How to Prune Palm Trees

Prune your palm trees. image by Zest-pk:


Palm trees are members of the Palmae family that generally grow in warm, temperate climates. Palm trees can be pruned to improve their appearance, but the trees usually shed their own dead leaves, so they do not need to be pruned for health benefits.

Step 1

Gently shake the tree to remove any brown, falling-off fronds, or leaves. Palm trees shed their fronds naturally, so the safest way to remove these fronds yourself is to gently help the tree to shed them.

Step 2

Gently pull at brown, sagging fronds with your gloved hands. If the leaves pull away with your hands, remove them. Do not tug or rip the fronds, even if they appear dead.

Step 3

Trim at the base of the remaining brown, hanging fronds with pruning shears. If the leaves grow horizontally or up towards the sky, do not trim these fronds, even if they have turned brown. Only trim fronds that have drooped and are now pointing towards the ground.

Step 4

Do not over trim. Palm trees use their fronds as protection against the weather, animals and diseases, and it is not necessary to trim them. If you must trim them for aesthetic reasons, never trim green fronds, or fronds that grow straight in the air.

Step 5

Remove all palm tree clippings from the ground around the tree. These trimmings can be added to a compost heap or turned into mulch, then placed back around the palm tree.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep pruning shears out of the reach of children.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Ladder
  • Gardening gloves


  • Pruning Palm Trees
  • Tree Help: Palm Trees

Who Can Help

  • Ace: Premium Pruning Shears
Keywords: prune palm trees, pruning palm trees, pruning large trees, how to prune, how to prune a tree

About this Author

Megan Smith has been a freelance writer and editor since 2006. She writes about health, fitness, travel, beauty and grooming topics for various print and Internet publications. Smith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing from New York University.

Photo by: Zest-pk: