My palm tree started to become yellow in the last couple of months and I don't see any improvement. I've tried with some spike fertilizers for palm trees, but didn't seem to help. Here are some pictures:

Is it ok to cut off the first 3" at the top to remove the damaged area and promote new growth? What should I do to help?

I'm in the Pacific Northwest, and the palm is outdoors, in open ground.


1 Answer 1


Whatever you do, don't cut off the top 3 inches of the palm - its equivalent to decapitation in an animal, and the plant will die. You can try removing anything that's dead though. This palm looks to be a Trachycarpus fortunei, and they are pretty hardy, but you haven't said and I'm not 100% certain without seeing more of it. What's interesting is the fasciation that seems to be going on - have you had unusual cold in the last few months, such that the palm won't have experienced before?

I can see some green leaves, but can't tell how many are left, so a picture of the whole plant might be useful - also check the base and trunk of the tree - you're looking for soft, soggy areas or weeping or rotting.

  • This video suggests cutting as an option. Yes, it was a harder winter this year, but the other palms in the area don't seem to be that affected. Haven't noticed any rotten areas on the trunk though, so I hope there's still life in it. I'll upload more pics later today. Thanks!
    – funtastic
    Commented May 22, 2014 at 16:43

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