Palms, the iconic tree of South Florida, exist in most Key West yards. My yard included, because of my husband’s passion for them, has endless varieties surrounding my home. Those palms have taken off over the years with the benefit of our warm sunny climate and some fertilization. Many are now 20 to 30 feet tall, which presents a real challenge for trimming. Good news, according to Sara Edelman, Palm Manager at the Fairfield Tropical Garden: very little palm trimming is necessary and can often be harmful to the tree itself.
She says a good motto for palm trimming is “don’t trim green.” Palms store their nutrients in their leaves. When green leaves are removed the nutrients in those leaves that feed the heart growth center of the tree are removed, thus starving your palm. Trimming your palm is not necessary and can be harmful. Even brown leaves left on the tree protect the heart during a storm and provides habitat for wild life.
This is great news for me. I can put away those clippers and pole saws and know that all is well.