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Pruning Queen Palms

Queen Palms should be pruned twice a year – once in October and again sometime in April or May.  It is not a big job as the Queen Palm does not require heavy pruning.  In fact, if you prune it too much, you will permanently distort its shape. Pruning Queen Palms requires only that you remove the yellowed and browned fronds at the base of the leaf stem.  You will want to do this at the point of stem attachment to the tree trunk.  What you never want to do is something referred to as “hurricane pruning,” named after the practice of pruning Queen Palm trees on up to the top before hurricane season strikes, removing many of the green leaves along with the discolored ones.  This practice is illegal in some areas as it can destroy the tree all together.

Pruning Queen PalmsTo prevent the need for pruning queen palm trees beyond removing a couple dead fronds, you need to make sure that you are taking proper care of it.  This means that you must water it so that you soak up to ½ to 3 feet of the ground around the tree going five feet out.  In addition to watering the Queen Palm, care for it properly by ensuring that the soil it grows in has adequate nutrients.  You can get all the nutrients the tree needs in a palm fertilizer, available at most places that sell trees, plants, and/or gardening supplies.

Pruning Queen Palms is one of the easiest landscaping tasks that you can have.  This makes the Queen Palm tree a “must have” for most landscapes along the California coast and parts of Florida and Texas. The key to proper pruning is to use it as a tool to inspect the tree.  As you remove the few branches that need removed, look for signs of past problems, nutritional deficiencies, and diseases such as Lethal Yellowing and Ganoderma Butt Rot. The signs of Lethal Yellowing include yellow leaves and fruit dropping.  Those of Ganoderma Butt Rot include a fungus growing from the wood.  Think of the task of pruning Queen Palm trees as a check-up, something you do to keep your tree well.  It is not that you need to get out there and change its shape; it’s a simple matter of maintenance.  Pruning Queen Palm trees shouldn’t take much of your time but it could save your trees, saving you money on removal and replacement down the road.

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