Queen Palm 1 Queen Palm 2

Recently moved into a new house which has a couple of Queen Palms and have never had to take care of palms before. Questions: Do these palms need trimming? If so, how much trimming do they need and do I just cut the lower fronds off? Is there a specific time of the year that's better for trimming them?

More info: location is Phoenix, AZ

1 Answer 1


Palm trees don't need trimming, so any fronds you remove are simply to improve the aesthetics.

I like to cut away all the older, tattered palms just prior to spring for one simple reason — once warmer weather hits, the new growth will start pouring out from the top of the tree, and your palm will look fantastic and healthy despite their recent haircut.

I like to cut out all of the older fronds all the way up to the newest, freshest growth from last year. It sounds severe, but palm trees are basically a type of grass, so it is really hard to hurt it unless you cut off the growing top, center-most shoots (don't do that).

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For the old, woody fronds encircling the lower trunk, if you leave them, they will eventually fall off on their own. I tend to give them a good pull each year to see which are pretty much ready to come loose (I prefer the look of the bare trunk underneath), but they will come off easily in their own good time. If you want to cut them off sooner, it will not hurt the tree. Overall, Queen Palms pretty much take care of themselves.

  • Awesome answer, thank you! What should I cut the fronds with? A regular wood saw?
    – Guy
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 23:58
  • Palm fronds are pretty fibrous, so a saw will work in a pinch, but I prefer a good pair of loppers. As the heavy frond tears away, it can leave the heavy load hanging stubbornly from a tough strand of frond piano wire; hard to cut with a saw, easy with loppers. Actually, I do like my reciprocal saw because I have few opportunities to use it. I'm just not sure if a standard wood saw has the dexterity to be a first choice. Commented Jan 19, 2013 at 0:27
  • Wow, I don't think this answer is right. I've just finished reading several excellent articles about palm pruning, and they are all unanimous that removing ANY green fronds should not be done and can seriously harm the tree. Read more articles before following this guys advice. Awesome article with many photos of correctly and incorrectly pruned palms: davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/668
    – user11116
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 20:13

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