How to Cut a Yucca Palm Tree


The yucca palm tree (yucca brevifolia) is a native to the southwestern part of the United States. It is also known as the Joshua tree. It can be found prevalently in the Mojave Desert. The plant prefers the hot sun of the open grasslands and can survive drought conditions. It generally does not grow more than 8 feet tall. The leaves are sharp, dark green and usually grow to a foot long. The flowers bloom from early to late spring. They grow in clusters and are creamy white.

Step 1

Remove any diseased or dying palm fronds from the yucca tree. Use a sharp trimmer to cut the fronds from the tree near the main trunk. You may need a ladder to reach the higher branches. You can also use a sharp, long-handled tree trimmer.

Step 2

Dispose of any dying flowers or fruit that may be left on the tree. If there is not another yucca nearby, the tree will not pollinate itself, so you can completely remove all flowers.

Step 3

Cut away the larger stems of the yucca tree with a handsaw. Remove the larger diseased areas by cut several inches below the diseased portion of the tree. The cuts should be in a downward slant to prevent rain from standing on the cuts and causing rot.

Step 4

Trim out the crowded branches. A yucca tree can tolerate a severe trimming. Remove the branches that are getting too tall and any branches that are not within the shape that you are working towards.

Step 5

Dispose of all of the branches, limbs and fruit under the tree where you trimmed. This will help prevent pests and disease.

Things You'll Need

  • Trimmer
  • Ladder
  • Long-handled trimmer
  • Handsaw
  • Gloves


  • Joshua Tree Service: Trimming and Pruning
  • Palm Tree Care: Pruning Palms
Keywords: Yucca Palm, palm tree service, Joshua tree care

About this Author

Melanie Hammontree is a member of the Society for Professional Journalists and has been writing since 2004. Works include publications with "Hall County Crime Examiner," "Player's Press" and "The Gainesville Times." Hammontree has a Master of Business and is working on a Master of Journalism from the University of Tennessee.