How Often Do You Need to Trim Palm Trees and What Happens If You Don’t?

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Palm trees are beautiful, giving off a wonderful tropical island aesthetic. They are incredibly popular in Australia, with good reason, but they are certainly not without their faults. How often should you trim a palm tree (if at all), and what happens if you decide not to? Read on to find out more!


Do you need to trim a palm tree?

Yes and no. You can neglect your palm trees, provided you are prepared to deal with the issues that come with it. Otherwise, you should endeavour to trim them, if only to get rid of the brown fronds (palm leaves), flowers, or fruit.

Thus, pruning a palm tree isn’t really subject to a specific time of year, only when it is needed. When you remove the dead or dying fronts from your palm, you can prevent further damage from storms.


How often should you prune a palm tree?

How often should you prune a palm tree? That really depends on the climate and species of the tree. Ideally, you’ll want to wait for old branches and fronds to die and turn down, or remove them as they start to fruit in the spring time. For a rough guide, a gap of every 12 to 24 months should be sufficient.


What happens if you don’t trim palm trees?

Here are four of the most common problems that present themselves should you choose not to prune your palm tree:

1 – Palm rat infestation:

If your palm tree hasn’t been pruned in several years then the likelihood is that they have been infested with palm rats. Palm rats are excellent climbers and like to live in isolated areas. A palm tree is perfect for this.

Palm rats grow up to about 14 inches in length and can carry infectious diseases which can be passed onto humans. This makes them a threat to your home and property. Not only are they dangerous, but they will chew through wires and roofing material, and even find their way into your home.

2 – Increased risk of fires:

You must be vigilant when it comes to fire hazards in and around your home. Keeping your palm trees pruned and safe of being a fire hazard is always a good idea. You see, palms that haven’t been pruned in several years begin to dry out. These dead fronts can catch fire exceptionally fast, blowing embers and sparks into other palms and even your home.

3 – Personal injury:

Palm trees that grow out of control can pose as a serious health risk to those around them. Dead fronds or those that have grown too large can fall to the ground and hit anyone beneath. Palm tree branches that are too close to the ground can also pose a risk for tripping and falling. The trip itself might not be so bad, but it can be painful if you trip and fall on the thorns of a palm frond.

4 – Wind damage:

Strong winds on palm trees that aren’t regularly pruned can cause serious damage, and even collapse. If they become too top-heavy, then the strong winds can topple the trees over onto your property. In order to reduce the risk, you should really consider pruning at least once a year.

5 – Germination of nuisance palms:

If palms aren’t properly pruned in your yard, then little palm saplings will frequently pop up in areas that they are not wanted. Mature palm trees will produce a huge number of seeds. When these are trimmed, they can fall to the ground and germinate in your yard. By annually pruning your palm tree, you can control the distribution of seeds and ensure that you don’t end up with any unwanted palm trees in yours or your neighbour’s gardens.


How much does it cost to trim a palm tree?

How much does it cost to trim a palm tree in Australia? For trees that are 30 feet or shorter, you’ll be looking at around $75 to $400. Any that are above 60 feet will likely cost closer to $200 and $1,200.

There are tree trimming services available all over Australia, it’s all about finding the perfect fit for you. Shop around and collect some quotes, then making a final decision shouldn’t be too difficult.



The easiest thing for you to do is ensure that your palm trees are pruned regularly enough to prevent any of the issues mentioned above. Make your life easier by scheduling some regular pruning with a reputable arborist company like Lakeside Trees and Stumps.