To climb or not to climb.

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart SA541769000

Plam Trim 3


While not native to the Phoenix area, palm trees have become a popular choice for landscaping. They are relatively low maintenance and can survive in our dry weather. Palm trees in Phoenix can grow to 60’ tall and even though they are low maintenance they still require occasional trimming.

But how does one trim a tree that has grown higher than almost any ladder can reach? This dilemma means a home must hire an expert. Some landscaping companies will bring in a bucket truck to safely raise the tree trimmer to the proper height, an expensive and complicated procedure.

Or you could simply hire someone with the skill and daring to climb to the top and perform the surgery with simple hand tools.

I was at a client's house the other day helping him prep his house for the market when as luck would have it a local landscaper drove up and asked, “Need someone to trim those palms?”

It wasn’t my call, so I asked the homeowner, “How about it?”

They negotiated a pretty fair price and in a matter of minutes, the landscaper was strapping a pair of pole climbers to his legs and began his ascent to the first tree.

I watched in amazement as he shinnied up the pole-like tree more than 40’ in the air while the thin palm swayed in the breeze.

Before I knew it, palm branches fell to the ground one by one as he sawed them with a small hand saw and dropped them to the yard below.

After about 10 minutes he climbed down the first tree, then headed up the second larger tree to repeat his work of trimming and shaping.

He stacked and bundled the trimmings into piles and hauled them off to be recycled. The whole process took less than one hour, and it was something the homeowner could never have accomplished on his own.

For me, this was my first experience with trimming palms in this way. I had seen workers harvest coconuts from tall palms in Hawaii, but not Phoenix. I now have one more “specialist” to add to my list of recommendations.

Palm Trim 1


Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Need more information? Or to Search for your next home, visit

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Comments (5)

Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing this interesting experience.

You will want to retain the contact information for the landscaper.

Jan 23, 2022 10:35 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

I had to smile Joseph when I saw your photo!  I too took some photos of tree trimmers a couple of years or more back when we had 3 VERY tall palms in the middle of the back yard. It was fascinating to me the first time I saw them climb trees with those metal shoe things on their feet!   

Jan 23, 2022 02:47 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Joseph- I do miss the palm trees we had in FL. Larry had a telescoping tool that could go just so far and then he had to call in the pros!!!!

Jan 23, 2022 04:14 PM
Raymond Henson, eXp Realty
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

We have two palm trees at our Goodyear, AZ place to prune every year and yes, he does climb up the tree.  I stay inside and do not watch.

Jan 23, 2022 04:51 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I never even thought of the need for palm trimming (since I've never lived anywhere with palm trees). I can say I wouldn't want that job!!!!

Enjoy your day!

Jan 24, 2022 05:33 AM