When in doubt call a professional!
Most palm trees shed their fronds naturally, but other palms drop the fronds after some time. When it is necessary to trim the palm trees, never remove fronds that do not hang below a line parallel to the ground. Pruning palms can reduce their vigor, transmit diseases, reduce their health nutritionally, affect cold hardiness and lower their tolerance to handle weather.
However, trimming palms is an important part of the care for your Palm Trees. Palms are monocots which means Palm Trees do not have a continued outward growth in their trunks like a typical tree where new wood is being created. A Palm’s trunk may appear to grow like a tree but in reality it is an expansion of the tissue first formed. “Palms produce a leaf at a time, and once a full crown of leaves is achieved in a mature individual (for some palms this is just 4-5 leaves, while in other species, this can be over 120 leaves), every new leaf formed is followed by an old leaf dying. This number, unique to each palm, is the ideal number of leaves for that palm to have to grow optimally. Any less leaves than that number and the palm will grow sub-optimally, or slower. Sub-optimal numbers of fronds can weaken a palm, too, and make it more vulnerable.
For some reason there is a myth going about that pruning palms will speed up their growth rate. This is actually the opposite from the truth. Green palm leaves, or fronds, are the palms sole source of food. When green leaves are removed, the palm cannot make the ideal amount of food it needs to survive.
Be very wary of Palm Trees trunks and avoid anything that you think can damage the trunks. If you damage your Palms trunk while pruning there is a good chance the damage will not heal.
Pruning Palms is a natural part of the total care package for Palm Trees. Even though Palms do need occasional trimming, Palm Trees are low maintenance trees. Palm Trees are purchased for their beauty and tropical flavor so it is important to have your Palms look as spectacular as possible!
To prune Palm Trees the key care factor is that only the Palm knows when a frond needs to be pruned off, and that is when it is dying (yellow or brown). As each new leaf opens, it will take the place of a dying leaf. The Palm knows the exact amount of fronds needed for a healthy Palm Tree.