Keep a palm from growing tall with careful and deliberate pruning practices. Hacking away at the top of a palm plant to shorten it is not the answer. It will result in an unhealthy, damaged tree. Correct pruning encourages the palm's health. Pruning palms does not, as some people think, make the plant grow faster. The key is to be selective about which fronds to remove. Cutting off too many each year will weaken the palm. The tree needs the fronds for food, which develops roots, flowers and fruit.
Remove yellow or brown fronds. The color change indicates the fronds are not healthy and will eventually fall off anyway. They are taking energy from the rest of the tree and are better off removed now.
Thin out the palm if it's clumping and getting too large for the planting space. Prune new growth where it meets the rest of the tree.
Leave two rows of mature fronds in place when pruning palm trees. The mature fronds are growing just underneath the current season's blooms.
Prune the palm over a few seasons to achieve the desired look.