damaged by strong summer sun or drought conditions. Using your arbor saw, cut old fronds at the base of their stems, close to the trunk.

Step 2

Prune frost-damaged fronds between March and the middle of May. Beware of pruning too much of a queen palm's foliage, because it can cause stress to the plant and result in disfigured new growth. Prune only what you must.

Step 3

Remove old leaf bases, where fronds were attached to the trunk, when they are completely dry. You might be able to pull them off with your hands--if they don't come off by this method, cut them from the trunk with a utility knife set at a shallow setting.

Step 4

Trim off brown leaf tips if they occur due to overfertilization with chemical fertilizers.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid nicking the queen palm's trunk when you prune it. Do not fertilize this tree more than label instructions recommend, and be careful not to give it an excess of chemical fertilizers.

Things You'll Need

  • Ladder
  • Loppers
  • Arbor saw
  • Utility knife
  • Pole pruner

References

  • Sun Palm Trees: Queen Palm Trees
  • Treeland Nurseries: Queen Palm Care
  • U.S. Forest Service/University of Florida: Queen Palm
  • Florida Gardener: Plant of the Month, 6/3/08
Keywords: queen palm tree, trim queen palm, prune queen palm

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.