I bought a Chinese Fan Palm last year which I have in a large container. The palm is growing well but the trunk doesn’t look like it has been pruned correctly.

Trunk of Palm Tree

Does this look strange to you? Would you cut this closer to the trunk? And if so what would you use to cut it?


  • If you're growing hearts of palm it's a little too small to do that still, maybe wait for it to get 1-2 feet tall before the leaves start to form. Commented May 9, 2019 at 17:21

2 Answers 2


The pruning is fine as the cuts appear to have been made cleanly. You can, for aesthetic reasons only, remove the dead stems when they have dried out enough to expose the trunk. I normally do this by hand under the theory that if they are so strongly attached you cannot remove them then they need to dry further.

Start at the bottom of the trunk and try and twist off the lowest dead stems. They should come off cleanly and expose more of the trunk. I stress again that you would only do this if you have time on your hands. There is no reason for plant health to do this.

  • I'd wait until it's a bit bigger before removing cut stems. It looks like trunk is only a couple inches, 5cm, in diameter. At that size it's easy to damage things. Commented May 9, 2019 at 14:46
  • @WayfaringStranger agreed,you can damage the trunk if you pull too hard
    – kevinskio
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 14:48
  • Thanks, appreciate it. I'll leave it for now.
    – mxcolin
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 16:05

My experience with those palms tells me those frond bases will not be ready to be removed for quite some time -- many months. That matting around the trunk is tough stuff! But just for looks, I personally would carefully trim the already cut fronds closer to the trunk using sharp pruning shears, about where the frond just starts to widen a bit. Not much shorter than the one at the bottom right of your photo.

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