Palm trees are the only members of the botanical family Arecaceae, which is the only family in the order Arecales. They grow in hot (tropical and subtropical climates and popular palm trees include the date palm and coconut palm. The dwarf palm is found in southern France. The needle palm (Rhapidophyllum Hystrix) is known as the hardiest palm in the world and is able to handle extremely low temperatures and hence grow in temperate regions. There are, however, about 2600 species of palm trees.

Palm trees are one of the most widely planted tree families. They have been largely useful for throughout much of human history. In the past they were symbols of victory, peace, and fertility. A good number of foods and other products come from palms. They are often used in parks and gardens that are in areas that are not temperate. Today palms are also a popular symbol for the tropics and hence vacations.

Palm Tree Skinning

Skinning refers to the act of removing remains of dead palm fronds from a part or the entire trunk of the tree. Many owners of palm trees believe in a misconception that palm skinning helps the trees grow bigger faster, however, contrarily it results in stunted growth as the dead palm fronds originally protect the tree from severe cold, wind and other attacks due to the elements. it’s important to note that tree should only be skinned if the fronds pose a hazard to people or property, are broken or dead or if the tree is flowering and bearing fruits. This practice is also used for beautifying purposes and should be done properly so as not to hinder the tree in any way. Removing dead palm fronds can pose difficulty without the use of the proper tools or adequate skill.

Methods of skinning a palm tree

Tree Health Assessment

The very first step to take is to assess the health of the palm tree to ensure the presence of dying or dead fronds on the tree. Such fronds are usually hanging or flaccid with a whitish, brownish or yellowish. Ensure that broken fronds are removed before being torn off so as to avoid causing damage to the tree.

Selection of appropriate equipment

Fronds less than one inch in diameter should be cut off with a serrated knife. A hand saw should be used for larger fronds and a chainsaw would be the ideal choice for the very thick fronds. To climb the tree, sturdy stools or a small ladder can be used for shorter trees, however, an extension ladder should be utilized in the case of taller trees. Any equipment that might pierce the trunk of the tree (containing spikes) should not be used so as not to spread diseases or damage the tree’s trunk. To protect hands from the sharp spikes on fronds hand gloves should be worn. Goggles should also be worn to protect the eyes from flying debris.

Arrangement of climbing gear

Confirm that the ladders (or stools) are stable and safe so as not to cause injury to the person climbing it. Also ensure that the equipment is not deforming or injuring the palm tree.

Cutting the dead fronds

Get rid of only the dying, dead or broken fronds. Mature fronds are located below the recent growth. Begin removal from the bottom of the foliage. Cut off each frond close to the trunk (bout 5cm) since cutting too close to the trunk can damage it. Green fronds should only be cut if it is hanging by more than 90 degrees from the trunk. If the petioles holding the fronds are loose they should also be pulled off gently.

After cutting the dead fronds, use a blade to gently scrape off the roughness left by the removed fronds. This should be done in a way so as not to harm the tree. Properly discard the debris (removed dead fronds) as they can prick the handler or cause harm to passers-by.

​The green fronds produce nourishment for the palm tree hence it is important to ensure that they remain so as to guarantee a healthier palm tree. It would be good practice to wait for at least another year before skinning the tree again. Need palm tree skinning and trimming services Las vegas? Contact us today.